January 18, 2013

Analysing Test dismissals across the ages

81

The percentage of bowled dismissals has dropped steadily over the years in Tests
The percentage of bowled dismissals has dropped steadily over the years in Tests © AFP

It has always been my desire to carry out a complete analysis of run-outs in Test matches covering every aspect of this fascinating form of dismissal. Since I have never looked at Test dismissals as a single topic, I decided to take an overall look at dismissals and subsequently go to the next level.

The initial analysis is an in-depth look at dismissals across various periods following the usual classification. The Pre-WW1, Between-wars, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were automatic selections. On this occasion, I have tweaked the remaining years. Tendulkar, who frequently gives his wicket to debutants, was also the first victim of TV umpires who made their debut in 1992 at Durban. Hence I decided to have 1980-1992 as a period followed by three more: 1993-1999, 2000-2006 and 2007-2012. This ensures decent number of Tests in each period.

Let us begin with the base table of number of dismissals in each period. This analysis covers the period until 31 December 2012. Even though three Tests have since been played, all my table work was done before Test no 2069 was incorporated into the database.

Number of dismissals by period

Dismissal type187719201946196019701980199320002007All Tests
 -1914-1939-1959-1969-1979-1992-1999-2006-2012
 
Tests1341402091861983392743452432068
 
Bowled16391205177414491271188313871747127413629
LBW28650982166172115861365182313239095
WK Caught3734328599201058184815851946132210343
Fldr Caught18091639233223252647396834924436319925847
Stumped152158207106991271301861241289
Run Outs1791472412322183252923722262232
Others5889127961292111521781091149
 
Total449641796361578961439948840310688757763584

This table has been shown just for information. There is very little insight to be drawn from this since the number of Tests varies between periods. However the data is available if anyone wants to do some work.

Now the first of two special tables. The first shows the % of dismissals by dismissal type across periods.

Dismissals analysis: % of total dismissals

Dismissal type187719201946196019701980199320002007All Tests
 -1914-1939-1959-1969-1979-1992-1999-2006-2012
 
Bowled36.4528.8327.8925.0320.6918.9316.5116.3516.8121.43%
LBW6.3612.1812.9111.4211.7415.9416.2417.0617.4614.30%
WK Caught8.3010.3413.5015.8917.2218.5818.8618.2117.4516.27%
Fldr Caught40.2439.2236.6640.1643.0939.8941.5641.5042.2240.65%
Stumped3.383.783.251.831.611.281.551.741.642.03%
Run Outs3.983.523.794.013.553.273.473.482.983.51%
Others1,292.132.001.662.102.121.811.671.441.81%

Bowled: This type of dismissal has varied drastically across the ages. During the first period about 37% of batsmen were bowled. The figure dropped below 30% soon and remained around this figure until after the WW2. The next three periods exhibit further drops till it stabilized around 16% during the past three periods covering 20 years. The current figure is well below half the initial figure. How does one explain this? Can we infer that the batsman’'s defence was suspect? Or that the bowler was looking for the most direct form of the dismissals? Could it have been the effect of the uncovered pitches? Or the need to score quickly in 3-day matches? I will let the readers have a field day.

LBWs: This type of dismissal has moved in the other direction. Starting from a very low 6%, the LBW share doubled in the next period. Afterwards the figure remained reasonably steady but took a higher turn in 1980s. It was around that figure until a significant drop during the last period. What does it convey? Possibly that until the change of LBW laws, one could pad away with impunity. Did technique have an effect on these changes? During the past 5 years there is an increase of about 0.4%. This could be due to the partial implementation of DRS. Again let the readers come in with their comments.

WK Catches: Similar to LBWs, at 8% in the first period, followed by a slight increase between the wars and then steady increase until the peak was reached during the 1990s. Then, inexplicably, there has been a drop and now the figure is around 16%.

Fielder Catches: It is a great surprise that, irrespective of the period and whether the batsmen were out bowled or LBW, the fielder catches figure remains either side of 40%, the variation no more than 5% during most of these periods. Taking cognizance of the fact that 40% represents the highest share of all dismissal types, I am as surprised with this revelation as the drastic movement in Bowled and LBW dismissals.

Now we come to two very similar dismissals based on a batsman straying out and failing to reach home.

Stumpings: During the first three periods, the stumpings dismissal share remained at just over 3%. Then it dropped to nearly half and reached a low of 1.3% during 1980-92. It has picked up since and is around 2% these days. Can the current increase be attributed to the more attacking instincts of the batsmen? Third umpire came to the party during 1992. This meant a significant increase during the next three periods. Good spinners have always been around during all these periods.

Run Outs: Surprisingly the Run Outs % has remained steadily at around 4% right through the ages. The value dropped to 3% during 2000-2006, despite the introduction of third umpire. Perhaps the third umpire reversed more decisions in favour of the batsmen.

An analysis of dismissal percentages in Tests
© Anantha Narayanan

Dismissals analysis: Dismissals per match

Dismissal type187719201946196019701980199320002007All Tests
 -1914-1939-1959-1969-1979-1992-1999-2006-2012
 
Bowled12.28.68.57.86.45.65.15.15.26.6
LBW2.13.63.93.63.64.75.05.35.44.4
WK Caught2.83.14.14.95.35.55.85.65.45.0
Fldr Caught13.511.711.212.513.411.712.712.913.212.5
Stumped1.11.11.00.60.50.40.50.50.50.6
Run Outs1.31.11.21.21.11.01.11.10.91.1
Others0.40.60.60.50.70.60.60.50.50.6
           
Total33.029.229.930.630.328.930.230.530.630.2

Now for an alternate form of representation. This one relates to the specific numbers instead of percentage values. Though quite similar, they offer different insights.

The total number of dismissals was quite high to start with. 33 dismissals per Test. Then the value dropped and has stabilized at around 30. So these numbers are relevant indeed.

Notice how the average number of bowling dismissals has dropped over the periods and has stabilized now. On the other hand, LBW dismissals kept increasing and are slightly above the Bowled figure now. Wicket keeper catches increased steadily with a slight drop in recent years. Look at fielder catches which have remained either side of 12 catches per Test. Stumpings have dropped significantly and plateaued. The average number of run outs has more or less remained unchanged.

The combined values across all the periods are - 12.5 fielder catches, 6.6 bowled to 1.1 run outs and 0.6 stumpings per match totaling to about 30 dismissals per match including a few others but excluding those fancy dismissals like hitting the ball twice, obstructing the fielder, hit wicket, handling the ball etc.

An analysis of dismissals per match in Tests
© Anantha Narayanan

Here we are to where we started with. A complete look at run-outs. I wanted to look at how run outs have panned over the years: across periods, by countries, against countries et al. Nothing is gained by looking across 137 years and saying that Australia has lost 1.7% due to run-outs or has effected 1.9% of dismissals in run-outs. So the real need is to develop a four dimensional matrix: by dismissal type, by country/for country and by period. Then present the tables in an easy-to read and understandable form.

I plan to do that next. But why stop at run-outs? Every form of dismissal will throw some light on this fascinating aspect of the game. In fact I have a sneaking suspicion that this follow-up analysis could be very very interesting. We may be able to relate the numbers to famous names such as Harvey, Bland, Harper, Rhodes, Wasim, Waqar, McGrath, Alderman et al.

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

  • Ranga on February 7, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    The big problem in India is that we are confusing showbiz with cricket. IPL is business. No IPL player should be selected to represent India unless he has a domestic record to fall back on. What has happened is the reason for India's (could fill India with Pak/SL) rise became India's fall. The Fab-8(4+Kumble+Zak+Viru+Bhajji)were together and we never looked beyond them. And it was by chance we got these 8. Beyond them, Indian cricketers were pretty average. 25 years back,it was level playing field in terms of resources. Now the world has taken fitness to the next level. Subcontinent never bothered. We never had a system, structure (all 3 SC teams). We still look upto some messiah to come and become the next SRT. We dont have a system to create more world class players. BCCI is a cash cow but the cow doesnt yield milk.

  • Ranga on February 7, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Well, as always, the blog has taken a small detour, although with healthy discussions. Let me add to another detour with some why's. Why, despite a decade of pounding, England emerged a set of key players. Why, despite wavering, Australia keeps challenging. Why, despite choking in smaller formats, SAF is getting the right balance more often. They have just 1 T-20 tournament. In India you have the Zonal T-20 + IPL (Now University cricket has joined the T20 bandwagon. In England, Univ crkt is pretty strong with longer formats in place.)No need to play more longer formats, but the lesser we play shorter formats, it is better. India has lost its bowlers (gone are the days we defended 127 in Sharjah, Australia, etc) to the dimnishing domestic structure and obscenely high amount of importance to T20 Cricket. SL & Pak are following the suit. [[ Excellent point, as usual, very well made. How many people know of Rohinton Baria Trophy. Once second only to the Ranji Trophy, this was the nursery of many a future international player. It was an Inter-University tournament. Swept away in the wave of shorter format tournaments. This year's Ranji Trophy was a sure pointer to what is going to happen. About 250 centuries, barely 10 of these worth anything. Triple centuries galore, but nothing worth a mention. Surely Gavaskar and co can put a full stop to the meaniingless FC matches in which a team 400 ahead in the first innings bats on for two days and sets the other team 800 to win in 2 hours. Give 5 points for a win and 1 point for a first innings lead in a drawn match. Penalize teams such as the team I have referred to above. See how desperate the captains would be to go for a win. The bowlers will get primacy again. In India what is important is the "Cattle auction". Here we have a doubtful player who can barely make it to the Australian team being bought in the auction for a million while one of the greatest of new arrivals in the past 10 years does not get a bid for 100k. An unknown and not in any South African radar player gets 600k while the current Australian captain goes for 400k. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on February 6, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    @ Dr. talha

    It ALWAYS swings a lot at Wanderers. A cricket ball swings more the less density in the atmosphere (water molecule weighs less than oxygen molecule), and I think Wanderers is about 1,600 mtrs above sea level (light air). Philander is your worry in Cape Town ! (he LOVES the place - we were extremely lucky to make 49 !)

