February 13, 2012

ODIs during 2011: an alternate look

A detailed analysis of team and individual performances in ODIs in 2011
30

Pakistan had the best success percentage in 2011 winning 75% of their matches © AFP

This follows the review of the 2011 Tests. This will mostly be on Teams and important measures during the year, the 5-years before 2011 and the 40 years before. I will not do any individual innings listings since people immediately come out with objections and we lose the thread. All of us get side-tracked.

First a single paragraph each on the batting, bowling and team performances of 2011.


The historic innings of the year was Virender Sehwag's 219. After all, a world record score was overtaken. If Sehwag had played on till the end of innings, maybe 250 would have been crossed. The most powerful batting display was by Shane Watson during his 185 (in 96 balls) against Bangladesh. 150 runs in boundaries tells the story. If Bangladesh had scored another 30 runs he would have been the batsman to overtake Sachin Tendulkar. The most significant innings of the year was Gautam Gambhir's 97. Without that there was no win for India. MS Dhoni played an equally important innings but Gambhir's was more significant. 31 for 2 was a potentially losing situation while 114 for 3 was at least on an even keel. The poignant innings of the year were the two centuries by two great batsmen in their last World Cup matches. That they both lost the battle to India's fighting skills adds to the poignancy. I refer to Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardene.

This was not a great year for bowling performances. Probably the most significant was Wahab Riaz's five wicket haul in the WC semi-final. Four of these were those of top order batsmen. He did his task admirably but his batsmen let him down. An equally good performance was that of Woakes who captured 6 wickets against Australia. The only Indian bowler to capture 5 wickets was Yuvraj Singh, remembering to say our prayers for his speedy recovery and to wear the blue jersey again, against Ireland: an important effort in a tight match. However the bowler of the year was Shahid Afridi who had four 5-wicket hauls, followed by Lasith Malinga, with three.

In my anxiety to do as little of individual performances as possible, I missed, inarguably, the individual performance of the year. It required Boll, an Australian, to point out this lapse. My apologies to Yuvraj and all his supporters. I had referred to him only in passing re the 5-wkt haul against Ireland. Yuvraj's 350+ runs and 15 wickets during the World Cup was the most outstabding individual performance of the year and couple of years before and possibly after. Thanks, Boll.

The above are partly subjective and the readers are welcome to come out with their significant performances.

India were the deserving WC winners. They were the most resilient and balanced of all teams. In all three knock-out matches there were many moments when they looked like slipping but the hour cometh and the men cometh. Almost all the players contributed. That week in spring, India was the team and held their nerve to win a deserved WC. The rest of the year was not so great but the WC win was very well-earned. India had done this on-the-brink performances three times during 2011, chronicled elsewhere. As readers are aware of, I am the last person to blindly support India, but deserved credit must be given whole-heartedly where it is due, for the very significant performances during those six weeks in 2011.

As single matches go, the Sri Lankan demolition of England by 10 wickets in the WC quarter-final and Australia's blitz, led by Watson, at 8-plus runs per over against Bangladesh were the most devastating of the year. As far as the match of the year is concerned there were a few 300s chased comfortably, 200s chased with difficulty, sub-200 totals defended and so on. However the match of the year has to be Ireland's brave and successful chase of England's 300-plus total. Thinking of this match, looks like the collective brains of the IPL franchisees were left behind outside the hotel. How else can anyone explain no one picking up Kevin O'Brien for 50000 dollars?

1. A look at performance of teams during 2011 (with and without weight for WC)

TeamODIsWonNRLostMaxPtsTeam PtsPerformance %WCPtsPerf % (incl WC)
 
Pakistan3224176452.081.3%284.4%
India34213106843.263.5%1078.2%
Australia2518165037.474.8%176.8%
South Africa159063017.658.7%162.0%
New Zealand179173419.055.9%261.8%
Sri Lanka28142125628.851.4%560.4%
England30113166024.240.3%142.0%
West Indies28101175621.037.5%139.3%
Zimbabwe1760113411.232.9%032.9%
Ireland12408247.631.7%031.7%
Scotland4301205.829.0%029.0%
Bangladesh2060144011.629.0%029.0%
Afghanistan2200204.422.0%022.0%
Netherlands10208203.618.0%018.0%
Canada10109202.010.0%010.0%
Kenya8008200.00.0%00.0%

This is the traditional 2-1-0 method of evaluating team performance. I have done this to provide a complete analysis. There is no weight for WC matches in the first analysis segment. I have used the 2-1-0 values for the neutral matches and weighed the home matches down by 10% and the away matches upwards by 10%. The relative strengths of the teams is not taken into account since the complexity is not worth it. If I were to do a complete Team Ratings work then the team strengths will come into the equation.

Pakistan were the best team by a mile, with a performance measure of 81.3%. They had a great year despite playing ALL their matches away from home. They compiled an excellent record of 75% wins. Australia were nearly as good, winning 18 of their 25 matches. Their performance measure was a very creditable 74.8%. India were just about average, clocking in at 63.5%. A quixotic scheduling meant that India played their last 20 matches against West Indies and England compiling a not-so-great 12-2-6 record. South Africa was below average with 58.7%. New Zealand and Sri Lanka got a 50-plus value. England and West Indies were below-par, clocking at below 50%.

The additional evaluation is the more relevant table in that the World Cup results are incorporated. After all the World Cup is a quadrennial event and is the most important event in cricketing calendar. World Cup wins have to be recognized. I have used a simple methodology. I have added 10/5/2/1 points respectively to the winner/runner-up/losing semi-finalists/losing quarter-finalists. This seems very fair and recognizes the importance of World Cup performances. May be subjective, but no one should have any complaints. Anyhow if a reader wants, he can put in his own weight for the World Cup and re-do the tables. India's win, and the 10 points they secured, pushed them into the second place, ahead of Australia. Pakistan's overall performance was so good that they managed to retain their top place. On balance, I would place Pakistan and India as the teams of the year. Pakistan had a great year and India won the World Cup. How I wish these two teams revive their wonderful rivalry: if required, on the desert grounds, hopefully with an aura of brotherhood than acrimony (Sriram's words).

Now for a series of tables analysing key figures for the teams. This would give us a good insight into why certain teams performed very well. Remember that Pakistan, India and Australia are the top three teams. Sri Lanka, despite their WC Final, had a very indifferent year. First a composite table looking at RpO (Runs per Over), RpW (Runs per Wicket) and BpW (Balls per Wicket) values.

