January 25, 2014

A chink in the armour

An analytical study of the most frequent modes of dismissals for leading Test batsmen
39

Rahul Dravid had far too many "bowled" dismissals for a technically accomplished batsman © AFP

During the South Africa-India series, there was a mini stat displayed that revealed that Cheteshwar Pujara, in his brief career, has been bowled 25% of the innings he has played.

This seemed incredible for someone whose defence is top-class and who is touted as the successor to "The Wall". Quite difficult to believe!

Then I suddenly remembered that Rahul Dravid himself had a high "bowled" percentage. So I thought that here is the basis for a good analysis here. And so it proved to be.

The selection criteria are simple - at least 100 dismissals and a batting average exceeding 20. That means the exclusion of Don Bradman, Jack Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe, Everton Weekes and Andy Flower, but cannot really be helped.

The second criterion keeps out Anil Kumble, Chaminda Vaas and of course, Chris Martin.

As it stands, 123 batsmen qualify. As a concession, I will provide the summary of these five batsmen at the end.I will provide the basic analysis first.

Then I will look at how the out percentages varied between home and away matches and against pace bowlers and spinners.

These additional analyses will be done only for the four basic forms of dismissals: bowled, lbw, caught by keeper (Ctbywk) and stumped. Let us first look at the basic table.

I have shown the top 20 batsmen by dismissals. The complete table is available in the downloadable set of files.

Rahul Dravid, Allan Border, VVS Laxman and Mark Boucher are the four batsmen who have been bowled over 20% in their career. It is indeed a surprise with Border and Dravid, who are not really attacking batsmen. Alastair Cook is the only batsman to clock in a bowled percentage of below ten.

The lbw percentage throws out more surprises. Sachin Tendulkar, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Graeme Smith, Graham Gooch and Cook exceed 20%. Chanderpaul, with his crouched open stance, is a candidate for lbw, and Smith's weakness against the left-hand bowlers is known. But Tendulkar and Cook are surprises.

Compare the bowled and lbw figures of Cook and Border, varying in different ways. Note how low Kumar Sangakkara's lbw percentage is.

This table lists the career summary figures for the players with top-20 count of dismissals. Almost all the top scorers are covered. I am going to point out some salient features from this huge table. I will let the readers locate more gems.

1. Career Summary of Dismissals
BatsmanLhbTeamCareerOutsBowled%LBW%Bow+Lbw-%CtByWK%OtherCt%Stumped%Run Out%
SR Tendulkar Ind2965418.26321.339.54214.212742.910.3 93.0
RT Ponting Aus2583614.04718.232.24216.311143.072.7155.8
R Dravid Ind2545521.73413.435.06425.2 8734.310.4135.1
JH Kallis Saf2404619.24016.735.85623.3 9137.910.4 62.5
BC Lara LWin2263615.93716.432.35122.6 9341.241.8 31.3
AR Border LAus2215324.016 7.231.25223.5 7935.794.1125.4
DPMD Jayawardene Slk2212812.72712.224.96228.1 9743.900.0 62.7
S Chanderpaul LWin2162310.65224.134.74520.8 9343.100.0 31.4
SR Waugh Aus2143918.22612.130.46128.5 7936.931.4 41.9
AJ Stewart Eng2144018.74018.737.44018.7 8740.720.9 52.3
GA Gooch Eng2093617.25023.941.14521.5 7033.531.4 41.9
MA Atherton Eng2053215.63517.132.75928.8 7436.110.5 31.5
SM Gavaskar Ind1983316.717 8.625.35427.3 8743.921.0 52.5
ME Waugh Aus1923015.63216.732.34724.5 7840.610.5 42.1
VVS Laxman Ind1913920.42111.031.43518.3 8343.552.6 73.7
KC Sangakkara LSlk1872010.718 9.620.34121.9 9852.421.1 73.7
GC Smith LSaf1863016.14323.139.23921.0 6937.110.5 31.6
DI Gower LEng1862815.13619.434.44926.3 6937.110.5 31.6
MV Boucher Saf1824022.02513.735.73519.2 7541.221.1 52.7
SP Fleming LNzl1792413.42815.629.13519.6 8044.742.2 84.5
-----
RC Fredericks LWin1021716.71110.827.51413.7 5553.900.0 43.9
WJ Cronje Saf1021514.7 8 7.822.52322.5 5150.011.0 43.9
SMH Kirmani Ind1022928.41211.840.21110.8 4241.211.0 76.9
Imran Khan Pak101 8 7.9 9 8.916.82322.8 5857.400.0 33.0
Majid Khan Pak1011514.9 9 8.923.82827.7 4241.622.0 55.0

