Fours and sixes in ODIs November 9, 2013

ODI boundary stats over the years

A look at the rate and percentage of boundaries struck in ODIs down the years
39

The India-Australia ODI in Bangalore in November 2013 saw 38 sixes hit - the most in an ODI © BCCI

Recently Jon Hotten wrote an article, "The declining value of the single", on the ODI game, the essence of which was that unlike earlier days, when singles were considered more important and won matches for teams, today the wins are more and more due to fours and sixes. His article was based on his observations of the game that were subjective in nature. I am going to extend that idea further. I will look at the way the scoring of runs through boundaries has changed over the years. Since we are yet to create our ball-by-ball database, I cannot do the singles analysis. But due to Milind's sterling efforts, I now have the boundary data for well over 99% of the matches. Let us see what can be derived.

Let me add a caveat here. This article in no way signifies my endorsement of what is happening in ODI cricket today. Whether the batsmen have all become superhuman, bowlers are bowling trash, rules favour only batsmen, rules are unfair, or grounds are small, what has happened in the India-Australia series is ridiculous. There were 11 innings played, nine exceeding 300 and three of these 300-plus scores were overhauled. There has been one really good bowling performance. This is neither cricket nor a contest. The matches are between two sets of batsmen, not between batsmen and bowlers. Matches like the ones in Jaipur and in Nagpur, for that matter the matches in New Zealand during 2002 when 150 was par, represent ODI cricket at its worst. A score of 250 should at least have a 33% chance of defending. Between a frowning batting captain who says, "Oh god, only 300!" and a smiling captain who says, "250, let us defend", I would prefer the later one. My tuppenny-worth, probably not worth a single penny.

These seemingly hot matches leave me cold. I think the Pakistan-South Africa matches are proper contests between the bat and the ball. Lots of South Africa wickets to start with, a stirring partnership for the ninth wicket, sound batting by Pakistan, and finally great attacking bowling and fielding by South Africa leading to a one-run win. The near-100 boundaries in Nagpur and Bangalore do not excite me as much as the 20 wickets in Sharjah and in Dubai do. If Australia had won by five runs in Nagpur, that would not change my view a whit. Or for that matter, if India had batted first, scored 350 runs and Australia had chased it down, I would not change my stance. If anyone thinks that nine 300-plus innings out of ten is great competitive cricket, they do not know what competitive cricket is. Finally, a question for readers to ponder over. Who do you think played the better innings: Wayne Parnell or George Bailey/Virat Kohli? If this question is put to vote, 5% would say Parnell, and I would be among those vociferous five.

A final cherry on the ice cream. The commendable, but by now expected, chase by Bangladesh of New Zealand's substantial 304. I rest my case, your honour. But what warms me on this wintry day is the ESPNcricinfo poll in which over 50% of the 64000 respondents have said that this is nonsense and espoused the bowlers' cause. Three simple changes will do. Nothing else is needed.

- No fielding restrictions of any kind after 15 overs. Why any restrictions? Let the batsmen improvise or beat the field.
- No Powerplay after 15 overs. The current system is quite nonsensical. Forced Powerplay in the 35th over in every match.
- Allow two bowlers to bowl 20% extra each: 12 overs. For that matter, limit any bowler to 25% and leave it at that.

Let four specialist bowlers bowl and encourage the teams to have 6+4+1 split. If that means the end of the bits-and-pieces cricketers, fine. If James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Hafeez, Thisara Perera et al can complete their ten-plus overs, they get in. If not, they do not.

Having got that off my chest, let me now come to the analysis.

There is only one table to be perused. However I have presented the different facets of the analysis in the form of graphs. The table is presented below, with no comments since the graphs follow immediately. The period 1971 to 1979 is grouped together since very few matches were played during this period. Similarly the first three years of the 1980s decade are also grouped together. From 1983 onwards the years are shown separately. The featured table does not have all the columns in view of limitations in space. However the downloadable table contains all data columns.

Boundary analysis across the years
YearODIsTotal RunsFoursSixes4s6s Runs% of TotalBalls% of 4-balls% of 6-balls% of 4/6-balls4s/ODI6s/ODI
197x 79 29725 2409 174 1068035.9% 453775.31%0.38%5.69%30.52.2
198x 81 31357 2131 179 959830.6% 435014.90%0.41%5.31%26.32.2
1983 66 26827 1985 215 923034.4% 374645.30%0.57%5.87%30.13.3
1984 50 18020 1258 105 566231.4% 253794.96%0.41%5.37%25.22.1
1985 64 24322 1650 171 762631.4% 327165.04%0.52%5.57%25.82.7
1986 60 21884 1466 162 683631.2% 313344.68%0.52%5.20%24.42.7
1987 73 31164 2111 262 1001632.1% 410905.14%0.64%5.78%28.93.6
1988 60 25132 1657 186 774430.8% 333844.96%0.56%5.52%27.63.1
1989 54 22282 1435 174 678430.4% 296604.84%0.59%5.42%26.63.2
1990 60 23697 1618 181 755831.9% 318065.09%0.57%5.66%27.03.0
1991 39 16111 1082 93 488630.3% 217784.97%0.43%5.40%27.72.4
1992 88 34432 2372 211 1075431.2% 477414.97%0.44%5.41%27.02.4
1993 82 31636 2196 205 1001431.7% 434465.05%0.47%5.53%26.82.5
1994 98 39997 2866 300 1326433.2% 539355.31%0.56%5.87%29.23.1
1995 60 25312 1812 220 856833.8% 332515.45%0.66%6.11%30.23.7
1996 126 53501 3958 512 1890435.3% 691835.72%0.74%6.46%31.44.1
1997 113 48102 3550 432 1679234.9% 609475.82%0.71%6.53%31.43.8
1998 108 48558 3654 481 1750236.0% 596146.13%0.81%6.94%33.84.5
1999 154 64112 4979 709 2417037.7% 825446.03%0.86%6.89%32.34.6
2000 131 55589 4433 542 2098437.7% 711966.23%0.76%6.99%33.84.1
2001 120 51706 4207 503 1984638.4% 656886.40%0.77%7.17%35.14.2
2002 145 62854 5498 652 2590441.2% 762727.21%0.85%8.06%37.94.5
2003 147 58592 5082 626 2408441.1% 752366.75%0.83%7.59%34.64.3
2004 127 53328 4461 554 2116839.7% 656726.79%0.84%7.64%35.14.4
2005 107 48869 4312 582 2074042.4% 574237.51%1.01%8.52%40.35.4
2006 160 68361 6181 760 2928442.8% 849997.27%0.89%8.17%38.64.8
2007 190 82315 7135 12743618444.0% 979617.28%1.30%8.58%37.66.7
2008 125 51363 4350 708 2164842.1% 623826.97%1.13%8.11%34.85.7
2009 149 66152 5678 909 2816642.6% 774817.33%1.17%8.50%38.16.1
2010 142 62880 5219 820 2579641.0% 756686.90%1.08%7.98%36.85.8
2011 146 63797 5275 886 2641641.4% 758646.95%1.17%8.12%36.16.1
2012 90 39393 3172 542 1594040.5% 467146.79%1.16%7.95%35.26.0
2013 114 49368 4321 780 2196444.5% 584737.39%1.33%8.72%37.96.8
Total340814307381135131511054471238.1%18151796.25%0.83%7.09%33.34.4

Note: Out of the 3428 ODI matches played until November 2, 2013, fours and sixes data is not available for 14 matches, all played before 1997. No fours and sixes were hit in six matches.

