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August 7, 2009

Tests - bowling

Test bowlers analysis: a follow-up

Anantha Narayanan
Sir Richard Hadlee
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Based on the comments received, both in public and personal mails, I have made the following tweaks to the Test Bowlers Analysis.

Match performance ratings

1. Halve the balls bowled base points (a wicket equivalent for about 45 overs).
2. Introduce the bowler strike rate, in relation to team strike rate, as a new base measure, at a relatively lower weight.
3. Minor changes to the batsman dismissed base point calculation, to be based on recent form. This will lower the value of wickets of top batsmen while going through a poor patch and increase the weight of capturing in-form batsmen.

Career measures:

1. Have a cut-off of 200 wickets for the current era, reducing the number from 89 to 44. We have lost Shoaib Akhtar, Steyn, Alderman, Bishop et al. But it cannot be helped.
2. Increase the Wickets weight from 5 points to 7.5 points. Within this, do a 5% on either side (105% & 95%) valuation for away and home wickets.
3. Correspondingly reduce the Wickets per Innspell weight from 5 points to 2.5 points.
4. Remove the Performance Ratio measure, the last column in the table.
5. Instead introduce the Peer Comparison ratios. This time I have allotted an equal weight for strike Rate and accuracy.
6. Introduce a simple 5-Test slice based Consistency index using wickets captured as the indicator. Also include the % of wicket spells out of qualifying spells as a consistency measure.

Revised allocations of the Career points:

The points have gone up to 45 and there is a slight increase in the Match performance points because of changes in Base points calculation.

- Career wickets captured (7.5 points)
- Career wickets per innspell (2.5 points)
- Bowling Strike rate-BpW (9 points)
- Bowling accuracy-RpO (6 points)
- Consistency (4) points
- Average Quality of batsmen dismissed - based on CtD bat avge (5 points)
- Type of wickets captured - Top/Middle order/Late order (3 points)
- Peer ratio: Strike rate (4 points)
- Peer ratio: Accuracy (RpO) (4 points).

Let us look at the revised tables. I am not going to make too many comments and will let the readers draw their own conclusions. The overall feeling I get is that there are not that many changes indicating that the initial methodology itself was quite sound.

1. Current era (1970-2000): Table of top bowlers

No.Cty Bowler         BT  Total Match  Wkt  Bow Bow  Wkt  Wkt  Cons Peer Peer
Pts   Perf  Pts StRt Acc BtAvg Qlty  Idx  S/R  RpO
Max 85-90 40-45 10.0  9.0 6.0  5.5  2.5   4.0  4.0  4.0

1.Slk Muralitharan M ROB 56.95 22.76 8.24 6.89 4.47 4.01 2.05 3.62 2.48 2.43 2.Nzl Hadlee R.J RFM 54.46 22.03 5.33 7.89 3.89 4.73 2.10 3.58 2.88 2.03 3.Aus Warne S.K RLB 53.79 22.13 7.33 6.59 4.18 3.69 1.89 3.43 2.35 2.20 4.Aus Lillee D.K RF 53.18 21.83 4.53 7.81 3.68 4.92 2.18 3.55 2.81 1.88 5.Pak Imran Khan RF 52.70 21.36 4.60 7.55 3.98 5.15 2.14 3.11 2.72 2.09 6.Win Marshall M.D RF 50.85 18.99 4.55 8.19 3.88 4.59 2.21 3.32 3.09 2.02 7.Aus McGrath G.D RFM 50.80 18.94 5.93 7.21 4.39 3.84 2.24 3.27 2.63 2.36 8.Pak Waqar Younis RFM 49.73 19.41 4.56 8.15 3.35 4.07 2.12 3.19 3.16 1.72 9.Saf Donald A.A RF 49.29 18.68 4.21 7.71 3.85 4.01 2.22 3.73 2.94 1.95 10.Win Ambrose C.E.L RF 49.27 18.67 4.71 7.06 4.41 4.00 2.17 3.33 2.52 2.40

