February 14, 2010

Special Steyn stats edition

More stats, because you asked for them, didn't you
37


The first bowler with four 10-wicket match hauls to be pictured wearing this particular model of sunglasses © AP
 

Here are the bonus Dale Steyn statistics promised in Friday’s Confectionery Stall, for the benefit of: (a) Dale Steyn fans; (b) stats fans; (c) anyone relieved to see devastating spells of fast swing bowling alive and well; and (d) Dale Steyn.

Some of the numbers might already be out of date once the second Test is underway, if Sehwag starts giving him a good Sehwagging, but here they are anyway:

• Steyn has the best average in Asia of any pace bowler in Test history to have taken 50 or more wickets there (19.66 after the first Test), and is behind only Richie Benaud when spinners are included. Here’s proof. Check it quickly, in case he takes 0 for 350 in Kolkata and plummets down the chart.

• Hang on, that stat wasn’t quite finished. He also has the third-best average (16.44) of any bowler who has taken 20 wickets or more in India.

• Since his recall in April 2006 after a raw debut series in 2004-05, he has been the world’s leading fast bowler by a vast margin. Of the 28 pacemen who have taken 40 or more wickets in that time, Steyn has, by a considerable margin, the highest wicket tally (187, ahead of Mitchell Johnson’s 143), best average (21.80; next is Mohammad Asif, at 24.58), most obliterative strike-rate (a positively 19th-century style 37.4; Asif is second with 51.0), most five-wicket innings (13, ahead of Ntini’s 7) and most 10-wicket matches (four, no one else has done it more than once). Outside of the pace fraternity, only Muralitharan comes close in any category (and is ahead in five-fors and 10-fors).

• However, it’s not all good – Steyn has the eighth-worst economy rate of those 28 bowlers, and his 3.50 runs-per-over is worse than Devon Malcolm’s career figure. If the ex-Essex exocet could learn to keep the runs down, he would be a useful performer. As it is, give me 2.3-per-over Jacob Oram any time. Oram is the superior batsman as well. When fit. And not retired.

And here’s a bonus non-Steyn stat for anyone who: (a) isn’t a Dale Steyn fan; (b) is still a stats fan; (c) is ambivalent about devastating spells of fast bowling but finds emotional refuge in once-great players who had apparently been on the slide enjoying a spectacular resurgence; and (d) isn’t Dale Steyn; but (e) is Jacques Kallis:

• Kallis has catapulted himself out of his first significant career slump (one century and an average of 33 in 19 Tests), by coaching-manualling four hundreds in six Tests, and a positively skittish strike-rate of 52. In sight of 200 in Nagpur, he also chose to continue his heroic quest to complete his stellar 10,000-run, 34-century, 55-averaging Test career with fewer double hundreds to his name than Jason Gillespie. Or Guy Whittall. Or Wasim Jaffer. Or various other less-than-luminous cricketing contemporaries. Including Mathew Sinclair and Jacques Rudolph.

• The Cape Town Classical Technician, with 261 Test scalps and best match figures of 9-92, is also third on the list of highest wicket-takers who have never taken 10 wickets in a match, behind Bob Willis (325) and Brett Lee (310). And therefore, on the list of all-time highest 10-wicket-match haulers, he lags behind, amongst others, Allan Border, Chris Pringle and Upul Chandana.

Conclusions:

1: Nothing. 2: If you judge players entirely on double-centuries and 10-wicket hauls, you may not present yourself with an entirely accurate view of their skills. 3: Kallis is an inferior cricketer to both Guy Whittall and Chris Pringle.

• Here’s another quirky one for you: Muralitharan has hit more Test sixes than Graham Gooch, Keith Miller, Martin Crowe or Wally Hammond. (Which possibly explains why Murali was signed by an IPL franchise, but none of the others were. Least of all Hammond, who, admittedly, is past his best, but would have been worth a few dollars in his pomp.)

• And Waqar Younis has a higher winning percentage as a Test captain than any of Clive Lloyd, Mike Brearley or Mark Taylor.

• That’s all, it’s bedtime now.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anon on February 22, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Bond > Steyn

  • Mal on February 21, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Steyn is soo cool. I reckon murali is the most awsm person to bowl spin from the Indian subcontinent.

  • Zulu on February 18, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    Steyn is maybe the first real fast bowler who focuses on line and lenght than anything else. And Kallis has as many centuries as some of the greasts of the game EVER. True, Akram has a 275* to his name but he hasnt scored half the runs that Kallis has.

