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January 21, 2011

Test batting analysis: by innings (Match and Team)

Anantha Narayanan
Don Bradman: highest percentage of team runs across three match innings  © Getty Images
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This analysis is based on a request by Alex who wanted me to do an analysis of the Test performances by innings. It is a straight-forward analysis based on raw numbers. Please take this as a break up of the Career performances into lower levels with no adjustment whatsoever. The innings status at entry, match conditions, match location, quality of bowling, quality of opposition team et al are relevant factors but have not been incorporated. Once I open one door, the draught will open all the other doors and I do not want to do that. There are a number of tables shown. These tables are provided with minimal comments. The top-20/10/5 entries are shown in the main article and the complete tables are made available for viewing/downloading.

First the Team innings tables. For the Team innings, the cut-off is 3000 career runs. In addition to the batting average and runs scored tables, I have one on the comparison ratio to the career batting average. This table will indicate how close or away from their career averages have the batsmen performed in different innings and will give an insight into whether the batsman has excelled in setting up or finish the matches. Both are important but we need this insight to get a proper handle on batsmen appreciation.

1.1. Team First innings (Match inns 1/2) analysis: Table ordered by Batting average

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Bradman D.G 50 2 4697 97.85 EdeC Weekes 48 0 3429 71.44 Sehwag V 87 1 5917 68.80 Barrington K.F 82 5 5069 65.83 Hutton L 79 4 4905 65.40 Hammond W.R 85 6 5070 64.18 Tendulkar S.R 174 9 10557 63.98 Lara B.C 130 1 8249 63.95 Hobbs J.B 60 1 3750 63.56 Jayawardene D.P.M.D 115 2 7127 63.07 Worrell F.M.M 51 5 2843 61.80 Waugh S.R 166 25 8558 60.70 Samaraweera T.T 61 7 3251 60.20 Sangakkara K.C 93 4 5345 60.06 Mohammad Yousuf 89 5 5043 60.04 Sobers G.St.A 93 7 5109 59.41 Ponting R.T 152 5 8723 59.34 Walcott C.L 44 1 2547 59.23 Sutcliffe H 53 2 3014 59.10 Dravid R 150 8 8329 58.65

This is an important classification since it removes the distinction between first/second and third/fourth innings. Bradman just about misses the 100 mark. Note Sehwag's near-70 average. Also how the two modern greats, Tendulkar and Lara are separated only in the second decimal point. Jayawardene is the other modern batsman to appear in the top-10.

1.2. Team First innings analysis: Table ordered by Runs scored

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Tendulkar S.R 174 9 10557 63.98 Ponting R.T 152 5 8723 59.34 Waugh S.R 166 25 8558 60.70 Dravid R 150 8 8329 58.65 Lara B.C 130 1 8249 63.95 Kallis J.H 145 9 7590 55.81 Jayawardene D.P.M.D 115 2 7127 63.07 Border A.R 154 13 6803 48.25 Javed Miandad 123 8 6504 56.56 Gavaskar S.M 124 3 6159 50.90

Not surprising to see Tendulkar with 10000+ runs atop the table which is dominated by batsmen of recent vintage.

1.3. Team First innings analysis: Table ordered by Ratio to Career average

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge   Ratio

Sehwag V 87 1 5917 68.80 128.8% McDonald C.C 47 0 2380 50.64 128.8% Zaheer Abbas 77 6 3977 56.01 125.0% Worrell F.M.M 51 5 2843 61.80 124.9% Atapattu M.S 88 5 4044 48.72 124.9% Hassett A.L 43 1 2435 57.98 124.5% Bell I.R 62 6 3043 54.34 123.1% EdeC Weekes 48 0 3429 71.44 121.9% Lara B.C 130 1 8249 63.95 120.9% Waugh S.R 166 25 8558 60.70 118.9% Adams J.C 53 9 2152 48.91 118.6% ... Amla H.M 51 1 2351 47.02 100.1% Boon D.C 107 4 4491 43.60 99.9% ... Redpath I.R 66 1 2503 38.51 88.6% Mitchell B 42 0 1817 43.26 88.5% Butcher B.F 44 2 1428 34.00 78.9%

It may not be a surprise to see that Sehwag tops the table in first innings performances, scoring at nearly 30% above his career average. Lara clocks in at over 20%. Butcher has had a very average first innings. Amla and Boon are either side of 100%.