The first graph displays how the percentage of runs scored in boundaries has varied over the years. Imagine a 100 with ten fours and two sixes: a typical innings. Fifty-two per cent of runs have been scored in boundaries. Thus it can be seen that 50% is a rather high figure. Because we are averaging across hundreds of matches, a figure of 40% is itself on the higher side. This is borne out by the all-ODIs value of 38.1%. During the early years this value stood at around 30%. The other 70% of runs were scored in singles, two and threes. These were the days when singles won matches. This figure remained below 35 until 1995 when the phenomenon of Sanath Jayasuriya and little Romesh Kaluwitharana took over. Note the sharp increase during the latter part of the 1990s decade, resulting in a huge value of 41% during 2002. This represented a 2.6% increase over the previous year. Barring a drop below 40% during 2004 (one wonders why), this figure has remained well above 40% over the past decade. This crossing past 44% was achieved over the past five batting contests in India. The highest, predictably, has been during the current year, with 44.5%. The year 2007 was also quite close to this figure. If the trend in ODI rules continue, the bats have a bit of lead embedded in the sweet spots and the boundaries keep on moving inward, I predict that the number 50% would be reached by 2020.

This graph analyses the boundary-hitting from the point of view of balls. The average across 41 years is just over 7%. This means that a boundary is scored every 14 balls. This was just over 5% during the early years and has now moved to well over 8%. The lowest value was 5.2% during 1986. This may very well be because West Indies played fewer matches during that year. The year 2002 was a huge jump and 8% was breached for the first time. This percentage value fell below 8 for a few years and it is not a surprise that 2013 has seen the highest value reached - 8.72%. This means that the frequency has moved from once every 19 balls to once every 12 balls. Note how similar the graphs are.

This is a dual graph plotting the fours of fours and sixes separately. This will let us get further insights on how the sixes' frequency has changed over the years. The overall frequency of fours is 6.25%, in other words once every 16 balls. This was below 5.0% during the initial years and is now at 7.39%, an increase of nearly 50%.

On the other hand, the sixes frequency changed more drastically. From a low of 0.38, to start with, we have now reached 1.33%. That is nearly four-fold increase in the frequency. In a 50-over match, during 1970s, two sixes were likely to be hit on an average. Now this has moved to well over six sixes. This probably explains what is happening.

The last graph indicates the average number of fours and sixes per match. We are talking of nearly 40 fours per match, on an average. And over six sixes per match. Note how some of the fours have become sixes recently. Incidentally the last India-Australia match single-handedly moved the sixes per match by 0.2. In that match, played in Bangalore, a six was hit every 15 balls!

In a later article I will try and look at how these figures have changed in specific geographical areas. The problem is that even if I look at four geographical areas - England, Asia, Australia and Africa, there are too many data elements if I look at the year-wise split. 33 x 4, to be precise. So I have to look at seven to eight periods rather than years. The other point is that Sri Lanka is not India. 300-300 is the order of the day-night in India. In Sri Lanka it is likely to be 200s. So I have to study the grouping carefully. I do not want Sri Lanka to dilute the India-Pakistan numbers. I may even combine England and Sri Lanka.

One final set of tables. These show the matches in which the number of boundaries exceeded 80 or number of sixes exceeded 20 or the percentage of runs scored off boundaries exceeded 60.

% of Boundary runs in match exceeding 60% of total
MtId Year FBt Scr Res SBt Scr 4s 6s Tot Runs % 3428 2013 Ind 383 Won Aus 326 59 38* 97 464 65.4% 2537 2007 Saf 353 Won Hol 132 47 19 66 302 62.3%* 2749 2008 Win 303 Won Can 254 53 21 74 338 60.7% 3420 2013 Aus 359 Lost Ind 362 75 23 98 438 60.7% 2540 2007 Aus 358 Won Hol 129 51 15 66 294 60.4%
80 or more boundaries in match
2349 2006 Aus 434 Lost Saf 438 87* 26 113* 504 57.8% 2932 2009 Ind 414 Won Slk 411 80 24 104 464 56.2% 3223 2011 Ind 418 Won Win 265 79 14 93 400 58.6% 2823 2009 Ind 392 Won Nzl 334 62 31 93 434 59.8% 3424 2013 Aus 350 Lost Ind 351 79 13 92 394 56.2% 2552 2007 Aus 377 Won Saf 294 72 17 89 390 58.1% 2324 2006 Ind 328 Lost Pak 311 79 8 87 364 57.0% 2962 2010 Ind 401 Won Saf 248 71 15 86 374 57.6% 2303 2005 Aus 331 Lost Nzl 332 65 21 86 386 58.2% 2526 2007 Aus 336 Lost Nzl 340 65 20 85 380 56.2% 1074 1996 Slk 398 Won Ken 254 63 21 84 378 58.0% 2613 2007 Ind 329 Won Eng 320 73 11 84 358 55.2% 2480 2007 Ind 338 Won Win 324 67 16 83 364 55.0% 2390 2006 Slk 443 Won Hol 248 79 4 83 340 49.2% 3318 2013 Eng 325 Won Ind 316 69 13 82 354 55.2% 2527 2007 Aus 346 Lost Nzl 350 56 26 82 380 54.6% 2619 2007 Eng 316 Lost Ind 317 71 11 82 350 55.3% 3136 2011 Hol 306 Lost Ire 307 70 10 80 340 55.5%
20 or more Sixes in match
2852 2009 Ind 339 Won Win 319 42 23 65 306 46.5% 2774 2008 Ind 387 Won Eng 229 56 22 78 356 57.8% 2589 2007 Asi 331 Won Afr 318 56 22 78 356 54.9% 2923 2009 Aus 350 Won Ind 347 55 22 77 352 50.5% 2547 2007 Pak 349 Won Zim 99 31 22 53 256 57.1% 2749 2008 Win 303 Won Can 254 53 21 74 338 60.7% 1125 1996 Pak 371 Won Slk 289 55 20 75 340 51.5% 1569 2000 Aus 349 Won Nzl 301 48 20 68 312 48.0% 2542 2007 Ind 413 Won Ber 156 45 20 65 300 52.7%

A number of interesting facts emerge when we peruse the above tables. The highest percentage of boundaries is in a lop-sided match. It means South Africa really went to town. My apologies! This was upstaged by the Bangalore match, with a mind-boggling 65.4%. The two matches in whom the 100 boundaries-mark was breached produced four 400-plus scores. It is no surprise that the maximum number of fours, 87 to be exact, were hit in the Johannesburg bat-fest.

The maximum number of sixes was reached in the high-scoring match between India and New Zealand during 2009 in Christchurch, surprisingly not in India. India scored 18 of the 31 sixes hit in this match. This is the only instance of the 30-sixes mark being crossed.

Sorry, all these statements have to be re-written at the end of the India-Australia ODI in Bangalore. The maximum number of sixes was reached in the high-scoring match between India and Australia during 2013 in Bangalore, not so surprisingly, in India. As many as 38 sixes were hit and India and Australia hit 19 sixes each. This is only the second instance of the 30-sixes mark being crossed. The 20-sixes mark was breached in 15 other matches.

