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July 20, 2013

Every ball that Clarke, Pietersen, Cook and Amla faced

Anantha Narayanan
Michael Clarke has fallen to James Anderson's guile on seven occasions in Tests  © Getty Images
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This is the second article of a series, using ball-by-ball data, which the readers have repeatedly asked for during the past three years. For an introduction to the work done, please refer to the first article on contemporary bowlers.

I have given below the revised plan for the analyses which would be done. Readers can contribute their bit in suggesting whether anything else can be done.

1. The top three modern bowlers: with over 85% of ball-by-ball data available (15 bowlers: Steyn/Anderson/Harbhajan are featured). This article has already been published.
2. The top four modern batsmen: with over 75% of ball-by-ball data available. Clarke, Pietersen, Cook and Amla are featured in this article, which is the current one. Thirteen other batsmen are included in the downloadable tables.
3. The third analysis will be a combined analyses of the entire data. I will look at all the batsmen and bowlers together and bring out tables of bowler-batsman combinations exceeding 100 balls. There are 2831 such combinations. This will mean that there will be no artificial restrictions or cut-offs. This table will be available in two orders: by bowler and by batsman.
4. Special analyses, to be decided as we go on, based on reader inputs.

The current analysis will cover the batsmen for whom over 75% of data is available and over 5000 Test runs have been scored. I have selected 17 batsmen and featured four batsmen in the article. This article features four top batsmen of the current generation. The batsmen featured are Michael Clarke, Kevin Pietersen, Alastair Cook and Hashim Amla. Virtually no one will have any problems with this selection. The others considered are Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, VVS Laxman and Ricky Ponting. These eight batsmen, along with eight others form the complete selection. Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid and Shivnarine Chanderpaul just missed the cut-off of 75%. Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Stephen Fleming are way below the cut-off, in fact, below 60% mark. However, I can assure all readers that all these great batsmen are very well represented in the third article.

I am not going to spend too much time on explaining the types of analyses which are possible. It is better that we move on to the tables. There will only be minimal comments. There is, however, a summary at the end. There are six tables for each of the featured batsmen since the balls/runs ones have been combined into one and the late order batsmen table, which was there in the bowler analysis, does not have a place here.

Michael Clarke

1. Ordered by Wickets in MICHAEL CLARKE-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowAvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsStrikeRateAvgeVsBowler
James Anderson RFM29.7021 267 157 7 38.1 22.43
Dale Steyn RF 22.6619 376 253 7 53.7 36.14
Ishant Sharma RFM37.9919 435 273 7 62.1 39.00
Steve Harmison RFM31.8217 270 140 6 45.0 23.33
Anil Kumble rlb29.6514 469 276 6 78.2 46.00
Zaheer Khan LFM32.3619 460 260 5 92.0 52.00
Ravindra Jadeja lsp19.85 6 190 72 5 38.0 14.40
Rangana Herath lsp29.52 8 309 192 4 77.2 48.00
Matthew Hoggard RFM30.5012 243 158 4 60.8 39.50
Mohammad Asif RFM24.37 8 198 87 4 49.5 21.75
Total for 10 batsmen 32171868 55 58.5 33.96

James Anderson moved to top of Clarke dismissals with his Trent Bridge dismissal. Ravindra Jadeja is a surprise presence here. And at a very low average.

2. Ordered by Balls bowled in MICHAEL CLARKE-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowAvgeInnsBallsDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Harbhajan Singh rob32.3823 52737270.6%13525.6%20 3.8%
Anil Kumble rlb29.6514 46933571.4% 9820.9%36 7.7%
Zaheer Khan LFM32.3619 46033472.6% 9420.4%32 7.0%
Ishant Sharma RFM37.9919 43530971.0% 9221.1%37 8.5%
Dale Steyn RF 22.6619 37625367.3% 9425.0%30 8.0%
Morne Morkel RF 29.9812 37525467.7% 7921.1%4211.2%
Andrew Flintoff RFM32.7917 37528074.7% 7520.0%20 5.3%
R Ashwin rob28.53 8 35522763.9%10028.2%29 8.2%
Daniel Vettori lsp34.4211 33623870.8% 8023.8%18 5.4%
Graeme Swann rob28.7311 33225376.2% 6519.6%14 4.2%

The increase in India-Australia contests has propelled four Indian bowlers to the top of this table. And then two South African bowlers.

3. Ordered by Bowling SR (High) in CLARKE-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowCarStRateInnsBallsWicketsStrike rate
Andrew Flintoff RFM 66.217 375 0375.0
R Ashwin rob 59.1 8 355 1355.0
Tim Southee RFM 65.1 7 273 0273.0
Chris Martin RFM 60.210 257 1257.0
Virender Sehwag rob 93.3 8 234 0234.0
Jacques Kallis RFM 68.911 229 0229.0
Ashley Giles lsp 85.2 9 222 1222.0
Makhaya Ntini RF 53.4 9 204 0204.0
M Muralitharan rob 55.0 4 178 0178.0
Mohammad Amir RF 56.2 6 171 1171.0
Total for 10 batsmen 2498 4624.5

Andrew Flintoff and Tim Southee have not managed a single dismissal despite bowling 650 balls. It is surprising that R Ashwin has been mastered by Clarke but in Jadeja, he has found his Waterloo.