2. Comparisons of own and other teams' RpO, RpW and BpW

TeamRpO  RpW  BpW  
 ForVsDiffForVsDiffForVsDiff
 
Australia5.474.910.5637.728.19.634.341.47.0
New Zealand5.464.990.4738.127.111.032.641.89.3
Pakistan4.874.500.3731.624.27.332.338.96.6
India5.515.170.3435.929.66.334.339.04.7
Sri Lanka5.044.830.2131.427.34.233.837.43.6
Ireland5.325.110.2128.031.3-3.336.731.5-5.2
England5.415.52-0.1130.336.0-5.739.133.6-5.5
West Indies4.844.98-0.1428.730.9-2.237.235.5-1.7
Zimbabwe4.785.02-0.2428.538.7-10.246.235.8-10.4
Bangladesh4.395.06-0.6624.331.9-7.637.833.1-4.7
Netherlands4.465.29-0.8322.342.2-19.947.930.0-17.9
Canada4.275.76-1.5019.433.2-13.834.527.3-7.2
Below 10 ODIs         
Afghanistan6.085.600.4820.219.11.120.519.9-0.6
Scotland4.945.15-0.2131.130.11.035.137.92.7
Kenya3.935.66-1.7318.444.9-26.547.628.1-19.5

First the RpO values. I have considered this as more important than the RpW and BpW figures since this is what ultimately leads to an ODI win. The table is ordered on the RpO differential. Australia leads the table with a healthy RpO differential of 0.56. This has led to their excellent 75% performance. New Zealand were next with 0.47. Their overall numbers are quite good and it is surprising that they do not have better results. Pakistan has a slightly lower RpO differential of 0.37. However it must be noted that this figure is on somewhat lower RpO values, they having played many matches with lower average scores. Their differential is 7.6% as against New Zealand's 8.6%. India has a RpO differential of 0.34. Sri Lanka and Ireland have the same RpO differential of 0.21, indicating the great year Ireland had. As expected England and West Indies have negative RpO differentials.

The other comparison I have made is between own RpW and RpW. The RpW differentials show similar weights as the RpO differentials. New Zealand leads with a differential of 11.6 and Australia and Pakistan follow with 9.6 and 7.3 respectively. This is repeated in the BpW figures. New Zealand again leads with 9.3 and Australia and Pakistan follow with 7.0 and 6.6.

3. Analysis of boundaries hit

TeamODIsTeam Runs4s hit4s/match6s hit6s/match4s6s %
 
Ireland12274125321.1494.147.60%
Zimbabwe17379235020.6533.145.30%
West Indies28601744115.81475.244.00%
New Zealand17369129817.5724.244.00%
Canada10180515515.5282.843.70%
Australia25577448419.4913.643.00%
India34846273721.71133.342.90%
Netherlands10198715715.7323.241.30%
Pakistan32653355217.2752.340.70%
Sri Lanka28609653819.2521.940.40%
England30697756718.9692.338.40%
Bangladesh20376030615.3291.437.20%
South Africa15363428018.7372.536.90%
Below 10 ODIs       
Afghanistan23632914.5136.553.40%
Scotland48416015143.538.50%
Kenya8132410312.9151.937.90%

This is an analysis of the boundaries hit by teams during 2011. At the end I have compared all these key measures for the year 2011, the previous decade and the 40-year period. Those values can be compare to these. This table is ordered by boundaries as % of team runs.

We are again in for a surprise. Ireland leads the table having hit 47.6% of their team runs in boundaries. The second is another surprise. Zimbabwe clocks with 45.3%. The surprises continue with West Indies and New Zealand at 44.0% and Canada with 43.7%. Then come the big guns. Australia has cored 43.7% and India and Pakistan have both got above 40%. What is South Africa doing at the lower reaches of the table at 36.9%.

There are two other minor measures. The fours per match and sixes per match. India leads the fours measure with 21.7 and Ireland closely follows with 21.1 and Zimbabwe with 20.6. These are the only teams clocking above 20. West Indies lead the sixes column with 5.7 per match. They, led by Gayle, Pollard and Russell crossed the ropes a huge 147 times. New Zealand and Ireland follow next with 4.2 and 4.1. Sri Lanka's lack of heavy hitters is shown by the relatively low 1.9 per match.

4. Analysis of Extras conceded and Maidens bowled

TeamODIsVsRunsExtrasExtras/300ballsOversMaidensMaidens %
 
India3479532258.51537.4674.36%
Canada102522738.7437.3163.66%
Netherlands102450738.9463.2204.32%
Bangladesh2042371309.2838.0465.49%
Ireland122846909.5557.1193.41%
Zimbabwe17382813410.5762.0334.33%
New Zealand17360112710.6721.5324.43%
South Africa15282510411.0619.0315.01%
West Indies28571321211.11148.2443.83%
England30752227911.11361.4543.97%
Sri Lanka28553221711.81145.1585.06%
Australia25559925613.71139.1363.16%
Pakistan32603131315.61340.1886.57%
Below 10 ODIs       
Afghanistan2363119.164.523.08%
Scotland41024236.7199.084.02%
Kenya8175111820.2309.1165.18%

This is an analysis of the teams' performances on field. Two measures have been analyzed. The first is a look at the extras conceded by the team. To be consistent with the overall summary analysis, I have determined the number of Extras conceded by the team per 300 balls, the expected innings size. India has shown that they are the most disciplined bowling attack and wicket-keeping competency with a low Extras per 300 balls of 8.5. Then come a series of lower-tiered teams with Extras per 300 balls values of 10 or less. The lower half of the teams has the more fancied teams. The last two places are occupied by Australia and Pakistan, with 13.7 and 15.6 extras per 300 balls. Pakistan's lack of discipline might very well be intentional. Readers would remember the instructions Imran gave to Wasim Akram in 1992. Go for the wickets: don't bother about the extras.

On the right hand side of the table I have the maidens bowled and what % these comprise out of the overs bowled by the team. Pakistan is the leader with 6.57% of their overs as maidens: worked out an average of more than 3 maidens per match. Bangladesh, with their accurate spinners, come in next with 5.5%. Sri Lanka, with a similar bowling combination, is next with around 5.1%. South Africa has a maidens % above 5. Amongst the top teams, Australia has the lowest maidens % of 3.16%. Maybe their attacking field placements or the pace-dominant attacks.

5. An analysis of wins achieved by Teams during 2011

TeamWins in 2011VeryCloseClose winsEasy winsHuge wins Batting firstChasing
 
Pakistan2425141 1113
India2132142 813
Australia1812140 810
Sri Lanka140174 86
England111531 65
West Indies101142 55
South Africa90144 72
New Zealand90131 45
Zimbabwe62112 33
Bangladesh62040 24
Ireland40121 22
Netherlands21100 02
Canada10010 01
Below 10 ODIs        
Kenya00000 00
Scotland20120 12
Afghanistan21100 11

This table analyses the wins achieved by the teams. The table is ordered by the number of wins. First the split between wins batting first and chasing. Both Pakistan and India have chased 13 times successfully, although this is higher proportion of India's 21 wins, as against Pakistan's 24. South Africa, probably with their excellent bowling attack, have successfully defended nearly 80% of the times. Australia have been equally successful whether they were defending or chasing.

The last section is an analysis of the wins by the type of wins. There are four classifications: Very Close, Close, Easy and Thumping. India has had 3 very close wins. The one-run win over South Africa, two-wicket win over South Africa and one-wicket win over West Indies. Sri Lanka and South Africa have won four of their matches by a mile.