Many batsmen have Ctbywk figures exceeding 25%. The ones to stand out are Tendulkar and Inzamam-ul-Haq, with sub-15% CtbyWk figures. Cook's percentage is nearly 30. Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag have nearly 50% CtbyOthers values. Border has been stumped more often than the others. Surprisingly for an opener, Mark Taylor has also been stumped quite often. But the two batsmen who stand out are Mahela Jayawardene and Chanderpaul, who have never been caught outside the crease in their career, not even once. I am not sure whether Chanderpaul has even stepped out of his crease once. There are many batsmen, led by Tendulkar, who have been stumped once. Ponting has been run out more often than others and Dravid also stands right up there, in terms of being stranded short.

In this lot of top 20 batsmen, Gooch is the only batsman to have a combined bowled+lbw percentage of 40. Surprisingly, for the excellent defensive technique of Tendulkar, he comes in second, at 39.5%. Smith, with his pronounced weakness against left-arm pace bowlers, comes in next at 39.2%. At the other end, we have Sangakkara with the lowest combined figure of 20.2%, followed at some distance by Jayawardene, at 24.9%.

Now we will see the special tables, by dismissal type.

2. Analysis of Bowled dismissals - #1
CAREERHOMEAWAY
BatsmanLhbTeamOuts-TOuts%Outs-1Outs%Outs-2Outs%
JR ReidNzl 994444.4 382463.2 612032.8
WR HammondEng1193831.9 582339.7 611524.6
TG EvansEng1153631.3 601626.7 552036.4
SMH KirmaniInd 952930.5 491632.7 461328.3
GR ViswanathInd1424128.9 731723.3 692434.8
MW GattingEng1193428.6 601626.7 591830.5
RN HarveyLAus1233326.8 581525.9 651827.7
L HuttonEng1173126.5 651726.2 521426.9
GS SobersLWin1293426.4 591728.8 701724.3
AR BorderLAus2095325.41193126.1 902224.4
HH GibbsSaf1423524.6 711521.1 712028.2
TW GraveneyEng1052624.8 631727.0 42 921.4
Saleem MalikPak1273124.4 571729.8 701420.0
GA HickEng1082523.1 571221.1 511325.5
RB SimpsonAus 992424.2 471327.7 521121.2
APE KnottEng1303023.1 791620.3 511427.5
TM DilshanSlk1273023.6 641625.0 631422.2
MV BoucherSaf1774022.6 882022.7 892022.5
MJ ClarkeAus1523422.4 721520.8 801923.8
R DravidInd2415522.81042826.91372719.7
-----
Imran KhanPak 98 8 8.2 34 2 5.9 64 6 9.4
ADR CampbellLZim100 8 8.0 54 611.1 46 2 4.3
AC ParoreNzl101 8 7.9 46 4 8.7 55 4 7.3
Mohammad AshrafulBng111 7 6.3 51 3 5.9 60 4 6.7
GM WoodLAus101 5 5.0 50 3 6.0 51 2 3.9

These tables are sorted by the percentage of dismissal type. Why should John Reid be dismissed bowled four times out of nine is a mystery. As we will see later, it has nothing to do with the type of batting. There seems to be a flaw in technique. Another surprise, in the form of Wally Hammond, but much lower than Reid. At least one could say that Hammond, Gundappa Viswanath, Mike Gatting and Neil Harvey are relatively more attacking players.