4. Ordered by Bowling SR (Low) in CLARKE-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowCarStRateInnsBallsWicketsStrike rate
Simon Jones RFM 47.8 7 69 3 23.0
Narsingh Deonarine rob 61.5 7 85 3 28.3
Shaminda Eranga RFM 64.0 5 104 3 34.7
Ravindra Jadeja lsp 58.5 6 190 5 38.0
James Anderson RFM 57.821 267 7 38.1
Amit Mishra rlb 81.3 3 121 3 40.3
Steve Harmison RFM 59.217 270 6 45.0
Mohammad Asif RFM 48.8 8 198 4 49.5
Dwayne Bravo RFM 75.0 8 156 3 52.0
Dale Steyn RF 41.219 376 7 53.7
Total for 10 batsmen 1836 44 41.7

Simon Jones, in the 2005 Ashes series had the complete measure of Clarke. A very surprising bowler at the top: Narsingh Deonaraine. Then there are Shaminda Eranga, and Jadeja. Is there a chink in Clarke's armour when it comes to fairly ordinary bowlers?

5. By Batting Scoring rate (High) in CLARKE-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeCareerScRtInnsBallsRunsScoring RateDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Imran Tahir rlb 55.7 5 109 119109.2 5045.9% 4238.5%1715.6%
Umesh Yadav RFM 55.7 6 153 122 79.710266.7% 3422.2%1811.8%
Morne Morkel RF 55.712 375 277 73.925467.7% 7921.1%4211.2%
R Ashwin rob 55.7 8 355 247 69.622763.9%10028.2%29 8.2%
Danish Kaneria rlb 55.7 8 221 152 68.813561.1% 7333.0%13 5.9%
Dale Steyn RF 55.719 376 253 67.325367.3% 9425.0%30 8.0%
Ashley Giles lsp 55.7 9 222 149 67.114364.4% 6027.0%19 8.6%
Chris Martin RFM 55.710 257 174 67.718572.0% 4919.1%24 9.3%
Chanaka Welegedara rob 55.7 7 123 83 67.5 9274.8% 1814.6%1310.6%
Monty Panesar lsp 55.7 4 136 89 65.4 8965.4% 3626.5%11 8.1%
Total for 10 batsmen 23271665 71.6

Clarke dismissed Imran Tahir from his presence. Look at the good scoring rates against Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

6. By Batting Scoring rate (Low) in CLARKE-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeCarScrRtInnsBallsRunsScoring RateDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Ravindra Jadeja lsp 55.7 6 190 72 37.915481.1% 2714.2% 9 4.7%
Paul Harris lsp 55.711 324 127 39.224274.7% 7121.9%11 3.4%
Darren Sammy RFM 55.7 7 125 49 39.2 9576.0% 2721.6% 3 2.4%
Dwayne Bravo RFM 55.7 8 156 64 41.012479.5% 2717.3% 6 3.8%
Fidel Edwards RF 55.7 6 124 52 41.9 9475.8% 2520.2% 5 4.0%
Amit Mishra rlb 55.7 3 121 52 43.0 9578.5% 2117.4% 5 4.1%
Mohammad Asif RFM 55.7 8 198 87 43.915980.3% 2814.1%11 5.6%
Doug Bracewell RFM 55.7 3 102 44 43.1 8280.4% 1413.7% 6 5.9%
Mohammad Amir RF 55.7 6 171 76 44.413679.5% 2715.8% 9 5.3%
Iain O'Brien RFM 55.7 3 109 48 44.0 8578.0% 1715.6% 7 6.4%
Total for 10 batsmen 1620 671 41.4

Clarke found Jadeja impossible to score off. And some fairly innocuous bowlers like Paul Harris and Darren Sammy contained him.

Kevin Pietersen

7. Ordered by Wickets in KEVIN PIETERSEN-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowAvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsStrikeRateAvgeVsBowler
M Muralitharan rob22.73 9 235 168 6 39.2 28.00
Brett Lee RF 30.8217 324 228 6 54.0 38.00
Glenn McGrath RFM21.6413 270 135 5 54.0 27.00
Shane Warne rlb25.4218 521 308 5104.2 61.60
S Sreesanth RFM37.6113 231 142 5 46.2 28.40
Morne Morkel RF 29.9815 241 172 5 48.2 34.40
Peter Siddle RFM28.2311 208 103 5 41.6 20.60
Saeed Ajmal rob27.60 7 104 64 5 20.8 12.80
Shakib Al Hasan lsp32.75 7 172 110 4 43.0 27.50
Daniel Vettori lsp34.42 8 282 114 4 70.5 28.50
Total for 10 batsmen 25881544 50 51.8 30.88

It so happens that this is Muttiah Muralitharan's sum total of Pietersen's dismissals since Pietersen made his debut only in 2005. Then come three Australian bowlers. S Sreesanth is a surprise placement in this table. Steyn does not seem to be as successful against Pietersen as he is against Jonathan Trott.