Finally, have a look at the years in these 29 matches. Twenty-seven of these matches have been played in or after 2000. Only two matches were played before 2000. Both involved Sri Lanka: Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva and Kaluwitharana, assisted by Afridi and Saeed Anwar. The match number 2547 is something special. Of the 53 boundaries which were scored, 22 were sixes, a huge 41.5%. The India-Australia match comes next with 39.1%.

To download/view the document with additional data, please CLICK HERE.

Jon Hotten's column reads at the top "They have come to read my article, not your comments". Well, I have a diametrically opposite view. The comments maketh my article. Please feel free to comment any number of times. Initiate the reader-interchanges that were the highlight of "It Figures".

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

  • Bonehead_maz on November 17, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    I cried ! An era is over, the best young batsman I've seen is retired, and what a wonderfully humble speech !
    [[
    I am not one who thinks the sun would not rise if Tendulkar did not bat for India. But I was very moved by the extremely touching speech. Great player. Not necessarily the best ever. But right there at the top and possibly the best role model the game has produced. No hint of negative conduct in his career. I hope he has a wonderful time after he hangs up his boots. I am coming out with a two-part summary of Tendulkar's career over the next two weeks. Have tried to do something different.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    What hurt me more was a case of circumstance....... when Haile Gebrselassie mowed down Paul Turgat on the line to impossibly (whole race against him) win AGAIN (always) @ Sydney 2000, I was disgusted that the press centre was empty and no one to interview a superstar (apparently because an ok runner called Cathy Freeman had won a race a bit earlier.) Rohit Sharma played an innings of McCabe like quality, and it wasn't even noticed in the Hoopla :( ( but I checked to see if Arthur noticed - he did !) PS the thing about bats was not about 6's in tests but about 4's. Standard practice to start with a deep point and see it flayed either side these days ?

  • on November 15, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    1. This is with reference to your comment published in today's cricinfo's live commentary it was a refreshing change and a well deserved slap from all the " declare the innings now", "indian batting please collapse" comments that were being bombarded. I fully agree that Tendulkar would or will never approve of such happenings. On another note just think hypothetically if India were to collapse after Tendulkar's dismissal, those very readers would say that Tendulkar plays for himself and not for team.: P.s- @Cricinfo, Please Publish Ananth's piece on the IPL fiasco too 2) Now with Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman gone (and Sehwag, Zaheer, Harbhajan past their prime), I eagerly wait for the likes of Kohli,Pujara, Rohit, and Dhawan to tackle Steyn, Morkel, and Philander. I do feel that tour will decide thefuture of Indian cricket and not a meaningless six day series against West Indies.
    [[
    Thanks, Pawan. Frankly I could not take it any longer. How often has the fourth innings ended at nothing for 6/7/8. As I wrote in reply to a direct mail sent to me, "Maybe all of us should remember him by the wonderful beautifully-crafted 74 rather than a 12* or 8."
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Westmorlandia on November 11, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    Very interesting stuff. I also worry that if there are so many boundaries, it will become hard to care when a boundary is hit. Which would be a great shame. One quibble - I strongly feel that all of these graphs should be presented with the vertical axis based at zero. They are meant to be visual aids, and presented as they are one can't get a feel for the magnitude of the changes over time, which are made to appear far bigger than they actually are. There is no real need to be zoomed in - the details of the numbers are presented in the table, and it's the visual and proportionate relationships that the graphs are meant to bring out.
    [[
    I get your point. These are not pure graphic respresentation. But the problem is when the variations are of the order of 15-20%. A full scale graph will mask the differences. I think there is merit in both forms of representation.
    Take the last set of 2 graphs. One is a traditional one with the y-axis between 0.0 and 7.0. That shape is quite similar to the one on top which has the y-axis between 20 and 40. If you imagine a rectangle of height 20 at the lower end of the graph on top, it seems perfect.
    The range of the top graph is 20 to 40. A factor of 2.0. The range of the lower one is 1.4 to 7.0, a factor of 5.0. Would you say that a true 0 to x representation would highlight this difference in factors. Maybe yes. Let me see whether I can do these two graphs on 0-based y-axis scales and see how these come through.
    Many thanks for a nice off-the-beaten-track comment.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • chetanphanse on November 11, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    Excellent article! Couple of points though. The players have become more adventurous over the years (its like 5 jaysuriya's in a team) and by that I don't mean they are better than than their predesesors or Jayasuriya, but the fact is with 20-20 and all you will tend to see bigger scores. And we know it has hurt test cricket where draws have become rarer than results were during the old era. I like the ideas that you suggest. 12 overs for 2 -3 bowlers is great. That would leave about 4-5 overs for a 5th bowler with is nice. Secondly, bring back the old rules of fielding restrictions for only the first 15 overs and then a max of 5 fielders outside the ring as before. Keeping no restrictions isn't good to the game as well since it may lead to moving to the other end. If you need to bring excitement in the "middle overs" lets try to just move the 15 over fielding restrictions all over the place yet fixed say overs 1-7, overs 21 -24 and over 36-39.
    [[
    Let us take the fielding restrictions rule. Let us sy that a captain takes the fairly defensive path and keeps 3 in the ring and 6 outside. Any sensible batting team would take a single almost every ball, the odd two and the odd four/six. I would bet that if there is such a fielding arrangement, the Indian and Australian batsmen would comfortably score between 5 and 6 runs per over. The sensible captain would realize the need to cut down singles/twos and to capture wickets and revert to a 5-4 field.
    Would any captain be silly to have a 2-7 field. He would probably concede 7-8 runs per over. This will evolve. The first rule-assisted 15 overs and the momentum-driven last 10 overs should produce 150-170 runs. The middle 25 overs should produce 120 to 150 runs. You have the total nearing 300. Allow the captains, bowlers and batsmen to have a game of chess on the field. Why should the game be handed over to the batsmen on a platter.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ReverseSweepRhino on November 10, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    I agree most with the 12-over limit and wouldn't mind seeing the limit rise to 15 or even removed. Of course, I imagine only the fittest spinners would manage to bowl 15 or more overs in circa 3 hours without completely losing their rhythm. If a captain decides his main spinner can bowl that many overs, good on him--it might also help with the over-rate.

    As for the field restrictions, I think it should be either: A. 4 fielders allowed outside the circle at all times OR B. 3 fielders outside for 20 overs and absolutely no limit thereafter.

