January 27, 2012

Batsman analysis by bowler-pitch quality - part 2

Part two of the study to analyse the careers of Test batsmen by bowling quality and type of pitches

Ian Botham scored majority of his runs against top-quality bowling attacks © Getty Images

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.

1. Player wise distribution table by super groups

BatsmanCtyCareerCareerBatting ToughGrps(5-4) MiddleGrp(3) EasyGrps(2-1)
  InnsRunsAvge InnsRunsAvge% InnsRunsAvge% InnsRunsAvge%
Tendulkar S.R Ind3091543255.71 58168429.5410.9%117552254.1435.8%1348226 69.7153.3%
Dravid R Ind2841326252.63 52155431.7111.7%106392439.6429.6%1267784 74.8558.7%
Ponting R.T Aus2741291552.50 47126628.13 9.8%104461947.1335.8%1237030 68.2554.4%
Kallis J.H Saf2541226057.02 70233737.1019.1% 94391048.8831.9% 906013 83.5149.0%
Lara B.C Win2321195352.89 91346238.9029.0% 76305241.8125.5% 655439 84.9845.5%
Border A.R Aus2651117450.56 90285838.6225.6%107438647.1639.3% 683930 72.7835.2%
Waugh S.R Aus2601092751.06 74220334.9720.2% 94407150.2637.3% 924653 66.4742.6%
Gavaskar S.M Ind2141012251.12 61217738.1921.5% 81345943.7834.2% 724486 72.3544.3%
Jayawardene M Slk2131008950.44 52170734.1416.9% 68262641.0326.0% 935756 66.9357.1%
Chanderpaul S Win234 970949.28 69214735.2022.1% 91350145.4736.1% 744061 68.8341.8%
Sangakkara K.C Slk179 934755.97 36110732.5611.8% 62300551.8132.1% 815235 69.8056.0%
Gooch G.A Eng215 890042.58 97325034.5736.5% 71297143.0633.4% 472679 58.2430.1%
Javed Miandad Pak189 883252.57 63217636.2724.6% 67277848.7431.5% 593878 76.0443.9%
Inzamam-ul-Haq Pak200 883049.61 48141232.0916.0% 82364247.3041.2% 703776 66.2542.8%
Laxman V.V.S Ind223 872846.18 40105827.8412.1% 82289440.1933.2%1014776 60.4654.7%
Hayden M.L Aus184 862650.74 30106435.4712.3% 72297844.4534.5% 824584 62.7953.1%
Richards I.V.A Win182 854050.24 57237043.0927.8% 78354747.9341.5% 472623 63.9830.7%
Stewart A.J Eng235 846539.56 97271630.5232.1% 86326241.2938.5% 522487 54.0729.4%
Gower D.I Eng204 823144.25 85272034.0033.0% 75313245.3938.1% 442379 64.3028.9%
Boycott G Eng193 811447.73 62192533.7723.7% 84402352.9349.6% 472166 58.5426.7%
Sehwag V Ind165 809850.93 30 74024.67 9.1% 49185940.4123.0% 865499 66.2567.9%
Sobers G.St.A Win160 803257.78 43136232.4317.0% 58275754.0634.3% 593913 85.0748.7%
Waugh M.E Aus209 802941.82 62226140.3828.2% 84287936.9135.9% 632889 49.8136.0%
Smith G.C Saf168 776149.43 32101532.7413.1% 60238741.8830.8% 764359 63.1756.2%
Atherton M.A Eng212 772837.70 96255526.8933.1% 79320242.6941.4% 371971 56.3125.5%
Langer J.L Aus182 769645.27 44 95321.6612.4% 63317254.6941.2% 753571 52.5146.4%
Cowdrey M.C Eng188 762444.07 73230633.4230.2% 79339248.4644.5% 361926 56.6525.3%
Greenidge C.G Win185 755844.72 58182432.0024.1% 77323946.2742.9% 502495 59.4033.0%
Mohammad Yousuf Pak156 753052.29 42117530.1315.6% 52194138.0625.8% 624414 81.7458.6%
Taylor M.A Aus186 752543.50 53150930.8020.1% 73294143.2539.1% 603075 54.9140.9%
Lloyd C.H Win175 751546.68 53196339.2626.1% 68277246.9836.9% 542780 53.4637.0%
Haynes D.L Win202 748742.30 66224235.5929.9% 85286039.7238.2% 512385 56.7931.9%
Boon D.C Aus190 742243.66 54174734.9423.5% 69222235.8429.9% 673453 59.5346.5%
Kirsten G Saf176 728945.27 62151226.0720.7% 65280246.7038.4% 492975 69.1940.8%
Hammond W.R Eng140 724958.46 14 31926.58 4.4% 33121439.1616.7% 935716 70.5778.9%
Ganguly S.C Ind188 721242.18 39 93727.5613.0% 73258538.0135.8% 763690 53.4851.2%
Fleming S.P Nzl189 717240.07 64147123.7320.5% 83375748.1752.4% 421944 49.8527.1%
Chappell G.S Aus151 711053.86 59203738.4328.6% 54246152.3634.6% 382612 81.6236.7%
Bradman D.G Aus 80 699699.94 11 53753.70 7.7% 23227598.9132.5% 464184113.0859.8%
Flower A Zim112 479451.55 47126330.0726.3% 35131345.2827.4% 302218100.8246.3%

