Batting October 1, 2009

In a winning cause

I was influenced by a recent comment by a reader on runs scored in winning causes
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I was influenced by a recent comment by a reader on runs scored in winning causes. Everyone and their neighbour's Labrador talk about centuries scored during the wins of teams completely forgetting that more than "centuries", the emphasis should be on "runs" scored. Why ignore a winning 98 or for that matter a winning 48.

Let me take two players not often discussed. The first is Ganguly. He, and most of the knowledgeable Indian supporters, would agree that his majestic unbeaten 98 while orchestrating a great chasing win over Sri Lanka during 2001 was a far greater innings, arguably his best, than many a big 100. Ganguly might have missed a personal landmark but he did not miss the bigger objective. Would anyone, including Ganguly, have been satisfied if Ganguly had scored 5 more runs but India 5 less.

Now for Jimmy Adams. Would anyone rate his 208 against New Zealand higher than his outstanding unbeaten 48 against Wasim/Waqar/Razzak/Saqlain taking his team to an improbable one-wicket win leading to a rare series win. Even though Adams' innings was less than half of Mark Waugh's match-winning of 116 against South Africa, it was no less important.

Hence I have done an analysis of the runs scored by a batsman during his team's wins. It does not matter whether the batsman scored 12(Ambrose), 49(Paranavitana), 96(Shakib Al Hasan) or 309(Sehwag). The runs are considered and added. Not the 400, nor the 241.

Also I have not done an average of these scores. It will be certain that this average would be higher than his career batting average. I have rather looked at the % of share of the runs scored by his team. This will give a clear indication of his contributions. There is no comparison done across eras, across teams, across bowlers et al. It is almost like the peer comparison. In truth it is a peer comparison, but the comparison is only within the team, that too only in selected subset of matches. I have also not prepared tables across teams. Each table is for the concerned team.

The criteria is simple. The batsman should have been involved in 10 wins and scored over 2000 Test runs (exception for Bangladesh and Zimbabwe). The team runs are computed, sans extras.

Cty Batsman              L Mat  Runs Wins Runs TmRuns  RpT  % TS

Eng Hutton L 79 6971 27 2678 11891 99.2 22.52 Eng Hobbs J.B 61 5410 28 2720 13715 97.1 19.83 Eng Gooch G.A 118 8900 32 2950 15504 92.2 19.03 Eng Boycott G 108 8114 35 2950 16366 84.3 18.03 Eng Hammond W.R 85 7249 29 2584 14614 89.1 17.68 Eng Pietersen K.P 54 4647 18 1608 9370 89.3 17.16 Eng Cowdrey M.C 114 7624 43 3087 18416 71.8 16.76 Eng Sutcliffe H 54 4555 25 2141 12840 85.6 16.67 Eng Edrich J.H ~ 77 5138 22 1771 10730 80.5 16.51 Eng Barrington K.F 82 6806 31 2319 14188 74.8 16.34 Eng Thorpe G.P ~ 100 6744 38 3006 18917 79.1 15.89 Eng Strauss A.J ~ 67 5266 30 2596 16344 86.5 15.88 Eng Compton D.C.S 78 5807 25 1801 11420 72.0 15.77 Eng Richardson P.E ~ 34 2061 13 808 5195 62.2 15.55 Eng Trescothick M.E ~ 76 5820 37 2847 18757 76.9 15.18

Hutton is amongst the best across teams, averaging nearly 100 runs per Test and scoring over 22% of the team runs in winning matches. Hobbs is also quite high. Then comes the unheralded Gooch who scored above 19% of his team's winning runs.
Ind Viswanath G.R           91  6080  20  1637  9029  81.8 18.13
Ind Sidhu N.S               51  3202  13  1179  6680  90.7 17.65
Ind Dravid R               134 10823  44  4005 23227  91.0 17.24
Ind Tendulkar S.R          159 12773  51  4416 26993  86.6 16.36
Ind Gavaskar S.M           125 10122  23  1671 10417  72.7 16.04
Ind Vengsarkar D.B         116  6868  18  1187  7823  65.9 15.17
Ind Azharuddin M            99  6215  22  1609 10693  73.1 15.05
Ind Mansur Ali Khan         46  2793  12   846  5712  70.5 14.81
Ind Sehwag V                69  5757  25  1958 13228  78.3 14.80
Ind Amarnath M              69  4378  12   771  5772  64.2 13.36
Ind Engineer F.M            46  2611  13   774  5930  59.5 13.05
Ind Gambhir G            ~  25  2271  13   924  7203  71.1 12.83
Ind Laxman V.V.S           105  6741  36  2428 19479  67.4 12.46
Ind Chauhan C.P.S           40  2084  10   511  4425  51.1 11.55
Ind Shastri R.J             80  3830  10   492  4274  49.2 11.51
The stylish Viswanath leads the Indian table, followed surprisingly by the irrepressible sardar, Sidhu. Then come the three greatest Indian batsmen ever, not necessarily in that order, Dravid, Tendulkar and Gavaskar. Note the somewhat low share of Ganguly (11.23%), possibly because of batting at no.6 position many a time.
Nzl Crowe M.D               77  5444  16  1219  7085  76.2 17.21
Nzl Richardson M.H       ~  38  2776  12   763  5019  63.6 15.20
Nzl McMillan C.D            55  3116  18  1186  7838  65.9 15.13
Nzl Wright J.G           ~  82  5334  21  1253  8430  59.7 14.86
Nzl Fleming S.P          ~ 111  7172  33  2145 14637  65.0 14.65
Nzl Cairns C.L              62  3320  16   936  7393  58.5 12.66
Nzl Howarth G.P             47  2531  12   558  4655  46.5 11.99
Nzl Coney J.V               52  2668  17   814  6900  47.9 11.80
Nzl Astle N.J               81  4702  27  1239 11747  45.9 10.55
Nzl McCullum B.B            46  2283  13   563  5885  43.3  9.57
Nzl Hadlee R.J           ~  86  3124  22   790  8792  35.9  8.99
Nzl Vettori D.L          ~  94  3492  29  1101 12696  38.0  8.67
Nzl Parore A.C              78  2865  19   497  8744  26.2  5.68
The number of wins are somewhat lower indicating New Zealand's rough ride over the years. However out of these, the greatest New Zealand batsman ever, Martin Crowe lives up to his reputation and is on top with a high value of 17+%.
Win Lara B.C             ~ 131 11953  32  2929 14611  91.5 20.05
Win Sarwan R.R              81  5671  13  1210  6505  93.1 18.60
Win Sobers G.St.A        ~  93  8032  31  3097 16926  99.9 18.30
Win Adams J.C            ~  54  3010  21  1534  9045  73.0 16.96
Win EdeC Weekes             48  4455  16  1403  8324  87.7 16.85
Win Greenidge C.G          108  7558  57  4653 27970  81.6 16.64
Win Campbell S.L            52  2882  16  1068  6645  66.8 16.07
Win Walcott C.L             44  3798  12  1113  6955  92.8 16.00
Win Richardson R.B          86  5949  43  3059 19251  71.1 15.89
Win Worrell F.M.M           51  3860  18  1483  9359  82.4 15.85
Win Kanhai R.B              79  6227  27  2404 15248  89.0 15.77
Win Nurse S.M               29  2523  10   873  5569  87.3 15.68
Win Chanderpaul S        ~ 121  8576  27  1933 12839  71.6 15.06
Win Lloyd C.H            ~ 110  7515  43  3337 22217  77.6 15.02
Win Haynes D.L             116  7487  60  4041 27824  67.3 14.52
Lara has contributed quite significantly, above 20%, to the (somewhat lower) proportion of wins during his career. From the strong West Indian teams of the 1980s, only Greenidge is present in the top-10. In fact Richards has a somewhat lower % of runs value of 13.9 although one must admit that he had a win ratio of greater than 50%.