    @ Gerry

    It must be exasperating ! I know lol. We've got a guy who failed, failed, failed, and retired. Now Ponting's scoring tons for fun, not even looking like getting out in 1st class :(.

  • Dr. talha on February 6, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    In batting i believe Pak needs a person who can counter-attack. You cant just simply block & wait for the bad deliveries to score. Because u may not get any loose stuff from this bowling.

    In the 90's Pak had players who could counter-attack. A.Sohail, S.Anwar, Inzi, Ejaz, S.Malik, all had this great ability. But in this current line up, under the captaincy of Misbah, this seems very difficult.

    Overall things doesnt look very bright for Pak.

    Next match is at cape town where NZL was bowled out for 45 & Aus for 47 (with Ponting, Clarke, Hussey & Watson in the side).

    Lets see what happens.

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 6, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Ananth, you have answered your own question. Tendulkar failed against England (no use saying that he was crushed by 100th century pressure since he did not even reach 40 most of the time). He failed there, but played Australia away. He failed but played WI. He failed but played NZ. He failed but played England.He failed, but will play Australia. His failure / success will thus not be a determinant. It will be the same as before - do people have the guts to drop him / is he still a big brand? I think the last question is easy to answer - he has dropped off the charts. But the first is tough - fear public backlash (especially from his fans, who have been more determined under pressure than he himself ever was) will bea nuclear deterrent. Secondly, if he only averages 20 in six more tests, i.e. 12 innings, then 240 runs later, he will average 52.95, still very good (though after leaving our Z, BD, and Murali-less SL, it will be sub 50, no ). Why will he worry about trifles?

  • Dr. talha on February 6, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    Firstly i must appreciate the way Steyn bowled.

    After so many years (perhaps since the prime of Kapil) have i seen such high class outswing bowling. Almost every ball landing in the right area, at a very lively pace. Simply Amazing!!

    Steyn was so good, that when Morrison asked Waqar & Jonty, after the match who is better Donald or Steyn, they named the latter.

    Ananth for Pak things r pretty serious.

    Unfortunately this time Ajmal is up against the best non-asian players of spin, on not so supporting pitches.

    Amla & AB has 200's in india and Kallis is a complete package. Ajmal must also get his line right. He was bowling an ODI line.

    Fast bowlers should bowl quicker than they did. I fail to understand why Junaid was bolwing in 130's. He bowled consistently in 140's against india. Even for reverse swing to be effective they should run in hard.

    Cont..

  • milpand on February 6, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    The scorecard uses "†" to indicate caught in a specialist fielding position. I guess there are too few instances of catches where "&" is used, less than one per test.

  • Murray Archer on February 6, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    @ Ananth

    No question about the quality of attack - just who did what when.

    Davidson had only played 8 Tests (all against England - debuted 1953) for 11 wickets at 39.27 when Bill Johnston retired after WI in '54/55. (Ron Archer had played 7 Vs England for 17 wickets @ 18.23.)

    When Miller retired after Pakistan 1956. Davidson had played 11 Test matches for 15 wickets @ 33.53.

    Davo "came good" in Sth Africa '57/58 and never looked back.

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 6, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    In SA, I believe (unless some other series is hurriedly put in place), Tendulkar will play his 199th and 200th test. In his previous tour, in Johannesburg, when we got thrashed by an innings, Tendulkar's 50th century occupied so much attention that someone new to Indian cricket would have imagined we had won the test. So in this case also, there is nothing to worry. From a month prior to the tour, we will have 199/200 with breakfast while reading the papers, he will be on TV, there will be interviews, functions at the ground (if Graeme Smith can have Happy Birthday sung on the ground, surely it must be part of Dhoni's KRA to determine the best on-ground singer in the team, especially after Kumble, a singer, retired). And yes, there is also the matter of another possible innings defeat, but in the six day war, did not the people of both countries believe what their newspapers wrote, and both ended up thinking they had won the war? [[ My question is not the South African series. The only thing I am worried about that seies is that I have provided 200 Tests as the limit for Test batsmen and have to make quite a few changes if SRT crosses the 200 mark. The 64k$ question is what happens if Tendulkar has a poor series against Austraia, say sub-200 runs in four Tests a la England. What does he do. Risk further failures in a tough situation or call it quits. Of course, if SRt scores 300+ runs against Australia, he would have been in the top-3 amongst the Indian batsmen and there is no logical reason for him to call it quits and he wouldn't, either. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on February 5, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Great bowling by Steyn ! He has now reached his highest ever ICC bowling rating which makes him equal 13th (with Davidson) in history.

    Very very happy to see Charles "the terror" Turner honoured by CA (hall of fame). Don't get called the terror for no reason ! Much later, convincing O'Rielly (at his first NSW net practice) to ignore the "coaching" and bowl as he felt comfortable, was more than handy advice !

    @ Ananth - Davidson only played 5 tests with Johnston and really "kicked in" a few years after Johnston's retirement. Would have thought there must be an English attack of that period that was devastating. Strangely, out of Bedser, Statham, Trueman, Tyson, Loader, Laker, Lock and Wardle there doesn't seem to be a single attack that stood out. lol they must have been pioneering rotation ;). [[ For many a Test between 1949 and 1955, Australia fielded 3/4 out of Lindwall/Miller/Johnston/Davidson and in most of these Tests the Australian attack was Group 5 (the best). ALl these bowlers had sub-24 averages. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on February 7, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    The big problem in India is that we are confusing showbiz with cricket. IPL is business. No IPL player should be selected to represent India unless he has a domestic record to fall back on. What has happened is the reason for India's (could fill India with Pak/SL) rise became India's fall. The Fab-8(4+Kumble+Zak+Viru+Bhajji)were together and we never looked beyond them. And it was by chance we got these 8. Beyond them, Indian cricketers were pretty average. 25 years back,it was level playing field in terms of resources. Now the world has taken fitness to the next level. Subcontinent never bothered. We never had a system, structure (all 3 SC teams). We still look upto some messiah to come and become the next SRT. We dont have a system to create more world class players. BCCI is a cash cow but the cow doesnt yield milk.

  • Ranga on February 7, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Well, as always, the blog has taken a small detour, although with healthy discussions. Let me add to another detour with some why's. Why, despite a decade of pounding, England emerged a set of key players. Why, despite wavering, Australia keeps challenging. Why, despite choking in smaller formats, SAF is getting the right balance more often. They have just 1 T-20 tournament. In India you have the Zonal T-20 + IPL (Now University cricket has joined the T20 bandwagon. In England, Univ crkt is pretty strong with longer formats in place.)No need to play more longer formats, but the lesser we play shorter formats, it is better. India has lost its bowlers (gone are the days we defended 127 in Sharjah, Australia, etc) to the dimnishing domestic structure and obscenely high amount of importance to T20 Cricket. SL & Pak are following the suit. [[ Excellent point, as usual, very well made. How many people know of Rohinton Baria Trophy. Once second only to the Ranji Trophy, this was the nursery of many a future international player. It was an Inter-University tournament. Swept away in the wave of shorter format tournaments. This year's Ranji Trophy was a sure pointer to what is going to happen. About 250 centuries, barely 10 of these worth anything. Triple centuries galore, but nothing worth a mention. Surely Gavaskar and co can put a full stop to the meaniingless FC matches in which a team 400 ahead in the first innings bats on for two days and sets the other team 800 to win in 2 hours. Give 5 points for a win and 1 point for a first innings lead in a drawn match. Penalize teams such as the team I have referred to above. See how desperate the captains would be to go for a win. The bowlers will get primacy again. In India what is important is the "Cattle auction". Here we have a doubtful player who can barely make it to the Australian team being bought in the auction for a million while one of the greatest of new arrivals in the past 10 years does not get a bid for 100k. An unknown and not in any South African radar player gets 600k while the current Australian captain goes for 400k. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on February 6, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    @ Dr. talha

    It ALWAYS swings a lot at Wanderers. A cricket ball swings more the less density in the atmosphere (water molecule weighs less than oxygen molecule), and I think Wanderers is about 1,600 mtrs above sea level (light air). Philander is your worry in Cape Town ! (he LOVES the place - we were extremely lucky to make 49 !)

    @ Gerry

    It must be exasperating ! I know lol. We've got a guy who failed, failed, failed, and retired. Now Ponting's scoring tons for fun, not even looking like getting out in 1st class :(.

  • Dr. talha on February 6, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    In batting i believe Pak needs a person who can counter-attack. You cant just simply block & wait for the bad deliveries to score. Because u may not get any loose stuff from this bowling.

    In the 90's Pak had players who could counter-attack. A.Sohail, S.Anwar, Inzi, Ejaz, S.Malik, all had this great ability. But in this current line up, under the captaincy of Misbah, this seems very difficult.

    Overall things doesnt look very bright for Pak.

    Next match is at cape town where NZL was bowled out for 45 & Aus for 47 (with Ponting, Clarke, Hussey & Watson in the side).

    Lets see what happens.

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 6, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Ananth, you have answered your own question. Tendulkar failed against England (no use saying that he was crushed by 100th century pressure since he did not even reach 40 most of the time). He failed there, but played Australia away. He failed but played WI. He failed but played NZ. He failed but played England.He failed, but will play Australia. His failure / success will thus not be a determinant. It will be the same as before - do people have the guts to drop him / is he still a big brand? I think the last question is easy to answer - he has dropped off the charts. But the first is tough - fear public backlash (especially from his fans, who have been more determined under pressure than he himself ever was) will bea nuclear deterrent. Secondly, if he only averages 20 in six more tests, i.e. 12 innings, then 240 runs later, he will average 52.95, still very good (though after leaving our Z, BD, and Murali-less SL, it will be sub 50, no ). Why will he worry about trifles?