    The power-play is an absolutely rubbish idea, probably thought up by an evil spectator who simply wanted to wreck the rhythm of both batting and fielding teams. It should have gone the way of the "super-sub" long ago.
    [[
    On the dot on all points. The period 2005-06 was a bad period with funny new ideas being tried out. At that time I even thought the super-sub was a better idea.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Insult_2_Injury on November 10, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    I'm with you, Narayanan. The slogfests might amuse spectators, but they don't fulfil a cricket fan. The imbalance has reached a point now where your 3 point plan makes heaps of sense and should be implemented immediately. What the hell is the point of a batting powerplay to increase the tempo when, a team is already scoring at 7.5 an over? No fielding restrictions after the first 15, again makes the batsman develop a total from finding gaps or manipulating the fielding captain into creating scoring gaps. Also the possibility of the two best bowlers on the day bowling a couple of overs more takes away that certainty from the batsman that he can see a bowler off and then call a power play and thrash for the fences. Scores in the mid 200's have always been competitive totals which show recovery from collapses, give a bowler something to bowl at, see a good batsman earn a 100 and create a hard fought close finish. That's cricket. The present debacle is just a circus.
    [[
    I can point out de Kock's wonderful, well-constructed effort as the quintessential ODI innings. He may not have hit as many sixes as the Indian or Australian batsmen did, but it was a top-drawer display of someone moving from the T20-shadow into potential ODI greatness. There will be 300s and these will be chased down. But when this happens in every match that we seem to be dazed and lost. Why should not Steyn/Morkel/Tsotrsobe/Tahir or Shami/Kumar/Ashwin/Jadeja or Irfan/Junaid/Ajmal/Afridi bowl 48 overs between them. Then the runs scored will have the weight of quality bowling attached to them.
    The other point is that with batsmen from many top countries skipping county/state cricket almost completely, there is a need for ODI game to tread the mid-path and not go the way of T20s.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    I could not agreed more with you sir. If I was a bowler and I was a part of any of the games in Johannesburg (2006), Jaipur, Nagpur or Bangalore(all 2013), that would have been rated right up there among the worst days of my playing career. Not because I was hit all round the park but because of the feeling of helplessness and loneliness. What can a spinner possibly do when he induces a proper top edge off a sweep shot and the ball sails over fine-leg for a six? Imagine you are a fast bowler and you you have worked really hard to master the art of Reverse Swing, and the next day you hear the news about the two mandatory new balls in an one day-match and you realize all the hard work you have put in is of absolutely no avail in one-day cricket at least. That way, the ODI series in UAE and the first Ind-WI test were really a welcome relief.
    [[
    Yes, that is the essence. It is the helplessness of the bowlers which is the most depressing sight one can see.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    Sir, I applaud you! Not only do I share your sentiments but you have put forward your arguments succinctly to prove your case. That most modern batsmen should be better because they score more boundaries than the giants of old; Sobers, Gavaskar and Zaheer Abbas to name three, is plain ridiculous. The famous onslaughts of Kapil and Botham were outstanding because they were so outrageously exceptional and rare feats. Like you point out, modern ODI cricket is an artificial construct designed to elevate the mediocre to star status at the expense of context and contest.

  • Gevelsis on November 9, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    What a wonderful piece of work, beautifully written and laid out. The India/Australia ODI series of 2013 will live on in infamy. Too many series like this will inevitably lead to the inability of cricket "fans" to appreciate context and contest. Perhaps that is BCCI's next money-making scheme - do away with bowlers completely and create cricket's equivalent of the Home Run Derby of baseball. (Making a killing on hard hats as sixes rain into the stands).
    [[
    In this matter, ICC is as much to blame. They have been tweaking the rules to favour the batsmen more and more. Look at the Pakistan-Saf series. While bowlers have held the upper hand normally, quite a few batsmen have also cometed well.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 19, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Excellent article - with a different perspective. I don't have the info regarding the introduction of field restrictions in ODIs but I do feel that it did its bit to curb boundary hits. In the 70s and early 80s (till 83 WC may be), we had a lot of test-like field settings even for ODIs (predominantly played in England and Australia, where you have attacking fields - edges carrying to boundaries as well as 5th slip) - Just an assumption from my end (need to see footages of ODIs during that period to really decide). 2002-2007 had the most consistent spike in boundary %ges may be due to the boring Aussies who had nothing else to do than to butcher bowlers across the globe across formats. 2007- the year of CWC and minnow participation increasing the boundary rates. Aside, for all the weakness of Indian bowling, they have one of the best records in 300+chases and boundaries, showing that in general, the bowling standards are low when India plays (including that of the opponents)

  • Bonehead_maz on November 17, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    I cried ! An era is over, the best young batsman I've seen is retired, and what a wonderfully humble speech !
    [[
    I am not one who thinks the sun would not rise if Tendulkar did not bat for India. But I was very moved by the extremely touching speech. Great player. Not necessarily the best ever. But right there at the top and possibly the best role model the game has produced. No hint of negative conduct in his career. I hope he has a wonderful time after he hangs up his boots. I am coming out with a two-part summary of Tendulkar's career over the next two weeks. Have tried to do something different.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    What hurt me more was a case of circumstance....... when Haile Gebrselassie mowed down Paul Turgat on the line to impossibly (whole race against him) win AGAIN (always) @ Sydney 2000, I was disgusted that the press centre was empty and no one to interview a superstar (apparently because an ok runner called Cathy Freeman had won a race a bit earlier.) Rohit Sharma played an innings of McCabe like quality, and it wasn't even noticed in the Hoopla :( ( but I checked to see if Arthur noticed - he did !) PS the thing about bats was not about 6's in tests but about 4's. Standard practice to start with a deep point and see it flayed either side these days ?

  • on November 15, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    1. This is with reference to your comment published in today's cricinfo's live commentary it was a refreshing change and a well deserved slap from all the " declare the innings now", "indian batting please collapse" comments that were being bombarded. I fully agree that Tendulkar would or will never approve of such happenings. On another note just think hypothetically if India were to collapse after Tendulkar's dismissal, those very readers would say that Tendulkar plays for himself and not for team.: P.s- @Cricinfo, Please Publish Ananth's piece on the IPL fiasco too 2) Now with Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman gone (and Sehwag, Zaheer, Harbhajan past their prime), I eagerly wait for the likes of Kohli,Pujara, Rohit, and Dhawan to tackle Steyn, Morkel, and Philander. I do feel that tour will decide thefuture of Indian cricket and not a meaningless six day series against West Indies.
    [[
    Thanks, Pawan. Frankly I could not take it any longer. How often has the fourth innings ended at nothing for 6/7/8. As I wrote in reply to a direct mail sent to me, "Maybe all of us should remember him by the wonderful beautifully-crafted 74 rather than a 12* or 8."
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Westmorlandia on November 11, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    Very interesting stuff. I also worry that if there are so many boundaries, it will become hard to care when a boundary is hit. Which would be a great shame. One quibble - I strongly feel that all of these graphs should be presented with the vertical axis based at zero. They are meant to be visual aids, and presented as they are one can't get a feel for the magnitude of the changes over time, which are made to appear far bigger than they actually are. There is no real need to be zoomed in - the details of the numbers are presented in the table, and it's the visual and proportionate relationships that the graphs are meant to bring out.
    [[
    I get your point. These are not pure graphic respresentation. But the problem is when the variations are of the order of 15-20%. A full scale graph will mask the differences. I think there is merit in both forms of representation.
    Take the last set of 2 graphs. One is a traditional one with the y-axis between 0.0 and 7.0. That shape is quite similar to the one on top which has the y-axis between 20 and 40. If you imagine a rectangle of height 20 at the lower end of the graph on top, it seems perfect.
    The range of the top graph is 20 to 40. A factor of 2.0. The range of the lower one is 1.4 to 7.0, a factor of 5.0. Would you say that a true 0 to x representation would highlight this difference in factors. Maybe yes. Let me see whether I can do these two graphs on 0-based y-axis scales and see how these come through.
    Many thanks for a nice off-the-beaten-track comment.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • chetanphanse on November 11, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    Excellent article! Couple of points though. The players have become more adventurous over the years (its like 5 jaysuriya's in a team) and by that I don't mean they are better than than their predesesors or Jayasuriya, but the fact is with 20-20 and all you will tend to see bigger scores. And we know it has hurt test cricket where draws have become rarer than results were during the old era. I like the ideas that you suggest. 12 overs for 2 -3 bowlers is great. That would leave about 4-5 overs for a 5th bowler with is nice. Secondly, bring back the old rules of fielding restrictions for only the first 15 overs and then a max of 5 fielders outside the ring as before. Keeping no restrictions isn't good to the game as well since it may lead to moving to the other end. If you need to bring excitement in the "middle overs" lets try to just move the 15 over fielding restrictions all over the place yet fixed say overs 1-7, overs 21 -24 and over 36-39.
    [[
    Let us take the fielding restrictions rule. Let us sy that a captain takes the fairly defensive path and keeps 3 in the ring and 6 outside. Any sensible batting team would take a single almost every ball, the odd two and the odd four/six. I would bet that if there is such a fielding arrangement, the Indian and Australian batsmen would comfortably score between 5 and 6 runs per over. The sensible captain would realize the need to cut down singles/twos and to capture wickets and revert to a 5-4 field.
    Would any captain be silly to have a 2-7 field. He would probably concede 7-8 runs per over. This will evolve. The first rule-assisted 15 overs and the momentum-driven last 10 overs should produce 150-170 runs. The middle 25 overs should produce 120 to 150 runs. You have the total nearing 300. Allow the captains, bowlers and batsmen to have a game of chess on the field. Why should the game be handed over to the batsmen on a platter.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ReverseSweepRhino on November 10, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    I agree most with the 12-over limit and wouldn't mind seeing the limit rise to 15 or even removed. Of course, I imagine only the fittest spinners would manage to bowl 15 or more overs in circa 3 hours without completely losing their rhythm. If a captain decides his main spinner can bowl that many overs, good on him--it might also help with the over-rate.