6. A few important measures compared

Measure20112006-10All-ODIs
 
Matches1467693234
Runs per over4.754.654.37
Runs per wicket28.227.927.4
Balls per wicket35.636.037.6
4s per match36.437.335.4
6s per match6.095.864.95
Boundary runs as %43.045.643.0
% Inns >= 3005.410.26.7
% Inns <= 1002.83.43.8
Opening Ptshp Avge35.036.935.0
% OP >= 1008.77.07.2
% OP <= 10 31.131.628.8
Extras/300 balls14.916.516.9

Now for a look at various measures for 2011, the preceding five years and the 41 year period.

The Runs per Over values for 2011 are almost the same as the previous five years and slightly above the historic levels. With the way the laws are formed against the bowlers it is a miracle that the average RpO has reached 5.0.

The three Runs per Wicket numbers are almost comparable. The differences are very minimal.

The Balls per Wicket are the same as for the previous five years and are slightly lower than the historic figure.

The 4s per match and 6s per match both showed a marginal decrease/increase from the previous half-decade. Similarly the Boundary % of runs showed a slight decline. It looks as if the trend set during the later half of the 2000s decade will be maintained.

There is a slight increase in 300-plus innings, just above 11%, to previous half-decade and significant increase to the overall figure. I get the feeling we have now settled into a once in 9/10 innings situation. Also 6 of these 300-plus innings were chased down and one equalled (India-England). Surprisingly there is a significant increase in the sub-100 innings. And let me also say that not all these have been the so called minnows. Experienced teams are caught in situations, out of the blue and get dismissed for below 100.

The Opening partnerships in Tests showed a 20% drop from the previous decade and overall figures. Surprisingly the opening partnerships in ODIs seems to have maintained an upward trend: 36.9 against 34.3 for 2006-2010. I guess the runs keep coming because of the attacking fields. The sub-10 opening partnerships are almost at static levels. There has also been a steady increase in the 100-plus opening partnerships. A strong reason could be the Powerplay rule changes.

There was a continuing drop in the Extras per 300 balls from 16.9 to 14.9. As I have already mentioned this must be due to the severe handling of No balls. The No-balls incidence has gone down from 1.9 to 0.9. The other three forms of extras are very slightly down.

Over the next month or so I intend to compile all the reader ideas submitted and come out with a blueprint for the ODI game. Let me see if I can persuade ESPNcricinfo to forward the same to ICC. Surely the ODI game cannot survive in this bloated format.

Anand has pointed to a gem. India were at the receiving end of four 5-wkt hauls during the World Cup 2011. I have checked this out, but this could very well be a record in a WC. The bowlers were Wahab Riaz, Rampaul, Steyn and Bresnan. He has also suggested Steyn's 5-wkt haul as a memorable bowling performance.

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

  • Akash on March 23, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    a lot of credit should be given to the Pakistani bowlers for their brilliant bowling performance. Saeed ajmal was the star of the team. he has always performed when needed and some useful batting contributions by senior players like younis khan and misbah-ul-haq. shahid afridi we all know how dangerous player he is! his bolwing has been the talk of the town.

  • Tony on February 18, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    True, bilateral series of more than 3 matches is boring. The current triangular series in Aus is a welcome break for Indians, but having 8 league matches is outrageuos. It would have been nice even if it is Ireland / Afghan to spice up with 4 teams single/double round robin. But thats not very pleasing for Australians to watch Ireland and SL play a match in their city.

    But bigger problem is matches must be watchable in a working day and the next day the viewer will have to get back to work.

    So triangular / quad T20 will be even more crowd pulling, and that's the way forward, whether one likes it or not. Thats also where affiliate nations can get their share of limelight.

  • Krishnakumar on February 17, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Ananth, (In short:Request for an analysis on the best finishers of ODI match)

    This comment of mine is not totally relevant to this article. I am fascinated by all your in depth analysis and I also truly enjoy reading your comments. I haven't noted your email address and hence I am asking my request here.

    This week we saw Dhoni finish two matches with his own bat and also an interesting comment by Gambhir that Dhoni could have finised better ! Irrespective of that Dhoni has now established himself as one of the best finisher of an ODI.

    When I grew up I knew if Inzamam crosses 20 he makes sure he finishes and runrate doesnt matter. Then we saw Michel Beven establish himself and then Lance Kluzner got crazy winning matches from improbable situations. We saw Moin Khan and Steve Waugh do it lot of times , and then Mike Hussey. There there is the master BC Lara.

    So I think it would be interesting if you could come up with an analysis on some of the best finishers of ODI matches. [[ Just now an article in Cricinfo analyzes no.6 position. I will do later a wider analysis of the finishers. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on February 16, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    Anantha

    Can you provide the links to your other blogs which are published other than in cricinfo. including the ratings that you do & top 100 players/bowling performance/batting performance.

    Thanks Nitin [[ As of now only www.castrolcricket.com Ananth: ]]

  • Rajesh Rao on February 16, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    An analysis under different coaches would be quite handy. All the teams changed their coaches, captains etc. The WC winning team is not the same team that is playing today. Pakistan without Afridi is a different team. Australia has changed for better with their new coach. SL has been rotating coaches and captains. England have improved under Flower.

    Love to see the effect on team psychic due to political interference. The coach and caps contribution was immense during the world cup. India and Pakistan were a different team while Australia was dwindling. [[ Rajesh, I am quite unclear about the impact of coaches. I personally feel the contribution of a coach is no more than 10%. The other 90% is the team + selection etc. Neither should we give too much credit for Kirsten for the WC win nor should we chastize Fletcher for the Eng/Aus debacles. What would Kirsten have done if Sangakkara had continued Malinga for one more over at 31 for 2 and he had dismissed Gambhir or kept a slip when he brought Malinga back at 100 for 2 and Gambhir's nick was caught. I think the players matter in these situations and the players delivered for India. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 16, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    Result of every ODI is used to determine the rankings. Each side plays variable number of matches and hence the rankings use a formula not understood by followers.

    By using results of a fixed number of ODIs between test nations to build a home/away/neutral league table over a multi-year calendar, an alternate ranking can be created so that not only the matches but size of victory will also be relevant and easily understood by followers.

    Number of runs scored varies significantly so the tie-breaker for teams with equal number of points should be based on margin of victory by number of balls instead of Net Run Rate. [[ In fact I am yet to do my Match Index (the one I came out for Tests after the England tour, the 100 point allocation) work fior ODIs. That can be used. That is also very easy for anyone to determine. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 15, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    I do not follow many cricket writers/columnists so it is likely that I have missed others who do, but other than Ananth, only Mike Atherton seems to join/reply readers in the comments underneath. I started reading his column only after he took over as Chief Cricket Correspondent from Christopher Martin-Jenkins for The Times (UK). He is one of the very few Times columnists (Cricket or otherwise) who, despite writing for print media, gets involved with the online community. [[ Mike is 20+ years younger than me and it is great that he finds time to read and reply. I personally feel that the reader-interaction is the one thing that keeps me going, I also do another blog where I have negligible reader participation and I do single-themed articles because of my commitment to them, that is all. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 15, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    Test matches should favour batsmen slightly for a contest between reasonably balanced sides to last 4 out of scheduled 5 days. In the long format 3-4 good bowlers share bulk of the load to take 20 wickets.