  • Dr. talha on February 6, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    Firstly i must appreciate the way Steyn bowled.

    After so many years (perhaps since the prime of Kapil) have i seen such high class outswing bowling. Almost every ball landing in the right area, at a very lively pace. Simply Amazing!!

    Steyn was so good, that when Morrison asked Waqar & Jonty, after the match who is better Donald or Steyn, they named the latter.

    Ananth for Pak things r pretty serious.

    Unfortunately this time Ajmal is up against the best non-asian players of spin, on not so supporting pitches.

    Amla & AB has 200's in india and Kallis is a complete package. Ajmal must also get his line right. He was bowling an ODI line.

    Fast bowlers should bowl quicker than they did. I fail to understand why Junaid was bolwing in 130's. He bowled consistently in 140's against india. Even for reverse swing to be effective they should run in hard.

    Cont..

  • milpand on February 6, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    The scorecard uses "†" to indicate caught in a specialist fielding position. I guess there are too few instances of catches where "&" is used, less than one per test.

  • Murray Archer on February 6, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    @ Ananth

    No question about the quality of attack - just who did what when.

    Davidson had only played 8 Tests (all against England - debuted 1953) for 11 wickets at 39.27 when Bill Johnston retired after WI in '54/55. (Ron Archer had played 7 Vs England for 17 wickets @ 18.23.)

    When Miller retired after Pakistan 1956. Davidson had played 11 Test matches for 15 wickets @ 33.53.

    Davo "came good" in Sth Africa '57/58 and never looked back.

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 6, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    In SA, I believe (unless some other series is hurriedly put in place), Tendulkar will play his 199th and 200th test. In his previous tour, in Johannesburg, when we got thrashed by an innings, Tendulkar's 50th century occupied so much attention that someone new to Indian cricket would have imagined we had won the test. So in this case also, there is nothing to worry. From a month prior to the tour, we will have 199/200 with breakfast while reading the papers, he will be on TV, there will be interviews, functions at the ground (if Graeme Smith can have Happy Birthday sung on the ground, surely it must be part of Dhoni's KRA to determine the best on-ground singer in the team, especially after Kumble, a singer, retired). And yes, there is also the matter of another possible innings defeat, but in the six day war, did not the people of both countries believe what their newspapers wrote, and both ended up thinking they had won the war? [[ My question is not the South African series. The only thing I am worried about that seies is that I have provided 200 Tests as the limit for Test batsmen and have to make quite a few changes if SRT crosses the 200 mark. The 64k$ question is what happens if Tendulkar has a poor series against Austraia, say sub-200 runs in four Tests a la England. What does he do. Risk further failures in a tough situation or call it quits. Of course, if SRt scores 300+ runs against Australia, he would have been in the top-3 amongst the Indian batsmen and there is no logical reason for him to call it quits and he wouldn't, either. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on February 5, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Great bowling by Steyn ! He has now reached his highest ever ICC bowling rating which makes him equal 13th (with Davidson) in history.

    Very very happy to see Charles "the terror" Turner honoured by CA (hall of fame). Don't get called the terror for no reason ! Much later, convincing O'Rielly (at his first NSW net practice) to ignore the "coaching" and bowl as he felt comfortable, was more than handy advice !

    @ Ananth - Davidson only played 5 tests with Johnston and really "kicked in" a few years after Johnston's retirement. Would have thought there must be an English attack of that period that was devastating. Strangely, out of Bedser, Statham, Trueman, Tyson, Loader, Laker, Lock and Wardle there doesn't seem to be a single attack that stood out. lol they must have been pioneering rotation ;). [[ For many a Test between 1949 and 1955, Australia fielded 3/4 out of Lindwall/Miller/Johnston/Davidson and in most of these Tests the Australian attack was Group 5 (the best). ALl these bowlers had sub-24 averages. Ananth: ]]

  • Dr. talha on February 4, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    @ Gerry. Thanks brother!!

    Unfortunately the same old story has repeated itself. Pak going outside asia and failing miserabely in the first inns of the series. Brief first inns story of the past 20 years:

    107 - 1990, in Aus 140 - 1993, in WI 97 - 1995, in Aus 161 - 2002, in SAF 179/72 - 2004, in Aus 144 - 2005, in WI 182/80 - 2010 in Eng 148 - 2010 in Eng (against Aus)

    Also in SAF tour in 1998, they struggled, but Azhar mehmood came for rescue & saved the team from humiliation.

    Except in Eng, Pak always play only one side match before the start of the series, which i believe is not sufficient. [[ A single bright patch in the Pakistan batting. Total of 317 runs and one good partnership of 127 and one respectable stand of 57. But the second innings panned out better. Good fight shown. At least a few batsmen got into correct positions. I wonder what the Indians are going to do later in the year. Only two batsmen with the technique to tackle top quality pace bowling. Pujara may have the technique but is yet to be tested outside India. Tendulkar certainly has the technique but may not travel if he fails against Australia. The others all are in the attacking mode. Gambhir is almost a walking wicket now. And Pakistan at least has its bowling to do something. India does not have the bowlers. Very interesting. Ananth: ]]

  • James on February 3, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Ananth, I'm a big fan of your work, I think it is incredibly interesting and fascinating that you are able to create so many different convincing analyses. I know you have studied bowling pairs, but I was wondering if you would be interested in looking at bowling packs (potentially specifically fast bowlers)? I ask as many are saying the current South Africian pace attack of Steyn, Philander, Morkel and Kallis are the best, but I think many West Indian and Australian attacks would give them a run for their money. Thanks. [[ James, I have done Bowling pairs and trios. Quartets would be too much. Much better to look at the overall Bowling strengths of teams which I did a few years back. I did quite a few articles on Bowling quality last year. The best articles of all times would be amongst three groups: The Australian attacks around 1950s (Lindwall, Miller, Johnstone, Davidson), the West Indian attacks of 1980s and the Australian attacks either side of 2000. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on February 2, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    Congratulations to Graeme Smith. Unbelievable for anyone to play 100 tests as skipper! (a record likely to stand quite some time).

    Junaid Khan looks good :) - first time I've seen him bowl (TV). Very nice skippering by Misbah, and also outstanding catching by Pakistan. [[ In future 100 Tests as player might be as rare as a Martin double-figure innings. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 1, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    Absolute delight to see Pakistan play test cricket with such energy and interest. it compensates for poor levels of interest in India. Congratulations to Dr.Talha, and may Pakistan do very well in this series (the match is not yet over, but I feel that this is real test cricket). [[ As happens often we do not get get Ten Cricket because of turf wars between broadcasters and service providers. 250+ is a competitive score at Wanderer's. They have to see through the first session without losing a wicket to gain some ascendancy. What did the South Africans see in Hafeez. A competent off-spinnesr: no more. They seemed to have made him look like Swann. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on January 31, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    @ Dale

    If you didn't see Alderman in England (either time). He just bowled medium pace late outswingers and had a nice off cutter. Having batted against him, he really did seem to speed up off the pitch (so obviously slowed down less than almost all).

    He had the English umpires "wired" to pull the trigger when he hit the front pad. Today he'd use up both reviews within a session !

    Although old and broken down by then, was interesting watching him in 1990/91 Vs the great Pakistanis on only Australian wickets.

    I would expect most of Alderman's LBW's pitched outside off stump and many hit there with no shot also :)

    Once again you've "nailed" it :)

    Can't get LBW's if you don't pitch up. The (not recorded) number of chop down to stump level bowled, might be the only reason anyone got bowled while they all bowled too short ?

  • Mark Boughtwood on January 30, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Very interesting. It would be as interesting to do this analysis by country - hope coaches are doing this sort of analysis. Pitches must be of better quality and batting styles are now far superior and so the fact the bowl % has halved makes perfect sense.

  • dale on January 29, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    I think the various changes to the law could be the single most influential contributor to the rise in LBW decisions.Of course there are a few other factors involved but who can forget May and Cowdrey padding away Ramadhin into virtual oblivion? We all know that Wasim and Waqar snared 28-29% of their wickets via the LBW route but Terry Alderman(?)got over 34% of his wickets by LBW. However bowlers like Walsh and Ambrose are quite low - both below 13%.

  • Dr. talha on January 28, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    @Murray. "Starc has also decided against IPL this year (getting ready for Ashes)."

    Well thats a very sensible move from Starc. Due to so much cricket, we have seen how Cummins has struggled with injuries in such a short career. Aus hav 9 tough test matches ahead. 4 against Ind & 5 in the Ashes.

    It will be a huge test of the young aussie brigade Pattinson, Cummins, Starc etc..against 2 very formidable batting line ups.

    With Swann & Monty doing well against Ind in tests & Tredwell doing well in ODIs, it would be interesting to see how Aus uses its spinner.

    Surprisingly the indian batting has struggled against spin (vs Eng), both in tests & ODIs.

    I cannot figure out, whether Eng spinners have improved or the Ind batting has lost its amazing skills to play spin.

  • Murray Archer on January 28, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    @ Ananth

    "Almost all the top experts are saying that the DRS should be left to the umpires. And this not-so-famous expert also agrees with them."

    This total non expert also agrees ! It sucks really. Umpires were, and should be Gods in the cricket religion.

    In this one issue (and not many more) I agree with BCCI. The whole thing needs clarification and slow (not instant) review. When (and surely there will be?) something makes sense to all concerned let's adopt it ?

    The last man to the table is not always wrong ?

  • Murray Archer on January 28, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Ananth - $ 600,000 over a year is not great money for "burger flippers" lol

    Yes ! Guys like Roy Emmerson are a joke really. Road cyclists who wanted Olympic gold rather than Tour De France were almost laughed at.

