In former Australia captain Ricky Ponting's view West Indian legend Brian Lara was a bigger match-winner than India's Sachin Tendulkar but contrary to his belief, statistics of the two batting greats tell a totally different story.
"Sachin and Lara were two stand-out batsmen for me. Lara won more games for his team than Sachin probably has. I'd lose more sleep as captain knowing Lara was coming into bat next day than I would with Sachin," Ponting told a newspaper recently.
Tendulkar, who has played 198 Tests, is far ahead of his once contemporary West Indian (131) when statistics of the two are compared.
The statistics of Tests show that West Indies, in Lara's presence, have won 24.42 per cent matches while with Tendulkar in the side, India have tasted victory in 35.35 per cent of their games.
If the performance in these matches is considered, Lara's contribution to his side's victories have been 24.50 per cent of his total Test runs (11953) while Tendulkar's 37.01 per cent career runs (15837) have benefited India.
Out of the hundred tons Tendulkar has scored in his international career so far, 53 of them have come in matches that India won. 20 of his 51 Test centuries have helped India triumph, which comes to 39.01 per cent.
In Lara's case, only eight of his 34 Test hundreds (23.52 per cent) have guided West Indies to victory.
It is argued that Lara's effort was often not complimented by his teammates, which resulted in his side's defeat in 63 Tests (48.01 per cent) out of the 131 matches he played. Lara's contribution in these matches were 44.47 per cent of his total runs. Interestingly, 14 hundreds from the Caribbean southpaw have come in losing cause.
When compared to Tendulkar, India have faced defeat in 56 Tests which is just 28.28 per cent of his total matches. Tendulkar has made 4088 runs, including 11 hundreds, in these encounters.
In the 72 matches that have ended in a draw for India in Tendulkar's presence, the little master has scored 5887 runs with 20 centuries to his credit, while West Indies drew 36 matches with Lara getting 3708 runs including 12 scores of hundred and above.
Lara scored 751 runs with three hundreds in the eight matches won by West Indies against Australia in his presence. Against England, his team won nine games with just a hundred to his name while playing India he featured in four wins, two each versus South Africa and Sri Lanka, but all without centuries.
In Tendulkar's case, India have witnessed 16 wins over Australia accumulating 1407 runs with four centuries. Tendulkar has scored three centuries each in the 11 and nine victories against Sri Lanka and England respectively. Tendulkar has scored a century against every country on a winning occasion.
Both Tendulkar and Lara haven't contributed much in their team's success Down Under.
West Indies have won four matches in Australia with the left-hander making 211 runs at an average of 35.16, while in Tendulkar's presence India have emerged victorious in two matches, with the right-hander contributing just 122 runs.
In One-day International cricket, however, Lara's hundreds have contributed more to his team's success. He has 19 centuries against his name of which West Indies have tasted victories in 16 matches.
On the other hand, out of 49 ODIs in which Tendulkar has scored a century, India won 33 clashes.
In Lara's presence, West Indies won 46.48 per cent of their matches while in Tendulkar's case the figure goes up to 50.53 per cent.
Out of Tendulkar's whopping 18426 runs in 463 ODIs, 11157 (60.55 per cent) of them have helped India register victories while Lara is little ahead with 62.97 per cent (6553) of his runs getting his side home. Lara made 10405 in 299 ODIs he played in the West Indian colour.