8. Ordered by Balls bowled in KEVIN PIETERSEN-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowAvgeInnsBallsDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Shane Warne rlb25.4218 52136269.5%12624.2%35 6.7%
Brett Lee RF 30.8217 32421867.3% 8125.0%28 8.6%
Anil Kumble rlb29.6511 31022472.3% 6220.0%24 7.7%
Ishant Sharma RFM37.99 9 30620065.4% 7524.5%3210.5%
Daniel Vettori lsp34.42 8 28221777.0% 5419.1%11 3.9%
Glenn McGrath RFM21.6413 27020676.3% 4617.0%18 6.7%
Harbhajan Singh rob32.3810 26416462.1% 8231.1%18 6.8%
Zaheer Khan LFM32.3611 25019076.0% 4518.0%18 7.2%
Danish Kaneria rlb34.8011 24915461.8% 6726.9%2811.2%
Stuart Clark RFM23.8610 24718775.7% 5421.9% 7 2.8%

This list is led by the older bowlers.

9. Ordered by Bowling SR (High) in PIETERSEN-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowCarStRateInnsBallsWicketsStrike rate
Ishant Sharma RFM 68.4 9 306 1306.0
Stuart Clark RFM 54.710 247 1247.0
Daren Powell RFM 83.4 9 196 0196.0
Amit Mishra rlb 81.3 4 169 0169.0
Praveen Kumar RFM 59.7 4 164 1164.0
Anil Kumble rlb 66.011 310 2155.0
Chris Martin RFM 60.2 8 155 0155.0
Harbhajan Singh rob 68.510 264 2132.0
Makhaya Ntini RF 53.4 8 129 1129.0
Zaheer Khan LFM 59.711 250 2125.0
Total for 10 batsmen 2190 10219.0

There are six Indian bowlers in this table indicating that the Indian bowlers found it difficult to dismiss Pietersen quickly.

10. Ordered by Bowling SR (Low) in PIETERSEN-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowCarStRateInnsBallsWicketsStrike rate
Saeed Ajmal rob 62.1 7 104 5 20.8
M Muralitharan rob 55.0 9 235 6 39.2
Peter Siddle RFM 56.611 208 5 41.6
Shakib Al Hasan lsp 68.3 7 172 4 43.0
Fidel Edwards RF 58.212 175 4 43.8
S Sreesanth RFM 62.313 231 5 46.2
Umar Gul RFM 58.910 139 3 46.3
Morne Morkel RF 55.115 241 5 48.2
RP Singh LFM 63.3 7 152 3 50.7
Rangana Herath lsp 63.9 7 156 3 52.0
Total for 10 batsmen 1813 43 42.2

Saeed Ajmal had the measure of Pietersen, probably mainly because of the Tests in the UAE. There is really no top bowler, other than Muralitharan, in this table. Some unlikely bowlers like Sreesanth, RP Singh and Shakib Al Hassan. The top three bowlers are all off-spinners.

11. By Batting Scoring rate (High) in PIETERSEN-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeCareerScRtInnsBallsRunsScoring RateDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Dwayne Bravo RFM 62.5 4 122 103 84.4 7158.2% 3831.1%1310.7%
Dale Steyn RF 62.511 187 155 82.913572.2% 2412.8%3016.0%
Jerome Taylor RF 62.5 9 121 99 81.8 7259.5% 3528.9%1411.6%
Danish Kaneria rlb 62.511 249 201 80.715461.8% 6726.9%2811.2%
Makhaya Ntini RF 62.5 8 129 103 79.8 9069.8% 2418.6%1713.2%
Amit Mishra rlb 62.5 4 169 130 76.910562.1% 4426.0%2011.8%
Fidel Edwards RF 62.512 175 129 73.710761.1% 5330.3%16 9.1%
Chris Gayle rob 62.5 8 165 120 72.7 8652.1% 7143.0% 8 4.8%
Morne Morkel RF 62.515 241 172 71.416970.1% 5121.2%2410.0%
M Muralitharan rob 62.5 9 235 168 71.515164.3% 6326.8%21 8.9%
Total for 10 batsmen 17931380 77.0

To score at nearly 5 runs per over against Steyn must be Pietersen's crowning achievement.