What does this indicate. Possibly that the other batsmen were quite strong. However this is negated by the presence of all the top West Indian batsmen of the 1950s in the top-10. I am happy to see Jimmy Adams in the top-10.

Slk Sangakkara K.C       ~  85  7308  41  4179 22486 101.9 18.58
Slk de Silva P.A            93  6361  19  1467  8736  77.2 16.79
Slk Jayawardene D.P.M.D    107  8750  48  4155 25575  86.6 16.25
Slk Atapattu M.S            90  5502  31  2138 15653  69.0 13.66
Slk Jayasuriya S.T       ~ 110  6973  40  2801 20634  70.0 13.57
Slk Samaraweera T.T         54  3787  30  2222 16748  74.1 13.27
Slk Ranatunga A          ~  93  5105  17   985  7801  57.9 12.63
Slk Tillakaratne H.P     ~  83  4545  24  1534 12221  63.9 12.55
Slk Dilshan T.M             57  3443  28  1843 15126  65.8 12.18
Slk Vaas WPUJC           ~ 111  3087  43  1388 22578  32.3  6.15
Not much to choose amongst the top Sri Lankan batsmen, Sangakkara leading the others quite comfortably. He has also averaged over 100 wickets per won Test.
Saf McGlew D.J              34  2440  11  1156  5285 105.1 21.87
Saf Smith G.C            ~  77  6343  40  3783 20252  94.6 18.68
Saf Wessels K.C          ~  40  2788  12  1044  5800  87.0 18.00
Saf Kallis J.H             131 10277  64  5099 31306  79.7 16.29
Saf Kirsten G            ~ 101  7289  48  3800 23961  79.2 15.86
Saf Barlow E.J              30  2516  11   941  6324  85.5 14.88
Saf Cullinan D.J            70  4554  34  2325 16048  68.4 14.49
Saf Cronje W.J              68  3714  32  2156 15214  67.4 14.17
Saf de Villiers A.B         52  3558  26  1793 13056  69.0 13.73
Saf Hudson A.C              35  2007  13   876  6544  67.4 13.39
Saf McLean R.A              40  2120  12   768  5749  64.0 13.36
Saf Amla H.M                37  2460  21  1389 10713  66.1 12.97
Saf Gibbs H.H               90  6167  44  2877 22607  65.4 12.73
Saf Prince A.G           ~  48  3074  28  1719 13546  61.4 12.69
Saf Rudolph J.A          ~  35  2028  12   721  6371  60.1 11.32
McGlew, the great South African batsmen of the 1960s has an excellent 21+% of run share in won matches and has scored over 100 runs per Test. Then come Smith, Wessels and Kallis. Note also Smith's high win %.
Aus Bradman D.G             52  6996  30  4813 17036 160.4 28.25
Aus Chappell G.S            87  7110  38  3595 19209  94.6 18.72
Aus Simpson R.B             62  4869  22  2015 11264  91.6 17.89
Aus Lawry W.M            ~  67  5234  20  1853 10714  92.7 17.30
Aus Harvey R.N           ~  79  6149  41  3253 19174  79.3 16.97
Aus Hill C               ~  49  3412  25  2223 13200  88.9 16.84
Aus Walters K.D             74  5357  28  2303 14211  82.2 16.21
Aus McDonald C.C            47  3107  23  1557  9994  67.7 15.58
Aus Ponting R.T            136 11341  90  7754 50453  86.2 15.37
Aus Slater M.J              74  5312  44  3508 22833  79.7 15.36
Aus Ponsford W.H            29  2122  16  1508  9884  94.2 15.26
Aus Hayden M.L           ~ 103  8626  71  6038 39634  85.0 15.23
Aus Trumper V.T             48  3163  22  1717 11427  78.0 15.03
Aus Hassett A.L             43  3073  26  1947 13123  74.9 14.84
Aus Hussey M.E.K         ~  42  3317  27  2359 15899  87.4 14.84
Bradman has scored over 28% of the team runs in won games. One more insurmountable number for the other batsmen to contend with. Then come a number of middle era Australians, led by Chappell. Ponting barely makes to the top-10. Hayden and Hussey find their places in the top-15. I am happy to see Victor Trumper in the top-15.
Pak Shoaib Mohammad         45  2705  12  1055  4927  87.9 21.41
Pak Saeed Anwar          ~  55  4052  23  2254 11079  98.0 20.34
Pak Inzamam-ul-Haq         120  8830  49  4690 25012  95.7 18.75
Pak Younis Khan             63  5260  22  2241 12570 101.9 17.83
Pak Javed Miandad          124  8832  39  2923 17298  74.9 16.90
Pak Asif Iqbal              58  3575  10   759  4934  75.9 15.38
Pak Mohammad Yousuf         82  7023  32  2617 17627  81.8 14.85
Pak Mudassar Nazar          76  4114  23  1511 10311  65.7 14.65
Pak Zaheer Abbas            78  5062  22  1530 10483  69.5 14.60
Pak Ijaz Ahmed              60  3315  23  1487 10385  64.7 14.32
Pak Mohsin Khan             48  2709  18  1134  8060  63.0 14.07
Pak Aamer Sohail         ~  47  2823  22  1365  9970  62.0 13.69
Pak Majid Khan              63  3931  13   849  6230  65.3 13.63
Pak Saleem Malik           103  5768  39  1880 17010  48.2 11.05
Pak Kamran Akmal            43  2226  13   776  7443  59.7 10.43
Shoaib Mohammad leads with a 21+%. Saeed Anwar is also high up there. Then come the three modern greats, led by Inzamam. Note Younis Khan's 100+ runs per test in won games.
Cty Batsman                Mat  Runs Wins Runs TmRuns  RpT  % TS

