Batting September 11, 2009

Follow-up on comparing halves of players' careers

There were two very good suggestions to the piece I did last week, which were worth following up

There were two very good suggestions to the above referenced article which were worth following up. One was by Arjun to have the datum of 80 innings (Bradman's career) and see what is/was the best streak in players' career. The other was Abhi/Kris's suggestion that I could look at the career in three parts, rather than two, since in most careers there is a slow start, a spurt and a slow finish. I have completed these two tables and presented these here.

The usual criteria apply. For the first table, the minimum is 80 innings and a batting average exceeding 25.00. For the second, I have retained the mid-point limits of 4000 runs and 45 Tests as the cut-off for batsmen.

Test Batsmen: Analyzing the three career splits

SNo.For Batsman         |<---Career---->|Start-third| Mid-third| End-third
|Mat  Runs  Avge|Runs   Avge|Runs  Avge|Runs   Avge
|               |           |          |
1.Aus Bradman D.G     | 52  6996 99.94|2229  96.91|2643 97.89|2124 106.20
2.Eng Sutcliffe H     | 54  4555 60.73|1805  78.48|1537 56.93|1213  48.52
3.Eng Barrington K.F  | 82  6806 58.67|2111  54.13|2379 62.61|2316  59.38
4.Win EdeC Weekes     | 48  4455 58.62|1602  66.75|1643 63.19|1210  46.54
5.Eng Hammond W.R     | 85  7249 58.46|2519  58.58|2396 61.44|2334  55.57
6.Win Sobers G.St.A   | 93  8032 57.78|2781  61.80|2783 60.50|2468  51.42
7.Eng Hobbs J.B       | 61  5410 56.95|1773  57.19|2019 63.09|1618  50.56
8.Eng Hutton L        | 79  6971 56.67|2193  56.23|2661 59.13|2117  54.28
9.Aus Ponting R.T     |136 11341 55.87|2535  40.89|4530 68.64|4276  57.01
10.Slk Sangakkara K.C  | 85  7308 55.36|1951  47.59|2258 48.04|3099  70.43
11.Pak Mohammad Yousuf | 82  7023 54.87|1712  40.76|2273 56.83|3038  66.04
12.Saf Kallis J.H      |131 10277 54.66|2678  43.19|4209 67.89|3390  52.97
13.Ind Tendulkar S.R   |159 12773 54.59|3617  50.24|5202 63.44|3954  49.42
14.Aus Chappell G.S    | 87  7110 53.86|2310  53.72|2394 53.20|2406  54.68
15.Slk Jayawardene D.P.|107  8750 53.35|2653  49.13|2469 46.58|3628  63.65
16.Win Lara B.C        |131 11953 52.89|3884  54.70|3504 44.92|4565  59.29
17.Pak Javed Miandad   |124  8832 52.57|3074  53.93|2817 52.17|2941  51.60
18.Ind Dravid R        |134 10823 52.54|3772  54.67|4001 61.55|3050  42.36
19.Zim Flower A        | 63  4794 51.55|1310  43.67|1488 46.50|1996  64.39
20.Ind Gavaskar S.M    |125 10122 51.12|3951  53.39|3362 54.23|2809  45.31

Average 45.91 44.28 46.84 45.10 (for all 101 batsmen)

The average of the averages figures indicates a clear move up of 5.7% from the first third to second third and a clear drop of 3.8% from the second to the third. Remember that these are on the grand average figure. Individual batsmen have clear move up and move down patterns.

Barrington, Hobbs, Hutton, Ponting (in a big way), Kallis (huge variations), Tendulkar, Dravid (again in a big way) are amongst the ones who have clearly identified low, up, low patterns.

Note the consistency across the complete career of Greg Chappell and Javed Miandad.

Sobers and Gavaskar are amongst those who have had great starts but fallen off drastically.

Bradman, Lara, Sangakkara, Mohammad Yousuf and Flower are those who have finished their careers very strongly.

To view the complete list, please click here.

Test Batsmen: By average sustained in 80+ innings

SNo.For Batsman                Start       Finish    Inns No Runs   Avge
Ins  Year     Ins  Year