    Where was professional sprinting ?

    $ 60 K is enough for anyone, anywhere, to live well, even today! Why is the $600K or $6M needed ? In most parts of the world $60 K is a fantasy income ! (I am not unaware what I used to spend on cigarettes is more than average earnings in over 50 countries ! )

    In the olden days, the problems a player had was not even earning average wages. Who would employ someone often missing for long periods ?

    I am dead set certain thinkers although perhaps lousy players like say Cowan have no idea of ruining themselves for it !

    I personally think it's obscene how much cricketers get paid today ! good luck to them though.

  • shrikanthk on January 28, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    Starc has also decided against IPL this year There will always be people who'd rather be in the peak competition than earn money playing. :)

    Well. It depends on the stakes as well. IPL money is attractive but not insanely magnetic for Aus/English players for the simple reason that those are much richer countries. Eg: A package of $600,000 (don't know how much post tax) is good money but not a treasure for say a Starc or a Pattinson or a Finn. [[ Taken over a year, it may not be great money. However $600,000 for a 6-8 week stint, not even the best paid western cricketer can ignore. If Starc and Siddle are able to say No to this, kudos to them. Ananth: ]] But it's insanely high for Indian/SL/WI players. $600K for an Indian player amounts to something like Rs.30MM in India which even corporate middle-manager executives earn only over a period of 10-15 years.

  • Murray Archer on January 27, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    RE: DRS

    I thought DRS was part of the tour conditions agreed in all bilateral series ? Can't imagine BCCI boycotting an ICC world cup ! [[ The problem is that both teams have to accept. Ananth: ]] However, what we are seeing, is the players using it as a tactic, and once the 2 challenges are gone, just as many howlers as previously. Maybe there needs to be a penalty of 10 runs or something for unsuccessfully reviewing a marginal LBW ? [[ Almost all the top experts are saying that the DRS should be left to the umpires. And this not-so-famous expert also agrees with them. Ananth: ]] RE : Junaid

    Nice to hear ! I think this great attitude will be generally ongoing and increasing. Won't find Siddle anywhere near any of that stuff (for a few more years). Starc has also decided against IPL this year (getting ready for Ashes). There will always be people who'd rather be in the peak competition than earn money playing. :)

  • Ariz khan on January 27, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    Dr. Talha, Yes doctor, Imran had reservations against Constant and he still played in 1987 series. But Immy never minced a word against any of Paki umpires (at least I didn't hear any)!!! I won't say Pakistani umpiring was poorest, SL were worse (men on mission!), even NZ were on par in patches. Poor umpiring was not all about giving wrong decisions against visiting team but also NOT giving right decisions for home team's players. Thats where Pakistan were undisputed leaders. India's visit to Pakistan in 82-83 still remains my favorite series. I have never seen such a systematic umpiring approach (possibly to avenge their previous tour to India). Ananth, from what I have gathered, talking to some of my Pakis acquaintances, Junaid Khan (or any player in Pak side) will have to work harder than on his cricket to stay clean. Pity. But to me the greatest enigma was D. Hair, not even an average umpire. He was called great simply coz he no-balled Murali!!!

  • Dinesh on January 27, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    And i'm back. After US open you had said that there were Too many Service Breaks, and in this match there were almost none. The Tennis was Good, can be called exciting and reached the Match's peak when there was a point of 36 long Rallies,and after that Djokovic went in 6th Gear and it was all downhill for Murray. [[ If Murray had got his break in the third game of the second set, with Djoko serving 0-40, I feel he would have won the match. At that time he was seving quite well. Ananth: ]] Since Nadal is injured and doesnt look like he would be back to his 100% when he returns in BRazil Open next month,the Slams might be shared between Murray and Djoker. [[ As the courts become slower, in Paris and London, Federer and Nadal would prove to be formidable foes. But I do not see either of them winning in Melbourne or New York soon. Ananth: ]]

  • Dr. talha on January 27, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    Lastly it felt great listening to junaid Khan in an interview saying "test cricket will be my first priority, not ODIs, T20 & the different leagues going round the world. I want to do well at the test level."

    May Allah give him persistence.

    Unlike other Pak cricketers who prefer doing well in ODIs & T20's, for more fame & money. He furthur said "i have discussed with Wasim bhai & Waqar bhai, how they used to train and what diet they used to take, to remain fit & strong." It was great to hear such mature comments from a young talented fast bowler. [[ In a way the obstinacy of BCCI on not taking in Pakistani players for IPL would work in favour of Pakistan's development of their Test cricket. I hope someone finds a way to compensate wonderful talent like Junaid so that he could concentrate on Test cricket. Ananth: ]]

  • Dr. talha on January 27, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Poor umpiring was a global issue.

    After all it was not in Pak where, Michael Holding kicked the stumps.

    I remember Imran having reservations against a couple of umpires after 1982 Eng series. But those umpires were placed not in one, but two tests in 1987.

    In 1988 Pak tour to WI tour umpires didnt even had an idea which way flipper & googly goes after pitching.

  • Dr. talha on January 27, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Pak bowlers got LBWs & bowled just because of high class fast bowling.

    Straight and at extreme pace.

    May it be against any team or on any surface.

    Waqar on the 1993 WI tour got 19 wkts. Amazingly it included 11 LBWs.

    1996 Eng tour - 16 wickets 4 LBW & 7 bowled

    1998 SAF tour - 16 wickets 8 bowled & 4 LBWs

    Similarly Wasim on 99 Ind tour (2 tests) took 9 wkts, 4 bowled & 4 LBW.

    And we know what Shoaib did at Durban (1998) & Kolkatta (1999)

    All the above e.g - Were away tours. - Didnt had a single Pak umpire. - Huge difference in bowling conditions.

    There is long list of such matches..

    Cont..

  • Dr. talha on January 27, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    2) U all will be surprised that Pak played only 6 test from 86 to 90, at home with local umpires. 3 vs Eng (1987) and 3 vs Aus (1988).

    They hardly played any fast bowlers in them. Though umpiring was ordinary in both. Imran did not played any match & Wasim played only 2. Mudassir used the new ball. Waqar had not made his debut.

    In the early 80’s Imran did got lot of wickets at home but than the kind of form Imran was in at that time (1977-83) he got wickets, all round the world.

    Cont..

  • Dr. talha on January 27, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    I dont disagree that umpiring was poor in Pak in 80's. But my points are:

    1) It was the spinners who benefited from the poor umpiring, not the fast bowling greats like Imran, wasim & Waqar. In most of the matches Pak played with 3 spinners. Qadir, tauseef & Qasim. More than the LBWs there were a lot more questions on the bat & Pad catches. This may be the problem in India as well, but since matches in India were not televised in Pak in 80's so cannot comment on it.

    Cont..

  • Murray Archer on January 26, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    While still off topic, the DRS is interesting mainly because of it's flaws.

    Firstly, there's no doubt in my mind that on a hot day, thin edges don't show on hotspot. (they gleam on cooler days, but I've seen the seam rotate on contact and no hot spot !).

    Secondly what DRS is being used ? every season it changes. This year, the line of the stumps has been reduced to the line from the middle of leg and off rather than the outside line of both. Further, a tightening of overrule, has meant that the centre of the ball must now be inside the centre of the stumps (hmmmm so balls and also stumps have no width ?). It was not the way it worked just a year before.

    I can actually understand BCCI's stance (for once lol). I believe for DRS to work well, it just has to be a consistent standard. It must reviewed less often than per series. I also like Mark Taylor's idea that it should be taken out of player's hands. [[ I agree that DRS is not perfect. My only objection is that one country, SOLELY because of the financial clout, has the authority to veto it. That throws up ICC in very poor light. They seem to be only echoing their master's voices. It is as if Djoko, Nadal and Fed get together and insist that their matches would not have the Review system. During the past 3 months, I can think of 10 instances wherein the DRS would have corrected close umpire's mistakes. Forget about the hot spot. There were ball-hitting-bat type of Lbws or clear knicks which were missed or balls caught off the pads. One replay was enough. I have no problems with the third umpire intervening or the first/second umpires asking for assistance. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on January 26, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    @ Dr. talha "The culture in Pak is to bowl quick & straight"

    Keep it if you can ! It used to be that way in Australia when I grew up too! Last year Craig McDermott brought it back for a while - it's a gem !

    I remember Aust losing the ashes in 2005. How Simon Jones is not instantly mentioned by everyone regarding that series, is beyond me !

  • Murray Archer on January 26, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    Yes :) Bhuvneshwar looks pretty good to me. He has a nice repeatable action ! ( do think the left shoulder "throwout" signals the inswinger a bit too much) I hope he plays ! (tests I mean).

    My more logical side though, can't see India not having 3 spinners and conditions to suit. Beer's injury along with Holland's, means our 3rd rate spinners have become 5th rate lol. Our "Swan's" are just doubtfully efficient treasurers, and/or dark ugly ducklings. There's not a "Panacea" lol in sight ;)

    Speaking of ugly, I am warming to Phil Hughes. He can't bat, yet tends to score well if he gets a start. (opposite of Watson).

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if we take 2 keepers as batsmen. Neither can keep, but both can bat a bit, and Haddin isn't "leaden footed" against spin like most of our batsmen.

  • Murray Archer on January 26, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    Not only extremely skilled bowlers (which they certainly were), yet bringing back "that old dress" - pitching the ball up ! *Fashion gurus :)

    There was one series in WI V Pak... I can't remember when. I remember it as the 5/100 series. Both Ambrose and Waqar seemed to get 5/100...... Ambrose in nn overs and Waqar in less than half nn.