    Wonderful compilation Zalty

  • Ozzi on February 17, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Ho Ho Ho....Follow up required after Steyn's 115 runs conceded in the last (2nd) test for how many....1!!! And that too in the first innings...

  • Aasai on February 17, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Kallis is classy player he never need to prove his test that too only by hitting double century. He is not playing for the country which depends mainly on batting but not on bowlers much, He is playing for very balanced team and he never need 200 too. In many tough tough conditions and situation he recovered SAF with his special classy awesome batting ability and his allrounder skill in test matches. It shame for those who compare his batting ability with Whittal or wasim akram or jaffer.

  • Rooboy on February 17, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    Fantastic stuff as usual. Hilarious and insightful ... good job Andy!

  • Arvind on February 15, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    Hey how about this one? Sehwag has called Bangladesh "ordinary" more often than the champion of "mental disintegration", Steve Waugh or his successor, Ricky Ponting.

    Ah well, Ponting gets even because he called playing with USA as "waste of time" more often than Sehwag.

  • Suhail wani on February 15, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    you ar so true in ur predictions.steyn jst got some sehwagging at kolkatta.but i still doubt your 0 for 350 will be true also

  • Prince6233 on February 15, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    No wonder that the comedy shows of western media sucks nowadays i mean when people in the western part of the globe seem to find such pathetic attempt to be sarcastic funny what else can you expect from them

    @Baldy Zaltzman with every passing days your columns are becoming quite booris do yourself a favour and retire from here maybe Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno would write better articles on cricket than you

  • CD on February 15, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Anti-Stats man!

  • Anon on February 22, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Bond > Steyn

  • Mal on February 21, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Steyn is soo cool. I reckon murali is the most awsm person to bowl spin from the Indian subcontinent.

  • Zulu on February 18, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    Steyn is maybe the first real fast bowler who focuses on line and lenght than anything else. And Kallis has as many centuries as some of the greasts of the game EVER. True, Akram has a 275* to his name but he hasnt scored half the runs that Kallis has.

    Wonderful compilation Zalty

  • Ozzi on February 17, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Ho Ho Ho....Follow up required after Steyn's 115 runs conceded in the last (2nd) test for how many....1!!! And that too in the first innings...

  • Aasai on February 17, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Kallis is classy player he never need to prove his test that too only by hitting double century. He is not playing for the country which depends mainly on batting but not on bowlers much, He is playing for very balanced team and he never need 200 too. In many tough tough conditions and situation he recovered SAF with his special classy awesome batting ability and his allrounder skill in test matches. It shame for those who compare his batting ability with Whittal or wasim akram or jaffer.

  • Rooboy on February 17, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    Fantastic stuff as usual. Hilarious and insightful ... good job Andy!

  • Arvind on February 15, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    Hey how about this one? Sehwag has called Bangladesh "ordinary" more often than the champion of "mental disintegration", Steve Waugh or his successor, Ricky Ponting.

    Ah well, Ponting gets even because he called playing with USA as "waste of time" more often than Sehwag.

  • Suhail wani on February 15, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    you ar so true in ur predictions.steyn jst got some sehwagging at kolkatta.but i still doubt your 0 for 350 will be true also

  • Prince6233 on February 15, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    No wonder that the comedy shows of western media sucks nowadays i mean when people in the western part of the globe seem to find such pathetic attempt to be sarcastic funny what else can you expect from them

    @Baldy Zaltzman with every passing days your columns are becoming quite booris do yourself a favour and retire from here maybe Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno would write better articles on cricket than you

  • CD on February 15, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Anti-Stats man!

  • Duncan on February 15, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Bl**dy Funny - well written. However, ask any bowler in the world whether they would like to bowl to Kallis or not - especially an ozzie? That 200 will haunt him I am afraid. Steyn - pure class!! Keep it going

  • MW on February 15, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Kallis is not even as good as Wasim Akram, who too has a double (275*) to his name :)

  • Cricket fa(u)n on February 15, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    Good analysis.Againt India any ordinary team looks like extra-ordinary when India having bad day in the office !!!!

  • Rav Balkish on February 15, 2010, 3:38 GMT

    Andy - Kolkata Test is going to be India's - Net result - SA played win - But we remain number-1

  • John on February 15, 2010, 2:30 GMT

    " 3: Kallis is an inferior cricketer to both Guy Whittall and Chris Pringle. "

    That just killed me, it did!! lol you are awesome man!!