2.1. Team Second innings (Match inns 3/4) analysis: Table ordered by Batting average

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Bradman D.G 30 8 2299 104.50 Kallis J.H 101 29 4357 60.51 Sobers G.St.A 67 14 2923 55.15 Border A.R 111 31 4371 54.64 Sangakkara K.C 63 8 2899 52.71 Hayden M.L 81 14 3473 51.84 Laxman V.V.S 78 18 3104 51.73 Gavaskar S.M 90 13 3963 51.47 Boycott G 85 20 3319 51.06 Redpath I.R 54 10 2234 50.77 Compton D.C.S 53 12 2020 49.27 Richards I.V.A 61 10 2495 48.92 Haynes D.L 86 24 3030 48.87 Younis Khan 53 8 2195 48.78 Hammond W.R 55 10 2179 48.42 Cook A.N 50 6 2108 47.91 Thorpe G.P 79 23 2659 47.48 Greenidge C.G 77 15 2923 47.15 Inzamam-ul-Haq 82 14 3194 46.97 Crowe M.D 56 11 2098 46.62

Bradman is back on top with a 100+ average. Kallis is the only other batsman with a 60+ average. Sangakkara, Hayden and Laxman are the other modern batsmen in the top-10.

2.2. Team Second innings analysis: Table ordered by Runs scored

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Border A.R 111 31 4371 54.64 Kallis J.H 101 29 4357 60.51 Tendulkar S.R 116 23 4135 44.46 Gavaskar S.M 90 13 3963 51.47 Gooch G.A 97 6 3898 42.84 Dravid R 109 21 3734 42.43 Lara B.C 102 5 3704 38.19 Ponting R.T 107 23 3636 43.29 Hayden M.L 81 14 3473 51.84 Stewart A.J 103 15 3462 39.34

The second innings averages of Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting are significantly lower than the rest of the top modern batsmen.

2.3. Team Second innings analysis: Table ordered by Ratio to Career average

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge   Ratio

Butcher B.F 34 4 1676 55.87 129.6% Manjrekar V.L 37 8 1341 46.24 118.2% Redpath I.R 54 10 2234 50.77 116.8% Mitchell B 38 9 1654 57.03 116.7% Haynes D.L 86 24 3030 48.87 115.5% Amarnath M 45 7 1865 49.08 115.5% May P.B.H 40 6 1795 52.79 112.9% Saleem Malik 57 16 1960 47.80 109.4% Laxman V.V.S 78 18 3104 51.73 109.3% Flower A 49 14 1972 56.34 109.3% ... Boon D.C 83 16 2931 43.75 100.2% Amla H.M 39 6 1546 46.85 99.8% ... Zaheer Abbas 47 5 1085 25.83 57.7% Sehwag V 63 5 1777 30.64 57.3% Hassett A.L 26 2 638 26.58 57.1%

We all know about Laxman's second innings exploits. We would expect him to perform above his career average. But who would have thought that Butcher would have a 30% higher performance level in the second innings or that Haynes would have a 15% higher level batting in the second innings. As expected Sehwag almost props up the table, having performed at 57% of his career levels. Zaheer Abbas performed at similar low levels. As mentioned already, Boon and Amla are almost at their career levels in both innings.

For the Match innings 1-2-3, the cut-off is 1000 runs and for the Match innings 4, the cut-off is 500 runs. I have also replaced the average comparison table with one on % of Team score.

3.1. Match First innings analysis: Table ordered by Batting average

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Bradman D.G 22 1 2387 113.67 Ponsford W.H 15 1 1148 82.00 Hassett A.L 22 1 1655 78.81 EdeC Weekes 27 0 2068 76.59 Samaraweera T.T 32 3 2126 73.31 Lara B.C 58 1 4000 70.18 Barrington K.F 42 3 2735 70.13 Tendulkar S.R 83 6 5397 70.09 Javed Miandad 60 6 3730 69.07 Leyland M 19 0 1256 66.11 Hutton L 35 1 2232 65.65 Kanhai R.B 44 0 2869 65.20 Walters K.D 37 2 2271 64.89 Walcott C.L 24 0 1541 64.21 Sehwag V 38 1 2330 62.97 Hammond W.R 46 3 2691 62.58 Jones D.M 31 1 1871 62.37 Ponting R.T 84 4 4986 62.33 Waugh S.R 94 16 4855 62.24 Worrell F.M.M 24 3 1302 62.00

Bradman's 110+ average is expected. What is significant is that the two modern greats, Lara and Tendulkar, average over 70. Possibly more relevant is the unfancied Samaraweera's 70+ average.

