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The Statsguru Awards

Cricinfo staff

January 30, 2008

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The Statsguru Awards are based purely on numbers, from Tests and ODIs in 2007. However, they go beyond the usual stats - runs scored, wickets taken, batting averages and such - and are based instead on more detailed data analyses of performances.

Which batsman played more consistently than any other over the entire year? Which bowler performed at his best against top-order batsmen? Who relished tail-end wickets the most? The results are all based entirely on quantitative analyses of performance throughout the year, which makes these awards definitive and distinctive. Read on to find out more.

MAIN AWARDS



Hayden turned in domineering performances in both Tests and ODIs. He was even the best finisher in the 50-overs game © Getty Images
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Most valuable player of the year - Batting
Matthew Hayden: Test index 71.50, ODI index 101.48. Total 172.98
The result was based on a batsman's performance against the list of top bowlers of the year, which was calculated in the following manner:

Tests: Top ten averages among those who took at least 20 wickets in 2007.
ODIs: Top ten bowling index (average multiplied by economy-rate) among bowlers who took at least 20 wickets in 2007.

A batsman's average against these bowlers in Tests was his Test index, while the ODI index was calculated by multiplying the batsman's average by the number of runs scored per ball against these bowlers.

Against the best Test bowlers, Hayden averaged 71.50 (Zaheer Khan and Muttiah Muralitharan were the only bowlers among the top ten to dismiss him). In ODIs, he dominated even more, averaging 118 against them at a rate of 5.16 per over for an ODI index of 101.48. Add the two, and his total was a healthy 172.98

Most valuable player of the year - Bowling
Shoaib Akhtar: Test index 42.50, ODI index 11.84. Total 54.34
The result was based on bowlers' performance against the list of top batsmen of the year, which was calculated in the following manner:

Tests: Top 15 averages among batsmen who scored at least 300 runs in 2007. ODIs: Top 20 ODI indexes (average multiplied by number of runs scored per ball) among batsmen who scored at least 750 runs in 2007.

The bowlers' average against these batsmen in Tests was their Test index, while the ODI index was calculated by multiplying the bowlers' average by the number of runs conceded per ball against these batsmen.

Shoaib didn't play in all of Pakistan's matches through the year, but when he did, he was lethal. In Tests he dismissed the top batsmen four times (Sourav Ganguly twice, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Jacques Kallis once each) at an average of 42.50, while in ODIs he was even more effective, dismissing Dhoni (three times), Ganguly (twice), Sachin Tendulkar, Kallis and Graeme Smith, at an average of 17.12 and an economy-rate of 4.15 runs per over.

Most consistent batsman of the year - Tests
Shivnarine Chanderpaul: Consistency index 2.79
With six successive Test innings of 50-plus in 2007, Shivnarine Chanderpaul was the most consistent batsman of the year. He spoilt it slightly by scoring just 8 in his last innings of 2007, but he still finished with a batting average of 111.60. His standard deviation for the year - which measures the average distance from the mean - was just 40.05, which gave him a consistency index of 2.79 (average divided by standard deviation). Kallis and Kumar Sangakkara were the other two batsmen in contention, but neither stood a chance against Chanderpaul. Kallis averaged 86.42 with an SD of 50.15 (consistency index 1.72), while Sangakkara averaged 138.28, but thanks to two single-digit scores, his SD was a high 80.97 (consistency index 1.71).

Best bowler against top order - Tests
Brett Lee: Average 19.20 against top order
With a cut-off of at least 10 top-order wickets*, Brett Lee snuck ahead of two other worthy contenders. He took 20 top-order wickets at an average of 19.20. Stuart Clark followed him with 14 wickets at 22, while Dale Steyn bagged third place, with 29 top-order wickets at 22.34 each.
*Top order is defined as batsmen who have batted in the top seven in at least 50% of their innings over their career. A bowler's average against the top order was calculated by dividing the runs conceded against these batsmen by the number of such wickets.