    Rules for a limited overs match should favour bowlers where a result is guaranteed at the end of scheduled overs. Players with limited skills make a career in such formats because at least 5 bowlers are involved so better bowlers are respected to target weak links.

    Any number of bowlers should be allowed any number of overs in a format where the objective is to outscore the opposition within limited time with no restriction on taking or loosing specified number of wickets. [[ This is a variation of the 12 overs for 2 bowlers theme. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranbir Raju on February 15, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    You have not taken into account strength of the opposition; playing 10 matches against australia is not same as playing 10 matches against Kenya. Instead of going on a rage about Indians not giving credit to others etc. (I think you deliberately like to be provocative and perhaps attract more comments) why not simply accept the fact that your approach ignores basic tenets of a real analysis. [[ It amuses me a lot to see readers clutching at straws to prove some point or other. And let us not forget this is an article in which I have given India due credit without any watering down. Earlier a reader complained and said Pakistan played associates half the time. I pointed out the facts which are quite the opposite. Now the team strength comes in. Well, Mr.Ranbir, you will be disappointed. During the year, India played a weak West indian team 11 times, a somewhat off-colour England 11 times, Ireland once, Holland once, Bangladesh once. They played a tough South Africa 6 times, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka once each. Incidentally Pakistan played Kenya once and India played Australia once. I can assure you Team Strength analysis would not help. But let me emphasize India had a wonderful year, especially winning the WC and Pakistan had a different sort of year, playing all 32 matches away from home, and doing very well. The bottomline is that you can appreciate your own team meaningfully only if you can appreciate the other team also. Otherwise you will only have a hollow appreciation. I sincerely feel that this blog is not the place for you. There are hundreds of other blogs which would echo your sentiments. One final thing. In the past three months you have sent four mails in a similar manner, with vague accusations, under different names. I am sure there must be better things to do in Seattle. Ananth: ]]

  • Sudarshan on February 15, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    This is not directly related to the topic on hand but still I want to try. While reading your very interesting and lengthy blog, whenever I click or highlight with the mouse somewhere on the page (just for emphasis for myself out of habit) I am taken all the way to the top and have to scroll down again. Is it a browser issue (I am using IE 6) or is it the same for everyone. This happens with other cricinfo articles as well. This was not the case until a few months ago if I recollect correctly. I have already reported it to cricinfo but have not received any reply from them. I feel you may be in a better position to take up the matter with them. Any comments on this from other readers? [[ I think it is high time you change your browser. The IE6 is over 7 years old and Cricinfo's technical people might not even have the same installed for testing. I suggest download and install IE9 or Firefox or Chrome, all free and wonderful browsers. i have all three and run the aricles in all browsers but do not go back to the older ones. There is even a leaner Firefox Portable available. Ananth: ]]

  • Akash on March 23, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    a lot of credit should be given to the Pakistani bowlers for their brilliant bowling performance. Saeed ajmal was the star of the team. he has always performed when needed and some useful batting contributions by senior players like younis khan and misbah-ul-haq. shahid afridi we all know how dangerous player he is! his bolwing has been the talk of the town.

  • Tony on February 18, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    True, bilateral series of more than 3 matches is boring. The current triangular series in Aus is a welcome break for Indians, but having 8 league matches is outrageuos. It would have been nice even if it is Ireland / Afghan to spice up with 4 teams single/double round robin. But thats not very pleasing for Australians to watch Ireland and SL play a match in their city.

    But bigger problem is matches must be watchable in a working day and the next day the viewer will have to get back to work.

    So triangular / quad T20 will be even more crowd pulling, and that's the way forward, whether one likes it or not. Thats also where affiliate nations can get their share of limelight.

  • Krishnakumar on February 17, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Ananth, (In short:Request for an analysis on the best finishers of ODI match)

    This comment of mine is not totally relevant to this article. I am fascinated by all your in depth analysis and I also truly enjoy reading your comments. I haven't noted your email address and hence I am asking my request here.

    This week we saw Dhoni finish two matches with his own bat and also an interesting comment by Gambhir that Dhoni could have finised better ! Irrespective of that Dhoni has now established himself as one of the best finisher of an ODI.

    When I grew up I knew if Inzamam crosses 20 he makes sure he finishes and runrate doesnt matter. Then we saw Michel Beven establish himself and then Lance Kluzner got crazy winning matches from improbable situations. We saw Moin Khan and Steve Waugh do it lot of times , and then Mike Hussey. There there is the master BC Lara.

    So I think it would be interesting if you could come up with an analysis on some of the best finishers of ODI matches. [[ Just now an article in Cricinfo analyzes no.6 position. I will do later a wider analysis of the finishers. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on February 16, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    Anantha

    Can you provide the links to your other blogs which are published other than in cricinfo. including the ratings that you do & top 100 players/bowling performance/batting performance.

    Thanks Nitin [[ As of now only www.castrolcricket.com Ananth: ]]

  • Rajesh Rao on February 16, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    An analysis under different coaches would be quite handy. All the teams changed their coaches, captains etc. The WC winning team is not the same team that is playing today. Pakistan without Afridi is a different team. Australia has changed for better with their new coach. SL has been rotating coaches and captains. England have improved under Flower.

    Love to see the effect on team psychic due to political interference. The coach and caps contribution was immense during the world cup. India and Pakistan were a different team while Australia was dwindling. [[ Rajesh, I am quite unclear about the impact of coaches. I personally feel the contribution of a coach is no more than 10%. The other 90% is the team + selection etc. Neither should we give too much credit for Kirsten for the WC win nor should we chastize Fletcher for the Eng/Aus debacles. What would Kirsten have done if Sangakkara had continued Malinga for one more over at 31 for 2 and he had dismissed Gambhir or kept a slip when he brought Malinga back at 100 for 2 and Gambhir's nick was caught. I think the players matter in these situations and the players delivered for India. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 16, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    Result of every ODI is used to determine the rankings. Each side plays variable number of matches and hence the rankings use a formula not understood by followers.

    By using results of a fixed number of ODIs between test nations to build a home/away/neutral league table over a multi-year calendar, an alternate ranking can be created so that not only the matches but size of victory will also be relevant and easily understood by followers.