12. By Batting Scoring rate (Low) in PIETERSEN-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeCarScrRtInnsBallsRunsScoring RateDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Jacob Oram RM 62.5 6 114 34 29.8 9583.3% 1714.9% 3 2.6%
Ben Hilfenhaus RFM 62.5 8 194 75 38.715780.9% 2914.9% 8 4.1%
Stuart Clark RFM 62.510 247 96 38.918775.7% 5421.9% 7 2.8%
Daniel Vettori lsp 62.5 8 282 114 40.421777.0% 5419.1%11 3.9%
Praveen Kumar RFM 62.5 4 164 76 46.312274.4% 3320.1% 9 5.5%
Chaminda Vaas LFM 62.510 159 74 46.512478.0% 2515.7%10 6.3%
Sulieman Benn lsp 62.5 7 168 79 47.011870.2% 4325.6% 7 4.2%
Peter Siddle RFM 62.511 208 103 49.516378.4% 3114.9%15 7.2%
Glenn McGrath RFM 62.513 270 135 50.020676.3% 4617.0%18 6.7%
Kyle Mills RM 62.5 6 104 54 51.9 7875.0% 2019.2% 6 5.8%
Total for 10 batsmen 1910 840 44.0

Who contained Pietersen? A very unlikely set of second-tier bowlers, led by Jacob Oram and Ben Hilfenhaus. Daniel Vettori and Sulieman Benn are the two left arm spinners in this list.

Alastair Cook

13. Ordered by Wickets in ALASTAIR COOK-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowAvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsStrikeRateAvgeVsBowler
Ishant Sharma RFM37.9912 350 130 7 50.0 18.57
Morne Morkel RF 29.9818 428 175 6 71.3 29.17
Umar Gul RFM34.0714 262 120 6 43.7 20.00
Stuart Clark RFM23.86 8 132 35 5 26.4 7.00
Zaheer Khan LFM32.3615 384 200 4 96.0 50.00
Mitchell Johnson LFM30.9312 268 206 4 67.0 51.50
Peter Siddle RFM28.2315 386 146 4 96.5 36.50
R Ashwin rob28.53 7 510 221 4127.5 55.25
Trent Boult RFM29.12 9 221 62 4 55.2 15.50
Kyle Mills RM 33.02 8 148 69 3 49.3 23.00
Total for 10 batsmen 30891364 47 65.7 29.02

Ishant Sharma seems to have the opposition's captain and best batsman in his radar, always. After Ponting it is Alastair Cook now. The top bowlers are all pace bowlers, understandable since Cook is an opener.

14. Ordered by Balls bowled in ALASTAIR COOK-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowAvgeInnsBallsDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
R Ashwin rob28.53 7 51039677.6% 8717.1%27 5.3%
M Muralitharan rob22.73 8 45035879.6% 7817.3%14 3.1%
Ben Hilfenhaus RFM28.5115 44035079.5% 6514.8%27 6.1%
Morne Morkel RF 29.9818 42833778.7% 7617.8%19 4.4%
Peter Siddle RFM28.2315 38630779.5% 6316.3%17 4.4%
Zaheer Khan LFM32.3615 38430078.1% 5414.1%32 8.3%
Ishant Sharma RFM37.9912 35029383.7% 3810.9%21 6.0%
Jerome Taylor RF 35.6515 34925773.6% 6217.8%30 8.6%
Fidel Edwards RF 37.8717 33524272.2% 7121.2%22 6.6%
Dale Steyn RF 22.6612 32925978.7% 5215.8%19 5.8%

Ashwin is at the top because of the marathon innings Cook played in the eight Tests of 2011-12. The top two are off-spinners indicating the length of time Cook bats.

15. Ordered by Bowling SR (High) in COOK-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowCarStRateInnsBallsWicketsStrike rate
Ben Hilfenhaus RFM 61.415 440 1440.0
Pragyan Ojha lsp 70.9 7 317 1317.0
S Sreesanth RFM 62.310 308 0308.0
Harbhajan Singh rob 68.5 8 291 1291.0
Danish Kaneria rlb 67.8 7 265 1265.0
Tim Southee RFM 65.110 264 0264.0
Suranga Lakmal RFM108.2 7 252 1252.0
Sulieman Benn lsp 85.9 6 239 1239.0
M Muralitharan rob 55.0 8 450 2225.0
Xavier Doherty lsp131.1 3 200 0200.0
Total for 10 batsmen 3026 8378.2

Cook certainly had the measure of the Indian bowlers. And of Hilfenhaus: 440 balls and one wicket speaks volumes of Cook's mastery over Hilfenhaus.

16. Ordered by Bowling SR (Low) in COOK-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowCarStRateInnsBallsWicketsStrike rate
Mohammad Amir RF 56.2 6 78 3 26.0
Stuart Clark RFM 54.7 8 132 5 26.4
Vernon Philander RFM 36.8 6 104 3 34.7
Riyad Mahmudullah rob 78.5 6 106 3 35.3
Umar Gul RFM 58.914 262 6 43.7
Kyle Mills RM 66.0 8 148 3 49.3
Ishant Sharma RFM 68.412 350 7 50.0
Trent Boult RFM 59.4 9 221 4 55.2
Mohammad Asif RFM 48.8 9 166 3 55.3
Glenn McGrath RFM 52.010 176 3 58.7
Total for 10 batsmen 1743 40 43.6

Mohammad Amir and Stuart Clarke had excellent sub-30 strike rates against Cook. Mohammad Mahmudullah and Trent Boult are surprising presence in this list.