  • Kartik on February 15, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    witty and classy, keep it going mate!

  • Pk on February 14, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    Oh, I forgot, Andy's got a chant going already: "Zalt-stat! Zalt-stat! Bring it on, Zalt-stat!"

  • Ross on February 14, 2010, 22:52 GMT

    Love the Kiwi flavours. Especially the Jacob Oram gag

  • pk on February 14, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    HILARIOUS--stats + humor, a deadly combination, the stats like bullets and humor the gunpowder... And I agree with Anthony, ha ha, poor S Rajesh--but keep it coming, Andy, S Rajesh can take it, and so can we.

    New slogan, after me everyone: "An-dee Stats! We want more An-dee Stats!"

  • GrizzlingBear on February 14, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    "Ex Essex exocet?" That has to be the finest tongue-twister since "Iqaqa laziqikaqika kwaze kwaqhawaka uqhoqhoqha" (which, as we all know, means "The skunk rolled down the hill and ruptured its larynx").

    Is it patented, or can we all use it?

  • A Jacques Kallis non-fan on February 14, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Good implication. There isn't such a thing as a Jacques Kallis fan. Not even his kid sister.

  • Steve on February 14, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    btw, I was referring to the list of "top fast bowling stats in Asia"

  • Steve on February 14, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Nothing to take away from Steyn, but not many else at the top of that list got to play against Bangladesh and take 14 wickets at 12.57 :)

  • Anurag Bhide on February 14, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    U dig out some simply stunning stats dude. murali has REALLY hit more sixes than gooch and hammond. he probably has the highest percentage of runs in sixes (this may be sumthing for u to ponder about in the future and come up with a few more inaccurate conclusions). I assume waqar's stat as the first turned out correct, and that is equally unbelievable.

    Yes dale steyn is certainly on the path to greatness. its sad that he started his career a bit late in life, else he would have had great stats in terms of magnitudes as well, to go with averages.

    one other man had it in him to be the man steyn is - shane bond. it is really tragic that he has squandered everything after promising so much. same goes for asif. i hate to see good talent go waste and still cry in my sleep over the unfulfilled dreams of vinod kambli ruling the world :P

  • hemant brar on February 14, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    love your column...and i guess this post is the best till now...so funny amazing true facts...

  • Vikas on February 14, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    I love test match! I love test match! I love test match! I love test match! I love test match! I love test match! I love test match!

  • Vatsan on February 14, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    The best was Murali's whamies are better than Gooch's? i would n't be suprised if Sujith Somasundar has better first class bowling average than Courtney Walsh !!!

  • MZ on February 14, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    Where have you been bro? Never heard you before. Nicely said, fun to read. Keep it gets going.

    From Sydney, Australia

  • satyanarayana on February 14, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    is it indias bowling effort or sa team taking things for granted and still in the hangover of the batting performance of first test. but once this indian team given a chance iam sure would grab it with both hands and i have a feeling sa is continuing their performace(?) in the critical stages like world cup semis, etc and can they gift india a chance of test win and no.1 spot in test cricket.

  • Tanmay Shukla on February 14, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Finally, some good prose to go with the cricket. Witty and crisp. I look forward to reading your articles.

  • Anthony on February 14, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Poor Rajesh, are u trying to do him out of a job? If so, you are making solid progress. Hilarious article. Come on Murali, twirl that freakish shoulder one last time in the WC and get more strange records.

  • Vinsing on February 14, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Now, in the list of average of bowlers who have taken 20 or more wickets in India, lie the two best known exponents of spin Shane Warne and Muralitharan at the very bottom.

    Conclusion: 1) Cricket is weird, playing in India is more weird. 2) Ravi Shastri is such a better bowler than Warne, and given his good voice, looks and womanising ways, he should be made the captain of Rajsthan Royals. 3) Good pace bowlers are better bet in India against India than even the best spin bowlers, except only if you are Hirwani, Shastri or Raju. 4) India is bad for pacemen, is a conspiracy for saving Indian batsmen. 5) That has been helped by Englishmen to save their skin after the disastrous tours in 90s.

  • Shamus on February 14, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Nicely summed up - though the trouble with stats is that they can be manipulated pretty much any way you want. Remeber some years back when a few surfers were bitten by a couple of rogue sharks?

    Not surprisingly they all drove Kombi's, and the conclusion? Yep, you got it - don't drive a Kombi because....

    Be nice if you would apply that incisive mind of yours to comparing some stats on our opening pair, it has been a while since we saw a decent opening stand.