11.Ind Kumble A RLB 49.22 19.07 6.54 5.65 4.12 4.13 2.03 3.47 2.03 2.18 12.Pak Wasim Akram LFM 48.70 18.77 4.85 7.06 4.11 3.91 1.95 3.37 2.56 2.13 13.Win Holding M.A RF 47.76 17.43 3.39 7.90 3.70 5.06 2.17 3.39 2.80 1.92 14.Saf Pollock S.M RFM 47.64 17.53 4.72 6.55 4.57 4.04 2.12 3.30 2.32 2.50 15.Win Garner J RF 47.26 17.11 3.49 7.84 4.10 4.44 1.99 3.32 2.80 2.16 16.Aus Thomson J.R RF 47.23 17.75 3.01 7.76 3.21 5.44 2.36 3.31 2.73 1.66 17.Win Walsh C.A RF 47.16 16.56 5.54 6.76 4.15 4.13 2.06 3.38 2.42 2.16 18.Eng Willis R.G.D RF 46.99 16.75 3.93 7.70 3.60 4.51 2.24 3.68 2.75 1.83 19.Aus McDermott C.J RF 46.86 18.32 3.80 6.93 3.53 4.35 2.27 3.31 2.54 1.81 20.Eng Botham I.T RFM 46.68 17.68 4.55 7.09 3.52 4.51 2.08 2.93 2.54 1.79

Let me make one thing clear. Any one of the top-10 bowlers, possibly Donald excepted and Wasim Akram/Holding considered instead, could easily be considered the best of this era. Do not start sending brickbats because who you think (your) best bowler is placed at 3rd or 5th or 6th or 17th ... Instead think of this table, especially the top-10, as a list of the greatest bowlers of this era, with Muralitharan the first among equals.

The significant changes can be summarised below.

1. The most significant change is that Lillee and Hadlee exchange places with Hadlee moving to second and Lillee to fourth place. Warne remains sandwiched between these two great bowlers.
2. Imran, Marshall, McGrath and Waqar retain their places in the top-10 indicating that the changes cancelled each other out and their relative placings remained.
3. The next significant change is that Kumble moves out of the top-10 and is replaced by Donald. This is probably due to the differential weighing of home and away wickets. Donald and Ambrose are welcome additions to the top-10.
4. The sub-200 wicket brigade of Reid, Croft, Akhtar and Lawson move out of the top-20 and are replaced by the worthy quintet of Shaun Pollock, Garner, Walsh, Willis and McDermott.
5. The next significant change is that Harbhajan Singh moves out of the top-20 and is replaced by Botham. This is probably due to the differential weighing of home and away wickets.

To view the complete list, please click here.

2. Middle era (1920-1969): Table of top bowlers

No.Cty Bowler         BT  Total Match  Wkt  Bow Bow  Wkt  Wkt  Cons Peer Peer
Pts   Perf  Pts StRt Acc BtAvg Qlty  Idx  S/R  RpO
Max 85-90 40-45 10.0  9.0 6.0  5.5  2.5   4.0  4.0  4.0

1.Aus O'Reilly W.J RLB 53.42 24.74 2.95 6.01 4.47 4.62 1.98 3.83 2.12 2.71 2.Aus Grimmett C.V RLB 53.34 24.74 3.68 6.22 4.27 4.22 1.96 3.62 2.27 2.35 3.Pak Fazal Mahmood RFM 50.02 22.99 2.90 6.15 3.87 4.32 2.29 3.09 2.26 2.15 4.Eng Trueman F.S RF 49.75 19.37 4.01 8.77 3.38 3.56 2.05 3.57 3.31 1.73 5.Saf Tayfield H.J ROB 47.97 21.54 3.08 5.02 3.98 4.93 2.01 3.16 1.95 2.29 6.Eng Laker J.C ROB 47.74 19.09 3.01 7.09 3.86 4.33 2.19 3.38 2.58 2.21 7.Ind ChandrasekharB RLB 46.43 18.65 3.52 6.62 3.56 4.50 2.12 3.26 2.40 1.82 8.Win Hall W.W RF 46.29 18.46 2.95 8.22 3.15 3.44 2.33 3.11 3.00 1.64 9.Aus McKenzie G.D RF 46.26 18.97 3.38 6.06 3.67 4.39 2.26 3.36 2.25 1.92 10.Eng Bedser A.V RFM 46.25 18.72 3.47 6.48 3.70 3.85 2.15 3.35 2.42 2.12