    I know which I'd like as skipper ! ;)

    Pitching up will surely come back again .... lol everyone's not used to the demons of Kulasekera ;) [[ Your boys should be wary of Kumar, a rare Indian bowler, who can swing the ball at length both ways. Real technique is called for. Cowan is still unproven. As is Khawaja. And Clarke cannot take over the roles of both Ponting and Hussey at the same time. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on January 24, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Sorry, I did not refer at all to any biased umpiring in Pakistan. I meant that from 1980 to the mid-90s, Pakistan pitches were frequently underprepared, and there was a higher proportion of LBWs as the ball kept low and there were frequent shooters bowled by quick bowlers also. Also the conditions were dry, there was more reverse swing, especially inswing, and this also must have contributed to more LBW%. [[ Gerry, It was only a general statement that we have to look at these carefully. Ranga has made a nice point. These were extremely skilled bowlers. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on January 23, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Reg. Pakistanis getting more LBWs at home is a tad unfair to the Pakistani quicks who were pretty consistent across the globe. Some may have better records in a particular nation and may be someone else would have a better record in another, but by and large, they do get pretty decent returns across.There may have been bad decisions as they have been across, but somehow they mastered the art of swing bowling and they could make the ball swing just enough. As a cricket lover who is an Indian, I was always amazed at how Pakistanis with all their talent, never moved a notch higher than what they eventually did. One of the best things that can happen to cricket is Pakistan winning more tests and touring more often to Oz,SAF & Eng for full test series. [[ I would not deny that there have been biased umpires in Pakistan. By the same token some of the Indian, Australian, New Zealand, Sri Lankan umpires have been equally biased. Probably only England might be exempt. There were dark times but let us also give credit to the exceptional string of bowlers Pakistan has produced from Fazal (okay, born in India) through Sarfraz, Imran, Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib through to Junaid (could acquire greatness in the furure). Ananth: ]]

  • Dr. talha on January 23, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    I think Ananth the first comment of Rajesh & the one from Ranga is a perfect conclusion of this blog.

    I dont think Gerry, umpiring in Pak will be a reason for more LBWs percentage in 1980's. LBWs were higher in 1990's & 2000's, despite the fact that neutral umpires stepped in.

    Poor umpiring can be a factor in other forms of dismissals as well. E.g Caught behind, run-outs, stump and most importantly Bat & Pad catches in teams having more spinners.

    Whether they play at home or abroad, Pak bowlers will always have a high percentage of LBWs & bowled.

    The culture in Pak is to bowl quick & straight. Youngsters practice this from their under-19s. Perhaps its because of the dead wickets and poor fielding. But u will always find them bowling the same length in every format, tests, ODIs or T20s.

    Junaid Khan in the recent Indo-Pak ODI series is another e.g. He took 8 wickets out of which 5 were bowled.

  • Ravinarayanan K.R. on January 23, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    I am a regular reader of all your articles. A wonderful analysis on the mode of dismissals especially, BOWLED. With advent of protective gadgets like helmet, thigh guard etc., Batsmen are coming forward and play the stroke. This could be one of the reasons for the decrease in the BOWLED OUT dismissals. The DRS may not be panacea for all evils. It eliminates the % of dubious decisions. It may undermine the field Umpire's credibility, but the umpires themselves welcome the use of DRS. But India's adamancy in not accepting is really intriguing, as most of the countries have accepted DRS. Let's hope better sense prevail upon BCCI in future to accept DRS.

    It will also be interesting if you analyse the run outs and other dismissals by country/place and opponent etc and it may throw more light on the modern cricketer's take on the bowlers. [[ The follow-up article to this article is one in which I analyze the dismissals by type of dismissal / period / team-location. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on January 23, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    Again, the technique part is debatable, but looking at the reduced bowled and increased caught behinds, we could draw subjective conclusions on the increasingly flattening of wickets (could be supported by Ananth's articles on period-wise analysis where batting has generally become easier post 2000, where we have had tall scores and 50+ averages very easily). With wickets tending to get flatter, bowlers rely on movement in the air and getting the edge as pitches could be predictable. It could also be an effect of limited over cricket, forcing batsmen to play at deliveries more than they did before. There is this increasingly needless tendency of attributing "Scoreboard pressure" in tests, where a few dot balls frustrate batsmen. Apart from bowlers' guiles having found out ways of getting wickets on flatter tracks, batsmen being lured into a shot for scoring opportunities - influence of LOI cricket possibly writ all over. [[ Very valid point. The mindset of batsmen has changed clearly in favour of attacking play. This brings in the increased chance of such dismissals. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on January 23, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    Nice and different paradigm of analysis!

    It could be highly subjective but the trends show that the number of dismissals on line-call (run-out/stumping) have reduced despite inclusion of TV umpires. This shows the effect of limited over cricket on Tests, that either batsmen have started to become more athletic and better trained physically(and hence, better judges of runs)while the bowlers have tended to bowl flatter (reducing the lure due to flight and hence, reduced stumpings). It also shows the lack of a quality spinner who has played the game over a long career (of the top-15, we have lots of pacemen but very few spinners, though the top 3 are slowmen). So batsmen have become more assured of runs while bowlers rely on frustration rather than deception (in general). [[ As I have mentioned in my article, contrary to expecttions, more third umpire decisions might favour the batsmen. Maybe the DRS Lbw decisions might give hairline decisions in favour of the bowlers, but not the line decisions. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on January 22, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Ananth, on ER/SR, it is just 9 numbers, one SR for each period. You can put it anywhere in the article, not necessarily in table. I would have got it from Cricinfo, but your data is more complete. [[ Gerry I myself missed the point last time. Where do the ER and SR come in this analysis. It was anyhow covered in the Test Summary analysis sometime back. Ananth: ]]

  • Aniruddha on January 21, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    "If Renshaw was the first to serve after a toss, we do not think that Renshaw is the father of the modern game." Lol - absolute Gem. [[ The guy who today reached the quarter final of a grand slam tornament for the 35th consecutive time might have contributed something to the modern game. Imagine, 35 consecutive grand slams, not once has he missed the second week, not once has he withdrawn from one event, not one injury and is 140-0 during the first four rounds of the past 35 slams. I think this must be one of the greatest, if not the greatest feat of consecutive major event performances. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on January 21, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Very nice. Perhaps you could include ER/SR data also. may help interpret these tables better. [[ Gerry As I have already mentioned two/three times in this article, there is no way we can add other measures. Impossible to show. Period/Type of Dismissal/Team/Location are already 4 dimensions. Ananth: ]] In 1970-79 period, the bowled % fell by 5ppt. In the next decade, while I can imagine the Pakistanis causing 5ppt increase in LBW through their home matches (would love to see if this comes out in your next article), cant explain how the bowled % was so low in the '70s compared to '60s. [[ Maybe your wish might be granted. But let us keep our feet on the ground. There is no need to go to town on that. Ananth: ]] Was it that the bowlers in '70s bowled a shorter length and went over the stumps? Similarly, many spinners in the '70s would have also brought the bowled % down. But this trend has intensified over the next 30 years, and there is a 4ppt drop in from '70s to the 2007-2012 period.

    The fielder caught jumped sharply in '70s and then again in 2000s. My guess would be that in '70s it was the Aussies and Windies, and in 2000s, the Saffers added to slip catching intensity. The per match table and % table both seem to agree with this.

  • Senthil on January 21, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Thank you for your effort and the way it is presented is awesome. For further useful insights, we really need to classify the bowlers (left hand seamers, right hand seamers, similarly for spinners along with leg break or off break)in that era and then look at the type of dismissals and the type of batsmen(left or right). To dig deeper into it, we can also try to bring in other dimension like bowler's guard (over the wicket or around the wicket- No sure whether we would have this data). If, we have this info, it can be put into a 3 dimensional matrix and start analysing. 1. Type of bowler 2. Type of batsmen 3. Type of dismissal [[ I have already talked of the multiple dimensions in this analysis. It would be impossible to an all-inclusive analysis incorporating bowler type, batsman type etc. Already we have 4 dimensions. And nothing is gained if we do any such analysis across 137 years or across teams. It would be as useful as last year's newspaper. Ananth: ]]

  • RAVI TEJA MANDAPAKA on January 21, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Thank you sir for taking the toil of bowlers into consideration in this time and age. Three Cheers !

  • Murray Archer on January 20, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    "Another notable data point in your analysis is the increase in the percentage of LBWs from 1970-79 to 1980-92 (11.7% to 15.9%)...........And the In-ducker became a very common delivery. Not a surprise at all that the LBW percentages went up in that period"

    Other than thinking myself, reverse swing started far earlier, I agree.

    Add in also the not playing when hit outside off stump LBW started in 1972 ? (strange for "delayed" results but feel there was a paucity of very good in movers to right handers around in '70's - it had become unpopular)

  • Rohit on January 19, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    Sadly there are no records of dropped catches, for it would have been nice to know the percentage increase in successful catching as a measure for fielding standards since teams started laying emphasis on having athletes on the field. I wonder how the rates might have varied for different countries till about the 2000's, when everyone had to improve their fielding in order to stay competitive.

  • Murray Archer on January 19, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    Another significant shift has been the increase of left handers playing. Whether this has affected types of wickets, I have no idea. Opposite hand of bowler to batsmen may well increase LBW's ? Certainly it seems that ALL bowlers are now comfortable switching from over to round the wicket. [[ When I had done my Test Summary analysis I had done this split into Right-Left. Given below is the extract from the current Test summary data. Left handed innings played Pre-WW1: 656 (5050) 13.0% 1920-39: 684 (4766) 14.4% 1946-59: 1083 (7286) 14.9% 1960-69: 1272 (6671) 19.1% 1970-79: 1340 (7053) 19.0% 1980-92: 2277 (11496) 19.8% 1993-99: 2360 (9615) 24.5% 2000-06: 3581 (12236) 29.3% 2007-13: 2151 (8693) 24.7% Overall: 15404(72866) 21.1% So there has been a marked increase in left handers. But see the drop recently. And they have better averages also. Ananth ]]

  • Pramod on January 19, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    Could you do an analysis on bowlers averages with respect to the top order ( possibly till 7 ) . Wouldn't it be wonderful to see how many runs per wicket a bowler gives away against those specific players who were skilled at batting. Thanks [[ That required ball-by-ball data which is not available. Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Another notable data point in your analysis is the increase in the percentage of LBWs from 1970-79 to 1980-92 (11.7% to 15.9%).