3.2. Match First innings analysis: Table ordered by Runs scored

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Tendulkar S.R 83 6 5397 70.09 Ponting R.T 84 4 4986 62.33 Waugh S.R 94 16 4855 62.24 Border A.R 87 9 4056 52.00 Lara B.C 58 1 4000 70.18 Dravid R 69 3 3921 59.41 Kallis J.H 70 4 3805 57.65 Javed Miandad 60 6 3730 69.07 Gooch G.A 69 0 3184 46.14 Langer J.L 55 2 3181 60.02

Almost totally filled by modern batsmen, indicating the high number of tests played by them.

3.3. Match First innings analysis: Table ordered by % of Team runs

Batsman             Inns No  Runs TeamRuns %Share

Bradman D.G 22 1 2387 9438 25.3% Lara B.C 58 1 4000 18111 22.1% EdeC Weekes 27 0 2068 9997 20.7% Hassett A.L 22 1 1655 8407 19.7% Ponsford W.H 15 1 1148 6117 18.8%

Bradman's 25+% is in line with his overall career % share while Lara has had a higher share than his career average figure of 20%.


4.1. Match Second innings analysis: Table ordered by Batting average

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Bradman D.G 28 1 2310 85.56 Sehwag V 49 0 3587 73.20 Jayawardene D.P.M.D 60 1 4124 69.90 Mohammad Yousuf 47 4 2983 69.37 Sangakkara K.C 46 3 2940 68.37 Hobbs J.B 37 0 2503 67.65 Hammond W.R 39 3 2379 66.08 Chappell G.S 38 2 2378 66.06 Hutton L 44 3 2673 65.20 Bell I.R 26 4 1428 64.91 EdeC Weekes 21 0 1361 64.81 Prince A.G 31 5 1642 63.15 Hussey M.E.K 22 1 1322 62.95 Worrell F.M.M 27 2 1541 61.64 Barrington K.F 40 2 2334 61.42 Sobers G.St.A 37 1 2211 61.42 Gavaskar S.M 63 3 3613 60.22 Gilchrist A.C 47 5 2501 59.55 Lara B.C 72 0 4249 59.01 Waugh S.R 72 9 3703 58.78

Bradman drops well below 100. Note how Bradman is followed with 70+- averages by four modern stalwarts, Sehwag, Jayawardene, Yousuf and Sangakkara.

4.2. Match Second innings analysis: Table ordered by Runs scored

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Tendulkar S.R 91 3 5160 58.64 Dravid R 81 5 4408 58.00 Lara B.C 72 0 4249 59.01 Jayawardene D.P.M.D 60 1 4124 69.90 Kallis J.H 75 5 3785 54.07 Ponting R.T 68 1 3737 55.78 Waugh S.R 72 9 3703 58.78 Gavaskar S.M 63 3 3613 60.22 Sehwag V 49 0 3587 73.20 Richards I.V.A 73 1 3514 48.81

Richards just about gets in the run aggregate table.

4.3. Match Second innings analysis: Table ordered by % of Team runs

Batsman             Inns No  Runs TeamRuns %Share

Bradman D.G 28 1 2310 10513 22.0% Hutton L 44 3 2673 12850 20.8% Hobbs J.B 37 0 2503 12585 19.9% Turner G.M 29 1 1588 8345 19.0% Hammond W.R 39 3 2379 12831 18.5%

5.1. Match Third innings analysis: Table ordered by Batting average

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Bradman D.G 15 3 1565 130.42 Kallis J.H 59 15 3128 71.09 May P.B.H 21 3 1225 68.06 Compton D.C.S 31 7 1565 65.21 Border A.R 76 21 3511 63.84 Martyn D.R 25 6 1203 63.32 Walcott C.L 21 4 1067 62.76 Butcher B.F 24 2 1352 61.45 Flower A 38 10 1704 60.86 Saleem Malik 36 11 1512 60.48 Armstrong W.W 27 4 1391 60.48 Amla H.M 22 4 1044 58.00 Sobers G.St.A 48 8 2316 57.90 Laxman V.V.S 47 9 2197 57.82 Sangakkara K.C 42 4 2187 57.55 Amiss D.L 20 2 1002 55.67 Nourse A.D 23 3 1105 55.25 Thorpe G.P 45 11 1870 55.00 Amarnath M 33 5 1525 54.46 Gambhir G 19 0 1033 54.37

Bradman, aided by 3 not out innings, averages a huge 130+, nearly double that of the next batsman in the table. These are the difficult innings and note how Kallis weighs in with an outstanding 70+ average. Martyn. Andy Flower, Amla and Laxman all have 57+ averages.