11.Aus Davidson A.K LFM 46.21 17.98 2.92 7.15 4.01 3.98 2.13 3.22 2.52 2.29 12.Eng Snow J.A RFM 45.87 18.06 2.98 7.36 3.56 3.69 2.17 3.57 2.64 1.83 13.Eng Underwood D.L LSP 44.99 17.00 3.68 5.55 4.30 4.62 2.29 3.14 2.03 2.39 14.Ind Bedi B.S LSP 44.79 17.55 3.60 4.77 4.20 4.50 2.20 3.75 1.88 2.33 15.Aus Lindwall R.R RF 44.74 15.74 3.09 7.47 3.62 4.67 2.12 3.35 2.71 1.97 16.Saf Pollock P.M RF 44.48 17.35 2.35 7.95 3.55 3.68 2.17 2.71 2.86 1.85 17.Ind Gupte S.P RLB 43.90 18.42 2.84 5.53 3.61 3.59 2.07 3.85 2.08 1.90 18.Eng Statham J.B RFM 43.81 15.81 3.32 7.03 3.65 3.70 2.26 3.54 2.54 1.95 19.Nzl Taylor B.R RFM 43.79 16.21 2.23 7.67 3.41 4.28 2.32 3.13 2.81 1.72 20.Eng Tate M.W RFM 43.78 18.11 2.66 4.70 4.52 4.09 2.11 3.07 1.90 2.62

The most significant change is that Grimmett and O'Reilly exchange places with O'Reilly moving to the top place and Grimmett to second place. The two great fast bowlers, Fazal Mahmood and Trueman move up couple of places. The top-10 remains the same. The main change here is that Grimmett

To view the complete list, please click here.

3. Pre-WW1 era (1877-1914): Table of top bowlers

No.Cty Bowler         BT  Total Match  Wkt  Bow Bow  Wkt  Wkt  Cons Peer Peer
Pts   Perf  Pts StRt Acc BtAvg Qlty  Idx  S/R  RpO
Max 85-90 40-45 10.0  9.0 6.0  5.5  2.5   4.0  4.0  4.0

1.Eng Barnes S.F RFM 55.86 26.38 3.89 6.95 4.06 3.37 2.17 3.92 2.78 2.35 2.Eng Lohmann G.A RFM 47.17 17.98 3.01 7.57 4.59 2.65 2.01 3.81 3.06 2.50 3.Aus Turner C.T.B RFM 46.11 18.04 2.89 6.07 4.54 3.97 2.32 3.93 1.96 2.39 4.Aus Saunders J.V LSP 45.11 19.16 2.45 6.60 3.33 3.40 2.09 3.84 2.44 1.80 5.Eng Richardson T RF 44.71 19.21 3.11 6.07 3.39 3.30 2.15 3.33 2.39 1.75 6.Aus Spofforth F.R RFM 44.42 17.03 2.69 6.69 3.93 4.10 2.14 3.36 2.73 1.75 7.Eng Blythe C LSP 44.39 17.63 2.47 6.60 3.96 3.30 2.43 3.33 2.44 2.22 8.Eng Peel R LSP 43.99 18.29 2.57 6.07 4.50 2.69 2.12 3.33 2.04 2.38 9.Aus Trumble H ROB 43.94 17.20 2.67 5.54 4.16 4.79 2.13 3.14 2.00 2.31 10.Aus Cotter A RFM 43.17 17.72 2.27 5.98 3.01 4.30 2.29 3.71 2.19 1.69

11.Aus Palmer G.E ROB 41.59 15.57 2.35 5.54 4.21 3.91 2.04 3.85 2.14 1.98 12.Aus Giffen G ROB 41.53 17.75 2.57 5.10 3.78 3.53 2.13 3.22 1.71 1.74 13.Aus Noble M.A ROB 40.92 15.27 2.33 5.37 3.87 4.85 1.96 3.24 1.93 2.11 14.Eng Briggs J LSP 40.08 14.46 2.55 6.60 4.07 2.93 2.01 3.00 2.44 2.02 15.Saf Faulkner G.A RLB 39.58 14.88 2.06 6.61 3.24 3.47 1.94 3.26 2.35 1.78 16.Eng Rhodes W LSP 37.08 13.57 2.17 5.49 3.91 3.54 1.80 2.45 2.03 2.13 17.Eng Woolley F.E LSP 32.26 9.93 1.51 4.41 3.79 4.10 2.06 2.63 1.82 2.01 18.Aus Armstrong W.W RLB 32.07 10.78 1.58 2.55 4.26 4.00 2.17 2.94 1.22 2.58

Avge Rating points: 42.44

No major changes.

