Bangalore: Two pieces of statistics got me wondering last week. Dataheads among you might have known all along, but I was surprised to discover that (a) Don Bradman has now slipped out of the top ten Test century-makers of all time, and (b) with Mark Ramprakash's retirement, we might well have seen the last of the batsmen to score 100 first-class centuries. Yes, I know that it was only expected, but now that these stats are in front of us, aren't they worth at least a tear or two?
The two mean drastically different things, of course.
When it came to Bradman's mark, it was a matter of time. With the intensely packed cricket schedules over the past many years, more teams - some of them good enough to flay with Geoffrey Boycott's mum's stick of rhubarb - in the fray, and easier pitches to bat on in many parts of the world, Bradman had to slip. It's improbable his mark would have stood for much longer even if Kumar Sangakkara didn't get in the kind of form he has against Pakistan. But then, with Bradman now slipping to No. 11, it's almost like a slice of our childhood has passed. The 99.94, of course, continues to stand like a colossus, as it should for eternity.