    Reason - We all know the decade of the 80s witnessed the shift of the cricketing center of gravity from England to Asia. But this shift was not just in terms of the game's popularity but also in terms of the game's technique.

    The late 70s witnessed the emergence of the first reverse swing bowler in Sarfraz Nawaz. Numerous bowlers followed in his wake. Suddenly bowling with the old ball was not the ordeal it once was. And the In-ducker became a very common delivery. Not a surprise at all that the LBW percentages went up in that period [[ The Team and Location analysis which follows is likely to throw a lot of light into these segments. Ananth: ]]

  • Ravinarayanan K.R. on January 19, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    Nice and excellent analysis. But it is curious to know that % of bowled decreased in the modern age. Is it only with the advent of protective gadgets or the contemporary players come out and play?. It is also a point to ponder over that the dominance of the batsman over bowlers demotivates the bowlers to try out of box ideas. It is also pertinent to include whether the dismissals happened in Home conditions or away series. Full lmarks to Mr. Ananth for his depth analysis of the game in every perspective. Well done and keep it up. [[ The Team and Location analysis which follows is likely to throw a lot of light into these segments. Hoe and away seems to be less important than Location. Ananth: ]]

  • Ariz khan on January 19, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Murray Bowling lengths have definitely become shorter but it would only lower LBW+Bowled. The WK catches have gone down since 2000, part of it can be attributed to Kamran Akmal, not that Paki's previous keepers were a lot better. [[ The Team and Location analysis which follows is likely to throw a lot of light into these segments. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on January 19, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Nice point by Shri about the more direct line losing prevalence towards about 6th wicket line. I contend the gradual change also included a shortening of length. This started to occur as bowling became less an instrument of attack and more one of defense.

    While there had always been aggressive "shock" bowling, the tendency to have near every ball, back of a length, developed since (as shri rightly says) Hutton. Winning by being defensive in the field had rarely occurred prior to that.

    Only about 15 years later, short form cricket strongly reinforced those negative bowling lengths. (had already been with Snow types in England) Since then, also seems to me, that tail-enders generally bat a bit better.

    @ Bheem - thanks buddy :). You can count on something this weekend. Likewise also offer Murray_Archer@Hotmail.com to anyone interested.

    I think umpires used to be more reticent to give an LBW against a player well forward - were looking for back foot certainties.

  • Vyasa on January 19, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Nice analysis Ananth. How about adding one more graphic to this mix? About how the type of dismissal varied with batting position? There is a tendency amongst cricket fans to pigeon-hole dismissals based on pure perception. A bowled is seen differently as compared to a caught by fielder (Tendulkar's recent struggles are a case in point). So, is there a trend w.r.t batting position and mode of dismissal? Would a lower order batter be bowled more often (an educated guess, perhaps)?

    Vyasa. [[ Good point. However pl see one of my earlier responses. Too many dimensions. If I inlude Batting position, we would have 4/5 dimesnsions (Type of dismissals, Period, Team Batting, Team Bowling, Location already there). Let me see. Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    And Bowling evolution ???

    In a way it was Grace's success with overarm fast bowling during those early years which gave impetus to the evolution of bowling (especially spin against which Grace was purportedly not too clever)

    Other pivotal figures who helped fundamentally change attitudes towards Bowling :

    1. Lohmann - who introduced the idea of variation in bowling. A pioneer of "change of pace".

    2. Bosanquet - The inventor of googly bowling following whom wrist spin became very fashionable and remained in vogue for 30 yrs

    3. Maurice Tate - the original seam bowler, who pioneered the use of seam (markedly different from the "brute force" fast bowlers of the 1890s)

    4. Len Hutton - a man whose captaincy in the early-mid 50s fundamentally changed the emphasis from medium pace to fast bowling. One pivotal moment was when he dropped Bedser on the '54-55 tour. Also the first captain to consciously slow down overrates. It changed bowling for ever.

    5. Mutthiah Muralitharan

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    If Renshaw was the first to serve after a toss, we do not think that Renshaw is the father of the modern game.

    Renshaw did not really impact tennis the way Grace impacted cricket. No parallel there.

    Without decrying anything Grace or ranji did, I can only say that they belong to the set of people who helped the game evolve, amonst, say, 10 players

    Could you name the other eight? Am referring to batting technique here. Frankly there's nobody else close to these two with the same degree of influence. Not Hobbs. Not Trumper. Not Bradman or Sobers.

    Ofcourse many of them may be greate

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Grace played his first Test 4 years after the first Test was played. But only 3 Tests were played before his debut. So whatever he played had to be pioneering

    Not sure if I like the slight tone of condescension in this line. [[ Frankly, Shri, let me say this. I made a statement. There was no condescending tone. And you are also prone to make definitive, often preachy, the-last-word-must-be-mine type of statements. And if I am condescending, does not really matter. Ananth: ]] People often don't realize how CRUCIAL those early Grace years were. 1860 to 1880.

    It was Grace's success in those years which made test cricket worth thinking about.

    He showed the world overarm bowling could be played. And came up with a method to handle it. Had he failed, who knows. Cricket may have reverted to underarm/round arm bowling. And slowly withered away. Because it is precisely overarm bowling which makes cricket such an exciting varied game. [[ A few way-out conlusions. Cricket might have found another route to salvation. Ananth: ]] We are all in perpetual debt to that great bearded Victorian.

    So when one discusses pioneers of technique, one has to mention Grace first. Then Ranji - because the man changed the way batsmen approached run-making.

    Yes, we have had minor pioneers since then. But the base was laid by these two. [[ Let me also say this. For many cricket followers, especially in India, FC is a joke. They see 200+ hundreds made in 6 weeks and the guy who made two 300s struggle. They identify only with international cricket and now club cricket. For most of the followers pre-1877 period is almost non-existent. Even I, who has followed cricket regularly, can only identify the serious game from 1877 onwards. Most of us are not historians. The evolution of the game does not affect most people the same way it affects you. If someone told me that before 1880, 90% of runs were scored on the off-side, I would assume it is part of the evolutionary process. The same way the Tennis game has evolved over the past 100 years. If Renshaw was the first to serve after a toss, we do not think that Renshaw is the father of the modern game. Without decrying anything Grace or ranji did, I can only say that they belong to the set of people who helped the game evolve, amonst, say, 10 players. And Bowling evolution ??? Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Why 70s. Wasn't there short pitched bowling in the 50s/60s. Trueman, Hall, Griffith, Gilchrist, Adcock, Meckiff were all fast and aggressive.

    Fast yes. Aggressive yes. But short-pitched bowling had not yet become a habit in the 60s. Yes, you had incidents like Contractor's injury. But such bowling was still an exception rather than the rule.

    Lengths became deliberately much shorter starting with Lillee and Thomson thus necessitating helmets by the late 70s.

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Somewhat sweeping and quite sujective statement. This gives the impression that batting techniques have remained virtually static over the past 115 years.

    I said fundamental changes to batting technique. Ofcourse small incremental changes keep happening all the time. Even KP did his bit by introducing the switch hit.

    And let us not bring in FC cricket during the 1860s in England. Virtually no one has any clue as to what happened. Serious discussions on the game should start from 1880 onwards.

    Overarm bowling was legalized in 1864. The fundametal formation of batting technique to handle overarm bowling happened during those pivotal years - 1864 to 1880. Not after 1880. If you exclude those 16 years, you miss out on the most crucial stage of cricket history. The 16 years which saw the establishment of overarm cricket on a firm footing, the decline of roundarm/underarm bowling and the establishment of county clubs with a business model to back them up.

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    The high proportion of "stumped" dismissals before WWII also an indicator of how approaches to batting have changed a bit.

    Before WWII, it was common for batsmen to dance down the wicket to handle spinners (even Aus and Eng batsmen). Batsmen do that less often these days. They tend to be more conservative and have other options like sweep/paddle shots etc.

    Also spin bowling in general was a more dominant a form of attack in the 20s/30s than it is today. Even medium pacers were more common pre WWII who often bowled with WK standing up (the likes of Tate) which made them effective as it brought the "stumping" option into the picture.

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    feel that protective equipment has played a big role in decreasing the % of bowleds… Players are more willing to come into line, rather than back away This is maybe true more for tailenders. Nevertheless I don't think it is such a big factor because short-pitched bowling was not really a norm until the 70s (with some exceptional episodes like Bodyline). [[ Why 70s. Wasn't there short pitched bowling in the 50s/60s. Trueman, Hall, Griffith, Gilchrist, Adcock, Meckiff were all fast and aggressive. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on January 19, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    The "Other dismissals" numbers have been added to all the tables. Across most periods it is well below 1%.

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    If the lengths have become shorter ( as you say ) it should technically affect both the bowled and lbws in the same manner (i.e both decreasing)

    LBW laws were different some 90 years ago. Also pre 1914, pad play was practically non-existent barring some exceptions like Shrewsbury in the 1880s.

    The fact that pad-play took off in the 20s suggests that batsmen were fairly confident of evading LBWs thanks to the law.