4. Across all Tests: Table of top pace bowlers

No.Cty Bowler         BT  Total Match  Wkt  Bow Bow  Wkt  Wkt  Cons Peer Peer
Pts   Perf  Pts StRt Acc BtAvg Qlty  Idx  S/R  RpO
Max 85-90 40-45 10.0  9.0 6.0  5.5  2.5   4.0  4.0  4.0

1.Eng Barnes S.F RFM 55.86 26.38 3.89 6.95 4.06 3.37 2.17 3.92 2.78 2.35 2.Nzl Hadlee R.J RFM 54.46 22.03 5.33 7.89 3.89 4.73 2.10 3.58 2.88 2.03 3.Aus Lillee D.K RF 53.18 21.83 4.53 7.81 3.68 4.92 2.18 3.55 2.81 1.88 4.Pak Imran Khan RF 52.70 21.36 4.60 7.55 3.98 5.15 2.14 3.11 2.72 2.09 5.Win Marshall M.D RF 50.85 18.99 4.55 8.19 3.88 4.59 2.21 3.32 3.09 2.02 6.Aus McGrath G.D RFM 50.80 18.94 5.93 7.21 4.39 3.84 2.24 3.27 2.63 2.36 7.Pak Fazal Mahmood RFM 50.02 22.99 2.90 6.15 3.87 4.32 2.29 3.09 2.26 2.15 8.Eng Trueman F.S RF 49.75 19.37 4.01 8.77 3.38 3.56 2.05 3.57 3.31 1.73 9.Pak Waqar Younis RFM 49.73 19.41 4.56 8.15 3.35 4.07 2.12 3.19 3.16 1.72 10.Saf Donald A.A RF 49.29 18.68 4.21 7.71 3.85 4.01 2.22 3.73 2.94 1.95

11.Win Ambrose C.E.L RF 49.27 18.67 4.71 7.06 4.41 4.00 2.17 3.33 2.52 2.40 12.Pak Wasim Akram LFM 48.70 18.77 4.85 7.06 4.11 3.91 1.95 3.37 2.56 2.13 13.Win Holding M.A RF 47.76 17.43 3.39 7.90 3.70 5.06 2.17 3.39 2.80 1.92 14.Saf Pollock S.M RFM 47.64 17.53 4.72 6.55 4.57 4.04 2.12 3.30 2.32 2.50 15.Win Garner J RF 47.26 17.11 3.49 7.84 4.10 4.44 1.99 3.32 2.80 2.16 16.Aus Thomson J.R RF 47.23 17.75 3.01 7.76 3.21 5.44 2.36 3.31 2.73 1.66 17.Eng Lohmann G.A RFM 47.17 17.98 3.01 7.57 4.59 2.65 2.01 3.81 3.06 2.50 18.Win Walsh C.A RF 47.16 16.56 5.54 6.76 4.15 4.13 2.06 3.38 2.42 2.16 19.Eng Willis R.G.D RF 46.99 16.75 3.93 7.70 3.60 4.51 2.24 3.68 2.75 1.83 20.Aus McDermott C.J RF 46.86 18.32 3.80 6.93 3.53 4.35 2.27 3.31 2.54 1.81

It is no surprise that Sydney Barnes is the top-rated Pace/Medium Pace bowler of all time. Helpful wickets notwithstanding, 7 wickets per test at 16.43 is the stuff of the top-most drawer. The five great modern bowlers, Hadlee, Lillee, Imran, Marshall and McGrath follow next. Can one of these bowlers be denied this high position. Then come the two great pace bowlers of the mid era and then the master of the late swing and the white lightning. Look at the next ten bowlers and you will see how tough this table is.

