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May 18, 2012

ODI bowling: location summary, country details and key matches

Anantha Narayanan
Glenn McGrath has an outstanding record in key matches  © Getty Images
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This is a follow-up to the previous article which was an analysis on ODI Batsmen (click here for the article) by teams faced. Normally I do analysis-centric articles which take on and expound a theme. Once in a while I do different types of articles in which I go deep in one area of the game and provide data tables around it. This is one such article.

This information is certainly available through StatsGuru of Cricinfo. However, what will not be available are the composite multidimensional tables which are provided here. You would have to put in multiple queries and saving the tables in an accessible format is another problem.

In order to avoid the usual questions and comments which relate to specific players, let me emphasize how these series of articles would be structured. I would cover the top/selected 12-15 players in a graph to visually present the variations. Then I would present data tables, in the body of the articles, which would normally cover the top 25 players or so. However the most important of the tables are the ones which have been uploaded and are available for downloading for permanent storage and perusal. Normally these cover the complete collection of players, say 150, who meet the cut-off criteria. So, before coming out with comments that "Zaheer Khan or Botham or Walsh are not mentioned", please download the tables and check. Superficial reading of the articles is not enough.

Over the current month or or two, I will be doing the following four tables. These may all not follow in sequence. I may intersperse other pending analysis in between.

1. ODI Batting analysis - summary by location and details by country played against and key tournament matches. Completed.
2. ODI Bowling analysis - summary by location and details by country played against and key tournament matches. Current article.
3. Test Batting analysis - summary by location and details by country played against.
4. Test Bowling analysis - summary by location and details by country played against.

The vs Country grouping is as explained below. I have 10 countries/groups: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe combined and finally "all other teams". A fair grouping and nothing of relevance would be left out. And the analysis is very extensive in that it is by country played against: at home, away, in neutral locations and across career.

I have defined the key tournament matches by the following criteria. I have deliberately excluded the tri-series finals from this group. At last count there were well over 100 such tournaments and inclusion of these tournaments would dilute the whole concept. Readers might differ. However it should be noted that inclusion of the Sharjah tournaments would also mean inclusion of all CB/VB Series and all inconsequential tri-series ever played. For that matter I have set the criteria as tournaments with 6 teams and above. World Cup Super-Sixes and Super-Eights rank with the Quarter finals.

10 World Cup Finals
20 World Cup Semi-finals
8 World Cup Quarter finals
45 World Cup Super-Sixes and Super-Eights
7 ICC/Champions' Trophy Finals
12 ICC/Champions' Trophy Semi finals
3 Finals of the following three 6+ team tournaments
- Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket, 1984/85 (7 teams)
- MRF World Series (Nehru Cup), 1989/90 (6 teams)
- Australasia Cup, 1989/90 (6 teams)

Total number of key tournament matches: 105

There were a number of comments in the batting article to consider the inclusion of some or all of the tri-series Finals also. I have generally discarded the suggestions because of the preponderance of average tri-series. Anyhow I am not going to be consistent across both areas of the game.

Normally bowling analysis is easier because of the unique nature of the single most important bowling measure, the bowling average. The batting average is an inconsistent and incomplete measure, with its two inherent drawbacks, viz., the confusing treatment of not-outs and the presence of another very important factor, the scoring rate. Bowling average, on the other hand, is a perfect composite of two important measures, viz., the bowling strike rate (BpW) and bowling accuracy (RpB). The single measure is so perfect that it is rare that we have to do any sub-analysis on the two constituent measures.

First the graphs. I would only offer limited comments since I expect the readers to come out with their own comments. I might miss some obvious comment. Should not really matter. The ordering is different for different modes of presentation since we can get different insights. In general, the graphs are ordered by the concerned bowling average values and the tables are ordered by the appropriate wickets values.

Bowler analysis - Summary by location

Summary of wickets for top bowlers
© Anantha Narayanan

This graph contains the top 11 wicket-takers, who have captured over 300 wickets and 7 other outstanding ODI bowlers. I have altered the presentation slightly. The Blue rectangles, anchored on the left, indicate BowAvg values below 28.0 and Red rectangles, anchored on the right, indicate BowAvg values above 28.0. The size of the rectangle gives an indication of the BowAvg value, the bigger the better or worse, depending on whether these are blue or red. The numbers adjacent to the rectangles indicate the number of wickets captured in that classification.