17. By Batting Scoring rate (High) in COOK-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeCareerScRtInnsBallsRunsScoring RateDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Mitchell Johnson LFM 47.412 268 206 76.916762.3% 7728.7%25 9.3%
S Sreesanth RFM 47.410 308 201 65.322272.1% 5517.9%3210.4%
Abdur Razzak lsp 47.4 4 115 73 63.5 6859.1% 4135.7% 6 5.2%
Chanaka Welegedara rob 47.4 5 134 82 61.210074.6% 2115.7%13 9.7%
Jerome Taylor RF 47.415 349 207 59.325773.6% 6217.8%30 8.6%
Shakib Al Hasan lsp 47.4 4 114 67 58.8 7263.2% 3631.6% 6 5.3%
Paul Harris lsp 47.4 8 184 107 58.212869.6% 4524.5%11 6.0%
Tillakaratne Dilshanrob 47.4 8 116 64 55.2 8270.7% 2622.4% 8 6.9%
Neil Wagner RFM 47.4 8 165 92 55.812072.7% 3420.6%11 6.7%
Dilhara Fernando RFM 47.4 5 176 98 55.712973.3% 3419.3%13 7.4%
Total for 10 batsmen 19291197 62.1

Cook had taken a liking to the inconsistent left arm fast bowling of Mitchell Johnson. And a few left arm spinners. But overall not as high figures as Pietersen has.

18. By Batting Scoring rate (Low) in COOK-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeCarScrRtInnsBallsRunsScoring RateDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Stuart Clark RFM 47.4 8 132 35 26.511284.8% 1712.9% 3 2.3%
Trent Boult RFM 47.4 9 221 62 28.119387.3% 2210.0% 7 3.2%
Chris Gayle rob 47.4 8 259 85 32.819776.1% 5922.8% 3 1.2%
M Muralitharan rob 47.4 8 450 152 33.835879.6% 7817.3%14 3.1%
Saeed Ajmal rob 47.4 5 254 88 34.621082.7% 3313.0%11 4.3%
Danish Kaneria rlb 47.4 7 265 91 34.320978.9% 4918.5% 7 2.6%
Jacques Kallis RFM 47.410 169 62 36.713680.5% 2514.8% 8 4.7%
Dwayne Bravo RFM 47.4 5 134 50 37.311082.1% 2115.7% 4 3.0%
Ishant Sharma RFM 47.412 350 130 37.129383.7% 3810.9%21 6.0%
Rangana Herath lsp 47.4 7 247 93 37.718474.5% 5622.7% 7 2.8%
Total for 10 batsmen 2481 848 34.2

Look at the way Muralitharan contained Cook. And Saeed Ajmal. This table is equally divided between spinners and pace bowlers.

Hashim Amla

19. Ordered by Wickets in HASHIM AMLA-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowAvgeInnsBallsRunsWicketsStrikeRateAvgeVsBowler
S Sreesanth RFM37.6115 234 155 6 39.0 25.83
Mitchell Johnson LFM30.9317 374 245 6 62.3 40.83
Harbhajan Singh rob32.3814 606 291 5121.2 58.20
Mohammad Asif RFM24.37 8 129 60 5 25.8 12.00
Peter Siddle RFM28.2317 465 173 4116.2 43.25
Steve Harmison RFM31.82 5 68 38 3 22.7 12.67
Stuart Broad RFM30.9415 437 226 3145.7 75.33
Abdur Rehman lsp28.41 6 232 117 3 77.3 39.00
Shane Shillingford rob31.23 5 102 42 3 34.0 14.00
Daniel Vettori lsp34.42 8 320 133 2160.0 66.50
Total for 10 batsmen 29671480 40 74.2 37.00

20. Ordered by Balls bowled in HASHIM AMLA-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowAvgeInnsBallsDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Harbhajan Singh rob32.3814 60642369.8%15926.2%24 4.0%
Peter Siddle RFM28.2317 46539484.7% 45 9.7%27 5.8%
Stuart Broad RFM30.9415 43733977.6% 7316.7%31 7.1%
James Anderson RFM29.7015 42931072.3% 8419.6%37 8.6%
Graeme Swann rob28.73 6 37526169.6% 9525.3%19 5.1%
Mitchell Johnson LFM30.9317 37426470.6% 7921.1%34 9.1%
Amit Mishra rlb43.30 3 32626280.4% 5416.6%10 3.1%
Daniel Vettori lsp34.42 8 32023473.1% 7423.1%12 3.8%
Zaheer Khan LFM32.3610 28020573.2% 5118.2%24 8.6%
Saeed Ajmal rob27.60 7 27417463.5% 8731.8%13 4.7%

Surprisingly, Harbhajan Singh is at the top: over 100 overs to Amla. Maybe the long innings played during their Indian tour was the cause. Stuart Broad, Anderson and Graeme Swann must have bowled a fair share of these balls during the triple century in 2012.