To view the complete list, please click here.

5. Across all Tests: Table of top spinners

No.Cty Bowler         BT  Total Match  Wkt  Bow Bow  Wkt  Wkt  Cons Peer Peer
Pts   Perf  Pts StRt Acc BtAvg Qlty  Idx  S/R  RpO
Max 85-90 40-45 10.0  9.0 6.0  5.5  2.5   4.0  4.0  4.0

1.Slk Muralitharan M ROB 56.95 22.76 8.24 6.89 4.47 4.01 2.05 3.62 2.48 2.43 2.Aus Warne S.K RLB 53.79 22.13 7.33 6.59 4.18 3.69 1.89 3.43 2.35 2.20 3.Aus O'Reilly W.J RLB 53.42 24.74 2.95 6.01 4.47 4.62 1.98 3.83 2.12 2.71 4.Aus Grimmett C.V RLB 53.34 24.74 3.68 6.22 4.27 4.22 1.96 3.62 2.27 2.35 5.Ind Kumble A RLB 49.22 19.07 6.54 5.65 4.12 4.13 2.03 3.47 2.03 2.18 6.Saf Tayfield H.J ROB 47.97 21.54 3.08 5.02 3.98 4.93 2.01 3.16 1.95 2.29 7.Eng Laker J.C ROB 47.74 19.09 3.01 7.09 3.86 4.33 2.19 3.38 2.58 2.21 8.Ind HarbhajanSingh ROB 46.63 19.42 4.14 5.67 4.13 3.81 1.89 3.37 2.03 2.17 9.Ind ChandrasekharB RLB 46.43 18.65 3.52 6.62 3.56 4.50 2.12 3.26 2.40 1.82 10.Pak SaqlainMushtaq ROB 45.26 18.80 3.22 5.54 4.19 3.95 1.96 3.42 2.00 2.17

11.Eng Underwood D.L LSP 44.99 17.00 3.68 5.55 4.30 4.62 2.29 3.14 2.03 2.39 12.Ind Bedi B.S LSP 44.79 17.55 3.60 4.77 4.20 4.50 2.20 3.75 1.88 2.33 13.Aus MacGill S.C.G RLB 44.77 18.26 3.16 6.81 3.58 3.65 1.83 3.16 2.44 1.87 14.Eng Blythe C LSP 44.39 17.63 2.47 6.60 3.96 3.30 2.43 3.33 2.44 2.22 15.Eng Peel R LSP 43.99 18.29 2.57 6.07 4.50 2.69 2.12 3.33 2.04 2.38 16.Aus Trumble H ROB 43.94 17.20 2.67 5.54 4.16 4.79 2.13 3.14 2.00 2.31 17.Ind Gupte S.P RLB 43.90 18.42 2.84 5.53 3.61 3.59 2.07 3.85 2.08 1.90 18.Aus Johnston W.A LSP 43.71 16.63 2.59 6.24 3.83 4.10 2.27 3.50 2.32 2.24 19.Aus Benaud R RLB 43.52 17.76 3.40 5.30 3.89 3.97 2.01 2.98 2.05 2.16 20.Win Gibbs L.R ROB 43.48 17.88 3.83 4.03 4.23 4.01 1.92 3.32 1.82 2.45

As expected Muralitharan is on top by a comfortable margin from the trio of the greatest leg-spinners of all time, viz., Warne, O'Reilly and Grimmett. Then another totally different leg spinner, Kumble. Afterwards come a plethora of off-spinners, led by Tayfield and Laker. Chandrasekhar splits these off spinners. Bedi and Underwood follow immediately afterwards. If readers are surprised to see MacGill so high on the table, do not forget that he was devastating in Australia with a haul of nearly 5 wickets per test and a strike rate better than Murali.

To view the complete list, please click here.

I have done another selection. From each era I have picked the best 5-bowler balanced attack. This is my selection. You could do your own selection and mail me for publication. There are no restrictions whatsoever. This is your opportunity to have Marshall or Snow or Imran Khan or whoever lead the attack.

Current: Holding, McGrath, Wasim Akram, Warne and Muralitharan.
(Wasim Akram gets the nod over Waqar Younis for the sake of variety).