    Number of runs scored varies significantly so the tie-breaker for teams with equal number of points should be based on margin of victory by number of balls instead of Net Run Rate. [[ In fact I am yet to do my Match Index (the one I came out for Tests after the England tour, the 100 point allocation) work fior ODIs. That can be used. That is also very easy for anyone to determine. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 15, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    I do not follow many cricket writers/columnists so it is likely that I have missed others who do, but other than Ananth, only Mike Atherton seems to join/reply readers in the comments underneath. I started reading his column only after he took over as Chief Cricket Correspondent from Christopher Martin-Jenkins for The Times (UK). He is one of the very few Times columnists (Cricket or otherwise) who, despite writing for print media, gets involved with the online community. [[ Mike is 20+ years younger than me and it is great that he finds time to read and reply. I personally feel that the reader-interaction is the one thing that keeps me going, I also do another blog where I have negligible reader participation and I do single-themed articles because of my commitment to them, that is all. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 15, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    Test matches should favour batsmen slightly for a contest between reasonably balanced sides to last 4 out of scheduled 5 days. In the long format 3-4 good bowlers share bulk of the load to take 20 wickets.

    Rules for a limited overs match should favour bowlers where a result is guaranteed at the end of scheduled overs. Players with limited skills make a career in such formats because at least 5 bowlers are involved so better bowlers are respected to target weak links.

    Any number of bowlers should be allowed any number of overs in a format where the objective is to outscore the opposition within limited time with no restriction on taking or loosing specified number of wickets. [[ This is a variation of the 12 overs for 2 bowlers theme. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranbir Raju on February 15, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    You have not taken into account strength of the opposition; playing 10 matches against australia is not same as playing 10 matches against Kenya. Instead of going on a rage about Indians not giving credit to others etc. (I think you deliberately like to be provocative and perhaps attract more comments) why not simply accept the fact that your approach ignores basic tenets of a real analysis. [[ It amuses me a lot to see readers clutching at straws to prove some point or other. And let us not forget this is an article in which I have given India due credit without any watering down. Earlier a reader complained and said Pakistan played associates half the time. I pointed out the facts which are quite the opposite. Now the team strength comes in. Well, Mr.Ranbir, you will be disappointed. During the year, India played a weak West indian team 11 times, a somewhat off-colour England 11 times, Ireland once, Holland once, Bangladesh once. They played a tough South Africa 6 times, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka once each. Incidentally Pakistan played Kenya once and India played Australia once. I can assure you Team Strength analysis would not help. But let me emphasize India had a wonderful year, especially winning the WC and Pakistan had a different sort of year, playing all 32 matches away from home, and doing very well. The bottomline is that you can appreciate your own team meaningfully only if you can appreciate the other team also. Otherwise you will only have a hollow appreciation. I sincerely feel that this blog is not the place for you. There are hundreds of other blogs which would echo your sentiments. One final thing. In the past three months you have sent four mails in a similar manner, with vague accusations, under different names. I am sure there must be better things to do in Seattle. Ananth: ]]

  • Sudarshan on February 15, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    This is not directly related to the topic on hand but still I want to try. While reading your very interesting and lengthy blog, whenever I click or highlight with the mouse somewhere on the page (just for emphasis for myself out of habit) I am taken all the way to the top and have to scroll down again. Is it a browser issue (I am using IE 6) or is it the same for everyone. This happens with other cricinfo articles as well. This was not the case until a few months ago if I recollect correctly. I have already reported it to cricinfo but have not received any reply from them. I feel you may be in a better position to take up the matter with them. Any comments on this from other readers? [[ I think it is high time you change your browser. The IE6 is over 7 years old and Cricinfo's technical people might not even have the same installed for testing. I suggest download and install IE9 or Firefox or Chrome, all free and wonderful browsers. i have all three and run the aricles in all browsers but do not go back to the older ones. There is even a leaner Firefox Portable available. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on February 15, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    Anantha

    Same for me too. These are 2 players I have grown up watching them & I too hold them in highest esteem & as much as skills, talent or anything goes SRT & BCL are just like 2 sides of coin. Because of some petty politics in WICB BCL had to retire otherwise who knows what would be the record for maximum test runs. I never said that you make or say anything on SRT for not winning matches but this is one of the 1st things that critics bring up while belittling him & thats what i was pointing. I apologies if my tone of saying anything was not right in any sense.

  • Nitin Gautam on February 15, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Anantha

    I never mean to degrade lara or any one on cost of pushing SRT or anyone. This was something which happened in past & will stay forever just like mike dennese accusing SRT of ball tempring. Whatever are the emotions, rules, justice or anything in favor of SRT, fans like me, critics like others & SRT himself has to live with this & so was the case with Lara. It can not be denied at all that he led a rebel against his country. 2ndly hypothetical scenarios was fine & I understood what was hidden between the lines. Lara has provided some breathtaking high quality innings against the best of the best bowlers for many years but all that could not bring victory for WI,on same lines i hope ppl shud nt degrade SRT for not winning matches for India. Finally as you mentioned "The final moral: no one is perfect" i completely agree & that has to be counted when evaluating anything or anyone under this sun. [[ Nitin: I may repeat myself but will only say that I agree with whatever you have mentioned about SRT. These are two players I hold at the highest level. From different cultures and that may explain certain actions. As as as winning matches, have you ever see me making the silly statement on "x number of Tendulkar's 100s in a losing cause" or something like that. Oh it may be a part of a complete analysis but I would never go out of the way and say that. I know that two of Tendulkar's greatest innings have been sub-100: 98 at Centurion and 85 at Mohali. Ananth: ]]

  • Turbanator on February 15, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    @Ananth: Hats off to you for having the energy and time to reply to all these comments. Someone's got too much time or in your case part of the job profile. [[ This is not my job. It is what I love to do and I will do it irrespective of the rewards. Finally time is what you make. I have also come to an age when I do not have to do anything to take care of the two of us and all I ask is that I will do anything sitting at my desk. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on February 15, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    @Ananth "yourt words" The other was that he was not fighting for himself only, but for the teams. But whatever happened was resolved quickly. He never deserted West indian cricket, as Gayle has done now. its not hidden to understand that BCL is more favorite for you but i dont mean to degrade anyone. it was just an example.regarding BCL he deserted WI cricket for a gud 1 year unlike SRT who for all his peerless incomparable position in indian cricket for a long long time, never asked to be paid more than the rests. regarding 10% payment its more due to ad money which is reflection of financial condition n tht i believe shoudl not be brought here... Gayle is worst than BCL & thts for me..probably he took cue from BCL to extract more considering his postiong as best WI player in contemporary WI cricket. thts a bloat which will stay forever [[ Nitin, you have every right to push up SRT, but try and do it without going out of the way and pulling down some other player. After Lara made his debut he was dropped for 10 Tests. So his career really started with Test no 1188, his second Test. Given below are the career comparisons. Pl remember you opened the doors. SRT: 188 tests, India: 1127-2031 (205) BCL: 130 tests, Windies: 1188-1818 (146). So SRT has missed 17 Tests and Lara 16. Oh I know you will bring in injuries etc. But those apply to all players, some more than the others. And where is this complete season. I know he asked not to be selected for the first Test against Saf in March 2005. But ortherwise. Ok, he stayed out. So, what. That seems to be the prerogative of senior players, anyhow. Let me paint an alternate scenario which did not happen. At the end of the exhausting WC 2011, which India won, SRT opts out of either the complete IPL or part of it (okay BCCI could have paid Nita Ambani, woefully short of funds, the 2 million or so dollars). Then travels to West Indies and plays the three Tests there. Scores this elusive 100th-100 there. He goes to England, free of that huge albatross on his back, scores 400 runs and India loses 1-2. Comes to Australia with a clear plan, scores 500 runs and India again loses 1-2. Just an alternate scenario: that is all. India could still have lost 0-4 and 0-4. The final moral: no one is perfect. This I say, while acknowledging everything you have said about SRT. Ananth: ]]

  • A.Madhar sahib on February 14, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    pakistan was easily the best team in 2011. they performed very well , it should be noted that pakistan broke the winning streak of australia by in the world cup 2011. likes to india-pakistan match again..