Most of the bowlers have performed above-par, home, away and in neutral locations. As expected Afridi and Jayasuriya have been below-par everywhere. Kumble has just about beaten par in neutral locations. But two real surprises: Wasim Akram has been below-par at home (72 wickets at 31.12) and less surprisingly, Warne, below-par, away (84 wickets at 30.40).

Bowler analysis - All matches - by opposing country

Summary of wickets against teams
© Anantha Narayanan

This graph is similar to the batting graphs. These are ordered by the BowAvg values. The top 15 bowlers are shown. The player's performance against the 10 team groups are plotted. Blue ovals indicate BowAvg values of below 28.0 and Red ovals indicate BowAvg values above 28.0. The size of ovals indicates how far off the par the performances are. The number of wickets captured is displayed, colour-coded, under each country. In general, the cut-off values are 100 wickets. For the lower level Home/Away/Neutral vs-team analysis, the cut-off is lowered to 75 wickets.

Garner's overall average has been stupendous, backed by an excellent strike rate and the best-ever RpO values. He has played very well against all countries barring India: 6 wickets at 32.5. The all-blue performers are Holding, Hadlee, Donald and McGrath. Muralitharan has two below-par countries and has a huge tally against the weaker countries. Wasim Akram has one weak spot, against England. Two relatively unknown bowlers, Pringle and Bracken are in this elite lot.

A vertical perusal of the table indicates that South Africa is the toughest country to bowl against and New Zealand, relatively the friendliest one.

Bowler analysis - Home matches - by opposing country

Summary of wickets against teams in home matches
© Anantha Narayanan

McGrath was king at home. An all-blue graph. No other top bowler has had this distinction. Pollock has also been quite good, barring 11 against New Zealand at 38.5. Many bowlers seem to have found it tough to bowl against India, even playing at home. Surprisingly Pakistan is the other way around.

Bowler analysis - Away matches - by opposing country

Summary of wickets against teams in away matches
© Anantha Narayanan

Holding has been good overall against all countries, playing away. But Donald and Johnson have the best record, playing away. As expected, the away BowAvg values graph has a smattering of red ovals scattered across.

Bowler analysis - Neutral matches - by opposing country

Summary of wickets against teams in neutral matches
© Anantha Narayanan

Lee has been an outstanding neutral match record with almost all-blue record. Again Donald has done very well also. And McGrath has been equally good. All other leading bowlers have their weak spots. Look at the huge number of wickets captured by Wasim Akram in neutral countries, that too at very low average.

Now for the tables. Most of these are self-explanatory.

Career  KeyMats  Home  Neutral  Away 
BatsmanWktsAvgeODIsWktsAvgeRpOWktsAvgeRpOWktsAvgeRpOWktsAvgeRpO
                
Muralitharan53423.08323621.034.3115424.623.8622020.813.8216024.714.14
Wasim Akram50223.53121432.934.487231.124.3626221.213.7616823.893.87
Waqar Younis41623.853622.835.076723.154.6721822.494.7513126.474.61
Vaas WPUJC40027.54192326.614.278127.533.8916827.084.1815128.064.39
Pollock39324.51151533.473.8619320.243.519727.993.8310329.233.78
McGrath38122.02374817.233.9316020.133.7711320.223.8110826.694.07
Lee37723.18122619.004.8916923.344.697918.294.5512925.974.93
S Afridi34433.388532.604.236236.214.8716133.424.5512131.894.55
Kumble33730.90101239.004.8112628.944.4514426.224.146744.644.37
Jayasuriya32336.74201834.174.9011928.314.4511141.034.849342.415.05
Srinath31528.08121730.715.0710330.504.5812427.784.548825.684.14
Warne29325.7391820.564.4413424.404.177522.884.238430.404.38
Agarkar28827.855281.505.6910927.395.298231.714.949725.114.97
Saqlain M28821.796638.504.755420.614.5217421.634.356023.323.99
Vettori28231.50141635.064.2311331.084.067630.864.129332.544.23
Zaheer Khan27829.03132127.385.179430.215.207826.354.5710629.964.92
Donald27221.7971128.184.568826.354.249418.784.109020.474.10
Kallis27031.70161531.934.6311332.404.937827.444.397934.905.09
Abdul Razzaq26931.839734.864.074044.235.0212631.274.6310327.714.60
Ntini26624.6711740.865.0212224.004.425523.564.158926.264.93
Harbhajan25933.40111526.073.9910435.484.427030.674.168533.094.28
Kapil Dev25327.454913.002.8510027.154.018524.493.486831.593.64
ShoaibAkhtar24724.9861023.805.064628.245.0811323.974.708824.574.68
Streak23929.836552.205.126726.724.478531.474.428730.624.66
Gough23526.443435.505.2610827.274.413424.444.369326.204.40
Walsh22730.473269.504.884640.024.359926.043.538230.463.85
Ambrose22524.133424.003.206525.253.588622.643.357424.883.54
Anderson20830.809390.674.969127.804.994428.454.737335.955.21
Harris20337.5011495.754.859429.734.075248.384.295740.394.55
McDermott20324.722615.834.7512524.323.891824.333.846025.674.42