    As for the field restrictions, I think it should be either: A. 4 fielders allowed outside the circle at all times OR B. 3 fielders outside for 20 overs and absolutely no limit thereafter.

    The power-play is an absolutely rubbish idea, probably thought up by an evil spectator who simply wanted to wreck the rhythm of both batting and fielding teams. It should have gone the way of the "super-sub" long ago.
    [[
    On the dot on all points. The period 2005-06 was a bad period with funny new ideas being tried out. At that time I even thought the super-sub was a better idea.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Insult_2_Injury on November 10, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    I'm with you, Narayanan. The slogfests might amuse spectators, but they don't fulfil a cricket fan. The imbalance has reached a point now where your 3 point plan makes heaps of sense and should be implemented immediately. What the hell is the point of a batting powerplay to increase the tempo when, a team is already scoring at 7.5 an over? No fielding restrictions after the first 15, again makes the batsman develop a total from finding gaps or manipulating the fielding captain into creating scoring gaps. Also the possibility of the two best bowlers on the day bowling a couple of overs more takes away that certainty from the batsman that he can see a bowler off and then call a power play and thrash for the fences. Scores in the mid 200's have always been competitive totals which show recovery from collapses, give a bowler something to bowl at, see a good batsman earn a 100 and create a hard fought close finish. That's cricket. The present debacle is just a circus.
    [[
    I can point out de Kock's wonderful, well-constructed effort as the quintessential ODI innings. He may not have hit as many sixes as the Indian or Australian batsmen did, but it was a top-drawer display of someone moving from the T20-shadow into potential ODI greatness. There will be 300s and these will be chased down. But when this happens in every match that we seem to be dazed and lost. Why should not Steyn/Morkel/Tsotrsobe/Tahir or Shami/Kumar/Ashwin/Jadeja or Irfan/Junaid/Ajmal/Afridi bowl 48 overs between them. Then the runs scored will have the weight of quality bowling attached to them.
    The other point is that with batsmen from many top countries skipping county/state cricket almost completely, there is a need for ODI game to tread the mid-path and not go the way of T20s.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    I could not agreed more with you sir. If I was a bowler and I was a part of any of the games in Johannesburg (2006), Jaipur, Nagpur or Bangalore(all 2013), that would have been rated right up there among the worst days of my playing career. Not because I was hit all round the park but because of the feeling of helplessness and loneliness. What can a spinner possibly do when he induces a proper top edge off a sweep shot and the ball sails over fine-leg for a six? Imagine you are a fast bowler and you you have worked really hard to master the art of Reverse Swing, and the next day you hear the news about the two mandatory new balls in an one day-match and you realize all the hard work you have put in is of absolutely no avail in one-day cricket at least. That way, the ODI series in UAE and the first Ind-WI test were really a welcome relief.
    [[
    Yes, that is the essence. It is the helplessness of the bowlers which is the most depressing sight one can see.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    Sir, I applaud you! Not only do I share your sentiments but you have put forward your arguments succinctly to prove your case. That most modern batsmen should be better because they score more boundaries than the giants of old; Sobers, Gavaskar and Zaheer Abbas to name three, is plain ridiculous. The famous onslaughts of Kapil and Botham were outstanding because they were so outrageously exceptional and rare feats. Like you point out, modern ODI cricket is an artificial construct designed to elevate the mediocre to star status at the expense of context and contest.

  • Gevelsis on November 9, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    What a wonderful piece of work, beautifully written and laid out. The India/Australia ODI series of 2013 will live on in infamy. Too many series like this will inevitably lead to the inability of cricket "fans" to appreciate context and contest. Perhaps that is BCCI's next money-making scheme - do away with bowlers completely and create cricket's equivalent of the Home Run Derby of baseball. (Making a killing on hard hats as sixes rain into the stands).
    [[
    In this matter, ICC is as much to blame. They have been tweaking the rules to favour the batsmen more and more. Look at the Pakistan-Saf series. While bowlers have held the upper hand normally, quite a few batsmen have also cometed well.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 19, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    Excellent article - with a different perspective. I don't have the info regarding the introduction of field restrictions in ODIs but I do feel that it did its bit to curb boundary hits. In the 70s and early 80s (till 83 WC may be), we had a lot of test-like field settings even for ODIs (predominantly played in England and Australia, where you have attacking fields - edges carrying to boundaries as well as 5th slip) - Just an assumption from my end (need to see footages of ODIs during that period to really decide). 2002-2007 had the most consistent spike in boundary %ges may be due to the boring Aussies who had nothing else to do than to butcher bowlers across the globe across formats. 2007- the year of CWC and minnow participation increasing the boundary rates. Aside, for all the weakness of Indian bowling, they have one of the best records in 300+chases and boundaries, showing that in general, the bowling standards are low when India plays (including that of the opponents)

  • red_forever on November 15, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    I feel that Sachin definitely wouldnt have liked the CAB's over the top celebrations and there were murmurs of Sachin not being happy in the papers(Cant trust them though). MCA realised this and has maintained some dignity and sactity of the game and it was kind of refreshing to see no hyperbole and others.