But what does one say of three top-20 entries, viz. Len Hutton, Bob Simpson and Dravid. All top-order batsmen with impeccable technique, not known for attacking batting, clocking in at higher than 22.5%. Is it possible that the chances of a batsman getting bowled increases with the number of balls faced or faced defensively? The attacking batsman is more likely to make contact and be dismissed caught while the defensive batsman is caught in the crease. Fairly specious argument, but the only one I have. But look at the other end. Graeme Wood, a typical dour opening batsman, has a bowled percentage of five. Why?

Most batsmen in this list, including the top two, seem to be bowled more often at home than away. Probably because their home pitches are more conducive to bowling. However Dravid having a home bowled percentage value of 26.9 against away value of 19.7 seems strange. Was he more comfortable playing outside India? His higher away average seems to confirm this.

3. Analysis of Bowled dismissals - #2
CAREERPACE BOWLERSSPINNERS
BatsmanLhbTeamOuts-TOuts%Outs-1Outs%Outs-2Outs%
JR ReidNzl 994444.4 542342.6 462145.7
WR HammondEng1193831.9 752837.3 451022.2
TG EvansEng1153631.3 752736.0 40 922.5
SMH KirmaniInd 952930.5 722534.7 23 417.4
GR ViswanathInd1424128.9 963031.2 461123.9
MW GattingEng1193428.6 782126.9 411331.7
RN HarveyLAus1233326.8 791924.1 441431.8
L HuttonEng1173126.5 711521.1 471634.0
GS SobersLWin1293426.4 771924.7 521528.8
AR BorderLAus2095325.41473725.2 621625.8
HH GibbsSaf1423524.6 952930.5 47 612.8
TW GraveneyEng1052624.8 601321.7 451328.9
Saleem MalikPak1273124.4 931920.4 341235.3
GA HickEng1082523.1 821822.0 26 726.9
RB SimpsonAus 992424.2 731621.9 26 830.8
APE KnottEng1303023.1 852428.2 45 613.3
TM DilshanSlk1273023.6 781924.4 491122.4
MV BoucherSaf1774022.61093128.4 68 913.2
MJ ClarkeAus1523422.4 952425.3 571017.5
R DravidInd2415522.81724325.0 681217.6
-----
Imran KhanPak 98 8 8.2 70 3 4.3 28 517.9
ADR CampbellLZim100 8 8.0 68 6 8.8 32 2 6.2
AC ParoreNzl101 8 7.9 65 6 9.2 36 2 5.6
Mohammad AshrafulBng111 7 6.3 65 4 6.2 46 3 6.5
GM WoodLAus101 5 5.0 79 4 5.1 22 1 4.5

Most of the top batsmen like Hammond, Viswanath, Michael Clarke and Dravid etc have been bowled by pace bowlers far more than by spinners. This is understandable. There are many wicketkeepers in this collection. Most of them seem to have followed the pattern of the major batsmen. The only exceptions seem to be Harvey, Hutton, Simpson, and surprisingly, Saleem Malik. For Hutton and Saleem Malik, more than a third of the spinner dismissals have been through bowled. Quite strange.