Bng Habibul Bashar 50 3026 1 149 692 149.0 21.53 Bng Mohammad Ashraful 50 2149 3 65 1724 21.7 3.77

Bangladesh has won only 3 Tests. Ashraful was part of all the three tests although he contributed next to nothing. Habibul Basher contributed a lot in their win over Zimbabwe. Shakib Al Hasan, that mercurial world class cricketer, contributed a lot during their brace of wins over West Indies.
Cty Batsman                Mat  Runs Wins Runs TmRuns  RpT  % TS

Zim Whittall G.J 46 2207 4 361 1994 90.2 18.10 Zim Flower A ~ 63 4794 7 507 3461 72.4 14.65 Zim Flower G.W 67 3457 7 529 3630 75.6 14.57 Zim Campbell A.D.R ~ 60 2857 6 167 2908 27.8 5.74

Not many wins here. However note the somewhat higher contribution of Gary Whittall to the Zimbabwe wins ahead of the more fancied Flower brothers.

To view the complete list, please click here.

I will come out with the second part of the "How far ahead is the top one ..." article next week. Later I will do a "In a winning cause" article on bowlers.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

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  • arun on January 12, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    great stats..can you collect some data on the performance of batsmen while chasing different totals in ODIs

  • Abhi on October 19, 2009, 13:24 GMT

    Unni, as ananth says again your observation is unique , as in only you have obtained a new insight. what you say is something to the effect of what i feel (though not entirely). but you have worded it much better.

  • Unni on October 17, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    I was commenting that the 'purpose' is not clear. After reading the article, it was more or less "share of batsmen in their team's winning scores". But I felt the reader's comments and general discussion was on "how much a batsman contributed to team's win". I guess, the second one would be the meaningful purpose for an analysis. If that is the case, I feel both of these methods won't be enough. Generally when people quote the 'count centuries in wins', I guess they really mean that the batsman had topscored and really contributed to win. In that case, there are multiple options to quantify this (without bothering about centuries). 1.Simple one=>how many times the batsman topscored in the wins?(may be divided by total wins)(your "winning 48 runs" will count) 2.More complicated way=>Extend the above by considering number of innnings when the batsman was second, third etc(upto 11th)and compute a 'weighted win position factor'(So, if it is 1.00 he always topscored in all the team's wins) [[ Unni This is the second time you have made a very valuable suggestion. Thanks. Will look into it. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on October 12, 2009, 2:51 GMT

    Unni, very good observation. dont think it struck too many ppl. But i think your method is probably more accurate(in principal)..whatever the actual results may work out to be

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  • arun on January 12, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    great stats..can you collect some data on the performance of batsmen while chasing different totals in ODIs

  • Abhi on October 19, 2009, 13:24 GMT

    Unni, as ananth says again your observation is unique , as in only you have obtained a new insight. what you say is something to the effect of what i feel (though not entirely). but you have worded it much better.

  • Unni on October 17, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    I was commenting that the 'purpose' is not clear. After reading the article, it was more or less "share of batsmen in their team's winning scores". But I felt the reader's comments and general discussion was on "how much a batsman contributed to team's win". I guess, the second one would be the meaningful purpose for an analysis. If that is the case, I feel both of these methods won't be enough. Generally when people quote the 'count centuries in wins', I guess they really mean that the batsman had topscored and really contributed to win. In that case, there are multiple options to quantify this (without bothering about centuries). 1.Simple one=>how many times the batsman topscored in the wins?(may be divided by total wins)(your "winning 48 runs" will count) 2.More complicated way=>Extend the above by considering number of innnings when the batsman was second, third etc(upto 11th)and compute a 'weighted win position factor'(So, if it is 1.00 he always topscored in all the team's wins) [[ Unni This is the second time you have made a very valuable suggestion. Thanks. Will look into it. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on October 12, 2009, 2:51 GMT

    Unni, very good observation. dont think it struck too many ppl. But i think your method is probably more accurate(in principal)..whatever the actual results may work out to be