    In all this i would have to commend BCCI that despite all the hoopla, they had this #ThankYouSachin hastag which has gone viral and we could see people reliving their special moments. All in all i would say my first moment was the world cup 1996 semifinal in which he whacked them all around the park and once he was out i could see the pain in my Dad's face and i dint understand all this. I felt a team scoring 100 runs and they win the match and asked my dad why are they still playing and why did sachin leave(yes his was the only name on my lips those days) then he sat down and explained the game to me and that was it for a 7 yrs old kid and his love for the game started with a loss

  • red_forever on November 15, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    Refering to your Comment.I know the feeling behind that.Not sure if you follow commentary or not regularly, but there is a general feeling that people write all sorts of crap just to get their comment published without even thinking once how much BS their words sound. As Pawan rightly pointed out,in case of a collapse these would be the very people who would jump the gun and blame SRT for it and say he again left the team in lurch without thinking once that its a Team Game and others have to do their duty and not just Turn Up. I myself for a fleeting second wanted India not to score much but then felt that would be against the very principles which Sachin stood for and that is team 1st. Coming to the celebrations, i think CAB over did it and they overdid that by a huge margin.The silly spelling mistakes, the statue in which the face dint resemble SRT and Commentators like L SIVa and Lal for the crap.
    [[
    Dinesh, I understand the comments silliness. These are from people who think for a few second before posting anything. But the commentators was something else. Gavaskar was and is a legend. He achieved so much so little support. The way he, Shastri and Siva were commenting was ridiculuous and comical. And Wilkins, saying that "Tendulkar walked" was beyond comical. But all water under the bridge. This hasty series is an aberration and the sooner it ends it is good. By lunch time today even is a possibility. But I do not care one way or other. Yesterday's Tendulkar innings was something special. Who cares if it is 26 runs short.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Vyasa_Shastry on November 15, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Excellent analysis Anantha. Saw your article late. I have a few angles that could have been covered already: 1) Not very surprising to see the number of runs scored in boundaries and the no. of 4s and 6s varying similarly. I feel it is an obvious outcome. 2) How do different grounds fare w.r.t boundary hitting? This way, one can get an indirect measure of how the better bats are helping. 3) How does the mentality of going for a scoring shot change with batting first and second? In a steep chase, is there a chance for people risking it early in the over? 4) Which bowlers got hit the most in percentage of their overs and no. of times. Surely Agarkar will be right up there! 5) How did batting position stats of boundary hitting vary with time? I would assume openers saw off new ball initially before Greatbach changing the thinking? How did it vary with different stages of an innings?

    Vyasa
    [[
    Will look at all these while doing the follow-up article.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 13, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Ananth, I agree with you that it is not a good suggestion to forbid helmet for first 15 & last 10 overs. But at the same time, we must admit also that from the beginning of cricket in 19th Century to the advent of Helmet during 1977 /78, the best known batsmen (& the others, too) did not wear helmet & made runs. Were not they human beings? Didn't they have fear of life or grave injuries? Didn't they have families? Are the current generation of (pampered ??) batsmen only batsmen / family persons? We are making lots of extremely priviledged rules only favouring bat, then why can't we make one / two rule(s), favouring bowlers also? This rule might bring fear into batsman's mind, which, I feel, is required to some extent. Citing example of norry Contractor won't suffice. Even after speaking all these words, I still agree with you on safety measures. But I wouldn't want this rule if ICC had not made rules only favouring batsmen. Thanks, Arnab, Kolkata
    [[
    Let us not touch on the subject of safety equipment. No rule can ever say that one can or cannot use safety equipment. One guy could have a miner's helmet, and the other guy, a space-age platinum one. One guy could have a steel guard protecting the family jewels and another, a plastic one. These are individual choices.
    But we should not do anything which ties a bowlers' hands behind his back.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Bonehead_maz on November 12, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Further to my previous comment, there appears to be a misconception about the improvement in bats. They are not heavier than those used in the '60's and '70's, they are generally are a LOT lighter than what G Pollock or C Lloyd used. Back when I played the bats were heavily compressed and we spent hundreds of hours hammering the face with a ball to make them more compressed. Today a bat of the same weight will have edges 2+ inches deep (mine was about 1/2 inch). They have no compression of the wood at all, so have an internal "spring" in the blade. Downside is they don't last long. The lighter the bat and the thinner the handle the further someone can hit a ball (why Baseball has a minimum weight).
    [[
    Both are in the team. I have some hope for Bailey.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Sorry to anyone who enjoyed it or who (rightly) are proud of the new generation of Indian batsmen (wish we aussies had a few as good) but that series was a joke ! Even Bailey (who basically can't bat) looked good and what can be said about Faulkner (known rightly as a defensive scrapper).

  • Bonehead_maz on November 12, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Some more lovely post dinner reading to digest - thanks Ananth. Although I think your 3 ideas will assist 50 over cricket, I suspect this same trend will be in Test matches too. Isn't the main change the ability to reach/clear the boundary easier ? I certainly don't want to see injuries like Clive Lloyd's in Adelaide or Simon Jones' in Brisbane, so accept there should be a rope. These bats though are another matter ! I recently had a net and used a 16yo's bat ...... OMG even I hit them like I were Viv ! I would think a rule creating a maximum depth and maximum average depth of cricket bats will bring back the singles and two's quite nicely ?
    [[
    In Tests the bowlers are not that shackled. A guy could swing Steyn or Johnson for a six or two. But their pace and the ability to bowl in an attacking vein would sooner or later account for the batsmen with limited techniques. There needs to be more standardization across grounds. You could fit the Bangalore ground at MCG and there would be well over 10-15 metres clearance all around.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ananth_follower on November 11, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Hey Ananth and anyone who can help, Of late, with Virat's record-breaking spree, and coming across records on the stats page, I want to play around on my own with some numbers. How do I find lists liks "Fastest to 17 ODI centuries in terms of innings" or "Fastest to 4500 runs in ODIs" etc. ("Fastest to" queries). I tried playing around on Statsguru but couldn't do it, please help? Any alternative to Statsguru I can use if I wanted to acheive this? Thanks a lot, A fan
    [[
    I can anaswer a specific analysis like that with my own programs. However I do not use Statsguru often enough to give you any suggestions.
    Anyhow I stay out of what I call these "contrived statistical conclusions". Maximum runs scored in the month of December, fastest to reach 17 hundreds, first 14 wickets in a match, least number of innings to 4652 runs etc. These are mainly to show that one player is better than another one.
    Howevr there is nothing wrong in trying to do that. Let some reader help a_f. All the best.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Amit_13 on November 11, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    What happens if you take India as a host nation out of the equation. It would also be interesting to split the era from 2000 between Pre and Post IPL. I think we will be left with steady modernisation of batsmanship with a few outliers like the mismatches and the RSA - Aus 434match.
    [[
    It looks like I have to keep the country identity a clearly separated one. In that case the periods can be grouped as 1971-89, 1990-99, 2000-2006 and 2006-2013. That gives me 10x4 sets of numbers. 8 + Bangladesh + others.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 11, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Hi Ananth 12 Overs per bowler seems like an excellent idea. Also I feel The second new ball should be available for the captain after the 35th over at his prerogative, whereby he can choose whether or not to take the new ball or continue with the old ball (or a changed old ball) depending upon the propensity of his bowlers in the death overs. I would also advocate the 2 bouncer rule during the power plays and the last 5 overs.
    [[
    Anything which empowers the bowler should be welcome. The two new balls was supposed to do that. Except that the Indians do not like it.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 11, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Ananth, Even if ICC persists with the latest rule changes in ODI, the balance between Bat & ball might come back if they introduce just a single rule with the prevailing ones: " Batsmen can not wear helmet during the first 15 & last 10 overs & in these overs, minimum 2 bouncers are allowed in every over." If this rule is exercised, then the world shall see who is /are the "Rowdy Rathode" :D Thanks, Arnab Mallick Kolkata
    [[
    One fatal or near-fatal injury to a well-known batsman (or for that matter not so well-known batsman) would kill the game. I have no problems with 2 bouncers per over. But why tamper with the safety equitpment.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 10, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    This data is another confirmation of how good Viv Richards was. He played from the mid 70s to 1991 and has a strike rate 90, better than most of top batsmen of today. And he did it at an average of 47 again better than most ot the top bats of today. Viv and Sobers would out bat any of the greats of today in ODI. Viv was a legit all rounder in ODIs and no doubt Sobers would have been. As per T20s, with these small fields, favourable fielding restrictions and modern bats, Viv and Sobers would make a mockery of the record books.
    [[
    What might let Richards down could only possibly be his disdain for the bowlers.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • rajithwijepura on November 10, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Everything started after Sanath and Kalu revolutionized the ODI format in 95-96 era

  • ras on November 10, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Well nice article. About the Bangalore ODI, I can say only one thing:

    When u see James Faulkner playing like Viv Richards, we surely have a problem on our hands that needs solving.