Best ODI batsman of the year
Ricky Ponting: Batting Index 72.10
In what was a glorious year both for him and his team, Ricky Ponting scored a whopping 1288 runs* in the year, including four hundreds and eight half-centuries. He averaged 80.50, at a strike-rate of 89.56 runs per 100 balls, for an ODI batting index of 72.10. He was well ahead of second-placed Andrew Symonds, who averaged 61 at a strike-rate of 103.25 (ODI index 62.98) and Matthew Hayden (average 60.48, strike-rate 89.57, ODI index 54.17). That the top three were all Australians indicates just how dominant they were in 2007.
*Doesn't include runs scored against the non-Test-playing teams. Cut-off: 750 runs against Test-playing teams in 2007.

Best ODI bowler of the year
Shane Bond - Bowling index 13.87
In the 17 ODIs* he played in 2007, Shane Bond took 30 wickets at an average of 20.40 and an economy-rate of 4.08. His Bowling Index of 13.87 wins him the best ODI bowler of the year, ahead of Chaminda Vaas, who averaged 23.38 at an economy-rate of 3.75. Dilhara Fernando was in third place, while Glenn McGrath was the best Australian, with an average of 21.74, and an economy-rate of 4.69.
*Doesn't include wickets against the non-Test-playing teams. Bowling Index = bowling average multiplied by runs conceded per ball. Cut-off: 600 balls bowled.



Tight till the last: Shaun Pollock was the bowler with the best ODI economy-rate, and the lowest percentage of boundaries conceded © Cricinfo Ltd
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OTHER AWARDS

Test batting

(cut-off: 500 runs, unless mentioned otherwise)

Batting pairs of the year(cut-off: at least 5 innings)

Opening: Matthew Hayden and Phil Jaques batted together only five times, but they made it count almost each time, scoring 418 runs at an average of 83.60 per partnership, with four 50-plus stands. Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthik were next, with 744 runs at an average of 57.23

Other pairs: On the nine occasions they batted together, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis put together 930 runs, with four century stands, at an average of 116.25. They edged ahead of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who were almost as prolific, scoring 703 runs from seven innings at an average of 100.42.

Best batsman versus top ten bowlers of the year (cut off: 150 runs against top 10 bowlers)
Mohammad Yousuf: average 118.50 (237 runs, dismissed twice)
Mohammad Yousuf had a relatively quiet 2007 compared to his outstanding 2006, but among the top bowlers of the year, only two - Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn - managed to dismiss him. Yousuf, though, managed to score plenty against them, averaging 118.50 against the top ten bowlers of the year (the bowlers with the best averages among those who took at least 20 wickets in 2007).

Most runs in boundaries
Kamran Akmal: 336 out of 563 runs (59.68)
Kamran Akmal pipped Wasim Jaffer to the post: Jaffer scored 58.47% of his runs in boundaries (490 out of 838), while Rahul Dravid was third with a percentage of 57.76.

Highest percentage of team runs scored
Jacques Kallis: 1210 out of 4861 (24.89)
Kallis proved once again how crucial he is to South Africa's cause, scoring nearly a quarter of the team's runs. Three other batsmen gave him a run for his money: Mahela Jayawardene (22.46), Kumar Sangakkara (22.14) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (22.07).

Most runs in wins
Jacques Kallis: 844 runs at 93.77
Kallis featured in six Test wins for South Africa, scoring nearly 850 runs in those matches. Sangakkara was next, with 672 runs in four victories, followed by Amla (575 in six wins).

Off-side king
Kamran Akmal: 66.25% runs on the off side
Akmal finished marginally ahead of Sourav Ganguly, who scored 62.97% of his runs on the off side.

On-side king
Graeme Smith: 61.84% runs on the on side
Smith was the only player to score more than 60% of his runs on the on side. Paul Collingwood was next with 56.81% leg-side runs.

Bowled or lbw most times
Paul Collingwood: 10 times in nine Tests
Of the 19 times that Collingwood was dismissed in Tests in 2007, he was bowled or lbw ten times. Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, Graeme Smith and Sachin Tendulkar all fell to those modes of dismissals eight times.