This table is ordered by career wickets captured. The top 30 are shown.

Since I have already talked about the Home/Away/Neutral performances in the graph section, I would only talk about the key tournament matches here. The bar for selection for the key tournament matches has been set quite high, and that is the way it should be. It can be safely concluded that these wickets have all been captured in real tough situations. McGrath is the runaway leader in this classification, having captured 48 wickets at a very low BowAvg value of 17.23. This is a very impressive record and should not be swept under the carpet. Imagine, McGrath has captured nearly 13% of his career wickets in tough tournament situations. No wonder that Australia won 5 major World tournaments during the past 20 years.

Muralitharan is a comfortable second with 36 wickets. The surprise is the low tally of the two great Pakistan bowlers. Lee has been very productive in these matches. It is obvious that this would be the domain of the modern bowlers because of the number of matches in WCs classified so. The formats have changed drastically.

All matchesCareer AUS ENG IND NZL PAK SAF SLK WIN B/Z OTH 
BowlersWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvge
                       
Muralitharan53423.085331.152824.007431.777417.939625.254923.35  3428.129015.563611.08
Wasim Akram50223.536727.433235.446025.176418.53  3523.949220.978925.574220.932110.57
Waqar Younis41623.852940.763020.103724.497915.85  5824.918424.366026.982626.351314.08
Vaas WPUJC40027.544735.703235.037031.634922.226132.984028.00  2618.696116.901418.93
Pollock39324.515729.354021.774824.484827.314925.14  5123.904424.233323.092314.04
McGrath38122.02  5322.963426.765919.785719.115823.793625.083625.722420.962412.25
Lee37723.18  6422.615521.005220.983823.184023.653832.614921.632030.302115.00
S Afridi34433.384331.053427.533858.212048.20  2639.155735.123135.166524.753010.60
Kumble33730.903140.292546.00  3927.875424.264632.003451.414123.734025.302715.22
Jayasuriya32336.742945.723235.694449.143829.897136.463336.03  2928.694030.23740.29
Srinath31528.083336.733523.71  5120.415430.692850.253428.033127.743617.191320.54
Warne29325.73  2233.141556.274919.243723.766028.632925.695020.902321.52817.75
Agarkar28827.853628.422139.71  2029.203236.161850.284920.613224.506122.611918.16
Saqlain M28821.792723.332419.885724.393321.70  1636.944724.873018.004813.69617.67
Vettori28231.505340.572429.382738.22  3128.812545.082540.243122.194920.711715.71
Zaheer Khan27829.032346.392531.40  3027.732840.862227.916230.561328.464420.113115.45
Donald27221.794525.983119.424621.154021.072724.00  3220.312127.101719.881310.31
Kallis27031.703447.972533.443036.773729.624028.57  3129.744223.021825.611330.69
Abdul Razzaq26931.832528.841937.953539.863934.15  2147.245029.883127.323519.091428.07
Ntini26624.673929.772027.852528.683723.224920.24  2727.782725.593319.91919.67
Harbhajan25933.403246.443625.33  1740.761457.212530.886126.953334.242532.841624.44
Kapil Dev25327.454527.692828.07  3327.614226.501231.253826.084328.881223.42  
ShoaibAkhtar24724.983234.783424.184126.803523.46  2723.592925.381023.002022.051914.26
Streak23929.831841.613320.183938.001941.743520.661732.882831.962427.751618.001030.80
Gough23526.443131.10  2431.882127.332134.525121.252325.871537.074318.95622.50
Walsh22730.473045.732545.484424.162126.716527.48447.252625.88  613.8368.83
Ambrose22524.136121.801440.863222.471324.156921.351534.071232.17  519.0047.25
Anderson20830.802941.45  3234.751839.722921.902420.712426.962829.391234.831229.75
Harris20337.503137.522033.702437.08  2643.352052.253038.872230.002138.5298.78
McDermott20324.72  2119.433027.472627.582328.741728.121734.126319.43522.80112.00

