Tag Archives: World Cup 2019

“High Impact” batsmen – a study

Is having a healthy batting average alone a measure of “impact” that a batsman is creating on the game? Is having a 100+ strike rate alone enough to create an impact? Batting Average or Strike Rate of a batsman alone doesn’t tell the complete story about the impact he creates, which is why Cricket Statisticians came up with a hybrid metric called “Impact Factor”.

Impact Factor = Batting Average x Strike Rate / 100

I understand your concern. Can’t we just add Avg and Strike Rate? Why multiply?

Let me explain the difference with an example. Look at Batting Averages and Strike Rates of three players who were completely different in the way they approached batting – Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Bevan and Shahid Afridi.

Afridi

Now, if you just add Avg and Strike Rate, you’ll end up concluding Shahid Afridi’s batting in general creates much more impact than Bevan or Sachin, which is foolish and wrong. I am sure even Afridi will not agree. The moment you multiply Average and Strike Rate, you arrive at a hybrid metric which is more meaningful and easily comparable across batsmen.

Enough Theory. Let’s get to the numbers.

Over the last 48 years of ODI history, there’s been a gradual but steady evolution in the game, decade over decade. Grounds becoming smaller, rules of the game being changed, Power plays, Field restrictions, bat sizes, etc. The game has without doubt become more batsmen friendly with every passing decade and with T20 cricket coming into the mix in the last decade, the way batsmen in general approach batting too has changed.

This is very evident when we compare Batting Averages and Strike Rates (and Impact Factor) for Top 50 run scorers in each era (decade).

Have a look.

Summary

In this context, it’s unfair to compare Impact Factor of a batsman in 2019 vs a batsmen in 1975, I understand. Nevertheless, I’ve compiled the list of Top 50 run scorers in ODI history, ranked by their Impact factor. What do you notice?

ODI history

Among the Top 5 Ranked Impactful Players of all time, there’s an obvious bias towards batsmen from the recent 2 decades, but one man stands out. Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards. He is the only pre-2000 batsmen to make it to the Top 5 list. Woah! It’s difficult to imagine or guess what his numbers would look like had he played his cricket in the modern day. Hats off Sir!

I’ve also compiled the Top 5 and Bottom 5 ranked players by Impact Factor, decade by decade. While you can review the stats in tables published below, here are a few of my observations.

Note: Stats only for Top 50 run scorers in respective eras

  • 1970s and 1980s – There’s no one even close to Sir Viv on Impact Factor @ the quantum of runs he’s scored – 6k+ runs; his strike rate of 90+ in the 1980s was phenomenal

1971-1990

  • 1990s – Despite an average strike rate, Bevan tops the list due to his supreme batting average; he averaged 56 in 1990s when the mean was 35. Sachin Tendulkar is # 2 in the list, followed by Lara, Ganguly and Saeed Anwar. No surprises there

1991-2000

  • 2000s – Sachin sustains his place in the Top 5, a list topped by Michael Hussey and MS Dhoni; emergence of AB de Villiers

2001-2010

  • 2010s – The ABD & Virat Kohli Era; both of them average ~62 post 2010; with ABD striking at 111, his impact factor of 69 is the highest ever for any batsman in any decade. Let it digest. AB de Villiers has scored 5500 runs at an average of 62 striking at 111.

2011-2019

Do you think there’s any other way of measure a batsman’s impact on a game, apart from Impact Factor? Do you have any other observations from the Stats? Feel free to share them in comments.

 

 

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Cricket World Cup 2019 Build-up Part 1 #SriniStats

In this edition, as a build-up to the Cricket World Cup 2019 which is just round the corner, we’ll be analysing the performance of the participating teams (10 teams) over the past 4 years since the previous World Cup (March 2015).

Note: All numbers presented in this post are for the duration Apr 1, 2015 to Mar 10, 2019 for matches played by and against the teams participating in CWC2019. So matches played between India and Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE, England and Scotland, etc. aren’t included. All Teams on an average have played about 50-70 ODIs in the past 4 years (basis above criteria) except Afghanistan which has featured only in 11 ODIs against the other 9 competing teams.

While analysing overall team performance in a format, I thought looking at W/L (Wins/Losses Ratio) was a good start. Basis W/L ratio for the past 4 years, the 10 teams could broadly be clustered into 5 groups

  1. Favourites England, India; Expected to definitely finish in the Top 2 in League stage. Anything less than Top 2 Finish will be considered an “upset”
  2. Likely Top 4 Finish – New Zealand, South Africa; obvious choice to complete the Top 4, alongside India and England
  3. ChallengersAustralia, Pakistan, Bangladesh; Top 4 finish is not a given, but cannot be completely ruled out
  4. Namesakes West Indies, Sri Lanka; added into the mix just to complete the pool. No chance of qualifying for Semi Finals. It’s sad considering these 2 teams together have won 3 World Cups in the past. I’ll shave my head if either of the teams qualify for Top 4 in 2019 CWC.
  5. Dark HorseAfghanistan; you never know!

The grouping broadly does justice to the W/L record these teams have demonstrated over the past 4 years.

Take a look at the Stat below:

WL Overall

England is leagues ahead of everyone else. India is a clear #2.

India’s phenomenal W/L record took a beating thanks to the recent Home series against Australia where they lost thrice.

Another interesting aspect to note is that Afghanistan have won more matches than they’ve lost. Considering their phenomenal bowling stats (best among all teams), don’t be surprised if they cause a couple of big upsets in the league stage. Afghanistan vs England will be a contest to watch out for (Best bowling team vs explosive batting team).

In run chases, England’s W/L ratio stands out further, while India is consistent both while chasing and defending a total.

WL 2

If you’re one of those teams playing England in the World Cup, here’s a free tip. Win the toss and don’t dare let England chase!!! Thank me later.

I’ve also put together Batting and Bowling Stats by team, separately for “Overall”, “In Wins” and “In losses”.

While all the stats are available in tables below, some observations:

  1. England have been this successful predominantly because of their batting; in fact, their bowling performance over the past 4 years is one of the worst (comparable to Sri Lanka)
  2. England is the only team that strikes at 100+ with the bat; secret of their success. Unleashing their explosive and deep batting line up on the poor bowlers. Even though India average better with the bat (best in fact), because England bat real deep, they score ~30 runs higher on an average per innings, compared to other teams, which gives them the edge, despite their below average bowling
  3. There’s no match to Afghanistan in the bowling department – they have the best Bowling Avg, best Economy Rate and best Bowling Strike Rate. India is second best in terms of bowling average and economy rate, among all teams
  4. New Zealand and South Africa’s Overall Bowling Stats exactly mirror each other; South Africa has a slight edge over NZ in the batting department
  5. SL and West Indies – well, let’s not waste time there. Whoever wins the SL vs WI contest will finish 9th in the League stage

Battin Stats overall

Batting Stats in wins

Batting Stats in losses

Bowling Stats overallBolwing Stats in WinsBowling Stats in LossesNRR

Can you infer anything else from the Bowling and Batting Stats? Do you want me to look at any other stats in specific? Shoot them in the comments section.

Brace yourselves, #SriniStats is back!