4. Analysis of LBW dismissals - #1
CAREERHOMEAWAY
BatsmanLhbTeamOuts-TOuts%Outs-1Outs%Outs-2Outs%
MW GattingEng1193126.1 601931.7 591220.3
GA GoochEng2045024.51263830.2 781215.4
S ChanderpaulLWin2135224.4 942425.51192823.5
Younis KhanPak1373324.1 29 827.61082523.1
GC SmithLSaf1824323.6 882123.9 942223.4
PD CollingwoodEng1052422.9 481225.0 571221.1
N HussainEng1543422.1 741925.7 801518.8
AN CookLEng1723721.5 902628.9 821113.4
SR TendulkarInd2876322.01332317.31544026.0
RR SarwanWin1393122.3 741621.6 651523.1
MA ButcherLEng1182622.0 551323.6 631320.6
ADR CampbellLZim1002222.0 541120.4 461123.9
CL HooperWin1483322.3 621219.4 862124.4
CG GreenidgeWin1643521.3 621016.11022524.5
KF BarringtonEng1122421.4 641523.4 48 918.8
HM AmlaSaf1112320.7 601525.0 51 815.7
GM WoodLAus1012120.8 50 510.0 511631.4
Javed MiandadPak1603320.6 70 811.4 902527.8
KJ HughesAus1152320.0 671014.9 481327.1
RB RichardsonWin1322619.7 631320.6 691318.8
-----
KD WaltersAus108 8 7.4 50 2 4.0 58 610.3
ME TrescothickLEng130 9 6.9 66 3 4.5 64 6 9.4
WM LawryLAus104 7 6.7 49 0 0.0 55 712.7
TG EvansEng115 6 5.2 60 3 5.0 55 3 5.5
RJ HadleeLNzl113 5 4.4 51 2 3.9 62 3 4.8

The lbw table is headed by the two English batsmen of the 1980s-90s. Possibly the effect of playing many matches against the top-quality pace attacks of Australia and West Indies. It is interesting to note that Gatting is the only batsman represented in both bowled and lbw tables. Together, his defence has been breached an amazing 52% of his dismissals. Then comes Chanderpaul, with his open crouched stance. Smith and Tendulkar also appear in this table. I am surprised to see Ken Barrington here.

At the other end of the table, Doug Walters, Marcus Trescothick and Bill Lawry have sub-10% lbw dismissal values. Surprisingly, in terms of combined bowled and lbw % values, it is a non-batsman, Imran Khan, who leads with a total of only 17%. Amongst the established batsmen, Dilip Vengsarkar stands out with 21%. Who would have thought of these two stalwarts and Sangakkara to have the tightest defence amongst all batsmen?

Now we come to the grey area of lbw dismissals at home or away. Local umpires and lack of standardisation meant that there is a reason to doubt the veracity of quite a few lbw dismissals. However this table only looks at the overall home and away patterns and it is not easy to derive any clear insights. However most of the English batsmen, Gatting, Nasser Hussain, Gooch, Cook, Mark Butcher, Barrington et al, have higher lbw dismissal percentage figures at home than away. That may very well be because of the nature of the pitches. Younis Khan too has more home lbw dismissal percentage than away. However, let us look at two stalwarts. Tendulkar's home lbw percentage is about 70% of his away lbw %. But the most revealing comparison is Javed Miandad: his home lbw % is only around 40% of his away lbw %.

5. Analysis of LBW dismissals - #2
CAREERPACE BOWLERSSPINNERS
BatsmanLhbTeamOuts-TOuts%Outs-1Outs%Outs-2Outs%
MW GattingEng1193126.1 782329.5 41 819.5
S ChanderpaulLWin2135224.41383525.4 751722.7
GA GoochEng2045024.51644829.3 40 2 5.0
Younis KhanPak1373324.11002525.0 37 821.6
GC SmithLSaf1824323.61322922.0 511427.5
PD CollingwoodEng1052422.9 662131.8 39 3 7.7
N HussainEng1543422.11072624.3 47 817.0
AN CookLEng1723721.51313022.9 41 717.1
SR TendulkarInd2876322.01954020.5 922325.0
RR SarwanWin1393122.31052221.0 35 925.7
MA ButcherLEng1182622.0 831922.9 36 719.4
ADR CampbellLZim1002222.0 681927.9 32 3 9.4
CL HooperWin1483322.31012423.8 47 919.1
CG GreenidgeWin1643521.31303123.8 34 411.8
KF BarringtonEng1122421.4 751925.3 37 513.5
HM AmlaSaf1112320.7 781620.5 32 721.9
GM WoodLAus1012120.8 791924.1 22 2 9.1
Javed MiandadPak1603320.61182622.0 42 716.7
KJ HughesAus1152320.0 862124.4 30 2 6.7
RB RichardsonWin1322619.7 962222.9 36 411.1
-----
KD WaltersAus108 8 7.4 64 5 7.8 44 3 6.8
ME TrescothickLEng130 9 6.9 95 6 6.3 35 3 8.6
WM LawryLAus104 7 6.7 75 5 6.7 30 2 6.7
TG EvansEng115 6 5.2 75 6 8.0 40 0 0.0
RJ HadleeLNzl113 5 4.4 66 3 4.5 47 2 4.3