  • Unni on October 11, 2009, 15:24 GMT

    I couldn't understand the purpose of the analysis properly. However, from the question "Why ignore a winning 98 or for that matter a winning 48." I assume the analysis is to quantify the contribution of the batsman to the winning cause. If that is the case, there is small problem in "dividing total runs scored in winning" by "total team runs in winning". Here the contributions in the individual matches is getting 'diluted' due to the 'weighted average'. Instead it would be more appropriate to compute individual match contribution percentage and then taking an average of it. This will ensure that batsman whose contribution of 48 to a total score of 102 and still won the match gets due weightage. (More precisely if b1, b2, b3 is the individual batsman in winning cause and corresp. team scores are t1, t2 and t3, your computation is like (b1 + b2 + b3)/(t1+t2+t3) my suggestion is to (b1/t1+b2/t2+b3/t3)/3. (percentage is understood) [[ Unni I am sure you have understood the idea behind the analysis. However you have made a very valid point. The point is that there are two ways of looking at things. The ways in which the two of us have approached. And one does not invalidate the other. (20+40+60)/(160+400+240)=120/800=15% (20/160)+(40/400)+(60/240)/3=47.5/3=15.8% There could be another example where the first method leads to a higher result. But my gut feel is that these two methods will be comparable when we consider a number of matches. I think a better idea is to do both. When I do the bowler article I will try and do both types so that the readers can get an idea. Once again, a great suggestion. Many thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on October 11, 2009, 8:07 GMT

    Ananth, Further to my earlier comments – to expand a little bit more. Spose a good bowling lineup restricts the opposition to say 220 in an ODI . A relatively mediocre bowling lineup may then restrict the same team to say 280/90. However, given a great innings this total too may be chased down in an ODI. However, in a Test the poor bowling lineup doesn’t have the good fortune of bowling only 50 overs. And they will be there for a lot longer – giving up more runs with less wickets. So, from the onset the batsman in a poor bowling unit is looking more towards salvaging a draw than a win. So, perhaps if we look at batsman contributions during DRAWN matches as well, that may give us a greater indication of actual batsman contribution relative to bowler contributions.

  • Abhi on October 10, 2009, 13:52 GMT

    Just to add: No prob with the various analyses. They are great. I was only attempting to “interpret” what we actually glean from this particular analysis.

  • Abhi on October 10, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    Well, let’s put it this way. Let us take the eg. of Lara because he has the highest percentage of modern players. As some other comment I saw above there were very few matches won by WI in Lara’s last few years…and it was in this period that the WI team was the weakest, pertinently in the bowling dept as well. If you replace Lara by any other modern great: Gavaskar, Richards, Tendulkar, Ponting, Dravid…i.e they feature in the WI team instead of Lara you would get similar stats- Since they would outshine the mediocre batsmen around them and the same team would also be involved in a fair share of wins because of the potent bowling lineup which included Ambrose, Walsh etc. So, effectively these stats don’t tell us much about the individual batsmen, but more about the rest of the team. As regards ODIs even with a not so good bowling lineup- who are incapable of too much penetration but are reasonably good at containment backed up with reasonably good fielding…a batsman may well win ODIs practically off his own bat…EVEN if the bowlers do not take all wickets and are even reasonably expensive(not profligate). This of course is impossible in Tests. The bowlers HAVE to actually take 20 wickets and that too at a decent average. So: the importance of bowlers is relatively LESS towards winning ODIs than winning Tests. Note: Not that they DON’T matter – of course they do, it is relative. i.e a top batsman can actually win ODIs when in a team with a mediocre bowling lineup , but this is virtually IMPOSSIBLE in Tests. Of course one can give contradictory examples (Delhi) but I’m referring to the general principle involved.

  • Xolile on October 10, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    Ananth, Jeff, With Voce bowling and Ames keeping the average age of the "9 men stopping boundaries" was an incredible 41 years. That has to be a record.

  • Abhi on October 10, 2009, 10:05 GMT

    Ananth, I remember you bemoaning in your previous blog how batsmen hog the plaudits over the bowlers. I think you are falling into a similar trap. The “percentage” of “matchwinning” runs of a batsman relative to other batsmen in the team is often a function of BOTH the quality and form of the other batsmen in the team. We see numerous terrific batsmen with lower percentage of team scores. So, we already know that X,Y,Z were good batsmen…so the only thing this tells us is about the form and quality of the other batsmen in the team. In ODIs-yes, we can say that it is to a larger extent a batsman’s game, and more often than not it is the batsmen who will dictate terms and actually win matches. But in Tests a batsman, however good he may be, can never “win” a match unless the bowlers get the 20 wickets for a reasonable amount of runs. so, although both forms of the game depend very heavily on the other team players as far as the final result is concerned…in Tests this happens to a much greater degree than in ODIs [[ Abhi I am not quite sure what you are trying to say. If I had compared the batsmen contributions and bowler contributions towards wins in one article what you say makes sense. However these are two independent and mutually exclusive articles as and when I do the bowler share article. I know that 20 wickets have to be taken. So when I do the bowler article the bowlers who contributed to these 20 wickets will get their credit. Now we are talking about x runs were scored in a match won by the batting team. Who contributed what is the question. Finally whatever you say, if batsmen do not score enough runs (it might be 100 or 500, it does not matter), the bowlers would not be able to win the matches, as Delhi found yesterday. Ananth: ]]

  • alex on October 8, 2009, 12:27 GMT

    Ananth - re Sushmana's argument ... The MoM awards are not entirely in winning causes. E.g, Lara won MoM for 277 in a drawn match. In decisive test matches, bowlers tend to win the MoM awards whereas batsmen dominate the MoM awards in ODI's. So, MoM should be viewed as a differentiator for batsmen in ODI's only.

    Lara played for a weak WI batting line-up. Hence his larger share in the team's runs. In winning causes, he averages 61 while Ponting avarages 62, Kallis averages 63, SRT averages 65, and Dravid averages 66.5. Kallis and SRT have not had to bat in the 2nd innings of these matches whereas Lara almost always not only played but completed his innings in such matches. Hence, the average in won matches is a useful calibrator.

    On Viv Richards ... as far as tests are concerned, he sadly became a shadow of his former self 1983-1991. His overall average in matches won is only 53 ... Greenidge and Lloyd average better than him in that respect.