    On a serious note, I think the batting PowerPlay is completely ridiculous as is the 5 fielders in the circle rule. Both must be immediately dispensed with. The 2 new ball rule also disproportionately favors batters on batting tracks and bowlers on bowling tracks. I think it makes the game a bit one-dimensional and may as well be scraped and for god sake remove the free hit as well. Its like being jailed twice for a single crime.
    [[
    I like the last point. No Double Jeopardy in operation here. The irony is that the free hit is not applicable for the potentially more dangerous beamer ball situation.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Charith99 on November 10, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    I agree with all your points Ananth. After watching so many sixes most fans are getting bored. As a lankan I can say our cricket board is probably the second worst in the world (next to Pakistan) , but one thing admirable about them is that they are making decent size grounds. Most new grounds in sl are huge and it's making hitting sixes difficult.
    [[
    I never have a problem with Sri Lankan ODI game. When I see the size of Bangalore ground, I think of what we have come to. Let people mistake me I have no problems with sixes but not if a swing to a ball outside the off stump, fetches a six over third man.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 10, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    very true these restrictions are killing the bowlers but as u said that the series going on in UAE is the perfect series so i think it mostly depends on pitches although i would like to see the likes of Kohli Amla Bailey Dhoni bat with no restrictions

  • on November 10, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    The point is, as MSD says, give bowlers a chance as they are being more and more found out by heavy bats and small ground covering for faulty technique !

    Loosen LBW laws, allow 2 bouncers, 5 fielders !

    i disagree with your powerplay viewpoint though, 15 overs of entertainment, 25 overs of boredom and 10 overs of entertainment will hit revenues very hard and thus is infeasible, let there be 20 powerplay ovrs for batters, and 30 non powerplay overs for bowlers !
    [[
    When was the last time the second PP produced the best 5 overs of the innings. Most of the times it is something like 5 overs, 32 runs, 2 wickets. But does not matter. That is only a secondary suggestion. No.1 and no.3 are more important.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Anshu.N.Jain on November 10, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    Hi Anantha, Neat compilation. What can be seen from the graphs is that the definitive uptick in ODI boundary run contribution and boundary frequency was in 2005, the year that T20s went international. There has not been significant variation within the band from 2005 to date. The connect is too obvious to merit repeating. However, the tendency towards defensive bowling right from the go in T20s, is now infecting the ODI game as well. This change to the mental aspect of the game is not often talked about. Interestingly, it is the 6 hitting frequency which has increased significantly, and not 4 hitting as much, which would tend to point towards heavier bats and shorter boundaries (not so much newer balls, or fielding restrictions) as the real culprits. As Vikram has already pointed out, it will be interesting to see how boundary hitting frequency and contribution varies by country/region. Good start to analysing this aspect of the game. Looking forward to more in this series.
    [[
    Anshu, the increase in 6% can also be attributed to the lack of fear when trying to over the ropes. With the current resuction in out-fielders, why should anyone worry. 4 fielders can probably cover 90% of the perimeter, no more.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on November 10, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    @insult_to_injury so spectators are not cricket fans, i really dont understand your logic.
    [[
    There is a big difference between the fan on the ground and the follower at home. The adrenaline flow is what is expected when someone is watching the match live on the ground.
    No one is saying that more sixes should not be hit, 300+ should not be scored or 300+ should not be c hased. What we are lamenting about is the absence of contest.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ThinkingCricket on November 10, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    A very nice article, and I like all the changes you suggested, but there are other factors worth considering. I know it's not fashionable to have watched this series, but I followed the NZ v Bangla matches. In the ODI's the Bangla spinners including Sohag Gazi, Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah tied up the Kiwis including Anton Devcich and had them in all sorts of trouble. In the T-20, in the same ground (Mirpur). Anton Devcich faced up to Sohag and took him for 16 in his first, and proceeded to savage them all over the ground. A huge part of me thinks that it's not even about the field restrictions, as much as it is the mindset. When the batsmen decide (like only Sehwag once did) that anything that can be hit will be hit, bowlers are lot less powerful when they are not paid automatic respect.
    [[
    The Bng-Nzl series was a normal one, punctuated by good batting and good bowling. A single innings of 300 overtaken, not too comfortably. Otherwise good contests. Unfortunately I could not see anything since the Indian matches get shown on 5 of the 6 sports channels.
    When a player gets into the zone nothing can stop him. Here good players are shown to be superhuman players.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 10, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    But how on earth did you manage to get all these stats ????
    [[
    I can assure you, through many days, no hours, no months of hard work.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • kumar.vikram on November 10, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    @Ananth; that is exactly what I would like to see that even the really good bowlers aren't able to control it - so a quantitative validation of the subjective feel and a repudiation of any notion that it's average quality bowlers who are at the receiving end. You could also do a split of boundaries scored by the top/middle/lower level batsmen over the years to show that this is a case of this being a batsmen only game and not down to "better quality batting/evolution" or whatever other sentiments some people had mentioned earlier.
    [[
    Will look at all your suggestions.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • kumar.vikram on November 10, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Ananth, can you split this stat by the country where the match was played. There is a suspicion that the increasing number of matches played in India has contributed to this drastic increase in boundaries. What I want to see is how much of the increase is down to the change in where the bulk of matches get played. Similarly, if we can see the average number of boundaries by country, then it will also help understand the impact of a bowler, minimal though it is. SA, ENG and PAK will be the only teams which can claim to have good-to-great quality bowlers at the moment, so how have they fared?
    [[
    Yes, Vikram, that is on the anvil. As I have mentioned in the article, I just have to get the groupings correct. Your last point is dicey. What do you think will happen if Steyn/Motrkel/Tsitsobe bowl on the paved highways which pass off as pitches in India.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • southcity on November 10, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    There are inventive audacious strokes these days. Still it starts tp pale, after a while, to watch the "murder of innocents'. Besides resetting the rules, will it help to have sporting wickets, instead of fast track beauties?
    [[
    One of my suggestions is to have no fiedling restrictions. Ii will allow the fiedling captain to throw the gauntlet at the batsman and say "Fine, go ahead with your double bluff reverse flick, I have a guy for it down there". Do not tie up the fielding team every which way.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    "The lowest value was 5.2% during 1986. This may very well be because West Indies played fewer matches during that year".. This statement made me do a statsguru check on the batsmen with most boundaries (available) in the 1980s. As suspected, Haynes (503-159matches), Richards (485-156matches), and Greenidge (380-98matches) lead the list. Richards hit 111 sixes during this period, the next best being 66 by Greenidge. Later times has witnessed many a good top 3, with loads of runs but this top 3 of Greenidge, Haynes and Richards is in my opinion the best top order in the history ODI cricket
    [[
    To be followed closely by Gilchrist, Hayden and Ponting.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • hello7890 on November 9, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    I think too much is being made of the 300 plus scores in India Australia series. The pitches have always been flat in India for the ODIs. It could be a simple case of 300 being the new 250 in Indian conditions because of T20 which has made the batsmen more fearless in their approach! Also the bowling was ridiculously ordinary. I remember a Brett lee comment in an interview that Wasim Akram taught him that reverse swing is possible even in a T-20 game. Maybe the bowlers need to learn few more tricks.
    [[
    9 out of 10 scores of 300+ is a world record by a long mile. And you think too much fuss is being made. What I am saying is only that while allowing the batsmen their day in the sun, do not fetter the fielding team. Give them more leeway.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    Beautiful analysis, I still think that even bowlers need to evolve.. Ind Aus series can't define rules .. there was some really poor bowling from both the sides and poorer feilding too..

