September 20, 2008

Bangladesh in retreat

Analysing Bangladesh's progress since they were granted full ODI status

I was keen to observe whether or not Bangladesh has made material progress since it won full ODI status ten years ago. To do this, I took the 17 bilateral one-day series of three matches against Test-playing opposition (and excluding Zimbabwe) that it has participated in over that time, and extracted the batting average of Bangladesh and its opponents in those series:

Comparing Bangladesh's batting average with opposition's in ODIs
Season Versus Opp. batting ave Bangla batting ave Batting ratio
2001-02 Pakistan 41.41 23.28 0.56
2002 Sri Lanka 43.31 17.93 0.41
2002-03 South Africa 55.27 15.10 0.27
  West Indies 51.38 20.30 0.40
2003 Australia 50.90 13.13 0.26
  Pakistan 45.03 23.23 0.52
2003-04 England 51.78 15.83 0.31
  West Indies 20.42 15.78 0.77
2004-05 New Zealand 25.92 14.78 0.57
  India 35.09 27.69 0.79
2005-06 Sri Lanka 29.09 22.48 0.77
  Australia 47.75 16.73 0.35
2007 Sri Lanka 27.19 15.27 0.56
2007-08 New Zealand 70.33 18.27 0.26
  South Africa 72.29 16.47 0.23
  Pakistan 47.54 22.84 0.48
2008 Australia 38.00 10.90 0.29

The ratio in the last column is obtained by dividing Bangladesh's batting average by the average of the opposition. It will be noted that all these values are less than 1, indicating that on no occasion has Bangladesh been able to match it with the opposition.

Bangladesh had some poor results early, particularly against South Africa and Australia, but there was a perceptible improvement from 2004, giving hope that it would soon match it with allcomers. However, they have let the standard lapse significantly in the last year or so, and three of its worst five performances have occurred in the last twelve months.

Using an Excel chart, I plotted these results on a graph, and asked the software to superimpose a trend line. As can be seen in the graphic, the trendline has a negative slope, indicating that Bangladesh's performances are in fact deteriorating. It appears that much work needs to be done with the cricketers in that country yet. With so many big names moving over to the ICL, the task becomes even more difficult for Bangladesh.