Since this is a table of top performers, low bowling averages will not be discussed. I will restrict myself to the surprising high averages by the top bowlers. Muralitharan has found the Indian batsmen tough to bowl against. Wasim Akram's waterloo has been against the English batsmen. Waqar Younis has found the batsmen of his settled land intimidating. The Sri Lankan batsmen handled Lee very well. Warne had problems against English and Indian batsmen. No country's batsmen have mastered McGrath and Donald.

Home matchesCareer AUS ENG IND NZL PAK SAF SLK WIN B/Z OTH 
BowlersWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvge
                       
Pollock19320.243125.262919.342317.911138.451920.47  2617.772716.591818.33910.89
Lee16923.34  3319.673319.522023.851924.951621.562139.001313.62736.00715.43
McGrath16020.13  3019.97710.712021.553020.302617.622323.131226.83917.33313.00
Muralitharan15424.621823.331013.803140.061320.002725.56916.00  930.222519.521211.50
Warne13424.40  1928.21157.002418.001821.781838.831924.742619.62919.33  
Kumble12628.941330.461051.40  1628.621026.901924.741148.002721.561326.15712.71
McDermott12524.32  617.001725.181923.531428.86824.501431.574521.40229.00  
Ntini12224.002629.001125.36930.001122.731823.72  1723.35738.861711.82613.00
Jayasuriya11928.311331.081316.312836.001320.231727.82935.89  1121.451527.73  
Kallis11332.402145.57944.441136.64748.291723.06  1627.941822.331120.18333.33
Vettori11331.082633.271128.82935.78  946.22751.00952.672119.672116.57  
Agarkar10927.391727.001231.17  535.80538.80656.672020.001531.132421.04513.40
Gough10827.272227.50  1231.00251.501529.271528.131026.601132.451720.4148.50
Abdur Razzak10723.82930.56723.57490.75933.561019.80437.00271.00  4112.152116.86
Harbhajan10435.481854.943122.10  141.00954.78823.751637.191138.641021.20  
Srinath10330.501235.502123.14  1131.27441.25958.781623.561931.841115.55  
S Waugh10131.16  1528.601335.001735.651329.31544.401027.002629.08214.00  
Kapil Dev10027.151237.831627.50  347.001228.08625.002421.671925.74823.00  
Cairns9431.012336.572021.15736.14  1241.421029.701126.45719.57444.00  
Zaheer Khan9430.211944.321122.91  721.431440.21143.001629.25717.141327.0868.33

Look at the struggles Pollock had at home against the New Zealand batsmen, Lee against the Sri Lankan batsmen, Muralitharan against the Indian batsmen, Warne against South African batsmen and so on. The bowlers who have done very well at home are McGrath and Pollock.

Neutral matchesCareer AUS ENG IND NZL PAK SAF SLK WIN B/Z OTH 
BowlersWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvge
                       
Wasim Akram26221.212122.571332.694623.482018.80  1025.806618.735923.361615.94116.82
Muralitharan22020.81275.501032.702820.823412.565327.282619.00  1725.533414.741613.44
Waqar Younis21822.491331.31426.752528.042912.72  2125.246722.844323.371317.00311.00
Saqlain M17421.63731.001013.404724.702117.67  467.504121.902519.40169.31326.33
Vaas WPUJC16827.08542.401144.003027.701628.444033.501524.40  1812.442520.32816.12
S Afridi16133.421532.20841.752545.921246.17  1141.553534.031937.421129.27257.20
Kumble14426.221440.57534.00  923.784423.661327.081137.911026.702221.641616.88
Abdul Razzaq12631.27654.17  2125.812028.40  1535.472731.371627.501328.54835.88
Srinath12427.78940.56827.62  234.505029.84652.001517.001221.251224.671018.00
McGrath11320.22  623.171331.852014.451616.501427.93625.331117.45921.891813.72
ShoaibAkhtar11323.971144.27817.751830.331225.58  1227.501816.56824.88919.671713.12
Jayasuriya11141.03377.00671.00769.001632.813641.111327.08  943.001531.73632.33
Walsh9926.04347.67942.331421.86319.333923.23199.991830.06  613.8368.83
Pollock9727.99630.00512.001239.002420.501429.21  1727.12455.75451.751119.55
Prasad9629.911328.85610.50  921.893530.60647.50833.75364.331426.57222.50
Donald9418.781220.17434.25920.672416.921316.23  1520.20621.67416.50712.00
Ambrose8622.64523.80  1324.15119.004520.87527.601030.20  39.3347.25
Aaqib Javed8633.15  217.003627.44634.17  261.002432.671344.92335.67  
Kapil Dev8524.491217.83422.25  2120.622022.55136.00832.381732.00228.00  
Streak8531.47460.25627.001442.57284.001719.29346.001729.821519.87  733.86