21. Ordered by Bowling SR (High) in AMLA-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowCarStRateInnsBallsWicketsStrike rate
Amit Mishra rlb 81.3 3 326 0326.0
Chris Martin RFM 60.211 251 0251.0
James Anderson RFM 57.815 429 2214.5
Danish Kaneria rlb 67.8 8 202 0202.0
Doug Bracewell RFM 60.3 7 195 1195.0
Graeme Swann rob 59.2 6 375 2187.5
Umar Gul RFM 58.910 184 0184.0
Ben Hilfenhaus RFM 61.4 7 164 1164.0
Daniel Vettori lsp 79.7 8 320 2160.0
Stuart Broad RFM 60.615 437 3145.7
Total for 10 batsmen 2883 11262.1

There are quality spinners in this lot, indicating the comfort with which Amla played spinners.

22. Ordered by Bowling SR (Low) in AMLA-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeBowCarStRateInnsBallsWicketsStrike rate
Steve Harmison RFM 59.2 5 68 3 22.7
Mohammad Asif RFM 48.8 8 129 5 25.8
Shane Shillingford rob 63.1 5 102 3 34.0
S Sreesanth RFM 62.315 234 6 39.0
Mitchell Johnson LFM 55.317 374 6 62.3
Abdur Rehman lsp 66.1 6 232 3 77.3
Total for 10 batsmen 2647 38 69.7

Steve Harmison had the measure of Amla. And Asif. Then comes Shane Shillingford. But the real surprise is Sreesanth: 6 wickets at below 40 balls per wicket. There are only 7 bowlers with balls per wicket values below 100, indicating how careful Amla has been. It may also be caused by the fewer number matches played by Amla.

23. By Batting Scoring rate (High) in AMLA-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeCareerScRtInnsBallsRunsScoring RateDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Nathan Lyon rob 52.6 8 134 106 79.1 7757.5% 4735.1%10 7.5%
S Sreesanth RFM 52.615 234 155 66.217273.5% 3715.8%2510.7%
Mitchell Johnson LFM 52.617 374 245 65.526470.6% 7921.1%34 9.1%
Ishant Sharma RFM 52.6 7 258 165 64.017768.6% 5822.5%23 8.9%
Tim Bresnan RFM 52.6 3 128 79 61.7 8969.5% 2922.7%10 7.8%
Shahadat Hossain RFM 52.6 5 106 64 60.4 7671.7% 2220.8% 9 8.5%
Virender Sehwag rob 52.6 5 113 68 60.2 7969.9% 2421.2%10 8.8%
Umar Gul RFM 52.610 184 110 59.813070.7% 4122.3%14 7.6%
Mark Gillespie RFM 52.6 4 103 61 59.2 7976.7% 1615.5% 9 8.7%
Saeed Ajmal rob 52.6 7 274 164 59.917463.5% 8731.8%13 4.7%
Total for 10 batsmen 19081217 63.8

Possibly the most impressive of these numbers is the one against Johnson. 374 balls at nearly 4 runs per over. This table is stuffed with pace bowlers.

24. By Batting Scoring rate (Low) in AMLA-Bowler combination
BowlerTypeCarScrRtInnsBallsRunsScoring RateDot Balls% of total1/2/3 run balls% of totalBoundary balls% of total
Amit Mishra rlb 52.6 3 326 99 30.426280.4% 5416.6%10 3.1%
James Pattinson RFM 52.6 3 103 37 35.9 8683.5% 1615.5% 3 2.9%
Danish Kaneria rlb 52.6 8 202 74 36.614973.8% 4723.3% 6 3.0%
Peter Siddle RFM 52.617 465 173 37.239484.7% 45 9.7%27 5.8%
Anil Kumble rlb 52.6 7 224 83 37.117377.2% 4419.6% 7 3.1%
Mohammad Hafeez rob 52.6 7 129 52 40.3 9372.1% 3124.0% 5 3.9%
Shane Shillingford rob 52.6 5 102 42 41.2 7775.5% 2019.6% 5 4.9%
Daniel Vettori lsp 52.6 8 320 133 41.623473.1% 7423.1%12 3.8%
Chris Martin RFM 52.611 251 108 43.020180.1% 3714.7%14 5.6%
Mohammad Asif RFM 52.6 8 129 60 46.510581.4% 1410.9%10 7.8%
Total for 10 batsmen 2251 861 38.2

Amit Mishra contained Amla to around 30. And quite a few spinners in this lot, indicating that Amla played the spinners carefully.

These are is just samples of the type of insights which can be drawn. I have created an Excel sheet with 17 contemporary batsmen who have ball-by-ball data exceeding 80% and uploaded this. To download/view the document, a veritable treasure-trove of information, please CLICK HERE.