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on October 8, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    Dear Ananth another useful article.

    Winning is a combine team effort and is either more influenced by bowlers or all rounders in tests like Murli delivers more than 55 overs per match so he has more opportunity.

    All-rounders and bowlers have great chances to capture man of the match as compare to specialist batsman. Even if batsman scores 150 or plus in first or second inning of any test then the actual advantage always goes to bowlers or All- Rounders of same team. Normally when batsman scored 150 or plus even if he gets second inning, there is a great chance that he cannot score again big inning in second chance in same test match or even an inning of 50 or more runs. Second thing is that there is no guarantee that he can get second inning also in winning situation for his team or if gets it but they win the match during his inning and he cannot get his actual score.

    This is the main reason why Kallis, Murli and Wasim have more man of the matches in test.

  • Jeff on October 8, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    @ Xolile

    The AVERAGE age of that England team in 1930 was 37.5 !!!

    You had Gunn & Rhodes who were over 50, Hendren, Haig & Astill who were over 40 plus Sandham & Calthorpe who were very nearly 40.

    Bill Voce (20) and Les Ames (24) helped bring down the average age quite considerably. I assume that they must have spent a fair bit of time together socialising on that tour - I can't imagine they had much in common with the rest of the team - most of whom were old enough to be their father.

    Of course, this situation was largely driven by the fact that England had 2 seperate teams playing at exactly the same time - the other one was in New Zealand. This was a much younger team (average age 30) with only Frank Woolley over 40.

  • Xolile on October 7, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    Ananth, [Unrelated topic - Fielding] The average age of a team determines to some degree their ability to field. Could you perhaps publish a list with the oldest sides in Test history (based on average age per player)? The oldest will probably be the England side that toured the WI in 1930, which included two players over 50 and another 4 or 5 over 40. [[ Deon Two problems. One is that I do not have the date of birth information available in my database. The other is that if you have seen Nehra/Ishant/Panesar/et al field and then see McGrath/Lee/Tendulkar/et al field, age won't necessarily come into the equation. But I get the drift. Your 1930 English side must qualify for a geriatric specialist to travel with them. Pray consider the 1936 Indian team also. Ananth: ]]

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on October 7, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    Dear Ananth, this one is also great.

    For winning cause sometimes players are unable to prove themselves. Reason is that other players are not upto mark.

    Just contrarty to your article who is the biggest looser in batting in test cricket.

    Lara is the biggest one with 63 defeats in his career. He broke the record of Alec Stewart with 54 defeats in test.

    He scored 5316 runs with the help of 14 centuries and 22 half centuries with batting average 42.19.

    Amazing! the man comprises of each and every thing has the worst record although his batting average in defeats is even more than so many batsmen overall batting average in test. It is just like a man with two opposite tastes in his career. He is individaully the best and from team point of view the worst.

    He scored 688 runs against Sri Lanka and lost the series by 3 - 0 in which he scored 178, 40, 74, 45, 221 and 130. 226 runs against Australia and lost the match in 2005.

  • alex on October 7, 2009, 9:28 GMT

    Ananth - yet another useful article. Winning is more of a team effort and is rather dominated by bowlers in tests. From the table, it appears that the winning side scored, on average, 570 runs in Bradman's case, 546 in Sobers' case, 549 in Sangakkara's case, 475 in Lara's case, 493 in Kallis' case, 490 in Greenidge's case, 410 in Anwar's case, 506 in Chappel's case, 556 in Ponting's case, and 529 in Dravid/Tendulkar's case. This suggests that Anwar's/Lara's contribution either was major in bowler-friendly circumstances or was in matches where their bowlers shut the opponents down cheaply. Again, it would be better to add a column on batsman's average in winning cause (not just runs/match). Also, perhaps, columns on average runs scored when the team's net winning score was 400-450, 450-500, 500-550, 550-600, 600-700, etc.

    On MoM point, note that a few of Kallis' awards are mainly as a bowler. A great player! [[ Alex Good point. The Batting average is quite valid in Tests. Let me see whether I can add it to these tables. If not, I promise I will repeat these tables with the averages when I do the bowling tables. Ananth: ]]

  • Vijay Mohite on October 7, 2009, 4:46 GMT

    Hi Ananth, I tried to answer my own question about which team does best by losing toss in ODIs because toss is so critical for making most out of ground conditions. I looked at all results since Jan 1990 and you can see only 2 teams have more than 50% success rate after losing toss. In fact, Australia and England do better when they lose toss!!

    WMLT WMWT %Won after losing Toss Australia 177 159 52.68% England 80 78 50.63% South Africa 130 134 49.24% West Indies 93 97 48.95% Pakistan 142 154 47.97% Sri Lanka 120 132 47.62% India 123 155 44.24% [[ Vijay Thanks. Australia I can understand. It reflects their overall quality and the reduced dependency on toss. England, with their overall lack of ODI success, is a surprise. Biggest surprise is India with its dependence on toss. Ananth: ]]

  • Sushamna Deodhar on October 6, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    Great analysis once again! I was particularly astonished looking at number of wins Ponting has appeared in (90!!), followed by Hayden (71), Kallis (64), Haynes (60) and Tendulkar (51). Lara (32) surprisingly lags way behind. However, looking at Player-of-the-Match awards, it's Kallis who leads the list with 20, followed by Ponting (15), while Tendulkar and Lara share 12 awards. And, if you take the ratio of awards/matches won among these 4, surprisingly it's Lara who tops with 37.5%, followed by Kallis (31.25%), Tendulkar (23.53%) and then Ponting (16.67%). It clearly indicates how much impact Lara has had in those 32 wins! It also shows that Ponting's 90 wins were actually the result of the great teams he was part of (with due respect to his batting and leadership skills). I'm not sure if it's a good topic for analysis, but would be great to see such numbers for other players as well. [[ Sushamna Will look into it. First I must confirm that the MOM award info is available correctly for all ODI matches. Ananth: ]]