5.2. Match Third innings analysis: Table ordered by Runs scored

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Border A.R 76 21 3511 63.84 Kallis J.H 59 15 3128 71.09 Gooch G.A 68 2 2777 42.08 Tendulkar S.R 66 8 2764 47.66 Gavaskar S.M 57 4 2565 48.40 Dravid R 59 4 2334 42.44 Inzamam-ul-Haq 51 6 2327 51.71 Stewart A.J 64 9 2326 42.29 Sobers G.St.A 48 8 2316 57.90 Gower D.I 62 9 2287 43.15

Border and Kallis lead, indicating their propensity to score in these difficult innings.

5.3. Match Third innings analysis: Table ordered by % of Team runs

Batsman             Inns No  Runs TeamRuns %Share

Bradman D.G 15 3 1565 5170 30.3% May P.B.H 21 3 1225 5537 22.1% Kallis J.H 59 15 3128 15731 19.9% Nourse A.D 23 3 1105 5570 19.8% Sangakkara K.C 42 4 2187 11142 19.6%

Bradman has scored a phenomenal 30+%. We should not forget that many of the third innings would have been declared. Note Kallis's near 20% share.


6.1. Match Fourth innings analysis: Table ordered by Batting average

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Mitchell B 12 5 629 89.86 Stollmeyer J.B 10 4 518 86.33 Bradman D.G 15 5 734 73.40 Hussey M.E.K 12 4 505 63.12 Hunte C.C 13 4 549 61.00 Boycott G 34 13 1234 58.76 Gavaskar S.M 33 9 1398 58.25 Hobbs J.B 23 6 979 57.59 Younis Khan 20 6 806 57.57 Javed Miandad 22 7 816 54.40 Ponting R.T 39 14 1358 54.32 Sutcliffe H 15 3 644 53.67 Stackpole K.R 19 5 749 53.50 Greenidge C.G 38 12 1383 53.19 Smith G.C 31 6 1322 52.88 Hayden M.L 39 13 1288 49.54 Chappell G.S 25 11 688 49.14 Jayawardene D.P.M.D 27 9 879 48.83 Dexter E.R 16 5 535 48.64 Taylor R.L 11 0 532 48.36

Finally we have an average table in which Bradman has been relegated to third place. He averages a mere mortal level 73+. Mitchell of South Africa and Stollmeyer of West Indies lead the table with 80+ averages. Note Mike Hussey's high average.

6.2. Match Fourth innings analysis: Table ordered by Runs scored

Batsman             Inns No  Runs   Avge

Lara B.C 46 5 1440 35.12 Dravid R 50 17 1400 42.42 Gavaskar S.M 33 9 1398 58.25 Greenidge C.G 38 12 1383 53.19 Atherton M.A 39 6 1375 41.67 Tendulkar S.R 50 15 1371 39.17 Chanderpaul S 41 10 1364 44.00 Ponting R.T 39 14 1358 54.32 Smith G.C 31 6 1322 52.88 Hayden M.L 39 13 1288 49.54

Lara leads the modern list of batsmen. It must be remembered that West Indies, being considerably weak, probably played more fourth innings than the other teams. There were very few times when West Indies had the luxury of innings wins or 9-10 wicket wins.

6.3. Match Fourth innings analysis: Table ordered by % of Team runs

Batsman             Inns No  Runs TeamRuns %Share

Stollmeyer J.B 10 4 518 1419 36.5% Mitchell B 12 5 629 2312 27.2% Greenidge C.G 38 12 1383 5369 25.8% Bradman D.G 15 5 734 2901 25.3% Hunte C.C 13 4 549 2215 24.8%

Stollymeyer scored 36% of the runs. However the cut-off here is 500 runs.

As I have already explained, I have deliberately kept my comments to a minimal level since the article already has 18 tables. Readers can send in their own comments.

To view/down-load the complete Innings performance tables, please click on links given below. Each of these files has three tables.

Team First innings table: please click/right-click here.
Team Second innings table: please click/right-click here.