Almost all the batsmen have higher lbw % values against the pace bowlers as compared to the spinners. The exceptions are Smith and Tendulkar who have found the spinners slightly more difficult to handle.

6. Analysis of Ct-by-Wk dismissals - #1
CAREERHOMEAWAY
BatsmanLhbTeamOuts-TOuts%Outs-1Outs%Outs-2Outs%
MP VaughanEng1354130.4 712028.2 642132.8
AN CookLEng1725129.7 902224.4 822935.4
ME TrescothickLEng1303930.0 661725.8 642234.4
JH EdrichLEng1133430.1 692637.7 44 818.2
MA AthertonEng2015929.41173630.8 842327.4
SR WaughAus2086129.31163530.2 922628.3
N HussainEng1544428.6 741824.3 802632.5
DPMD JayawardeneSlk2146229.01083330.61062927.4
Majid KhanPak 962829.2 32 825.0 642031.2
DB VengsarkarInd1594528.3 661218.2 933335.5
SM GavaskarInd1935428.01001818.0 933638.7
Zaheer AbbasPak1093027.5 411229.3 681826.5
IR BellEng1443927.1 682130.9 761823.7
DI GowerLEng1834926.81032827.2 802126.2
JG WrightLNzl1373727.0 741925.7 631828.6
AJ StraussLEng1694526.6 992828.3 701724.3
WM LawryLAus1042927.9 491326.5 551629.1
R DravidInd2416426.61042726.01373727.0
ME WaughAus1884725.0 912527.5 972222.7
Mohammad YousufPak1383525.4 461123.9 922426.1
-----
Wasim AkramLPak1211512.4 41 614.6 80 911.2
MW GattingEng1191411.8 60 813.3 59 610.2
SMH KirmaniInd 951111.6 49 3 6.1 46 817.4
JR ReidNzl 99 9 9.1 38 513.2 61 4 6.6
WR HammondEng119 9 7.6 58 610.3 61 3 4.9

Michael Vaughan has been dismissed caught by wicketkeeper nearly a third of the times. In fact the top five batsmen in this list are all opening batsmen, all from England. England has certainly been a tough place for openers. However, it can be seen that these batsmen do have reasonably high percentage values in away matches too. Look at the huge number of batsmen who batted at Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

There does not seem to be a discernible pattern of CtByWk dismissals whether the matches are played home or away. There are variations on either side. The biggest difference is for Sunil Gavaskar, who has 18% of such dismissals at home and 38% away. Reid and Hammond, who led the bowled charts, are the batsmen with lowest CtByWk values.