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    I think it was something to do with the technique as well as the difficulty of batting on an unkempt lawn of a pitch

    Less to do with technique or even uncovered pitches but more to do with the style of bowling and a couple of other factors that I mentioned in my previous comment

    Batsman could have relied more on hand eye co-ordination to hit the ball rather than use their feet to get to the ball and thereby negating excess swing or spin

    This happens more these days. The classical approach pre-WWI was to get forward to the pitch of the ball to negate any movement. Today it's different. Batsmen trust hand-eye co-ordination more and often stay back to deliveries

    To my mind there have been only 2 major technicians in cricket history who fundamentally changed batting technique-

    1. Grace : Who pioneered the forward defence 2. Ranji : Who introduced back-foot play and leg-side strokes

    Everyone else is living in these two's shadow. Be it Trumper, Hobbs, Bradman or Tendulkar [[ Somewhat sweeping and quite sujective statement. This gives the impression that batting techniques have remained virtually static over the past 115 years. Grace played his first Test 4 years after the first Test was played. But only 3 Tests were played before his debut. So whatever he played had to be pioneering. And let us not bring in FC cricket during the 1860s in England. Virtually no one has any clue as to what happened. Serious discussions on the game should start from 1880 onwards. Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on January 19, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    but the data here in some twisted way supports "bheems's" delusional views

    The high proportion of "bowled" dismissals before the Second World War was largely influenced by the lines of attack.

    The lines of bowlers were straighter and targeted on off stump in the early days. Also the lengths were fuller.

    As decades have gone by, the lengths of bowlers have shortened. And the line is no longer on off-stump but on 5th or a 6th stump

    Reasons for this shift-

    1. The greater preponderance of medium pace and spin bowling in the earlier eras entailed a straighter line. When the WK stands up, the bowler is forced to focus more on the stumps.

    2. Relative underdevelopment of Leg-side play in the pre-Ranji years - Leg-side play took off only post 1914 making it harder for bowlers to bowl a straight line without being collared.

    3. Low frequency of LBW decisions due to the old Law - This meant that people who otherwise may have gotten LBW ended up getting bowled later.

  • Bheem on January 19, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    @Murray

    "My guess with bowled dropping in reverse of lbw increasing, is changes in the length commonly bowled (as well as tighter laws)"

    If the lengths have become shorter ( as you say ) it should technically affect both the bowled and lbws in the same manner (i.e both decreasing)

    If you or anyone is interested in discussing the Bradman topic offline pls drop me a email : beer.kingfisher @ gmail.com (no spaces)

    If not thanks for the discussion in the previous blog entry. And thx to Ananth for tolerating my views. [[ Excellent idea for people to interact off-line. Thanks to Bheem for making his private mailid available. Ananth: ]]

  • Murray Archer on January 19, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    Wow - great stuff Ananth :)

    Amazing how steady caught in field has remained !

    My guess with bowled dropping in reverse of lbw increasing, is changes in the length commonly bowled (as well as tighter laws). Medium and further up attack lengths have near continuously (blips like bodyline aside) become shorter until last period. This also leads to edges tending to be thinner ? (more keeper catches - wish we had numbers on slips). [[ Yes, I agree that "Catches behind" rather than "Wk catches " would have been a very valuable measure. Your point on lengths has to be looked at more closely. Ananth: ]]

  • Mustafa on January 18, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    What about other types of dismissals, such as hit wickets, or handling the ball. Shouldn't there be a miscellaneous category for those? [[ Didn't think it was worthwjile to add those. I only looked at the six major forms of dismissals. Will anyhow add a row for these in tha tables. In the graph, that narrow gap at the top represents these dismissals. Ananth: ]]

  • Rohit on January 18, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    Considering the high number of bowled dismissals in the first period, my thought is that the skills of footwork may not have been as scientifically developed as they are now. Batsman could have relied more on hand eye co-ordination to hit the ball rather than use their feet to get to the ball and thereby negating excess swing or spin. Or it may just be that players such as Hobbs and Trumper started to develop techniques to get bat and pad closer to each other in order to stop getting bowled. Either way, considering that we used uncovered pitches up until recently in the game's history, I think it was something to do with the technique as well as the difficulty of batting on an unkempt lawn of a pitch. [[ They had no history behind them and were not equipped to deal with the swinging and turning balls.A natural situation. Ananth: ]]

  • dale on January 18, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Re: Dismissals per match - It is surprising that there were only 28.9 dismissals per match during the period of 1980 to 1992. This is the lowest of all the identified periods. Could it be the lack of top quality spinners which is responsible for this? It was also the lowest in dismissals via "stumped" at 0.4 Abdul Qadir was the outstanding spinner of the period with only the less celebrated Iqbal Qasim being right up there with him despite playing far less matches. [[ Two things. There is the small component of "other dismissals" whih I will include. But would make very little difference. Spinners playing for one country will make very little difference. Was it also the period when many matches were won with the winning team losing only 10-12 wickets, because of the quality of bowling attacks, especially West indian.. Ananth: ]]

  • Hamayoun on January 18, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    I would say that the rise in LBWs must have been affected by the introduction of neutral umpires. [[ Although some might say it was the other way round. Ananth: ]]

  • ravinarayanan on January 18, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    This is an excellent analysis on type of dismissals. As Mr. Ananth rightly pointed out the % of bowled in the early years is really intriguing with great batsmen like Bradman, Hammond etc. May be the protective equipments played a part. Who can forget the bodyline series unleashed by Larwood and co., It's a nice article. Keep it up.

  • b.c.g on January 18, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    I don't want to bring back recent unending debates,but the data here in some twisted way supports "bheems's" delusional views that cricket before the 70s was amateurish thus resulting in a higher numbers of "bowled" dismissals. [[ Pitches and protective equipment are more likely to be the real reason. Anyhow amateur is a term which conveys nothing. May and Cowdrey were amateurs while Hutton and Graveney were professionals. What does this mean. That the first two were not paid money for playing, that is all. Ananth: ]]

  • Cliff on January 18, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    The stat on stumping I think can be explained by the rise of fast bowling in the late 70s and into the 80s and continuing since. While many teams had good spinners still others like the WI didn't use proper spinners at all. Jeffrey Dujon, for example, never took a stumping for the WI and i wouldn't be surprised if the Aussies had a lack of those until Warne came into the team. I think if you decide to look into each form of dismissal in detail it might be worthwhile to look at the breakdown by team. Sad that the stats don't track where in the field a fielder was when he took a catch. Back in the day the WI would often have 3 slips, gully (funny that position doesn't get used much anymore) and backward point. Certainly a catch in the slips is similar in cause to catch by the keeper as opposed to one at deep midwicket. [[ Nothing can be done. Even slip fielders are rarely identified. For that matter even today. Ananth: ]]

  • b.c.g on January 18, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    The last graph is the most stunning.It really seems as if some equilibrium has been reached b/w different modes of dismissals.Perhaps the large number of variables in different locations;evens everything up.

    I think the "bowled" dismissals are inversely proporional to the protective equuipment in use.Explains why it dropped of dramatically since the 80's.Covered pitchers also contributed;as they ensured no more shooters along the ground(mostly)

    I wonder why the "stumping"mode of dismissal is so low during the 60s?Indian quartet,underwood,titmus,sobers,gibbs,benaud,lock,........seems like a lot of spin(equals more stumping opportunities) [[ Not really. If you look at the % of total dismissals, the 60s is more than all periods since then. But it was aso a strongly defensive era. Ananth: ]]

  • Arjun on January 18, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Ananth,

    The Single most important factor affecting types of dismissal is type of bowler.

    Ntini, Walsh, Mcgrath - Caught at slip, wk. Waqar, Akthar - Bowled, LBW. Left Arm Seamers - LBW Conventional Spinners - Caught by fielders Quick Spinners - Bowled, LBW (kumble, chandra, afridi)

  • getsetgopk on January 18, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Great analysis once again. Im personally looking forward to an analysis of individual bowlers (fast bowlers in particular) who with their individual percentage of dismisals in bowled AND LBW. Waqar is one bowler to have something like 57% of his overall test wickets coming from LBW and bowleds. This gives us an idea of who was the most attacking bowler in the history of tests. There have been attacking bowlers but then there have been attacking attacking bowlers, more interested in the timber work sort of attacking. Would be extremely interesting to see how the rest of the bowlers fared in comparison with waqar's 57%. [[ I have done at least part of this earlier. The article is called "Bowlers doing it all on their own" and the link is http://blogs.espncricinfo.com/itfigures/archives/2008/10/bowlers_doing_it_all_on_their.php It was published during October 2008. Ananth: ]]

  • dale on January 18, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    Ananth: Thanks for another great article. The presentation as always is excellent. "Catches win matches"- all of my coaches constantly stated this belief and if you were not a good "catcher"you would not make the team. This is evident as since 1960 catches have accounted for anywhere from 56% to 60% of all dismissals. I would imagine that the decrease in "bowled" is directly related to the increase in LBWs (changes to the law plus the use of technology are responsible for this)and also to the tremendous increase of wicketkeepers' catches. The role of the wicketkeeper in affecting dismissals is to me perhaps the most significant revelation of this analysis. I think this is a reflection of bowling strategy more than anything else. [[ As I have already mentioned in my response to Rajesh, the 1920-309 period which boasted of some of the greatest batsmen in history, has a high Bowled %. Is it a case of Bradman, Hammond, McCabe, Woodfull, Ponsford, Hutton, Constantine et al also co-existed with a whole collection of poor batsmen. Ananth: ]]

  • Amit Bajaj on January 18, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Ooh! would I love to be a part of this analysis.

    Interesting stuff. As an analytics professional and cricket fan, let me lay down some points that may help refining this further.