  • Hemant Brar on February 14, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    Really a good one, as usual. But I think Stuart Broad's 4 wickets against SA in the World Cup deserved a mention. Or did I miss somewhere that you considered just 5+ wicket hauls. [[ You will notice that I don't really have a batting or bowling performance section. Just pointed out some epochal performances, that is all. I agree, a truly match-winning performance. And even though two of his wickets were those of Steyn and Morkel, these were badly needed since Steyn looked like taking SA to a win. Ananth: ]]

  • Nitin Gautam on February 14, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    Strauss efforts againts India in WC was truly a phenomenal captain's knock in the world cup. Who would stake their money on poms after India made 338 & they had to chase underlight against a trusted spin bowling in trying Indian conditions. He made it possible thought result was not in favour of England completely yet at the start of thir inning, even the founder of barmy army would not have imagined such batting from strauss. [[ One of the greatest chasing innings of all time. The great advantage with a tie is that we can genuinely conclude that it was the best result in a match which did not deserve a loser. As happened today at Adelaide. Ananth: ]]

  • Mike on February 14, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    To me the most memorable batting of the year was the last 4 overs of the New Zealand innings against Pakistan in the World Cup, when Ross Taylor and company flayed 92 runs off the last 4 overs. Surely the most amazing display of batting all year! [[ Yes, Mike, it was indeed. 28, 15, 30 and 19 were the over tallies. The two pace bowlers went for 58 and Rehman for 34. 6x4s and 9x6s contributed 78 of the 92. Taylor moved from 76 to 131 (55 in 13 balls-average 4.23 rpb). Enough said. Ananth: ]]

  • Usman Khan on February 14, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    I wish Sachin, Dravid, and Laxman play one last series against Pakistan before they retire. Would also love to see Youvraj (and The Pathans) playing against Afridi & Razzaq.

  • Boll on February 14, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    Kolaveri? can anyone enlighten me? [[ I myself will do it. Literally "kolaveri" means murderous rage. The story follows thus. A Tamil actor, Dhanush, released a video song titled "Why this kolaveri, kolaveri di" addressing his lady-love who has rejected him. An ordinary song sung by a non-singer with Tamil/English mixed words, but with a great beat, caught the fancy and resulted in over 43 million, yes you read it right, 43 million hits, in 3 months. There were hundreds of variants and spin-offs in various languages, many non-Indian, all over the world. I have given below the Youtube link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR12Z8f1Dh8 However the word kolaveri need not be taken literally. It is used in different contexts. Could be "angst", "feeling", "anger" et al. My words probably mean "Why this anti-pak feeking,... ya" Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on February 14, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Yep, Australia had a decent year and maintained a very healthy lead at the top of the ratings. Pakistan were excellent, and NZ had more than their share of moments. But in a World Cup year there`s really only one result that matters. It`s easy to forget the immense pressure of expectation India were under, and yet in the knockout stages they put together 3 consecutive scores of 260plus - twice chasing, and in the end won both of them with plenty to spare. It was a wonderful performance. Surely Yuvraj`s efforts (350plus runs and 15 wickets) were the individual performances of the year as well. [[ Thanks, Boll. It requires an Australian to point out my major lapse in not referring to the most outstanding performance of the year. I have since redressed the balance and got in a paragraph for Yuvraj. I still hold my view that India and Pakistan are the teams of the year. Ananth: ]]

  • Deepa Raju on February 14, 2012, 2:23 GMT

    I really like your performance metric for batting and bowling. I want to know if there is a way to extract a fielding metric for individuals from Cricinfo commentary. For example, everytime there is a dropped against a fielder and everytime a fielder takes catch could be parsed to obtain a catch % (indicating the efficiency of the fielder). This could be calculated for the entire team as well. Also, runs saved / runs given due to misfield could also be calculated although that is subject to the commentary team, which still would be better than any other metric. I know Ed Cowan advocates some of this as well... But I bet the top fields come from S. Africa or Australia with the top asian team being Sri Lanka.... Any thoughts ??? [[ I have explained this quite a few times already. For my analysis I use only my own database, which is scorecard-based. And I do not do any ball-by-ball data collection work. And I do not have access to Cricinfo's ball-by-ball data. And they are unlikely to give me free access for the same. Ananth: ]]

  • Sancho on February 14, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    With the ODI format, I think the first thing to ask is what exactly is the problem? For me, it is that 30 over period between 10 and 40. The field is usually pushed back, teams can easily take singles and accumulate. Any changes to powerplays and field restrictions needs to address this problem.

    I just think there will always be a period of play in ODIs that seem 'boring', where both teams have little incentive to push themselves.

    In terms of bloated series, I dont know how you get something more exciting apart from closer contests. Which is something you cannot guarantee. People would flock to a series between Bangladesh and India (for example) if the cricket was high quality and the contest was close. I do think less is better though. If you have a three team series, play each other twice rather than four times. A World Cup? Have groups then immediately go into knockout stage. [[ Sancho, I think exciting series are one thing but 7-match series are no good, even if these are exciting matches. Take IPL. 94 matches. It does not matter if 60 of these end in the 39th over. That is too much of a good thing. You may love Bruce Willis. But you cannot see Die Hard movies every day for 30 days. You also need to be sleepless in Seattle or have breakfast at Tiffany's or go on a Roman holiday or leave by the 4.50 from Paddington or play money-ball.. You need variety. The relevance of match is another important factor. If India and Bangladesh play a 3-match series, there would be interest maintained even in the third match with, let us say, India leading 2-0. There is a world of difference between 3-0 and 2-1. Ananth: ]]