Barring a few matches against England, Wasim Akram was the master of neutral pitches. Almost similar situation with Muralitharan.

Away matchesCareer AUS ENG IND NZL PAK SAF SLK WIN B/Z OTH 
BowlersWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvgeWktsAvge
                       
Wasim Akram16823.893826.581334.771232.333715.46  1821.891322.621332.851624.06811.50
Muralitharan16024.713332.73825.881535.072723.701618.001436.14  831.253113.2685.75
Vaas WPUJC15128.063234.91945.221445.712917.901423.572031.10  824.882115.33420.25
Waqar Younis13126.471349.082416.04233.502921.34  3121.811029.60846.12936.22518.20
Lee12925.97  2923.071036.701922.58  2425.041130.272626.08633.17418.50
S Afridi12131.892827.321430.57880.00456.75  932.441723.941227.082625.69335.67
McGrath10826.69  1728.181430.071923.531119.641829.50731.291331.69625.0032.67
Zaheer Khan10629.96246.001238.67  1431.571049.401527.002928.10238.501917.84316.00
Pollock10329.232035.50641.671322.691330.461627.12  837.001330.381120.4533.33
Abdul Razzaq10327.711920.841333.31750.861140.36  568.601625.751518.53117.82617.67
Agarkar9725.111028.90951.11  421.50638.17747.431118.361516.403015.70524.20
Johnson9723.57  1026.402426.001527.60  1820.171118.27820.751022.60128.00
Jayasuriya9342.411353.151338.77974.56938.671835.331146.73  923.221031.70154.00
Vettori9332.542144.90631.671138.73  532.401130.361128.36441.502420.54  
Gough9326.20939.89  837.751921.47296.003317.30255.00449.751618.50  
Donald9020.472323.351514.471820.11922.56194.00  515.201125.55224.5063.83
Ntini8926.261228.25930.89349.001126.182416.79  644.001720.24641.83123.00
Srinath8825.681235.08620.50  3816.53  1343.54399.99  1311.69316.33
ShoaibAkhtar8824.571826.001926.111420.641227.92  328.33922.11215.50923.44224.00
Streak8730.621433.501613.881348.921135.911219.08737.43736.29195.00617.00  
Harbhajan8533.09538.20529.00  634.00  1048.003323.521341.081337.15  
Warne8430.40  364.33752.861421.07199.992927.90726.861726.94420.50225.50
Walsh8230.461650.00647.502321.301128.091825.94327.33513.00      
Kallis7934.901151.001032.601032.001236.25841.75  737.291724.00164.00316.00
Mills7825.181530.60828.00563.00    1720.76925.33  2416.04  
Holding7819.534920.511516.20331.33123.001015.80          
Marshall7528.643828.661524.60531.80  1729.18         

Donald has performed best on away pitches. And Holding. The wicket tally for both, however, was below 100.

To download/view the Excel sheet containing the following tables, please click/right-click here. The serious students of the game are going to have a link to this Excel file on their desktop and refer to it a few times a day.

Bowler location summary and key tournament match performances.
Bowler wickets analysis vs Team - for all matches
Bowler wickets analysis vs Team - for home matches
Bowler wickets analysis vs Team - for away matches
Bowler wickets analysis vs Team - for neutral matches
I am not going to do too much of work on the conclusions which can be drawn. This is not that type of article. Just a minimalistic set of statements to complete the all-time best ODI team, according to me.