    1. Rather than matches , lets consider no. of innings. We have seen periods of time in our life times, where in teams were happy to play for draws, so in my mind this could be a differentiator. [[ I think that more than the per match or per innings numbers, the % of dismissals matetrs more. After all you could easily divide that by 10 to get a per-innings value. I will still try to do that and post. Ananth: ]] 2. If possible, we need t break down "Caught by Fielder" into Caught in Slips and Caught by Fielders or Caught by Attacking Field Positions and Caught in other positions. This could potentially provide an insight into a period of domination by bowlers or a period of suspect batting technique. [[ No data available. Ananth: ]] 3. Bowler type would sure through a lot of detail in the mix. ( i would have loved to added Country of play as well, but then the thing with data is that you always want more so I will restrict it to these three for now.) [[ The problem is the number of dimensions. We already have three. Dismissal type, period, country. There is already an added dimension in Batting dismissals and Bowling dismissals. Already there is a request (from Unni) on Location. Now if we add bowler type as well it would become impossible to present the data. One possibility is to create a linear data file with all details, by match, and let you guys do your own analysis. Let me see. Ananth: ]] If only some one could pay us to do this analysis ;) it would be a dream job, wouldn't it :)

  • unni on January 18, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    To me it looks like an amazing symmetry in the fact that ~50% dismissals happen in the center line of the ground and the other 50% happens outside this line even though the possible types of dismissals are asymmetric. It looks like the rules of dismissals are perfectly designed. I wonder if it is really perfect or we can add another type of dismissal to the game(Maybe possibility to have a run out along with a catch in the same ball?). If yes how this would skew the current symmetry? Regarding the reduction of number of bowled dismissals : Is it that more number of decent spinners were added to the game in the latter half of the period and this resulted in more percentage of balls started following non-straightline trajectories? In the first place, is the number really increased?. If yes, with a correlation analysis this can be accepted/rejected. Also it would be interesting to analyse the location-wise split of the dismissals (sub-continent/swing-locations etc) [[ In the follow-up article I am doing the country-period analysis. Maybe I can do a location-period, for specific dismissals. I also get the feeling that, of these six, the Caught by otehrs really does not require any further study. Ananth: ]]

  • Daas on January 18, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    What do you mean by a drop of 3% in LBWs in the last 5 years? It has gone from 17.06 to 17.46 [[ Thanks, Daas, for the correction I compared the last period with the overall %, by mistake. In fact there is a slight increase. The article has since been corercted. Ananth: ]]

  • S Rajesh on January 18, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    Nice one Ananth... re the percentages of bowled decreasing, I feel that protective equipment has played a big role in decreasing the % of bowleds… Players are more willing to come into line, rather than back away. That's also led to an increase in lbws, since they aren't backing away as much as they used to, especially tailenders. [[ Thank you, Rajesh. This is the first time a Cricinfo specialist has posted the first comment. I feel the first period is a nightmare for batsmen from whetever we can see of the videos/films. Even then the 28.8% for the 1920-39 period requires some explanation. The sudden drop from 1980 could very well be partly attributable to the protective equipment. Ananth: ]]

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  • S Rajesh on January 18, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    Nice one Ananth... re the percentages of bowled decreasing, I feel that protective equipment has played a big role in decreasing the % of bowleds… Players are more willing to come into line, rather than back away. That's also led to an increase in lbws, since they aren't backing away as much as they used to, especially tailenders. [[ Thank you, Rajesh. This is the first time a Cricinfo specialist has posted the first comment. I feel the first period is a nightmare for batsmen from whetever we can see of the videos/films. Even then the 28.8% for the 1920-39 period requires some explanation. The sudden drop from 1980 could very well be partly attributable to the protective equipment. Ananth: ]]

  • Daas on January 18, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    What do you mean by a drop of 3% in LBWs in the last 5 years? It has gone from 17.06 to 17.46 [[ Thanks, Daas, for the correction I compared the last period with the overall %, by mistake. In fact there is a slight increase. The article has since been corercted. Ananth: ]]

  • unni on January 18, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    To me it looks like an amazing symmetry in the fact that ~50% dismissals happen in the center line of the ground and the other 50% happens outside this line even though the possible types of dismissals are asymmetric. It looks like the rules of dismissals are perfectly designed. I wonder if it is really perfect or we can add another type of dismissal to the game(Maybe possibility to have a run out along with a catch in the same ball?). If yes how this would skew the current symmetry? Regarding the reduction of number of bowled dismissals : Is it that more number of decent spinners were added to the game in the latter half of the period and this resulted in more percentage of balls started following non-straightline trajectories? In the first place, is the number really increased?. If yes, with a correlation analysis this can be accepted/rejected. Also it would be interesting to analyse the location-wise split of the dismissals (sub-continent/swing-locations etc) [[ In the follow-up article I am doing the country-period analysis. Maybe I can do a location-period, for specific dismissals. I also get the feeling that, of these six, the Caught by otehrs really does not require any further study. Ananth: ]]

  • Amit Bajaj on January 18, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Ooh! would I love to be a part of this analysis.

    Interesting stuff. As an analytics professional and cricket fan, let me lay down some points that may help refining this further.

    1. Rather than matches , lets consider no. of innings. We have seen periods of time in our life times, where in teams were happy to play for draws, so in my mind this could be a differentiator. [[ I think that more than the per match or per innings numbers, the % of dismissals matetrs more. After all you could easily divide that by 10 to get a per-innings value. I will still try to do that and post. Ananth: ]] 2. If possible, we need t break down "Caught by Fielder" into Caught in Slips and Caught by Fielders or Caught by Attacking Field Positions and Caught in other positions. This could potentially provide an insight into a period of domination by bowlers or a period of suspect batting technique. [[ No data available. Ananth: ]] 3. Bowler type would sure through a lot of detail in the mix. ( i would have loved to added Country of play as well, but then the thing with data is that you always want more so I will restrict it to these three for now.) [[ The problem is the number of dimensions. We already have three. Dismissal type, period, country. There is already an added dimension in Batting dismissals and Bowling dismissals. Already there is a request (from Unni) on Location. Now if we add bowler type as well it would become impossible to present the data. One possibility is to create a linear data file with all details, by match, and let you guys do your own analysis. Let me see. Ananth: ]] If only some one could pay us to do this analysis ;) it would be a dream job, wouldn't it :)

  • dale on January 18, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    Ananth: Thanks for another great article. The presentation as always is excellent. "Catches win matches"- all of my coaches constantly stated this belief and if you were not a good "catcher"you would not make the team. This is evident as since 1960 catches have accounted for anywhere from 56% to 60% of all dismissals. I would imagine that the decrease in "bowled" is directly related to the increase in LBWs (changes to the law plus the use of technology are responsible for this)and also to the tremendous increase of wicketkeepers' catches. The role of the wicketkeeper in affecting dismissals is to me perhaps the most significant revelation of this analysis. I think this is a reflection of bowling strategy more than anything else. [[ As I have already mentioned in my response to Rajesh, the 1920-309 period which boasted of some of the greatest batsmen in history, has a high Bowled %. Is it a case of Bradman, Hammond, McCabe, Woodfull, Ponsford, Hutton, Constantine et al also co-existed with a whole collection of poor batsmen. Ananth: ]]

  • getsetgopk on January 18, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Great analysis once again. Im personally looking forward to an analysis of individual bowlers (fast bowlers in particular) who with their individual percentage of dismisals in bowled AND LBW. Waqar is one bowler to have something like 57% of his overall test wickets coming from LBW and bowleds. This gives us an idea of who was the most attacking bowler in the history of tests. There have been attacking bowlers but then there have been attacking attacking bowlers, more interested in the timber work sort of attacking. Would be extremely interesting to see how the rest of the bowlers fared in comparison with waqar's 57%. [[ I have done at least part of this earlier. The article is called "Bowlers doing it all on their own" and the link is http://blogs.espncricinfo.com/itfigures/archives/2008/10/bowlers_doing_it_all_on_their.php It was published during October 2008. Ananth: ]]

  • Arjun on January 18, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Ananth,

    The Single most important factor affecting types of dismissal is type of bowler.

    Ntini, Walsh, Mcgrath - Caught at slip, wk. Waqar, Akthar - Bowled, LBW. Left Arm Seamers - LBW Conventional Spinners - Caught by fielders Quick Spinners - Bowled, LBW (kumble, chandra, afridi)

  • b.c.g on January 18, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    The last graph is the most stunning.It really seems as if some equilibrium has been reached b/w different modes of dismissals.Perhaps the large number of variables in different locations;evens everything up.

    I think the "bowled" dismissals are inversely proporional to the protective equuipment in use.Explains why it dropped of dramatically since the 80's.Covered pitchers also contributed;as they ensured no more shooters along the ground(mostly)

    I wonder why the "stumping"mode of dismissal is so low during the 60s?Indian quartet,underwood,titmus,sobers,gibbs,benaud,lock,........seems like a lot of spin(equals more stumping opportunities) [[ Not really. If you look at the % of total dismissals, the 60s is more than all periods since then. But it was aso a strongly defensive era. Ananth: ]]

  • Cliff on January 18, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    The stat on stumping I think can be explained by the rise of fast bowling in the late 70s and into the 80s and continuing since. While many teams had good spinners still others like the WI didn't use proper spinners at all. Jeffrey Dujon, for example, never took a stumping for the WI and i wouldn't be surprised if the Aussies had a lack of those until Warne came into the team. I think if you decide to look into each form of dismissal in detail it might be worthwhile to look at the breakdown by team. Sad that the stats don't track where in the field a fielder was when he took a catch. Back in the day the WI would often have 3 slips, gully (funny that position doesn't get used much anymore) and backward point. Certainly a catch in the slips is similar in cause to catch by the keeper as opposed to one at deep midwicket. [[ Nothing can be done. Even slip fielders are rarely identified. For that matter even today. Ananth: ]]

  • b.c.g on January 18, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    I don't want to bring back recent unending debates,but the data here in some twisted way supports "bheems's" delusional views that cricket before the 70s was amateurish thus resulting in a higher numbers of "bowled" dismissals. [[ Pitches and protective equipment are more likely to be the real reason. Anyhow amateur is a term which conveys nothing. May and Cowdrey were amateurs while Hutton and Graveney were professionals. What does this mean. That the first two were not paid money for playing, that is all. Ananth: ]]