7. Analysis of Ct-by-Wk dismissals - #2
CAREERPACE BOWLERSSPINNERS
BatsmanLhbTeamOuts-TOuts%Outs-1Outs%Outs-2Outs%
MP VaughanEng1354130.41113935.1 24 2 8.3
AN CookLEng1725129.71314433.6 41 717.1
ME TrescothickLEng1303930.0 952829.5 351131.4
JH EdrichLEng1133430.1 792835.4 34 617.6
MA AthertonEng2015929.41705532.4 32 412.5
SR WaughAus2086129.31485033.8 611118.0
N HussainEng1544428.61073532.7 47 919.1
DPMD JayawardeneSlk2146229.01445236.1 701014.3
Majid KhanPak 962829.2 682333.8 28 517.9
DB VengsarkarInd1594528.31274333.9 33 2 6.1
SM GavaskarInd1935428.01465235.6 47 2 4.3
Zaheer AbbasPak1093027.5 772431.2 32 618.8
IR BellEng1443927.1 953233.7 49 714.3
DI GowerLEng1834926.81424229.6 41 717.1
JG WrightLNzl1373727.01003030.0 37 718.9
AJ StraussLEng1694526.61193831.9 51 713.7
WM LawryLAus1042927.9 752533.3 30 413.3
R DravidInd2416426.61725431.4 681014.7
ME WaughAus1884725.01373928.5 51 815.7
Mohammad YousufPak1383525.4 813037.0 57 5 8.8
-----
Wasim AkramLPak1211512.4 811417.3 40 1 2.5
MW GattingEng1191411.8 781316.7 41 1 2.4
SMH KirmaniInd 951111.6 72 912.5 23 2 8.7
JR ReidNzl 99 9 9.1 54 814.8 46 1 2.2
WR HammondEng119 9 7.6 75 7 9.3 45 2 4.4

Barring one batsman, Trescothick, all the batsman in this table have higher % of caught-behind dismissals off pace bowlers than spinners. Even in Trescothick's case, the spinners have dismissed him only 35 times, a fair proportion of these have been the wicketkeeper catches. Look at the spinner numbers for Vengsarkar and Gavaskar. Around 5% indicating that they were that much sure playing the spinners.

8. Analysis of Stumped dismissals
CAREERHOMEAWAY
BatsmanLhbTeamOuts-TOuts%Outs-1Outs%Outs-2Outs%
WR HammondEng119 7 5.9 58 4 6.9 61 3 4.9
MJ ClarkeAus152 8 5.3 72 4 5.6 80 4 5.0
TG EvansEng115 6 5.2 60 3 5.0 55 3 5.5
MJ SlaterAus122 6 4.9 53 1 1.9 69 5 7.2
Wasim AkramLPak121 6 5.0 41 3 7.3 80 3 3.8
KD WaltersAus108 5 4.6 50 4 8.0 58 1 1.7
Mohammad YousufPak138 6 4.3 46 3 6.5 92 3 3.3
AR BorderLAus209 9 4.3119 3 2.5 90 6 6.7
MA TaylorLAus164 7 4.3 86 2 2.3 78 5 6.4
MA ButcherLEng118 5 4.2 55 2 3.6 63 3 4.8
TT SamaraweeraSlk101 4 4.0 51 3 5.9 50 1 2.0
AC GilchristLAus116 4 3.4 63 3 4.8 53 1 1.9
Inzamam-ul-HaqPak171 6 3.5 65 1 1.5106 5 4.7
GP ThorpeLEng147 5 3.4 72 2 2.8 75 3 4.0
GS ChappellAus127 4 3.1 80 3 3.8 47 1 2.1
APE KnottEng130 4 3.1 79 1 1.3 51 3 5.9
M AmarnathInd 96 3 3.1 41 0 0.0 55 3 5.5
PJL DujonWin101 3 3.0 38 0 0.0 63 3 4.8
V SehwagInd169 5 3.0 82 3 3.7 87 2 2.3
PD CollingwoodEng105 3 2.9 48 1 2.1 57 2 3.5
-----
RC Fredericks LWin 97 0 0.0 43 0 0.0 54 0 0.0
Imran Khan Pak 98 0 0.0 34 0 0.0 64 0 0.0
GW Flower Zim112 0 0.0 54 0 0.0 58 0 0.0
KF Barrington Eng112 0 0.0 64 0 0.0 48 0 0.0
RJ Hadlee LNzl113 0 0.0 51 0 0.0 62 0 0.0
JH Edrich LEng113 0 0.0 69 0 0.0 44 0 0.0
MEK Hussey LAus118 0 0.0 60 0 0.0 58 0 0.0
RN Harvey LAus123 0 0.0 58 0 0.0 65 0 0.0
Saleem Malik Pak127 0 0.0 57 0 0.0 70 0 0.0
MP Vaughan Eng135 0 0.0 71 0 0.0 64 0 0.0
N Hussain Eng154 0 0.0 74 0 0.0 80 0 0.0
S Chanderpaul LWin213 0 0.0 94 0 0.0119 0 0.0
DPMD Jayawardene Slk214 0 0.0108 0 0.0106 0 0.0