There is a need to mention four bowlers who stand out for various reasons.

The first (amongst equals) is McGrath. An overall bowling average of 22, composed of averages below 27.0 against all countries and below 20 against couple of countries. Impeccable control over line and length, all delivered at good pace. Add to it the 48 wickets in key matches, it is difficult to think of anyone else as the first selection.

The next one is Garner. Not many wickets, by today's standards, but understandable. But almost all top quality wickets, a very low career Bowling average, a wicket every 36 balls at an RpO of just over 3.0. How can anyone not include him. How successful today's batsmen would have been against Garner, with his height, bounce he normally extracted and swing and cut he could generate at will. Possibly not 18+ but comparable to McGrath's figures.

The third one is Wasim Akram. His overall numbers speak for themselves. Above-par performances in all locations outside Pakistan and the ability to generate wicket-taking deliveries at will. Almost certainly the best left-arm fast bowler to have played ODI cricket. His batting would be a bonus.

Finally for the spinner. Muralitharan's huge number of wickets against the weaker teams and Warne's relative lack of success in away locations means that my selection is going to be Saqlain Mushtaq. An excellent career bowling average and very consistent sub-24.0 average in any location means he is going to be effective everywhere.

Four jewels in the crown, that is all one can say.

So these four bowlers, McGrath, Garner, Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq complete the team line-up. It is difficult to leave out Hadlee, Waqar Younis, Donald, Lee, Bond, Holding, Muralitharan and Warne. But that is the way selections go.

At a later date I might come with a combined article, doing the Batting computations using the ODI Index (RpAI (excluding single-digit not outs) x S/R). This will ensure that strike rate will be given its due importance. Also will, at least partly, address the vexed question of averages vs runs per innings. I might then look at including at least 4/5 Team tournament Finals.

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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 Suresh on (June 21, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

Ananth,

this request is not related to the topic on hand, but I was wondering if you could do a feature on batsmen who have been the first wickets for the most # of bowlers :) Obviously this request is triggered by Sachin's propensity to gift his wicket to any number of debutant bowlers, but is there anyone more generous than him?

thanks

Suresh [[ Will try and do it sometme. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Meety on (June 7, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

@Waspsting - 1) How many times has a team taken more wickets and lost the match?

2) How many times has a team had a better run rate and lost the match

If a team loses a match but has taken more wickets, that CAN occur when a side has lost top order wickets, but a low order partnership has played for pride. The answer is not many but not overly relevant. The 2nd question is possibly more than what you think - thanks to D/L. In the early days of ODIs, you only had to better the 1st innings at the time of the rain stoppage & it did not matter how many wickets fell to achieve this. A more relevant question although it would be a hard task to quantify, is how many times has a team chasing let their run rate required blow out, but have won because they had wickets in hand & stormed home? (Fairly often in the modern game). This would suggest that containment is of limited use, particularly when wickets are in hand as the modern reality is sides are confident chasin 160 off 20 overs. [[ Andrew I received 4 copies of your mail and even Madhu 7 copies. Pl see if you are pressing the Enter multiple number of times. Anyhow what browser do you use. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Meety on (June 7, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

@Waspsting - re: McGrath - in ODIs he had win % of 70% & played all of his career in world cup winning sides (for arguement sake inc 96 Final). Lee played most of his career with McGrath, although now is part of an Ozzy side that failed to make the w/cup semi's (albeit still "ranked #1), he has win % of 75%, he's economy rate is 22% WORSE than McGrath's but his Strike rate is 17% better. They have played similar teams, with similar co-players, although it can be argued that Lee's team now is significantly less talented than any of McGrath's era, yet Lee is more successful. McGrath is regarded as an alltime great, yet Lee (not as well renowned) was more of a strike bowler & won on ave more times than McGrath. Answering your 2nd question is IMO moot as the causes for a better run rate can include wickets taken or better batting. How many times have a team defended a sub-200 score by NOT bowling the opposition out? TBC

Posted by Waspsting on (June 4, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

Furthermore, you and those arguing on your side of the fence are IGNORING CONTEXT

How did McGrath take all those wickets? With inswinging leg cutters that pitched on leg and hit off? With catches to 3rd slip? With 6 men in the ring in the 30th over?