    I agree recent changes in the rules are ridiculous.. Ball change rule?? What are you going to benefit from it.. in a different conditions it would have helped bowler rather than batsman... so there is no point.. the rules have to be fair give any condition...
    [[
    As I have already replied to another comment, look at how some of the batsmen have adapted. I also do not like the matches in which 175 is likely to be a winning score. But let us give the bowlers some chance at least.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    It is seen that percentages of boundaries/sixes start touching the 30% and 4% mark from 1995 period. . This increasing percentage must be attributed to the increasing number of boundaries hit in the first 15 overs from 1995 onwards. This was the period when Sri Lanka revolutionised one day cricket by scoring 80-100 in first 15 overs constantlyApart from Jayasuriya-Kalu and later Afridi (big hitters), the period was also marked by the presence of some of the most elegant strokemakers coming out to bat in first 15 overs (Tendulkar, Mark Waugh, ,Anwar, Sohail,; and DeSilva and Lara at one down)

  • on November 9, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    As we all know the indian bowling was never good,except when zaheer khan,anil kumble and harbhajan singh used to play together,so its not a surprise that indian bowlers got hammered,what i want to say is why not appreciate the talent of the indian batsman like dhawan,rohit,kohli and dhoni,this is the reason of such high scores in this series.

  • on November 9, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Can it also be that we have more talented batsmen than bowlers, post 2000. Ofcourse, the shorter boundaries and the "roads" assist.

    Your analysis brings me to the conclusion that it is a natural progression or am I mislead?
    [[
    Not really. These changes are mainly because of the rule changes. If Bedi or Qadir bowl in today's conditions, they are unlikely to get the same success they achieved dutring early tears.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Can it also be that we have more talented batsmen than bowlers, post 2000. Ofcourse, the shorter boundaries and the "roads" assist.

    Your analysis brings me to the conclusion that it is a natural progression or am I mislead?
    [[
    Not really. These changes are mainly because of the rule changes. If Bedi or Qadir bowl in today's conditions, they are unlikely to get the same success they achieved dutring early tears.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    As we all know the indian bowling was never good,except when zaheer khan,anil kumble and harbhajan singh used to play together,so its not a surprise that indian bowlers got hammered,what i want to say is why not appreciate the talent of the indian batsman like dhawan,rohit,kohli and dhoni,this is the reason of such high scores in this series.

  • on November 9, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    It is seen that percentages of boundaries/sixes start touching the 30% and 4% mark from 1995 period. . This increasing percentage must be attributed to the increasing number of boundaries hit in the first 15 overs from 1995 onwards. This was the period when Sri Lanka revolutionised one day cricket by scoring 80-100 in first 15 overs constantlyApart from Jayasuriya-Kalu and later Afridi (big hitters), the period was also marked by the presence of some of the most elegant strokemakers coming out to bat in first 15 overs (Tendulkar, Mark Waugh, ,Anwar, Sohail,; and DeSilva and Lara at one down)

  • on November 9, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    Beautiful analysis, I still think that even bowlers need to evolve.. Ind Aus series can't define rules .. there was some really poor bowling from both the sides and poorer feilding too..

    I agree recent changes in the rules are ridiculous.. Ball change rule?? What are you going to benefit from it.. in a different conditions it would have helped bowler rather than batsman... so there is no point.. the rules have to be fair give any condition...
    [[
    As I have already replied to another comment, look at how some of the batsmen have adapted. I also do not like the matches in which 175 is likely to be a winning score. But let us give the bowlers some chance at least.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • hello7890 on November 9, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    I think too much is being made of the 300 plus scores in India Australia series. The pitches have always been flat in India for the ODIs. It could be a simple case of 300 being the new 250 in Indian conditions because of T20 which has made the batsmen more fearless in their approach! Also the bowling was ridiculously ordinary. I remember a Brett lee comment in an interview that Wasim Akram taught him that reverse swing is possible even in a T-20 game. Maybe the bowlers need to learn few more tricks.
    [[
    9 out of 10 scores of 300+ is a world record by a long mile. And you think too much fuss is being made. What I am saying is only that while allowing the batsmen their day in the sun, do not fetter the fielding team. Give them more leeway.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 9, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    "The lowest value was 5.2% during 1986. This may very well be because West Indies played fewer matches during that year".. This statement made me do a statsguru check on the batsmen with most boundaries (available) in the 1980s. As suspected, Haynes (503-159matches), Richards (485-156matches), and Greenidge (380-98matches) lead the list. Richards hit 111 sixes during this period, the next best being 66 by Greenidge. Later times has witnessed many a good top 3, with loads of runs but this top 3 of Greenidge, Haynes and Richards is in my opinion the best top order in the history ODI cricket
    [[
    To be followed closely by Gilchrist, Hayden and Ponting.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • southcity on November 10, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    There are inventive audacious strokes these days. Still it starts tp pale, after a while, to watch the "murder of innocents'. Besides resetting the rules, will it help to have sporting wickets, instead of fast track beauties?
    [[
    One of my suggestions is to have no fiedling restrictions. Ii will allow the fiedling captain to throw the gauntlet at the batsman and say "Fine, go ahead with your double bluff reverse flick, I have a guy for it down there". Do not tie up the fielding team every which way.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • kumar.vikram on November 10, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Ananth, can you split this stat by the country where the match was played. There is a suspicion that the increasing number of matches played in India has contributed to this drastic increase in boundaries. What I want to see is how much of the increase is down to the change in where the bulk of matches get played. Similarly, if we can see the average number of boundaries by country, then it will also help understand the impact of a bowler, minimal though it is. SA, ENG and PAK will be the only teams which can claim to have good-to-great quality bowlers at the moment, so how have they fared?
    [[
    Yes, Vikram, that is on the anvil. As I have mentioned in the article, I just have to get the groupings correct. Your last point is dicey. What do you think will happen if Steyn/Motrkel/Tsitsobe bowl on the paved highways which pass off as pitches in India.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • kumar.vikram on November 10, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    @Ananth; that is exactly what I would like to see that even the really good bowlers aren't able to control it - so a quantitative validation of the subjective feel and a repudiation of any notion that it's average quality bowlers who are at the receiving end. You could also do a split of boundaries scored by the top/middle/lower level batsmen over the years to show that this is a case of this being a batsmen only game and not down to "better quality batting/evolution" or whatever other sentiments some people had mentioned earlier.
    [[
    Will look at all your suggestions.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 10, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    But how on earth did you manage to get all these stats ????
    [[
    I can assure you, through many days, no hours, no months of hard work.
    Ananth
    : ]]