Match First innings table: please click/right-click here.
Match Second innings table: please click/right-click here.
Match Third innings table: please click/right-click here.
Match Fourth innings table: please click/right-click here.

RELATED LINKS

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 Tarun Rajan Mavely on (May 25, 2011, 20:17 GMT)

Gr8 post Ananth... a huge fan of ur blog... I have a point to add though. As you rightly pointed out Lara has very few not outs and when u compare 6 NO's of his to 32 odd for Sachin, it significantly skews the analysis.

I think one way to improve the analysis wud be add some virtual runs to a not out innings(this can be some sort of average)of the player, with will prevent this sort of "Bloating of career Averages" by "not out accumulation". [[ Tarun, somewhere there we have to bite the bullet. There are quite a few methods for doing this. The Extended BA which was my very first article in this blogspace three years back. Or treat only single-digit dismissals as outs or take a mid number between RpI and Batting average. But all of these have the basic problem of derived figures. Batting average is a very important basic measure and is accepted by all. People might be downplaying the importance of this measure since it does not provide them their expected results but no one can say that this not relevant. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Ramesh Kumar on (February 7, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

Alex,

I agree with the insights but that is post facto. If we look at Gambhir or AB across 4 ininngs and clssify them as one type and if these types change over the next years, then we may have a faulty conclusion now. These may change because they approach the every innings the same way. VVS may be a 4th innings champion but he will be trying the same way in other innings as well. I don't see any pattern in his game to conclude otherwise. If we can't see the pattern as it evolves, then concluding somebody's skill or greatness due to variations across innings may be wrong.Ambrose being a demon or tame--we could not associate innings wise skill as it evolved or it could be predicted for later matches. I think Ananth has presented a very interesting set of data. My view is that we need a study on innings pattern in tests before we can conclude on players leave alone assigning special attributes. That be be for someother easy(?) day for Ananth to take it up.

Ramesh Kumar

Posted by bks123 on (February 6, 2011, 19:35 GMT)

Really appreciate your efforts...Sometime I feel that after sometime people will forget the heroics of sachin and lara in the 90's and early 2000. Only their records and data analysis by others will remain. What is heart breaking is that people will soon forget the banners of 90's "Sachin is India, India is sachin". He gets out and you shut your TV set. Or on the street you ask your friend "Is sachin still there?" I don't know whether this has happened with any other cricketer in the history of cricket. Must have happened with Lara in WI. But data definitely won't show that. You score a century in the 1st innings in a 220 overall score. Then opposition scores 500 and you flop in the 4th innings under huge pressure to save the match and your 4th innings ave sinks...thats the case with Lara throughout his career and for sachin in 90's. No other cricketer in the world has felt the pressure and responsibility that Lara and Sachin (90's) had in their career. Hats off to them.

Posted by Alex on (February 6, 2011, 6:35 GMT)

Ramesh Kumar: Ideally, every batsman should try equally hard and should be equally good in all 4 innings. However, that is clearly not the case. E.g., Ambrose was a demon in the 4th (or whenever he got hit) but a relatively tame bowler in the 3rd. Innings-wise performance breakdown is a coarse filter and can be fine tuned by adding additional measures.

However, as it is, this article has given meaningful insights: e.g., among the Top 4, Ponting was the best in successful chases, Lara was the best at setting up matches, SRT was the most well-rounded across all types of innings, etc.

Posted by shrikanthk on (February 6, 2011, 4:44 GMT)

Wasp: Back in the old days (say 30 years ago), there weren't strong enough feedback mechanisms to incentivise superior umpiring performance. What I suggest is - please use UDRS by all means to evaluate umpires, but not to overrule/review decisions. Each umpire can have an ELO rating of sorts which will be negatively correlated with the number of wrong decisions. The elite umpires will be compensated handsomely and in accordance with their "ELO rating".

Every rational person responds to the right incentives. And I'm sure umpires are no exception whatever their nationality or sporting biases.

Right now, the institution of umpiring has been turned into a thankless and anachronistic job due to UDRS! There is practically no incentive whatsoever for anybody to pursue umpiring in the right earnest. Why would anyone want to stand in the sun for 8 hours especially when your performance hardly matters!

Posted by Yash Rungta on (February 6, 2011, 4:37 GMT)

@Bull: I request you to see the 2008 Sydney Test again.. At least 9-10 if not 11 decisions were against India. About 3 of them were I think grassed catches claimed by Aussies and 1 was given out by the Umpire Ponting raising his finger..