  • shimul paul on February 13, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    well, Pakistan played 1/2 of their match with associates team compare to India. That's why they won more matches than any other team. [[ I have never understood the reluctance of the Indian readers to give the teams, especially Pakistan, its due. Well, in other blogs, your comment will just be published. Not here. I always respond with facts, especially to counter grossly erroneous comments. India and Pakistan played two Associates each in the WC (Ireland/Holland and Canada/Kenya respectively). That was as planned and cancels each other. Other than that India played no Associate and Pakistan played two matches against a difficult team like Ireland. So where does this half the matches come in. So India played 32 matches against Test-playing countries and Pakistan played 28. And against Test-playing countries, Pakistan has won 20 out of 28 (71.4 %) and India, 19 out of 32 (59.3 %). These are facts. And if the Indian Board does not want to play against Pakistan, it is not Pakistan's problem. India would rather play their last 20 ODI matches of 2011 against England and West Indies than accept a series against Pakistan in a neutral country. In today's lingo "Why this kolaveri, kolaveri, kolaveri da". Ananth: ]]

  • Kamal Sachdeva on February 13, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    Good one Anantha. One suggestion for Blueprint for ODI-

    Remove powerplays. Field restriction upto 40 th over- 5 inside the circle Field restriction after 40th - 3 inside the circle. Split inngs - 30 over and 20 overs. It could be team batting second plays in first split only number of overs it reaches the first one's score.If any over is left they get to utilise in there second part. Shoulder height delivery is never a no-ball. Above shoulder height always a no-ball [[ Yes, one thing I have never understood is the waist high delivery rule. Is that so difficult a ball to play that the batsman has to be protected. And for short batsmen, the waist is less that 3' from the ground. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 13, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    @Ananth: Nice article. I am not sure what you mean by "bloated format" towards the end of your article. If it is # overs in ODI, I suggest you derive tables for every year on the following. [[ Alex No. I was not referring to the individual match format but to the 5/6/7 match bi-lateral series. Ananth: ]]

    1. 4's & 6's hit during: - first 15 overs - 15-40 overs sans the powerplays - powerplays - final 10 overs 2. Item 1 for # wkts taken. 3. Item 1 for RPO. [[ You know that i do not have access to the ball-by-ball data. Ananth: ]]

    If you can do this separately for subcont tracks, Oz-NZ tracks, Eng tracks, and SA tracks, that would be even better. This exercise can help identify a dull phase in an ODI, in which case ICC should excise it. However, I agree with your assessment of Srinivasan. His rejection of the Woolf Report and the inquiry in Ind cricket serves to illustrate a host of metaphors such as emperor's new clothes, ostrich, blowing conch at stone-deaf, etc., etc. So, any sane change you can suggest is bound to be rejected by ICC.

  • Anand on February 13, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Ananth: Thanks for the article. I always felt that ODIs do not provide as much home advantage as test matches do (again, I am not saying there is no home advantage, I am just saying not as much as test matches). So India's performances do carry credit as you mentioned despite achieving them at home. Probably you could have added collapse of the year (India moving from 267-1 to 296 all out, a one blemish in an otherwise perfect world cup performance). I would also like to know by how much Dale Steyn's performance lost to Wahab Riaz's. I understand Wahab had top order batsmen, but Steyn converted a potential impossible chase of 350+ to an under 200 chase and also resulted in a win. Also India had 4 five wicket hauls against them, Is that a record for any team last year (apart from Zim, Ban and minnows?). Significantly all of them came in WC. May be you could add close defeats, easy defeats and huge defeats for all teams too. A great article and thanks a lot for presenting this one ... [[ No particular reason, Anand, other than that it was the semi final and Wahab did his bit and more. But it is necessary to highlight Steyn's 5-wkt haul as your selection. I will not publish a separate Reader's choice but highlight in the comment itself. But the 4 5-wkt hauls is a gem and I will publish it crediting you. Ananth: ]]

  • Raghav Bihani on February 13, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    I am remember we had a discussions a few months back on the ODI format getting butchered by useless matches being played. The main issue remains of bilateral contests not even generating interest in audiences of teams involved, forget the others. The only thing lacking is therefore context rather than rules, powerplays, cheerleaders, short boundaries etc. To add context the best I have heard is your suggestion of a 4 year cycle divided into International League, Champions Trophy, International League, World Cup.

    If the basic idea is acceptable the modalities are easy to figure out. One more aspect of ODI which is now missing is the tournaments involving 4-5 teams. They were better than bilateral contests and may be they can be fitted into a new scheme of things. Like the International League, I had suggested as a comment before, was essentially a number of 4-nation tournaments being played at each stage. [[ I had done all the spadework on the ODI format. However the series of articles on Bow/Pitch quality and the two rear-end reviews took the front stage. My next article will, in all probability, be the ODI blueprint. The chances of that document being read by anyone of importance is, however, less than the chances of BCCI implementing DRS whole-heartedly w.e.f Asia Cup. Ananth: ]]

  • Navin Agarwal on February 13, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    Quote:" Thinking of this match, looks like the collective brains of the IPL franchisees were left behind outside the hotel. How else can anyone explain no one picking up Kevin O'Brien for 50000 dollars?"

    Neither do they watch such matches nor they read such articles. and about the brains left behind in hotels these people do not even have any, otherwise why let N Srinivasan owner of a franchisee running the show.

  • Mushtaq Hussein on February 13, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Pakistan was the best team in 2011 interms of the result in ODI and they are not bad in test alos. i am hoping that pakistan will perform same or better like this in the future. i am appealing for every cricket fan to pray for pakistan for their lovely performacne in the future. Then world will know pakistan is better then they know about them.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Mushtaq Hussein on February 13, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Pakistan was the best team in 2011 interms of the result in ODI and they are not bad in test alos. i am hoping that pakistan will perform same or better like this in the future. i am appealing for every cricket fan to pray for pakistan for their lovely performacne in the future. Then world will know pakistan is better then they know about them.

  • Navin Agarwal on February 13, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    Quote:" Thinking of this match, looks like the collective brains of the IPL franchisees were left behind outside the hotel. How else can anyone explain no one picking up Kevin O'Brien for 50000 dollars?"

    Neither do they watch such matches nor they read such articles. and about the brains left behind in hotels these people do not even have any, otherwise why let N Srinivasan owner of a franchisee running the show.

  • Raghav Bihani on February 13, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    I am remember we had a discussions a few months back on the ODI format getting butchered by useless matches being played. The main issue remains of bilateral contests not even generating interest in audiences of teams involved, forget the others. The only thing lacking is therefore context rather than rules, powerplays, cheerleaders, short boundaries etc. To add context the best I have heard is your suggestion of a 4 year cycle divided into International League, Champions Trophy, International League, World Cup.