The first comment is that there is no pace/spin classification for stumped dismissals. If I have to explain the reason for this to the readers, either I am a fool or I take the readers as fools, something I never do. However, there are some stumping dismissals that are off pace bowlers. To wit, Sehwag was stumped off Younis Khan, Wasim Akram was stumped off Gooch, and Gavaskar was stumped off Arjuna Ranatunga. These three bowlers have been classified as medium-pacers. And quite a few during the early years. The downloadable zip file has this table also.

Look at the leaders in this table. Hammond and Clarke. Both reasonably attacking players. Hammond was probably deceived by those masters of spin: Clarrie Grimmett and Bill O'Reilly. But Clarke is supposedly a great player of spin. And he has been stumped no fewer than eight times. Taken in this context, I am going to throw a spanner in the best-player-of-spin works. Contrast this with Tendulkar, stumped once off Ashley Giles, Jacques Kallis once caught off crease, and Jayawardene never once caught. And Border: what does one say? Not necessarily an attacking batsman and a middle-order batsman used to playing spin - stumped nine times.

At the other end we have 13 batsmen who have never been stumped. We have already talked about Jayawardene and Chanderpaul. Mike Hussey, Nasser Hussain, Saleem Malik and Harvey are part of this special group. Note the proliferation of left-handers in this group: six out of 13.

Let us not forget one thing. The stumping dismissal is not like the other dismissals: bound to happen at a certain rate when certain numbers of dismissals take place. It shows a deficiency in the batting technique and is absent from many a batsman. Five of the top seven batsmen together have accumulated over 1200 dismissals and have only three stumped dismissals among them.

Let me summarise.

- The high percentage of bowled dismissals of Dravid and Hutton is intriguing. Both masters of technique, but seemed to have a chink in their armour.
- It is an accepted fact amongst the discerning followers that Vengsarkar was an underrated batsman. His 21% combined bowled + lbw dismissals is amongst the best. Only Sangakkara, amongst the established batsmen, has better figures. Also Ian Healy and MS Dhoni.
- Mike Gatting leads the lbw dismissal table and seems to have the leakiest defence amongst established batsmen with 52% of batting and lbw dismissals.
- Michael Vaughan has been dismissed caught-behind more often than anyone else. It is understandable considering he opened the innings.
- Jayawardene and Chanderpaul have been dismissed over 200 times each without a single stumping dismissal. Some sure footwork that is! Tendulkar, Kallis and Dravid have a single stumping dismissal each.
- I would question statements saying that Clarke is the best player of spin for some years. His high number of stumping dismissals indicates a clear weakness. I would put forward Tendulkar and Jayawardene as candidates. Brian Lara is also a possible candidate if one can accept the slightly higher number of stumpings, compensated by his faster scoring.

To download/view the nine complete tables, please CLICK HERE. My take is that many of the questions can be answered if you download this file, extract the component files and view the contents. Instead of asking me obvious questions for which the answers are already in the tables, you could download the file and view the tables.

As promised, I have presented here the career summary of some of the top batsmen who missed the cut-offs: all with batting averages exceeding 50.