ODI batting

(Cut off: 750 runs in 2007 unless mentioned otherwise; only includes runs scored against the Test-playing teams)

Highest strike-rate
Adam Gilchrist: 103.77 (797 runs from 768 balls)
Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds were the only two batsmen to have a strike-rate of more than 100, but Gilchrist went ahead by a whisker - Symonds finished with a scoring rate of 103.25 per 100 balls.

Lowest strike-rate
Shivnarine Chanderpaul: 68.76 (810 runs from 1178 balls)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was the only batsman to have a strike-rate of less than 70 in the year. Sourav Ganguly was next, with a rate of 72.59

Batting pairs of the year
(cut-off: 10 innings)

Opening: With 587 runs in 11 innings at an average of 58.70, South Africa's AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith took the top spot. In second place was the Indian pair of Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar (979 runs at 54.38).

Other pairs: The Australians took the top two places here. Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke led the way, with 708 partnership runs at an average of 78.66, but they were only marginally ahead of Ponting and Matthew Hayden (average 78.16).



Chanderpaul was the world's most consistent Test batsman in 2007, and he scored more than 18% of his team's runs, but he also had the year's lowest strike-rate in ODIs © Getty Images
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Most runs scored in boundaries
Sanath Jayasuriya: 64.13% (506 out of 789)
This was a list dominated by openers. Sanath Jayasuriya struck 86 fours and 27 sixes, making it 506 runs in boundaries out of 789 overall. Adam Gilchrist was in second place with a percentage of 62.74 (95 fours and 20 sixes in an aggregate of 797), while Sachin Tendulkar and AB de Villiers occupied the next two spots.

Lowest dot ball %
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: 46.86% (500 out of 1067)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the only batsman to finish with a dot-ball percentage of less than 50. Ricky Ponting, who was second, played 720 dot balls out of 1438 (50.07%). Mohammad Yousuf was only fractionally behind, with a dot-ball percentage of 50.08.

Highest dot ball %
Upul Tharanga: 64.57% (596 out of 923)
Not surprisingly, the openers dominate this list as well. Sourav Ganguly is in second place with a dot-ball percentage of 62.57, while Sachin Tendulkar is next with 59.64.

Highest % of team runs scored
Matthew Hayden: 20.05% (1512 out of 7543)
Matthew Hayden was easily the leader of this pack, being the only batsman with a contribution of greater than 20%. Mohammad Yousuf was next with a percentage of 18.58 (908 out of 4888), while Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored 18.35% of West Indies' runs.

Most runs in wins(cut-off: 400 runs in wins)
AB de Villiers: 21.28% (780 out of 3666)
South Africa's AB de Villiers won this one by a whisker - his contribution of 21.28% of his team's runs in wins was marginally ahead of Ricky Ponting's contribution of 21.03% (1120 out of 5326 runs)

Best finisher (batting index in the last ten overs)(cut off: 100 runs in the last ten overs)
Matthew Hayden: batting index (ave x strike rate) 286.91
Matthew Hayden is an unlikely winner in this category, for you wouldn't expect an opener to be batting often in the last ten overs, but Hayden did it more than once in 2007. He scored 129 runs from 58 deliveries in the last ten overs of ODIs, and was dismissed just once. That gave him an average of 129, and a strike rate of 2.22 runs per ball. Multiply the two and the result is a whopping 286.91, which is more than twice what second-placed Mohammad Yousuf managed (121.73).

Best on the off side / leg side

Off Side: Sourav Ganguly: 59.84%
Not unexpectedly, Sourav Ganguly swept this one, with Ian Bell (55.98%) and Sachin Tendulkar (51.32%) the only other batsmen with more than 50% runs scored on the off side.

On side: Paul Collingwood: 60.74%
England's ODI captain won this one by a handsome margin, with Matthew Hayden (57.91) and Herschelle Gibbs (57.20) taking the next two places.