Middle: Trueman, Larwood, Davidson, Grimmett, Bedi.

Pre-WW1: Barnes, Lohmann, Turner, Spofforth, Briggs.

In the next few days I will come out with the Peer-based tables for different aspects of Test Batting.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

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Posted by Nayana on (August 2, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

First shot across the Shane Warners' bows:Against the best peralys of spin, India, a comparison of Warne and Murali's record (from Statsguru):SK Warne43 wickets at 47.18M Muralitharan 97 wickets at 33.34Even if Murali played 1.5 times matches more than Warne against India, he's been consistently better than Warne against the best peralys of spin, i.e., IndiaPlus Murali didn't always a have a McGrath at the other end (until at least Vaas came into his own and much much later, for one series, Ajantha Mendis)Ignoring the number of wickets taken, this alone illustrates why Murali was just that one step better than Warne. Plus, Warne didn't save as many tsunami hit fishermen either. Make that two shots across the bow.

Posted by Jimmy 1 on (February 23, 2010, 1:55 GMT)

Some people call Warne's delivery the ball of the century. Hadlee's inswinging leg cutter @ 135 - 140 km/hr surpassed it easily. I have never seen another bowler of pace with the ball "on a string" like Hadlee - 9 wicket haul (and caught out the 10th) against Australia in Brisbane an absolute master class. Pair him with a "demon" like Ambrose to open, then bring him back in tandem with Imran or Waquar - because he could do it all with a anew or old ball. Disregarding batting is plain nuts. Too often Tests have been won or saved by lower order batsmen. Keep the weighting low - but don't disregard. Bottom line - grweat analyses, and superb attempt to consider all the vagaries of the Great Game. Well done! Simon The batting has not been disregarded. The wicket quality is integrated. The top order wickets have been given more importance, that is all. In a Player analysis, batting and bowlingf will be given equal importance. Ananth

Posted by Kris on (August 20, 2009, 7:49 GMT)

I was watching a bit of the SL vs. NZL test match on and they showed an old scorecard against NZL at the same venue. With Fleming scoring 274* and 69*. Just to add some weight about Muralis impotence against the top lefties (not the avg. leftie), I checked Fleming’s stats against SL: 10 innings, 733 runs @ 104.7,2 100s, 3 50s!! (ALL the matches were played in SL!!)Murali got him just once...in 1998, 2 inn. at Galle with NZ in an as it is useless position!

Posted by Kris on (August 20, 2009, 4:42 GMT)

@Less I agree with you –but to a point. I too feel that at his best Donald was way more dangerous a bowler than Mcgrath. But longevity, in any sport, simply has to be given its due. It is almost the most basic stat in any sport: highest number of wickets, runs, home runs, grand slams, world championships, world records…you name it. This figure is central to determining greatness, though of course not the end all. But a simple way out of this conundrum is simply this: to recognize that although a single “bowler” analysis has been conducted, fast bowlers are simply a DIFFERENT breed than the rest of the bowlers and so will never be able to match the other bowlers on the longevity front. The sheer workload/body stress on the express pace bowlers will naturally take its toll. The Hadlees/Mcgraths are at best Fast medium/seam and could never clock 95mph with any regularity. A lot of bowlers can hit a good speed with their “effort” balls…but certainly not consistently. And is almost physically impossible for the consistently 90mph+ bowlers to bowl for 20yrs and take 7/800 wickets. So we simply recognize the fast bowlers as a different species from the spinners/seamers…but as you mention this doesn’t at all necessarily mean that the Muralis/Warnes/Mcgraths were “better” bowlers than the Donalds/Waqars/Bonds. (PS: In a way this also extends to the Tendulkars/Inzys/Jayasuriyas who also had to weather the extra stress of ODIs and the consequent impact this made on their Test stats)

Posted by Less on (August 19, 2009, 16:39 GMT)

Why don't you turn wickets taken into an average? lets saw wickets/innings. Longetivity should hardly decide who the best bowler is. The likes of Murali/Warne/Mcgrath are bound to fall down a bit and Donald and Younis rising. I just feel this may give us a better picture on who was the better bowler.