  • Jeff on October 6, 2009, 7:58 GMT

    I’ve looked at the 12 matches that Pakistan won with Shoaib playing and here are the results and Shoaib’s contribution:

    87 vs Eng Inns & 18, Shoaib 16 out of 353 88 vs WI 9 wkts Shoaib 46 out of 435 & 13 out of 32-1 88 vs Aus Inns & 118 Shoaib 94 out of 469 90 vs NZ Inns & 43 Shoaib 203 out of 433 90 vs NZ 9 wkts, Shoaib 105 out of 373 & 42 out of 77-1 90 vs NZ 65 runs, Shoaib 15 out of 102 & 142 out of 357 90 vs WI 8 wkts, Shoaib 86 out of 345 & 32 out of 98-2 92 vs SL 3 wkts, Shoaib 30 out of 221 & 7 out of 188-7 92 vs Eng 10 wkts, Shoaib 55 out of 380 & DNB 93 vs Zim 131 runs, Shoaib, 81 out of 423 & DNB 93 vs Zim 52 runs, Shoaib 18 out of 245 & 13 out of 248 95 vs SL Inns & 40, Shoaib 57 out of 459

    So really, Shoaib had one series (1990 vs NZ) where he truly can be said to have played a (if not THE) major role in Pak winning, but in most of the other matches he played at best a supporting role

  • Xolile on October 6, 2009, 7:53 GMT

    Engle’s comment made me think whether there is a way to determine the number of times an individual batsman won the match for his team.

    If a batsman scored at least 30% of the oppositions combined total, AND he averaged 3 times more than his team mates (batting positions 1 to 7), then you could probably say the individual’s batting contribution won it for his team.

    Ananth, if you think there is any merit in this suggestion, is there a way you could determine this? [[ Deon (and Engle) As usual you have provided me food for thought. It is a great idea. Using my performance analysis points I can certainly determine a players' contribution to a win. Some fine tuning will be needed. I will look into it. Ananth: ]]

  • Pelham Barton on October 5, 2009, 12:51 GMT

    Interesting analysis. Am I right that the L column is identifying left-handers? It does not seem to say this anywhere. [[ Pelham Yes. I did not put in a separate legend since it seems obvious. Ananth: ]]

  • Engle on October 4, 2009, 19:22 GMT

    Individual matches stand out in peoples minds. I can remember Laxmans winning double-century vs Aus, or Greenidges winning double vs Eng or Richards many winning performances vs Eng, Ind.

    I honestly cannot remember a single Shoaib match winning performance. All I can remember is the many times he got selected, then dropped from the Test team. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his match winning capabilities. That attribute should go to his captain, the great Imran Khan who cajoled his team to victory with superior leadership and excellent all-round performances.

    Not to say that this analysis lacks merit; some useful tid-bits did emerge. Perhaps a batsman who takes a match and shakes it by the scruff of the neck is different from one who bats well, yet is fortunate to be in a team where the major match-winning contributions may have come from excellent leadership and/or bowling performances from others.

  • Zack on October 4, 2009, 15:36 GMT

    Where is Viv Richards ? The problem with this analysis is that in a team of very good batsmen a high percentage will be hard to get especially if you have very good openers. If you're in a weaker side like Lara then you account for more runs sicne the rest are mediocre and will most likely fail. [[ Zack If a player is in a very good team, he necessarily has to share the credits with other, equally great, players. That does not make their contributions any less nor make this analysis any less. Let us put it this way. Richards could bat freely with the knowledge of 10 great players supporting him. For the later part of his career, if Lara had 3 players supporting him, it was a surprise. Ananth: ]]

  • ted on October 3, 2009, 2:40 GMT

    one word.excellent.i say no more

  • Vijay Mohite on October 2, 2009, 22:22 GMT

    Excellent analysis Ananth. I wonder if you can find time to measure effects of toss on end-result in both tests and ODIs so find out which team did best after losing a toss. Do you think Australia would still come up on top? I would love to get analysis done on umpiring errors on end result (where Australia has benefited a lot) but that's impossible so I wouldn't bring that up again. Thanks again.

  • Jeff on October 2, 2009, 9:21 GMT

    I’ve done a bit more digging on % of teams runs scored in non-winning matches, and the results are very interesting.

    Firstly, I should say that I’ve used Statsguru for this and so I can’t exclude extras from team scores as Ananth has done – so my numbers will be slightly different from his.

    I wanted to know which batsman had the greatest difference in % of team score in winning matches vs non-winning.

    Most players I looked at scored a bigger % of runs in winning matches (obvious for top order players) but there were big differences between players.

    Shoaib had the biggest difference: He scored 19.6% of his teams runs (including extras) in wins but only 11.5% in non-wins – a ratio of 1.7

    Bradman scored 27.1% in wins but “only” 19.7% in non-wins – a ratio of 1.4.

    The only player I looked at who had a ratio under 1 (ie scored a bigger proportion of runs in non-wins) was Lara, who scored 18.6% of his teams runs in wins but 19.1% in other matches [[ Jeff As I have mentioned in my reply to Youvi, I will look at draws but do a bit of fine-tuning in terms of selecting meaningful draws as compared to the 1960s type draws scoring at a princely rate of below 2.5 rpo. Ananth: ]]

  • Youvi on October 1, 2009, 22:10 GMT

    Ananth- This is a neat piece of work. Regarding Viv Richards not being higher up in order as also some of his contemporaries, it does not detract from his greatness and is indeeed a tribute to the awesome WI team captained by Clive Lloyd in those years. Those from India that lived thru the 70s/early 80s probably are not surprised that Vishwanath ranks up there as both he and Gavaskar were the batting mainstays thru that period. Of course Gavaskar's career lasted another 34 matches beyond Vishwanath's. That Gavaskar is at number 5 indicate there were other batsmen who started contributing more in the later 80's until Gavaskar retired ? Perhaps. Elsewhere, someone has suggested taking a look at the runs percentage in drawn matches particularly for lower order batsmen. I wonder if there could be a measure that separates an inning in a match-saving draw versus a draw on a dull wicket which typically leads to both teams scoring lots of runs. [[ Youvi All your points are well made. If and when I do an analysis based on draws, I will take care to distinguish between draws which were run-feasts with no chance of result and the Cardiff, Napier and Wellington type of draws. Ananth: ]]