My memory of McGrath is that for the most part, he just bowled good lenght outside off stump. And batsmen attacked him and got out because Australia had THE BLOODY STRONGEST BATTING LINE UP IN HISTORY, and batsmen couldn't afford to play 10 overs from McGrath safely. so they took risks and got out (IOW trying to boost the run rate)

But I'm getting ahead of myself and going into conjecture again.

Why don't you answer my two little questions? - based as they are on FACTS, and then we can revisit conjecture, and I promise I'll treat everything you say seriously.

If you don't answer the two little questions and just throw more conjecture at me, i'll consider this discussion at an end.

Cheers,

Posted by Waspsting on (June 4, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

"Second, there are two approaches here. The economical bowlers are more often than not metronomes - line and length. The strike bowlers have pace and they lose the pace with age"

examples, please. Glenn McGrath, around who a large part of this discussion is centered, falls into the first category. Would you agree?

I think you - and others - are assuming wickets falling make the run rate dip.

Have you stopped to think that the run rate being low causes wickets to fall?

IOW, good strike rate leads to good economy rate, and good economy rate leads to good strike rate. If your going to assess which one is stronger, lets see an analysis of some kind (don't know how it would be done, but there you go). Your conjecture, my conjecture... its still a conjecture.

The 2 little questions I've asked you to answer are FACTS.

Analyze that!

Posted by Waspsting on (June 4, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

@Arch - we can do this for months. I assume you've gauged that for every hypothetical license you take, i can match with one of my own, so lets just skip that and stick to facts. If you could just answer one simple question please (well, 2 actually)

1) How many times has a team taken more wickets and lost the match?

2) How many times has a team had a better run rate and lost the match? [[ Will do and post the results. As soon as possible. Ananth: ]] Just two little questions, nothing more, nothing less. Answer please

Posted by arch on (June 3, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

@Waspsting You had me at Kenya vs. West Indies. Seriously, if Viv Richards is set, Gilchrist is on the other end (I take hypothetical license) seven wickets remain, ten overs to go, you will be hit, no mater if the team only has 150 on the board and Ambrose and Walsh are paired up. It is a matter of approach and taking wickets always works. Even the converse Pakistan disaster, the 1999 final was lost not because the Pakistani spearheads were blunted but because the AUSSIES TOOK WICKETS. Pakistan won in 1992 because it took wickets. Even India in 1983 took wickets. Two things Ananth - can you, using your magic, find the most economical attack in ODI history. [[ Based on career rpo values, probably the right measure, yes. While at it I would also find the most "attacking" attack also. Will post a single file with two tables. Would take a day or two. Ananth: ]] Second, there are two approaches here. The economical bowlers are more often than not metronomes - line and length. The strike bowlers have pace and they lose the pace with age. Hence, retirement age for the stats of fast bowlers is incredibly important. Imran and Hadlee retired at 39. They aged differently. Analyze this!

Posted by Ananth on (June 2, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

I must apologize even though it is totally a Cricinfo screw-up. By a wrong setting they have managed to set the status for all comments during the past 8 days as "junk". Consequently these did not get directed to me also. It was only when I received no mails in response to the Bradman article that I suspected something. I went and found 30+ mails sitting in "Junk". Hopefully it should be set right today. You may be excited to know that over the past week or so your mails shared the same status as all "viagra-sellers", "paris hilton in the buff" and "**** or **** or ****" type of mails !!! Ananth

Posted by Nitin Gautam on (June 1, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Hello Anantha

Is there any set frequency for your articles in Itfigure. Must say I am habitual of seeing & reading them as soon as they arrive.

When will the next article be published & can you please tell what is the topic for that [[ I would normally do 2 or 3 articles a month depending on various factors. The next one, on Bradman, has already appeared. There was a mess-up by Cricinfo on the comments and I have only today published all the comments of the last 7 days. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Elvis on (May 24, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

A lot of discussion has gone around on Bowling Average being a suitable parameter for ranking. From dimensional analysis - (ER -> Runs/Ball) * (SR -> Balls/Wicket) = (Ave -> Runs/Wicket) is what is being discussed (the balls in the denominator cancels out the balls in the numerator). Hence it has been propounded that the average encompasses both the economy rate and the strike rate. But why should the ER and SR be multiplied. They can be added or combined in other ways after making adjustments for normalization and given weights. Their relative and separate importance in winning a match or restricting totals has to be derived first.

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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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