Cricketer-turned-commentator Akash Chopra released his latest book ‘Numbers Do Lie’ at an event in Delhi on Tuesday. Present at the launch was former India captain and champion all-rounder Kapil Dev, who gave his two bits on the book and also enthralled the gathering with anecdotes and stories from his playing days.
The book shares 61 stories about cricketers from across the ages, based on the findings of Impact Index, an analytics system for cricket devised by Jaideep Varma. The book has been authored by Akash Chopra in collaboration with the team from Impact Index. Talking about the title, Aakash said, “Cricket is a game dominated by the numbers and statistics, but those numbers hide more than they reveal, if not viewed with the proper context. So, in this book, we have tried to give a context to those numbers and share them through 61 stories about some of our favourite cricketers.”
The book launch was followed by an interactive session that saw Aakash, Kapil, and Jaideep Varma of Impact Index share their favourite stories from the book. The session was moderated by Amrit Mathur, head of communications at BCCI. Aakash surprised the audience by telling them that it was Peter May who emerged as the second most impactful Test batsman after Don Bradman, despite a sub-50 batting average.
When Jaideep revealed that Dennis Lillee was the no. 1 impact bowler in Tests, Kapil disagreed and said, “But Lillee played only a handful of Tests in Asia, unlike a Richard Hadlee, who I think was a better bowler.” When a young fan asked Kapil to comment on how the game has become so batsmen-friendly of late, the former World Cup-winning captain chuckled and said, “In its 140-year history, it has always been a batsman’s game.” A number of Delhi-NCR-based cricketers, including Atul Wassan, Murali Kartik, and Parvinder Awana, turned up at the event to support the former Delhi and India opener.