  • romel on October 1, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    @lovegoel difference between lara & other (u mentioned) comes from the total team run in the winning cause..avrg wi team run in lara's 32 won tests is 450 while for tendulkar and dravid, it is 530, for ponting it is 560...so it is very hard for them to match lara's % of team score...had this been lara's credit, he would have won more than only 7 tests (after walsh's retirement) including 2 against zim & ban) in last 6 yrs of his career when he averages was in the higher side. lara's contribution shows actually the relative superior bowling strength of w.i. than its batting strength in his era...u can check that with sobers record...he also scored more runs/won test despite being a middle order batsman but came behind of lara

  • love goel on October 1, 2009, 14:13 GMT

    yeyyy....... Lara > Dravid > Tendulkar > Ponting. I am so happy now.

    Lower order batsmen are certainly at a disadvantage here;they are at disadvantage at any ranking which take runs/averages into account. But whether they scored less cause they batted lower or they batted lower because they scored less is uncertain.

    The higher ranking for Sidhu is probably due to the fact that all his victories except for may be one, came at home where once the shine came off, the openers can pile up the runs. And then he was one of the best players of spin.

    We must also somehow differentiate between batsmen who got to play 2 innings vs who got 1 innings(highly possible in case of a victory,especially with no 5/6)

    Ananth, a request, can you add a column mentioning how many parternships the batsmen was involved in. It is also a team based peer comaprison which I guess will be less biased against lower order batsmen Love The problem is that the batsman dismissal information has not been available for test matches other than the last 15 years. So it is difficult to do a partnerships analysis. Ananth

  • Arvind on October 1, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    There is a big flaw in this analysis. For simplicity, let us consider a 5-match Test series. Now, consider the "Mr. Dependable" of one team, that is, the batsman who is most relied upon to score the runs. Here are his scores and result ...

    Game 1: 150 & 75* - WIN Game 2: 0 & 2 - LOSS Game 3: 1 & 3 - LOSS Game 4: 0 & 0 - LOSS Game 5: 3 & 1 - LOSS

    Apparently, according to your statistics, this batsman is really "Mr. Dependable" because he scored more than 95% of his runs in victories, eh? Arvind, On the other hand, you are the one who has not understood the analysis. The ratio is between the batsman runs and team runs in wins and not batsman runs in wins and his total runs as you have understood. In your example let me say that in the first test the team scored 450 & 300. Then the share of the batsman will be 227/750 which is 30% and very good. It is true that in the wins the said batsman has contributed 30%. I suggest please read the article carefully one more. Ananth

  • Ananth on October 1, 2009, 12:04 GMT

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  • Avi Singh on October 1, 2009, 11:15 GMT

    Interesting that the stats here show Sachin to have scored a decent percentage of his runs in victories, yet he is often accused (mainly by those at HoldingWilley) of not having won India enough Tests or having scored most of his runs and centuries in losses. Just shows that ultimately people can be as selective and biased as they want with statistics. It is better to simply look for the top 5 batsmen of the last 20 years across both Tests and ODIs, than attempt to place any batsman higher than the other. On the top 5 it is hard to go past the only 5 batsmen to have scored 10000 runs in both Tests and ODIs. No one would disagree that Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting, Dravid and Kallis are about as fine a collection of batsmen as you can get. Any discussions should simply be left at that. [[ Avi I agree with you that Tendulkar's contribution has been significant. However also make a note of Dravid's contributions which are also very good. Ananth: ]]

  • Jeff on October 1, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    Interesting stuff Ananth.

    As you have pointed out, the lower order batsmen are probably at a disadvantage in terms of % of teams runs scored, due to their relative lack of opportunities vs openers.

    One potential build on this analysis would be to look at the % of teams runs scored in losing/drawing matches as well and then compare this to the % of teams runs in winning matches. You could then use the difference between them to see which players "overachieved" in winning efforts. [[ Jeff The idea is to do specific evaluation of top order batsmen. It is possible to do a special analysis of the late order batsmen who have a BPI index of over 7.0 to see which of these have contributed to wins. One thing I must say with this blog. I am never going to be short of ideas. Ananth: ]]

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  • Jeff on October 1, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    Interesting stuff Ananth.

    As you have pointed out, the lower order batsmen are probably at a disadvantage in terms of % of teams runs scored, due to their relative lack of opportunities vs openers.

    One potential build on this analysis would be to look at the % of teams runs scored in losing/drawing matches as well and then compare this to the % of teams runs in winning matches. You could then use the difference between them to see which players "overachieved" in winning efforts. [[ Jeff The idea is to do specific evaluation of top order batsmen. It is possible to do a special analysis of the late order batsmen who have a BPI index of over 7.0 to see which of these have contributed to wins. One thing I must say with this blog. I am never going to be short of ideas. Ananth: ]]

  • Avi Singh on October 1, 2009, 11:15 GMT

    Interesting that the stats here show Sachin to have scored a decent percentage of his runs in victories, yet he is often accused (mainly by those at HoldingWilley) of not having won India enough Tests or having scored most of his runs and centuries in losses. Just shows that ultimately people can be as selective and biased as they want with statistics. It is better to simply look for the top 5 batsmen of the last 20 years across both Tests and ODIs, than attempt to place any batsman higher than the other. On the top 5 it is hard to go past the only 5 batsmen to have scored 10000 runs in both Tests and ODIs. No one would disagree that Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting, Dravid and Kallis are about as fine a collection of batsmen as you can get. Any discussions should simply be left at that. [[ Avi I agree with you that Tendulkar's contribution has been significant. However also make a note of Dravid's contributions which are also very good. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on October 1, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    AloeVera and Cricket analysis - nice combination Hello there. I have something to say, about aloevera, something about which you wrote above, about health and cosmetics... For a long time, I and my friend use the products of the forever living. We every time see the nice results and also we make money for our families and we are happy. My friend works with Aloe Vera in the company of flp has more than 5 years (My friend works ONLY in the FLP Company and has a wife and three children). I know Aloe Vera products for beauty for a long time, but a year ago, began working as a distributor in the forever living products company. Of course, this job is not easy, but in no other case, you can earn so much much money with so much much fun and smiling faces around.. So if you want to discuss something about which you wrote above, and about my experience with Aloe products for weight loss management, I'll always be glad to talk. Andrew - Aloe Vera Distributor