Test bowling

Best strike-rate(cut off: 600 balls) Dale Steyn: 29.66 balls per wicket (44 wickets in 1305 deliveries)
In what was a battle of two of the fastest bowlers around, Dale Steyn struck at a slightly quicker rate: he needed less than 30 balls per wicket. Brett Lee's 28 wickets came in 987 deliveries, a strike-rate of 35.25.

Tail specialist - dismissing last four cheaply (cut off: 10 wickets of batsmen from Nos. 8-11)
Muttiah Muralitharan: average 3.26 (19 wickets for 65 runs)
Muttiah Muralitharan's wizardry was too much for the tail, while Dale Steyn's 15 for 81 (average 5.40) puts him in second place.

Highest number of bowled and lbw dismissals
Anil Kumble: 25 (12 bowled, 13 lbw)
Kumble's accuracy and change of pace helped him to 25 bowled and lbw dismissals in 2007. Monty Panesar was next with 20 (eight bowled, 12 lbw), while Dale Steyn had 19 (9 bowled, 10 lbw).

ODI bowling

(cut off: 600 balls; only includes numbers against the Test-playing teams unless mentioned otherwise)

Best economy-rate
Shaun Pollock: 3.53 runs per over
Medium-pacers took the top two spots in this one. Pollock was on top, and Chaminda Vaas followed with an economy-rate of 3.76. These two were the only bowlers to have a sub-four economy rate in 2007.

Best dot-ball percentage
Chaminda Vaas: 70.96%
Chaminda Vaas narrowly beat Shane Bond here. Bond had a dot-ball percentage of 70.02.

Lowest percentage of boundaries conceded (as percentage of balls bowled)
Shaun Pollock: 6.22%
Of the 1303 balls that Pollock bowled, he only conceded 72 fours and nine sixes. Vaas finished second with 7.11%.



Brett Lee is chuffed the stats have proved he's the best bowler against top-order batsmen in Tests © Getty Images
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Worst economy-rate
Elton Chigumbura: 5.93 runs per over
Chigumbura conceded 686 runs in 694 deliveries, which gives him the worst economy-rate for the year. New Zealand's Mark Gillespie was only marginally behind, with 5.84, while RP Singh (5.65) was in third place.

Most no-balls and wides
(includes all teams)
Anderson Cummins: 79 extra balls (22 no-balls, 57 wides) out of 624 balls - 12.66%
Canada's Anderson Cummins was well ahead of the rest of the pack. In second place was Australia's Shaun Tait, who bowled six no-balls and 67 wides in 849 deliveries (8.60%).

Team Awards

Most dominant - Tests
Australia: Batting ave - Bowling ave = 39.58
Australia only lost 38 wickets for 2436 runs - that's an average of 64.11 - but took 80 wickets at an average of 24.53. The difference between the batting and bowling average was a whopping 39.58. Next in line was Sri Lanka, who despite a poor series in Australia, still managed a difference of 16.47. Bangladesh were the worst of the lot, with a difference of -60.81

Most dominant - ODIs
Australia: Batting index - bowling index = 19.82
Australia averaged 45.17 runs per wicket, and scored at 5.79 runs per over, giving them a batting index (average multiplied by runs per ball) of 43.60. Similarly their bowling index was 23.78, and the difference between the two an impressive 19.82. The next best team was South Africa, with a difference of 5.73.

Most disciplined - ODIs
Sri Lanka: Extras gained - 492; extras conceded - 342. Difference = 150
Sri Lanka benefited the maximum from extras, with a difference of 150 between the number of runs gained and conceded. New Zealand were next with a difference of 121, with Scotland, quite surprisingly, in third place with 114.

Run-out specialists - ODIs
South Africa effected 27 run-outs in ODIs, but only suffered that fate ten times themselves when they were batting. The difference of 17 was easily the highest for any team in 2007. England managed to get 32 run-outs in the field, but had 24 run-outs inflicted on them when they batted.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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