The 17 batsmen covered in this table are given below. The figures at the beginning indicate the quantum of ball-by-ball data available for this batsman.

BBB % Batsman selected 
	100.0 - Michael Clarke 
	100.0 - Kevin Pietersen 
	100.0 - Alastair Cook 
	100.0 - Hashim Amla 
	100.0 - Michael Hussey 
	100.0 - Virender Sehwag 
	100.0 - Graeme Smith 
	100.0 - Andrew Strauss 
	100.0 - AB de Villiers 
	93.9 - Kumar Sangakkara 
	90.6 - Chris Gayle 
	89.9 - Younis Khan 
	86.5 - Matthew Hayden 
	85.3 - VVS Laxman 
	80.8 - Adam Gilchrist 
	80.8 - Mahela Jayawardene 
	78.5 - Ricky Ponting 
	

I have given below a few exceptional situations from the tables of 17 batsmen. Let me also suggest that the interested readers can peruse the Excel sheet and come out with such interesting sidelights.

Balls bowled: Sangakkara -Ajmal 906 
	Shivnarine Chanderpaul-Harbhajan Singh 790 
	Kumar Sangakkara -Harbhajan Singh 742 
	

Runs scored: Mahela Jayawardene-Harbhajan Singh 431 Graeme Smith -James Anderson 411 Kumar Sangakkara -Saeed Ajmal 393

High St Rate: Kumar Sangakkara -Umar Gul 508 (1) Jacques Kallis -Anil Kumble 494 (1) Jacques Kallis -Daniel Vettori 475 (0) Shivnarine Chanderpaul-Steve Harmison 464 (1)

Low St Rate: Virender Sehwag -Graeme Swann 79 (5 @ 15.8) Ricky Ponting -Darren Gough 103 (5 @ 20.6) Kevin Pietersen -Saeed Ajmal 104 (5 @ 21.8) Virender Sehwag -James Anderson 109 (5 @ 21.9)

High Sc Rate: Adam Gilchrist -Steve Harmison 152 in 120 Chris Gayle -Andre Nel 147 in 129 Virender Sehwag -Ajantha Mendis 146 in 130

Low Sc Rate: Rahul Dravid -Glenn McGrath 26 in 170 Rahul Dravid -Michael Kasprowicz 20 in 130 Shivnarine Chanderpaul-Kyle Mills 20 in 124

Readers can, if they care, write on the types of analyses which could be done using these data. Please do not, however, ask for details of how Asad Shafiq faced up to Lonwabo Tsotsobe or Nick Compton's performance against Ashwin. Let it be of interest to all the readers.

My tuppennyworth on the happenings in the first Ashes Test.

1. Broad family does not walk. For that matter most families do not walk. This is the generation of stayers, not walkers.
2. Broad cannot be blamed. Michael Holding has a point. But there seems to be a fine line between cheating and blatantly taking advantage of rules.
3. Gilchrist, the batsman (I repeat, the batsman), walked and walked always. I remember Lara, after a very tough tour of India in 1994, walked at 91 for the faintest of touches. S Srinivas Venkataraghavan said that he was not going to give Lara out since he was not sure.
4. It is clear that the English are better at planning the DRS referrals than Australians. Their innate conservatism helps them a lot.
5. No colouring of the rules should allow a howler of this sort. It is easy to say things from the outside. But common-sense should take over.
6. Howlers are howlers and should be taken off the map. There are two options. Let the third umpire immediately call the umpire concerned and ask for a special referral. Then the established steps could follow.
7. Alternately or in addition, allow a team six referrals (reduced from the current total of 8), but for the entire match, batting, bowling and both innings combined.
8. It is also possible that the Ashton Agar stumping more than compensated for the Broad fiasco and Trott semi-fiasco. However three wrongs do not make two rights.
9. Irrespective of what happened earlier, were England ahead of Australia by 14 runs? Of course, yes.
10.The comment I appreciated most was that of McGrath. "If Australia had a review, Broad would have walked". Beautifully put. On the stumps, with unwavering accuracy and a very keen understanding of the situation. As the great guy bowled.

Give me one such Test any day and you can keep the entire IPL-6. I will throw in a few of these Tri-series also. I had written to Milind before play started on the last day "I hope there is a final twist in the Test today. Already there have been quite a few (217 ao, 117 for 9, Agar stumping, 280, 120 for 2 to 4, Ian Bell DRS, Broad incident, Clarke's faintest of touches (needed a magnifying glass to see that dab of white) leading to 2 more wickets)". Well there were probably three more twists: the 5 quick wickets, the missed run-out and catch and finally a DRS decision which was missed by Aleem Dar again. What a Test? Towards the end I was rooting for an Australian score of 310.