  • Arvind on October 1, 2009, 13:12 GMT

    There is a big flaw in this analysis. For simplicity, let us consider a 5-match Test series. Now, consider the "Mr. Dependable" of one team, that is, the batsman who is most relied upon to score the runs. Here are his scores and result ...

    Game 1: 150 & 75* - WIN Game 2: 0 & 2 - LOSS Game 3: 1 & 3 - LOSS Game 4: 0 & 0 - LOSS Game 5: 3 & 1 - LOSS

    Apparently, according to your statistics, this batsman is really "Mr. Dependable" because he scored more than 95% of his runs in victories, eh? Arvind, On the other hand, you are the one who has not understood the analysis. The ratio is between the batsman runs and team runs in wins and not batsman runs in wins and his total runs as you have understood. In your example let me say that in the first test the team scored 450 & 300. Then the share of the batsman will be 227/750 which is 30% and very good. It is true that in the wins the said batsman has contributed 30%. I suggest please read the article carefully one more. Ananth

  • love goel on October 1, 2009, 14:13 GMT

    yeyyy....... Lara > Dravid > Tendulkar > Ponting. I am so happy now.

    Lower order batsmen are certainly at a disadvantage here;they are at disadvantage at any ranking which take runs/averages into account. But whether they scored less cause they batted lower or they batted lower because they scored less is uncertain.

    The higher ranking for Sidhu is probably due to the fact that all his victories except for may be one, came at home where once the shine came off, the openers can pile up the runs. And then he was one of the best players of spin.

    We must also somehow differentiate between batsmen who got to play 2 innings vs who got 1 innings(highly possible in case of a victory,especially with no 5/6)

    Ananth, a request, can you add a column mentioning how many parternships the batsmen was involved in. It is also a team based peer comaprison which I guess will be less biased against lower order batsmen Love The problem is that the batsman dismissal information has not been available for test matches other than the last 15 years. So it is difficult to do a partnerships analysis. Ananth

  • romel on October 1, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    @lovegoel difference between lara & other (u mentioned) comes from the total team run in the winning cause..avrg wi team run in lara's 32 won tests is 450 while for tendulkar and dravid, it is 530, for ponting it is 560...so it is very hard for them to match lara's % of team score...had this been lara's credit, he would have won more than only 7 tests (after walsh's retirement) including 2 against zim & ban) in last 6 yrs of his career when he averages was in the higher side. lara's contribution shows actually the relative superior bowling strength of w.i. than its batting strength in his era...u can check that with sobers record...he also scored more runs/won test despite being a middle order batsman but came behind of lara

  • Youvi on October 1, 2009, 22:10 GMT

    Ananth- This is a neat piece of work. Regarding Viv Richards not being higher up in order as also some of his contemporaries, it does not detract from his greatness and is indeeed a tribute to the awesome WI team captained by Clive Lloyd in those years. Those from India that lived thru the 70s/early 80s probably are not surprised that Vishwanath ranks up there as both he and Gavaskar were the batting mainstays thru that period. Of course Gavaskar's career lasted another 34 matches beyond Vishwanath's. That Gavaskar is at number 5 indicate there were other batsmen who started contributing more in the later 80's until Gavaskar retired ? Perhaps. Elsewhere, someone has suggested taking a look at the runs percentage in drawn matches particularly for lower order batsmen. I wonder if there could be a measure that separates an inning in a match-saving draw versus a draw on a dull wicket which typically leads to both teams scoring lots of runs. [[ Youvi All your points are well made. If and when I do an analysis based on draws, I will take care to distinguish between draws which were run-feasts with no chance of result and the Cardiff, Napier and Wellington type of draws. Ananth: ]]

  • Jeff on October 2, 2009, 9:21 GMT

    I’ve done a bit more digging on % of teams runs scored in non-winning matches, and the results are very interesting.

    Firstly, I should say that I’ve used Statsguru for this and so I can’t exclude extras from team scores as Ananth has done – so my numbers will be slightly different from his.

    I wanted to know which batsman had the greatest difference in % of team score in winning matches vs non-winning.

    Most players I looked at scored a bigger % of runs in winning matches (obvious for top order players) but there were big differences between players.

    Shoaib had the biggest difference: He scored 19.6% of his teams runs (including extras) in wins but only 11.5% in non-wins – a ratio of 1.7

    Bradman scored 27.1% in wins but “only” 19.7% in non-wins – a ratio of 1.4.

    The only player I looked at who had a ratio under 1 (ie scored a bigger proportion of runs in non-wins) was Lara, who scored 18.6% of his teams runs in wins but 19.1% in other matches [[ Jeff As I have mentioned in my reply to Youvi, I will look at draws but do a bit of fine-tuning in terms of selecting meaningful draws as compared to the 1960s type draws scoring at a princely rate of below 2.5 rpo. Ananth: ]]

  • Vijay Mohite on October 2, 2009, 22:22 GMT

    Excellent analysis Ananth. I wonder if you can find time to measure effects of toss on end-result in both tests and ODIs so find out which team did best after losing a toss. Do you think Australia would still come up on top? I would love to get analysis done on umpiring errors on end result (where Australia has benefited a lot) but that's impossible so I wouldn't bring that up again. Thanks again.

  • ted on October 3, 2009, 2:40 GMT

    one word.excellent.i say no more