1.Aus Bradman D.G 1 (1928) to 80 (1948) 80 10 6996 99.94 2.Saf Kallis J.H 82 (2001) to 161 (2006) 80 19 4661 76.41 3.Aus Ponting R.T 87 (2002) to 178 (2006) 92 14 5904 75.69 4.Win Sobers G.St.A 28 (1958) to 111 (1968) 84 13 5283 74.41 5.Ind Dravid R 66 (2000) to 149 (2005) 84 14 4809 68.70 6.Eng Barrington K.F 34 (1961) to 121 (1968) 88 12 5154 67.82 7.Pak Mohammad Yousuf 42 (2000) to 122 (2006) 81 7 5008 67.68 8.Ind Tendulkar S.R 69 (1996) to 148 (2002) 80 8 4782 66.42 9.Eng Hutton L 42 (1947) to 123 (1954) 82 11 4687 66.01 10.Aus Hayden M.L 23 (2001) to 102 (2004) 80 8 4744 65.89 11.Eng Hammond W.R 15 (1928) to 97 (1936) 83 12 4672 65.80 12.Aus Waugh S.R 82 (1993) to 176 (1999) 95 23 4699 65.26 13.Slk Sangakkara K.C 61 (2004) to 142 (2009) 82 6 4899 64.46 14.Aus Border A.R 88 (1982) to 168 (1988) 81 14 4295 64.10 15.Win Lara B.C 126 (2000) to 205 (2005) 80 2 4985 63.91 16.Eng Hobbs J.B 15 (1910) to 95 (1930) 81 5 4827 63.51 17.Pak Inzamam-ul-Haq 91 (1999) to 175 (2005) 85 9 4795 63.09 18.Win Chanderpaul S 123 (2004) to 202 (2009) 80 17 3947 62.65 19.Eng Sutcliffe H 1 (1924) to 80 (1934) 80 9 4425 62.32 20.Pak Javed Miandad 72 (1982) to 152 (1989) 81 6 4604 61.39

Leaving the colossus outside the discussions, there is a surprise in the second position. I have kept repeating myself many a time. In all the discussions centering around Lara, Tendulkar and Ponting, Kallis has been ignored completely. People point to his lack of wicket-taking ability, forgetting the outstanding batting skills. He and Ponting are the only two batsmen who have averaged over 75 in a consecutive 80+ innings stretch. These two are closely followed by Sobers whose stretch obviously includes the 365*.

Dravid's purple patch comes next, followed by the recent stretch of Yousuf and the mid-career brilliance of Tendulkar. Hutton (not including his 364) and Hayden (including his 380) complete the top-10.

It can be seen that the 80+ innings stretch averages of the last 15 batsmen in the table are within 6 runs.

To view the complete list, please click here.

Test Batsmen: By average sustained in exactly 80 innings

SNo.For Batsman                Start       Finish   Inns No Runs   Avge
Ins  Year     Ins  Year

1.Aus Bradman D.G 1 (1928) to 80 (1948) 80 10 6996 99.94 2.Saf Kallis J.H 82 (2001) to 161 (2006) 80 19 4661 76.41 3.Aus Ponting R.T 102 (2003) to 181 (2006) 80 13 5048 75.34 4.Win Sobers G.St.A 28 (1958) to 107 (1968) 80 12 4969 73.07 5.Ind Dravid R 96 (2002) to 175 (2006) 80 12 4652 68.41 6.Pak Mohammad Yousuf 42 (2000) to 121 (2006) 80 7 4884 66.90 7.Ind Tendulkar S.R 69 (1996) to 148 (2002) 80 8 4782 66.42 8.Aus Hayden M.L 23 (2001) to 102 (2004) 80 8 4744 65.89 9.Eng Hutton L 44 (1947) to 123 (1954) 80 10 4555 65.07 10.Eng Barrington K.F 27 (1961) to 106 (1966) 80 11 4462 64.67 11.Slk Sangakkara K.C 61 (2004) to 140 (2009) 80 6 4740 64.05 12.Eng Hammond W.R 15 (1928) to 94 (1936) 80 11 4416 64.00 13.Aus Border A.R 88 (1982) to 167 (1988) 80 14 4220 63.94 14.Aus Waugh S.R 77 (1993) to 156 (1998) 80 18 3963 63.92 15.Win Lara B.C 126 (2000) to 205 (2005) 80 2 4985 63.91 16.Eng Hobbs J.B 15 (1910) to 94 (1930) 80 5 4753 63.37 17.Win Chanderpaul S 123 (2004) to 202 (2009) 80 17 3947 62.65 18.Eng Sutcliffe H 1 (1924) to 80 (1934) 80 9 4425 62.32 19.Pak Inzamam-ul-Haq 100 (2000) to 179 (2006) 80 8 4470 62.08 20.Pak Javed Miandad 73 (1982) to 152 (1989) 80 5 4578 61.04

Arjun Hemnani wanted a table in which the stretch is exactly equal to 80 innings. I have created a different table and displayed the same here.

It can be seen that the exactly-80-innings average is slightly lower than that when more than 80 innings are considered since there is more flexibility in the extra innings. A below-average stretch can be more than made up with a very good sretch.

The tables look somewhat similar.

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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