Andrew Symonds is right up there, in terms of his stature, as one of the most intimidating cricketers of all-time; you’re an idiot if you voluntarily pick a fight with the big man and chances are that the bout will end in pain and tears for you. So, what chance does a 5’7 Eoin Morgan stand today?
A beastly figure who is 1.87 metres tall, Andrew Symonds, during his playing days, could make his opponents wet their pants by just giving them an extended, baleful stare. But his intimidating figure aside, the big man was an exceptional cricketer who epitomized the term all-rounder: he was a world-class batsman, a world-class fielder and certainly a world-class ‘part-time’ bowler. We know he would maul any cricketer in an actual fight, but how would he fare if the only weapon at his disposal was his career stats? Up against him today is a 5’7 Irishman - no, not Conor McGregor - but the playing field will be level, for statistics - and only statistics - will matter once the bell rings. Without further ado, LET’S GET READY TO WITNESS THE RUMBLE!
ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: A FIRST ROUND TIE!
What did we say about the irrelevance of the two men’s stature in this contest again? One might be half a foot taller than the other, but none of that matters as with career averages of 39.75 and 39.73 respectively, Symonds and Morgan share the spoils in the very first round. Certainly a first in Friday Fights history.
Symonds - 10 Morgan - 10
ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: UMM, SIZE DOES MATTER?
Hold up. Were our interpretations wayyyyy too premature? Morgan might have gotten away without punishment in Round 1, but Symonds lets his presence known in R2 as the Aussie, with an away average of 43.3, catches Morgan bang on his nose with a right-hook to run away with the round. Morgan’s numbers of 36.01 are nowhere near expected levels.
Symonds - 10 Morgan - 8
ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: MORGAN GETS OFF THE MARK!
Wait, if Morgan is an Irishman and he’s now playing for England, shouldn’t every game technically be counted as an away game? Okay, my apologies. Anyway, back to the game and BOOOM, the Irishman, erm Englishman, makes his intent clear. Morgan bounces back from defeats in the first two rounds and delivers a sweet jab to the big man. His home average of 44.89 is far, far superior to Symonds’ 28.98.
Symonds - 7 Morgan - 10
ROUND 4 -> AVERAGE IN NEUTRAL VENUES: GOODNIGHT, EOIN!
HOLY SMOKES SYMMO! Have some mercy, big man! Agitated by his defeat in R3, Symonds takes his anger out on Morgan on R4 and does so in the most brutal emphatic fashion imaginable. His average of 66.55 in neutral venues POUNDS Morgan’s 32.65. In fact, so bad is the difference that the English skipper, himself, is embarrassed.
Symonds - 10 Morgan - 7
ROUND 5 -> AVERAGE IN MAJOR TOURNAMENTS: HEY REF, YOU SURE YOU DON’T WANNA STOP THIS CONTEST?
TAKE. OUR. WORDS. BACK. THIS IS NOT AN EVEN CONTEST. I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT AN EVEN CONTEST! Symonds destroyed Morgan in R4, yes, but here, he has DISMANTLED the southpaw. The Australian’s average in major tournaments of 76.66 is 46 (YES, FORTY SIX) more than the English skipper. This is, by some distance, the most lop-sided round in Friday Fights history.
Symonds - 10 Morgan - 6
ROUND 6 -> STRIKE RATE: IS SYMONDS PLANNING TO PERMANENTLY CRIPPLE MORGAN’S LEGACY?
Well well well, you thought Morgan was a very good player with a great legacy? Cool, but Symonds is making a mockery out of both. ‘Strike-rate’ was expected to be the Englishman’s ally, especially given the fact that he’s playing in a batsman-friendly era, but Symonds, even here, has not allowed his opponent to take the W. The Australian, despite having played in a more conservative era, trumps his opponent w.r to strike rate. His 92.44 eats Morgan’s 91.46 alive.
Symonds - 10 Morgan - 9
ROUND 7-> 50 TO 100 CONVERSIONS (in %): FINALLY, MORGAN CAN BREATHE AGAIN!
He needed this. Oh he needed this SO BAD! After getting absolutely pounded in six of the first seven rounds, Morgan responds with a brutal uppercut out of the blue to stay alive - literally. The southpaw’s conversion rate of 23.33% is enough to help him edge ahead of Symonds’ 16.66%.
Symonds - 8 Morgan - 10
ROUND 8 -> PERCENTAGE OF FIFTIES IN WINNING CAUSES: MR. ALMOST-PERFECT ANDREW SYMONDS!
I mean, I won’t even blame or question Morgan here. How is he even supposed to compete with an unrelenting beast like Symonds? 67.39 of Morgan’s fifties have come in winning causes and it’s GREAT, but it looks like a joke in front of Symonds’ 90%. I mean, SERIOUSLY! Can you imagine having a player whose fifties will lead to a 90% success rate? God damn it Aussies, you lucky champs!
ROUND 9 -> PERCENTAGE OF HUNDREDS IN WINNING CAUSES: MR. PERFECT ANDREW SYMONDS!
In an ideal world, this contest would have been stopped by now, for it’s so, so, so one-sided, but here at Friday Fights, we like to stretch fights out ‘to the core’ and that is the only reason why we’re still going. With every round, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Symonds is one of the greatest match-winners of all time. 100% of his hundreds have come in winning causes, and he has SIX of them. Inhuman numbers, to be honest.
Symonds- 10 Morgan - 9
ROUND 10 -> AVERAGE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: SOME CONSOLATION FOR MORGAN!
Symonds, after nine rounds of domination, was seen taking a ‘suspicious’ drink during the break. We suspect it’s whiskey and it’s starting to show. His standards drop and he throws a decent punch - his average in successful chases of 52.66 is still great, mind you - but his complacency irks Morgan, who, with his average of 56.75, thuds the Australian to ‘finally’ clinch a round.
ROUND 11 -> NO OF 100+ SR FIFTY-PLUS SCORES: SYMONDS HAS SWITCHED OFF!
He knows he has won, doesn’t he? There is no other excuse for Symmo to be putting up this kind of a no-show, to be honest. Morgan’s 35 fifty-plus scores with a strike rate of 100 or more is ALMOST TWICE AS MUCH AS SYMONDS, whose subsequent number of 19 does no harm to his opponent.
Symonds - 7 Morgan - 10
ROUND 12 -> NO OF BOUNDARIES (4s and 6s) PER INNINGS: THE MATCH ENDS THE WAY IT STARTED - ALMOST
Symonds might have hibernated for two rounds, but he’s back to business in the last one and BOOOM, finally, we have an intense, even contest. The two players go at each other aggressively - Symonds lands a job but Morgan responds with a right cross - but after threatening to end as a tie - like the very first round - Morgan lands a left hook in the dying moments of the contest to register his THIRD WIN IN A ROW! He knows it’s a mere consolation, but hey, at least he keeps his pride intact.
END OF CONTEST, WINNER BY UNANIMOUS DECISION - ANDREW SYMONDS
FINAL SCORE: ANDREW SYMONDS 110 - 109 Eoin Morgan
Well the scoreline looks close, looks really, really close, but, in reality, it was an extremely one-sided bout. Symonds owned Morgan for about 90% of the contest and it was only because he switched off that the Irishman got to stat-pad towards the end and make the contest look even - at least on paper. Two conclusions from this contest then: one, never indulge in any kind of ‘fight’ with Symonds and two, Symmo is an absolute legend of the game.