    If the basic idea is acceptable the modalities are easy to figure out. One more aspect of ODI which is now missing is the tournaments involving 4-5 teams. They were better than bilateral contests and may be they can be fitted into a new scheme of things. Like the International League, I had suggested as a comment before, was essentially a number of 4-nation tournaments being played at each stage. [[ I had done all the spadework on the ODI format. However the series of articles on Bow/Pitch quality and the two rear-end reviews took the front stage. My next article will, in all probability, be the ODI blueprint. The chances of that document being read by anyone of importance is, however, less than the chances of BCCI implementing DRS whole-heartedly w.e.f Asia Cup. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 13, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Ananth: Thanks for the article. I always felt that ODIs do not provide as much home advantage as test matches do (again, I am not saying there is no home advantage, I am just saying not as much as test matches). So India's performances do carry credit as you mentioned despite achieving them at home. Probably you could have added collapse of the year (India moving from 267-1 to 296 all out, a one blemish in an otherwise perfect world cup performance). I would also like to know by how much Dale Steyn's performance lost to Wahab Riaz's. I understand Wahab had top order batsmen, but Steyn converted a potential impossible chase of 350+ to an under 200 chase and also resulted in a win. Also India had 4 five wicket hauls against them, Is that a record for any team last year (apart from Zim, Ban and minnows?). Significantly all of them came in WC. May be you could add close defeats, easy defeats and huge defeats for all teams too. A great article and thanks a lot for presenting this one ... [[ No particular reason, Anand, other than that it was the semi final and Wahab did his bit and more. But it is necessary to highlight Steyn's 5-wkt haul as your selection. I will not publish a separate Reader's choice but highlight in the comment itself. But the 4 5-wkt hauls is a gem and I will publish it crediting you. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 13, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    @Ananth: Nice article. I am not sure what you mean by "bloated format" towards the end of your article. If it is # overs in ODI, I suggest you derive tables for every year on the following. [[ Alex No. I was not referring to the individual match format but to the 5/6/7 match bi-lateral series. Ananth: ]]

    1. 4's & 6's hit during: - first 15 overs - 15-40 overs sans the powerplays - powerplays - final 10 overs 2. Item 1 for # wkts taken. 3. Item 1 for RPO. [[ You know that i do not have access to the ball-by-ball data. Ananth: ]]

    If you can do this separately for subcont tracks, Oz-NZ tracks, Eng tracks, and SA tracks, that would be even better. This exercise can help identify a dull phase in an ODI, in which case ICC should excise it. However, I agree with your assessment of Srinivasan. His rejection of the Woolf Report and the inquiry in Ind cricket serves to illustrate a host of metaphors such as emperor's new clothes, ostrich, blowing conch at stone-deaf, etc., etc. So, any sane change you can suggest is bound to be rejected by ICC.

  • Kamal Sachdeva on February 13, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    Good one Anantha. One suggestion for Blueprint for ODI-

    Remove powerplays. Field restriction upto 40 th over- 5 inside the circle Field restriction after 40th - 3 inside the circle. Split inngs - 30 over and 20 overs. It could be team batting second plays in first split only number of overs it reaches the first one's score.If any over is left they get to utilise in there second part. Shoulder height delivery is never a no-ball. Above shoulder height always a no-ball [[ Yes, one thing I have never understood is the waist high delivery rule. Is that so difficult a ball to play that the batsman has to be protected. And for short batsmen, the waist is less that 3' from the ground. Ananth: ]]

  • shimul paul on February 13, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    well, Pakistan played 1/2 of their match with associates team compare to India. That's why they won more matches than any other team. [[ I have never understood the reluctance of the Indian readers to give the teams, especially Pakistan, its due. Well, in other blogs, your comment will just be published. Not here. I always respond with facts, especially to counter grossly erroneous comments. India and Pakistan played two Associates each in the WC (Ireland/Holland and Canada/Kenya respectively). That was as planned and cancels each other. Other than that India played no Associate and Pakistan played two matches against a difficult team like Ireland. So where does this half the matches come in. So India played 32 matches against Test-playing countries and Pakistan played 28. And against Test-playing countries, Pakistan has won 20 out of 28 (71.4 %) and India, 19 out of 32 (59.3 %). These are facts. And if the Indian Board does not want to play against Pakistan, it is not Pakistan's problem. India would rather play their last 20 ODI matches of 2011 against England and West Indies than accept a series against Pakistan in a neutral country. In today's lingo "Why this kolaveri, kolaveri, kolaveri da". Ananth: ]]

  • Sancho on February 14, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    With the ODI format, I think the first thing to ask is what exactly is the problem? For me, it is that 30 over period between 10 and 40. The field is usually pushed back, teams can easily take singles and accumulate. Any changes to powerplays and field restrictions needs to address this problem.

    I just think there will always be a period of play in ODIs that seem 'boring', where both teams have little incentive to push themselves.

    In terms of bloated series, I dont know how you get something more exciting apart from closer contests. Which is something you cannot guarantee. People would flock to a series between Bangladesh and India (for example) if the cricket was high quality and the contest was close. I do think less is better though. If you have a three team series, play each other twice rather than four times. A World Cup? Have groups then immediately go into knockout stage. [[ Sancho, I think exciting series are one thing but 7-match series are no good, even if these are exciting matches. Take IPL. 94 matches. It does not matter if 60 of these end in the 39th over. That is too much of a good thing. You may love Bruce Willis. But you cannot see Die Hard movies every day for 30 days. You also need to be sleepless in Seattle or have breakfast at Tiffany's or go on a Roman holiday or leave by the 4.50 from Paddington or play money-ball.. You need variety. The relevance of match is another important factor. If India and Bangladesh play a 3-match series, there would be interest maintained even in the third match with, let us say, India leading 2-0. There is a world of difference between 3-0 and 2-1. Ananth: ]]

  • Deepa Raju on February 14, 2012, 2:23 GMT

    I really like your performance metric for batting and bowling. I want to know if there is a way to extract a fielding metric for individuals from Cricinfo commentary. For example, everytime there is a dropped against a fielder and everytime a fielder takes catch could be parsed to obtain a catch % (indicating the efficiency of the fielder). This could be calculated for the entire team as well. Also, runs saved / runs given due to misfield could also be calculated although that is subject to the commentary team, which still would be better than any other metric. I know Ed Cowan advocates some of this as well... But I bet the top fields come from S. Africa or Australia with the top asian team being Sri Lanka.... Any thoughts ??? [[ I have explained this quite a few times already. For my analysis I use only my own database, which is scorecard-based. And I do not do any ball-by-ball data collection work. And I do not have access to Cricinfo's ball-by-ball data. And they are unlikely to give me free access for the same. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on February 14, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Yep, Australia had a decent year and maintained a very healthy lead at the top of the ratings. Pakistan were excellent, and NZ had more than their share of moments. But in a World Cup year there`s really only one result that matters. It`s easy to forget the immense pressure of expectation India were under, and yet in the knockout stages they put together 3 consecutive scores of 260plus - twice chasing, and in the end won both of them with plenty to spare. It was a wonderful performance. Surely Yuvraj`s efforts (350plus runs and 15 wickets) were the individual performances of the year as well. [[ Thanks, Boll. It requires an Australian to point out my major lapse in not referring to the most outstanding performance of the year. I have since redressed the balance and got in a paragraph for Yuvraj. I still hold my view that India and Pakistan are the teams of the year. Ananth: ]]