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.

2. Top batsmen by run-weighted BQI values

McLean R.A Saf 212030.2941.2
Ramprakash M.R Eng 235027.3341.5
Howarth G.P Nzl 253132.4542.0
McDonald C.C Aus 310739.3343.0
Wood G.M Aus 337431.8343.0
Waite J.H.B Saf 240530.4443.2
Botham I.T Eng 520033.5543.4
Bailey T.E Eng 229029.7443.5
Hughes K.J Aus 441537.4243.6
Greig A.W Eng 359940.4443.6
Hudson A.C Saf 200733.4543.6
Benaud R Aus 220124.4643.7
Goddard T.L Saf 251634.4743.8
Wasim Raja Pak 282136.1743.8
Coney J.V Nzl 266837.5843.8
Gregory S.E Aus 228224.5443.9
Randall D.W Eng 247033.3844.0
May P.B.H Eng 453746.7744.1
Cronje W.J Saf 371436.4144.1
Rhodes J.N Saf 253235.6644.1

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.

3. Bottom batsmen by run-weighted BQI values

Cook A.N Eng 587648.9752.9
Trott I.J.L Eng 203156.4253.4
Ponsford W.H Aus 212248.2353.6
Jones A.H Nzl 292244.2753.8
Washbrook C Eng 256942.8254.1
Headley G.A Win 219060.8354.2
Hendren E.H Eng 352547.6454.2
Edrich W.J Eng 244040.0055.2
Hammond W.R Eng 724958.4655.4
Ames L.E.G Eng 243440.5757.2

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.

4. Selected innings which crossed the BPI zone of excellence

MtNoYearBatsmanForVsBatPosRunsBPI GrpBPIResult
7881976Amiss D.L EngIndOP179 534.9Won
231886Shrewsbury A EngAus3164 535.0Won
3611952Endean W.R SafAus3162 535.0Won
3311951Simpson R.T EngAus3156 533.6Won
11711991Gooch G.A EngWinOP154 532.4Won
451895Graham H AusEng5105 529.1Won
9151981Hughes K.J AusWin5100 528.9Won
8271978Sadiq Mohammad PakEng2 97 526.6Drawn
451895Trott A.E AusEng9 85 529.1Won
8901980Wasim Raja PakWin6 77 529.1Drawn
10561986Greenidge C.G WinPak1 75 526.1Won
17732005Lara B.C WinAus4226 440.6Lost
14511999Lara B.C WinAus4213 441.4Won
10701987Greenidge C.G WinNzlOP213 440.8Won
2581937Bradman D.G AusEng3212 441.6Won
421894Gregory S.E AusEng6201 438.8Lost
5931965Edrich J.H EngNzlOP310 349.2Won
2361934Bradman D.G AusEng5304 348.2Drawn
16412003Fleming S.P NzlSlk3274 347.3Drawn
6711970Pollock R.G SafAus4274 347.5Won
16972004Dravid R IndPak3270 348.7Won
2571937Bradman D.G AusEng7270 344.2Won
17432005Younis Khan PakInd3267 348.3Won
13581997Young B.A NzlSlkOP267 349.2Won
12711994Houghton D.LZimSlk4266 347.8Drawn
18002006Fleming S.P NzlSaf3262 349.0Drawn
17162004Jayasuriya S.T SlkPakOP253 343.8Won
8451979Bacchus S.F.A.FWinInd2250 349.6Drawn

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 systems