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This is the follow-up article to the one analysing the batsmen performance in conditions related to bowler quality and pitch types. There were a number of very useful suggestions and after a careful study some of these have been implemented. There have been very sound arguments also that there is an element of double-counting and this method, in general, favours batsmen with very good bowling attacks backing them. This point is accepted. However it would be impossible for me to implement these radical suggestions without a lot of work, including quite a bit of validation. Hence I have gone ahead with the current method, modified suitably. The elimination of the double-counting and the development of a single evaluation factor will be done later.
Meanwhile let us look at the current method, which, double-counting notwithstanding, offers many insights. The modifications are summarized below.
1. Take the top-7(or fewer) partnerships rather than individual scores. This was suggested by Arjun again. The partnerships basis might very well end with similar numbers. However it seems to smoothen the outlier/out performer situation. If 320 for 2 was reached through 200, 50, 40 and 30, the 200 seems clearly to be a way-out performance and brings some attendant concerns. However in whichever way the partnerships have been formed, 100/100/120 or 150/20/150, the partnerships clearly convey the comfort feelings for distinct PAIRS of batsmen, rather than single batsman. This will obviate, to a great extent, the need to take off outliers.
3. However I do not want to miss out the low-3 scores, suggested by Anshu, since that normalizes the values. However this time I will take the individual scores since these represent clear failures. But I will be tougher and limit these failures to top-6 rather than top-7 since the top-6, barring stray no.7 guys like Gilchrist, (pre-WC-Win) Dhoni, Vettori et al, represent the real batsmen.
4. I will consider varying numbers for both these measures. Otherwise the impact will go out of proportion. The table is given below.
- Upto 5 innings in match: 3 + 2. - 6 to 10 innings: 4 + 2. - 11 to 20 innings: 5 + 3. - 21 to 29 innings: 6 + 3. - 30 to 44 innings: 7 + 3.
5. The final Bowler-Pitch index will be derived as a Geometric Mean (GM) of the BQI and RSI values. Both are basically runs. The GM has many benefits. It is ALWAYS a number between the smaller and arithmetic mean values. As the difference between the two numbers increases, it moves closer to the smaller number. And we never get out-of-the-range values.
6. Probably one mistake I made was to combine the first three groups as tough super groups. This set the cat amongst the pigeons. Richards' 82% was way out and readers spent quite some time on that. The first two groups are fine: they are really tough conditions. However the third one is the middle group in which many many runs are scored and should not have been combined with the first two groups. Hence I now have three super groups. The first one is the really tough one (5-4), the second one, the middle group (3) and the third one the easiest to bat against (2-1).
7. I have compiled the values for innings played and the batting averages for each group and have shown these important values, as asked for by many readers.
8. I am not going to give the individual group values. There is too much data. I will give only the summaries by the three super groups.
9. I have done the run-weighted BPI value for each batsman. However I will only show two tables of extreme values of this measure. The similarity of the numbers will warrant some obvious comments.
10. Look at the tough groups numbers carefully. The % of career score only indicates that the batsman faced tough conditions and made some runs on these more often in his career than a more fortunate peer. However an average of above 40 in the revised tough groups is something to sit up and take notice.
11.I have also given a table of selected innings for the top-3 groups. These are not presented as the best innings ever played. However these were made in very tough conditions, bowler-pitch wise. Some of these might be in this table because the bowlers behind the concerned batsmen were outstanding. But they certainly were special innings.
12.Finally I am going to present these tables with minimal comments. My hands are protesting.
I am not going to do too much elaboration but will allow the readers to do their own interpretations. Now that the innings and batting averages are shown some points will be obvious.
1. It can be seen that batsmen like Botham, Wood, May et al have the tough super group % as 40+. However it can also be seen that they have all played around 50% of their innings in these groups.
2. There was a comment that batsmen from same teams had similar numbers. This is effectively disproved now. Ponting is 9.8%, Mark Waugh is 28.2%, Martyn 23.4%, Clarke 16.5% and Gilchrist 16.9%. Haynes 29.9%, Greenidge 24.1% and Lloyd 26.1%. Jayawardene is 16.9% and Sangakkara is 11.8%, with similar averages. And so on.
3. Clarke and Gilchrist have tough group averages exceeding 40. The best is McDonald/Bradman with 53+ and R.Mclean with 50+.
4. Kumble's tough group % is 22+ and Dravid's 11.7%. This does not mean anything. However the averages are 13.4 and 31.7. So read and interpret these numbers with care.
5. Slice and dice in whichever way you want to, Hammond props up the tables.
These are the top batsmen based on the run-weighted BPI values. McLean and Ramprakash lead the field. Most batsmen are in the 1950s-80s period.No modern batsman figures in the top-20. No sub-continental batsman is in the top-20. They all have 45+ values. A few unfancied batsmen like Ramprakash, Wood, Hughes, Howarth have made into this list.
This is the other end. Many modern batsmen and batsmen from the 1920s figure here. Somehow Ames has managed to push Hammond off the last place. Cook and Trott are the leading batsmen of today who have found their place here. Most of today's top batsmen are around the 50 mark.
I am sure there would be adverse comments on this table. Individual innings will be commented upon saying they do not belong here. Possibly they do not. However these were very good innings played, whose inclusion here is based on the parameters set. Any list which includes Gooch's 154, Lara's 223/213, Hughes' 100, Bradman's 212/270/304, Greenidge's 213, Graeme Pollock's 274, Dravid's 270, Jayasuriya's 253 et al cannot really be a bad table. These innings would fill almost anyone's list of top-25 or so innings. The selection criteria is a composite one involving Runs, BPI group and BPI value.
To download/view the document containing the Bowler-Pitch-Index values for 7340 innings, please click/right-click here.
To download/view the document containing the Player tables for selected 261 batsmen tables please click/right-click here.
Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systemsFeeds: Anantha Narayanan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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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.