Posted by adnan on (August 18, 2009, 6:55 GMT)

my bowling attack will start with wasim and waqar, the two guys with highest number of bowled and lbw wickets. the two who could produced controled and unplayable swing with any bowling at any field in any conditions. the two had the heart of bowling full and to the best bolwers where other bowlers preffered short and fast, the two had the heart of bowling short and slow called slow bouncers. i once heared wasim saying that you realy have to be wasim or waqar to bowl slow bouncers. the spinning plce goes to sqlain mustaq again for innovation and art, sqlain has the best strike rate among fast and slow bolwers, he was probably the first bowler in which any captain showed the trust of giving him the ball in power plays and end over and that too consistently and he produced the results, donald is definitly the smartest and wishful bolwer and should be on the list, it was delight wacting donald with committment and aggression obvious from his face while he was bowling and ambrose 5 bolwer

Posted by adnan on (August 18, 2009, 6:43 GMT)

statistics is one thing and art and entertainment is another, waqar the innovator and striker is the best bowler because i think he was the only bowler to take wickets at will and was not supported by great fielding. he produced magic with mighty force and threatened the best batsmen with his magic and power. the toe crusher and drivers by him were the real enjoying sites in the cricket history. he produced the magic and art with wasim and many a times single handedly overshadowed the best batting line ups

Posted by Kris on (August 18, 2009, 6:07 GMT)

[[ Kris & (Vijay) I am posting this message to say that there will be no comments on Test individual innings. As and when I do an article on that, let us have the debate. If you have anything to say on Test Bowlers or the Peer comparisons, please come out. Else please wait. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Vijay on (August 17, 2009, 17:01 GMT)

Good point by Yash about the best bowling performances. Hey Anant, you know what...you may include such top performances with a minimum weight in the bowler ratings table. A bowler who was involved in many such awesome single-performances gains. That way an aspect of the wow factor which is not necessarily statistical can be brought into this primarily statistical analysis. After all, its the wow performances that keep us all engrossed. And while we are at it, let me opine that the Wisden top 100 hundreds wasn't really the top 100s even statistically. Just an example - a Sachin 136 in the 4th innings against an amazing Paki attack does not get counted while a Kapil 129 in the 3rd innings gets in. Something is wrong somewhere...could be an error while copy-pasting some formulas, or whatever, but check it once...it is not statistically intuitive as well. More so when you state (was it you?) that that 136 would've made it among the top ten had India managed to win the match. [[ Vijay I only made that comment to answer a question comparing Lara's 153 (which took WI to a win) and Tendulkar's 136 (do not forget that the match was lost). Ananth: ]]

Posted by Yash Rungta on (August 17, 2009, 11:33 GMT)

I'm going a little off-topic, but can you let us know with your analysis what are the top 10 bowling spells (and also top 10 batting innings).

In batting, it might be Laxman's 281 or Bradman's 270 or Greenidges 200+ or one of Lara's 153*/277 etc. In bowling, it might be Ambrose's 7/25 or Kumble's 10/74, I just can't even think of many!

Any chance of that happening Ananth? Maybe a new blog?

[[ Yash You are not off topic at all. You are very much on the button. The best performances will be done by me sometime in the near future. Even though the current match performance is the basis for this, for an independent match performance analysis I will go much further as I did for Wisden-100. You are spot on for batting. The 270, 153* and 281 are in the top-6 of Wisden-100. In bowling look further to Tayfield's 9 for 113 and White's 8 for 126. Of course Kumble's and Laker's 10-wkt hauls are right up there. Also Willis' 8 for 43. You will be surprised at how high Hoggard's 7 for 61 is. Will certainly do one of these days (or weeks) (or months) !!! Ananth: ]]

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anantha Narayanan
Anantha spent the first half of his four-decade working career with corporates like IBM, Shaw Wallace, NCR, Sime Darby and the Spinneys group in IT-related positions. In the second half, he has worked on cricket simulation, ratings, data mining, analysis and writing, amongst other things. He was the creator of the Wisden 100 lists, released in 2001. He has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket, and worked extensively with Maruti Motors, Idea Cellular and Castrol on their performance ratings-related systems. He is an armchair connoisseur of most sports. His other passion is tennis, and he thinks Roger Federer is the greatest sportsman to have walked on earth.

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