    Keep the faith.

  • Amit Arora on February 14, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Sir,

    Very good analysis and article too.

    Amit Arora

  • Shamus on February 14, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Nicely summed up - though the trouble with stats is that they can be manipulated pretty much any way you want. Remeber some years back when a few surfers were bitten by a couple of rogue sharks?

    Not surprisingly they all drove Kombi's, and the conclusion? Yep, you got it - don't drive a Kombi because....

    Be nice if you would apply that incisive mind of yours to comparing some stats on our opening pair, it has been a while since we saw a decent opening stand.

    Keep the faith.

  • Derek on February 14, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    I'm pitching this up, despatch with it what punditry you will: Do Many Stain Prints 'Ntiny Colours

  • chucker on February 14, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    I never realised Brett Lee has no 10 fers till now. Some bowlers have better ODI records than test records but Lee takes the cake lol! Regardless of whether or not one backs SA they MUST be a Dale Steyn fan. Any self respecting cricket fan at least. I think that his performance in the 1st test confirmed that he is the best fast bowler of his generation and even if he does not take another wicket for the rest of his career, he is already touching the status of legend in my opinion. Well at least he must be in the conversation. He is a breath of fresh air to the game and his timing is brilliant since the game has just lost Shane Bond.

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  • chucker on February 14, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    I never realised Brett Lee has no 10 fers till now. Some bowlers have better ODI records than test records but Lee takes the cake lol! Regardless of whether or not one backs SA they MUST be a Dale Steyn fan. Any self respecting cricket fan at least. I think that his performance in the 1st test confirmed that he is the best fast bowler of his generation and even if he does not take another wicket for the rest of his career, he is already touching the status of legend in my opinion. Well at least he must be in the conversation. He is a breath of fresh air to the game and his timing is brilliant since the game has just lost Shane Bond.

  • Derek on February 14, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    I'm pitching this up, despatch with it what punditry you will: Do Many Stain Prints 'Ntiny Colours

  • Shamus on February 14, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Nicely summed up - though the trouble with stats is that they can be manipulated pretty much any way you want. Remeber some years back when a few surfers were bitten by a couple of rogue sharks?

    Not surprisingly they all drove Kombi's, and the conclusion? Yep, you got it - don't drive a Kombi because....

    Be nice if you would apply that incisive mind of yours to comparing some stats on our opening pair, it has been a while since we saw a decent opening stand.

    Keep the faith.

  • Amit Arora on February 14, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Sir,

    Very good analysis and article too.

    Amit Arora

  • Shamus on February 14, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Nicely summed up - though the trouble with stats is that they can be manipulated pretty much any way you want. Remeber some years back when a few surfers were bitten by a couple of rogue sharks?

    Not surprisingly they all drove Kombi's, and the conclusion? Yep, you got it - don't drive a Kombi because....

    Be nice if you would apply that incisive mind of yours to comparing some stats on our opening pair, it has been a while since we saw a decent opening stand.

    Keep the faith.

  • Vinsing on February 14, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Now, in the list of average of bowlers who have taken 20 or more wickets in India, lie the two best known exponents of spin Shane Warne and Muralitharan at the very bottom.

    Conclusion: 1) Cricket is weird, playing in India is more weird. 2) Ravi Shastri is such a better bowler than Warne, and given his good voice, looks and womanising ways, he should be made the captain of Rajsthan Royals. 3) Good pace bowlers are better bet in India against India than even the best spin bowlers, except only if you are Hirwani, Shastri or Raju. 4) India is bad for pacemen, is a conspiracy for saving Indian batsmen. 5) That has been helped by Englishmen to save their skin after the disastrous tours in 90s.

  • Anthony on February 14, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Poor Rajesh, are u trying to do him out of a job? If so, you are making solid progress. Hilarious article. Come on Murali, twirl that freakish shoulder one last time in the WC and get more strange records.

  • Tanmay Shukla on February 14, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Finally, some good prose to go with the cricket. Witty and crisp. I look forward to reading your articles.

  • satyanarayana on February 14, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    is it indias bowling effort or sa team taking things for granted and still in the hangover of the batting performance of first test. but once this indian team given a chance iam sure would grab it with both hands and i have a feeling sa is continuing their performace(?) in the critical stages like world cup semis, etc and can they gift india a chance of test win and no.1 spot in test cricket.

  • MZ on February 14, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    Where have you been bro? Never heard you before. Nicely said, fun to read. Keep it gets going.

    From Sydney, Australia