I understand that Clarke bowled well in the 2nd last over and India's tailenders batted very poorly.. but had the umpiring been correct, India would've won that match or at least drawn it..

In the recent Ind-SA series, about 2 decisions in the 2nd and 3rd match went against SA but if you see the ODIs, about 3-4 decisions went against India(barring Botha's middle of the bat shot given as lbw..well not quite middle..) You won't notice those if you see the wicket's package because most of them were lbws not given..

I respect Bucknor as a person.. its just that he made a lot of mistakes.. At the end of the career, he just feared people giving out lbw just because when you give a batsmen out wrongly, it attracts a lot of criticism but not otherwise..

Posted by Waspsting on (February 5, 2011, 15:16 GMT)

of the media's reaction.

The Indian media amuses me (thats just me, I understand what Ananth means by "nauseating"). For example, after the 1st South Africa test, I don't think Charu Sharma went 3 sentences without mentioning the phrase "World's number one side".

But as far as I can see, the alternative to being nauseating is to let down your teams chances.

If the Pakistani media had drunk in Inzamam-Ul-Haq the way the Indians did Tendulkar, or the world did Lara... I doubt very SERIOUSLY if he would have been given out on marginal decisions half as often as he was.

Cricket is dog-eat -dog. Inflammatory or not, this is how it is, and has a LONG HISTORY of being.

England and Australia would "complain" about bouncers or umpiring, and their players showed "aggression" or "Frustration". Pakistan and India would "whine" about the same things, and be fined their match fee.

If the media has to be disgustingly biased in order to redress some of this stuff, I say so be it.

Posted by Waspsting on (February 5, 2011, 15:04 GMT)

should have been out LBW to Wasim 6-7 times every time he took first strike, wasn't and went on to pile on the runs.

I don't want to see a game I love decided by things like this. If glorious uncertainty was the appeal, I'd follow roulette instead.

Back to the media. If the media kicks up a fuss, it pressures umpires to be careful, because the consequences of messing up are lifted. And it works.

Bangladesh has had more decisions go against them then i would have thought possible. their media does nothing. Australia and India are on the other side - their media is terrible.

Wasim and Waqar had more LBW appeals wrongly turned down than anybody, and Inzamam was given out LBW more often than anyone of comparable class (Saqlain Mushtaq even worse). Why? Because there wasn't pressure NOT to be careful - Pakistan (and world) media didn't make a fuss.

They wouldn't DARE give Lara or Tendulkar out when in doubt because (continued)

Posted by Waspsting on (February 5, 2011, 14:55 GMT)

Must respectfully disagree with Shrikanthk and Ananth. I want to see the RIGHT decisions made - thats all - I could care less about the umpire as a romantic figure. [[ WS, You are confusing me with some one else. I positively WANT UDRS to be introduced. Ananth: ]]

WG Grace, after being given out, once told the umpire - "you see the crowd? they've come to watch me bat, not to watch thee umpire". Amusing as that is - would anyone disagree?

Ananth might remember the "dark ages" - when every country's umpires bar (possibly) England would cheat like there was no tomorrow for their team.

I've seen Javed Miandad given out caught behind in Australia when the ball missed the bat by about a foot, and only the gulley fielder made a funny noise for an appeal. I've seen Inzamam given out LBW from right arm over the wicket bowler to an off cutter and you could see the 3 stumps to HIS RIGHT (and that was a neutral umpire, if memory serves me correctly). I've seen Pakistan bowl England out when every ball of the last session should have been a no-ball. Player of the series Michael Slater (cont)

Posted by Ramesh Kumar on (February 5, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

Ananth,

Back on the main topic--I have been following cricket from early 70s. If I see the match as it evolves, I am not able to see any pattern or logic of batsmen's propensity to score more in one of the four innings. I see all batsmen try to score in every innings and they score or fail randomly. The method of dismissal is also random and I am not able to conclude on batsmen's skill based on state of match or pitch conditions. I am limiting my observation to some of the all time greats. So I am not able to match cricketing sense to the possible inferences from your data. One possible option is to look at emerging players and their figures and observe the progression over the next two years and see whether they really fall into any pattern. [[ Ramesh Much as I want to continue the Test match related work, my time for the next few weeks is going to be on ODIs and WC. I will probably do the piece on Team Strengths, that is all. 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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