Shahid Afridi's magnificent performance, in probably his 27th comeback in a remarkable career, is probably the greatest all-round performance in the history of the ODI game. Paul Collingwood 's 6 for 31 and 112 were against Bangladesh. Viv Richards' 5 for 41 and 119 were against a rather weak New Zealand. But Afridi's efforts were against a very good West Indian side. Pakistan surely missed Afridi in the Champions Trophy.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

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Posted by ras on (July 26, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

Three of the 4 batsmen featured (except Amla) have their highest scores against India. And even Amla got a big double against India. This coupled with generous presence of Indian bowlers in all the wrong places on tables, shows how innocuous and friendly Indian attack has been off late.

Fairly good analysis, as always, by you.
[[
I think Indian bowling is going through a transition. Zaheer Khan is a spent force. Kumar is very good. Ishant and Yadav are good on and off. Ashwin has to do well outside India. He is also turning out to be like Kumble and Harbhajan.
Ananth
: ]]

Posted by ArjunHemnani on (July 22, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

Hi Ananth,

In the next article is it possible to include dots,1,2,3,4,5,6 for each bowler vs batsmen ?

eg. Tendulkar vs

Name......dots -1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - Runs/dism(Balls faced)

C McDermott....123-14-15-5-12-0-0- 107/2(169) SM Pollock........273-20-10-2-25-0-0- 146/4(332) MG Hughes.......162-12-13-7-14-0-0- 115/0(208)
[[
Yes, Arjun, it is possible. If not in the featured tables I can include in the Excel sheet.
Ananth
: ]]

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (July 22, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

Thanks very much Ananth and Milpand. There's a mountain of fascinating stuff in these tables (and I'm only quarter way through last ones).

Regarding DRS, I think there should be about 20 a match ...... that way with all the re-runs, walk backs, holds ups, we'd be a chance of afternoon 5th day..

Posted by Nuxxy on (July 22, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

It would be interesting to see the breakdown of Amla before and after he was dropped. He made some technique changes and came back a world beater.
[[
To my knowledge Amla played in only 3 Tests before he was dropped. After Test 1800, in which he scored 149, he has been a fixture. So it is difficult to draw any significant relevance from 3 Tests.
Ananth
: ]]

Posted by novice_Win on (July 22, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

Hi Ananth... Really a great analysis! and your replies to people's queries are even BETTER ;-) (especially the B***SH*T one) he he he...I really understand how much time and analytical ability such kind of analysis requires...those who don't understand are fools or lovers-of-criticism...Don't bother about them!! Best wishes, Keep it up!! (I would love to see an analysis in future comparing Lara, Ponting and Sachin) ;) :)
[[
Many thanks. Unfortunately you do not get to see the mails which are junked. Some people do not realize the effort which go behind in doing these analyses. There are not the journalistic pieces written, as my well-known writer-friend told me, during the course of a 1-hour flight. Each article requires a complete week's work, not counting the countless hours put in preparatory work.
BBD data available. Lara: 45%, Sachin: 58% and Ponting: 78%. That is the problem.
Ananth
: ]]

Posted by mcsdl on (July 21, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

Where is Sangakkara? The greatest batsman in nineties bar none..!
[[
He is there in the list of 17 and his data is in the Excel sheet.
Ananth
: ]]

Posted by red_forever on (July 21, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Ananth: Hot spot is just not reliable anymore after going Cold So many Times. Latest being Agar's wicket just a moment Ago. Hawkeye was already not reliable, so what are we looking at? Two unreliable equipments trying to come together and trying to give a reliable decision. I think the root cause of the problem is the Umpire handling these decisions given that there were more than 4 decisions which 3rd ump deemed out without Conclusive evidence.

Coming to Pietersen's so called weakness against Left Arm Spinners: i think it has more to do With ODI's and Yuvraj in particular. He did struggle against couple of them but as far as i rememebered it was in ODI's
[[
Yes, probably true. In ODIs he played with disdain against who he thought bowled the up-and-down stuff.
Ananth
: ]]

Posted by   on (July 21, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

nice article but i think AB de Villiers deserves the same in depth analysis as the other 4. he made his debut around the same time as the chosen 4 and has done as well as any of them barring pieterson. 6 reviews per test are better than 2 per innings. towards the end of an innings teams often use up there reviews hoping for some luck. it wud force them to be more carefully. also reviews shud be instant and umpire's call should'nt matter once there is a referal logic shud.
[[
I had already moved the featured batsmen from 3 to 4. It is a matter of wide representation. The selected four represent the essence of Test batting. I accept that de Villiers is fit enough to be considered at par.
Ananth
: ]]

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anantha Narayanan
Anantha spent the first half of his four-decade working career with corporates like IBM, Shaw Wallace, NCR, Sime Darby and the Spinneys group in IT-related positions. In the second half, he has worked on cricket simulation, ratings, data mining, analysis and writing, amongst other things. He was the creator of the Wisden 100 lists, released in 2001. He has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket, and worked extensively with Maruti Motors, Idea Cellular and Castrol on their performance ratings-related systems. He is an armchair connoisseur of most sports. His other passion is tennis, and he thinks Roger Federer is the greatest sportsman to have walked on earth.

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