Career Summary of Dismissals for the missing batsmen
BatsmanLhbTeamCareerOutsBowled%LBW%Bow+Lbw-%CtByWK%OtherCt%Stumped%Run Out%
DG Bradman Aus 702332.9 6 8.641.41014.3 2941.400.0 11.4
JB Hobbs Eng 952425.31111.636.81818.9 3637.933.2 22.1
H Sutcliffe Eng 751621.31013.334.71013.3 3648.022.7 11.3
ED Weekes Win 762431.6 3 3.935.51621.1 2735.500.0 67.9
A Flower LZim 931111.81819.431.21718.3 4447.311.1 22.2
Bradman and Weekes have similar figures: Very high bowled %, very low lbw% and no stumpings. Weekes has been run out often and Andy Flower has been bowled very infrequently.

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 January 29, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    G'day Ananth and readers/writers here. Thinking about what @ Tom_Griffin has said and knowing I've always having John Reid mentioned to me with that sparkle of eye and "there was a guy who could really play", ( in the house I grew up in, dominant batting was held in a typically Australian high regard), I thought about being bowled a lot. In my own low level cricket career, I started to get out bowled much more when after 30yo or so I stopped bowling a lot, and actually concentrated on winning games batting. Because I became a dominant batsman (the comp was not difficult) I started to HIT the ball and not just play it. That left a bit of room for inside and bottom edges to end up bowling me. Despite the class difference, I'll bet "playing on" will contribute a LOT to guys like Reid and some other free strikers getting bowled.

  • mish_mash on January 28, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Great analysis as always Ananth. raises 2 questions in my mind:

    1. Is there any significant difference between the type of dismissals between openers and middle / lower order - obviously there would be higher percentage of pace bowler dismissals, but I wonder whether there are significantly higher caught behind.
    [[
    To some extent this is answered in the article itself. If you see the "ctbywk" dismissals, openers are predominant there.
    Ananth
    ]]

    2. Are there significantly more instances of bowled in the subcontinent where the ball bounces lower?
    [[
    Since I have not done sub-continent separately the best way is for you to download the complete table and look for bowled & home country combination, for the sub-continent players.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • IPSY on January 27, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    Ananth, it is interesting to note that Brett Schultz only played a single series of two test matches against Tendulkar. In that series, Tendulkar batted three times and had an aggregate of 17 runs (5.06 average) for the series. Schultz and Donald were responsible for his wicket twice. Schultz took his wicket for a duck and Donald for 6. It's also important for readers to know that the Gt Kapil Dev, batting at No. 6 scored 129 out of 175 in one of the innings - no other batsman made more than 17 in that innings - India was beaten by 10 wickets. I guess that Mr Schultz thought that that short encounter against Tendulkar, whereby he got Sachin for a duck, gave him the bragging rights to say he knew how to get Sachin out cheaply.
    [[
    Kapil's innings was one for the gods. In my opinion, as good as the 175.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • IPSY on January 27, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Ananth, now that someone has spoken about the Bret Schultz interview regarding SRT, I realise how important your statistical analyses can be. I say that because I remember reading something pertaining to that Schultz interview; and definitely, that was the exact point he was making. Bret was one of the more astute students of bowling when he played. It's a pity that injuries took toll of him. He was a better bowler than Donald; and I think he would have featured very highly among the South African greats. It's interesting that lots of bowlers never heeded his findings. It was late in Tendulkar's career they became more persistent on bowling him that delivery which accounted for his wicket so frequently in the last 40 innings (half of Bradman's career) in his own career, before he can compile any significant score. In fact, your figures show how accurate Schultz was in his analysis of Sachin when he played. Maybe, other bowlers found out only now when it's too late. Good work Ananth!
    [[
    Schultz was magnificant in his short 9-Test career. 37 wickets at 20.24. Unfortunately his very promising career was abruptly cut short before he was 25.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • dummy4fb on January 27, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    Excellent work. I have been following your columns for a while. Can I suggest that as a potential improvement to this analysis, we include a factor for the no. of ballsl faced? It may appear redundant at first thought, since this analysis is about modes of dismissal. However I do feel that a batsman who has faced more balls will end up with a higher percentage of bowleds / LBWs as opposed to caught-keeper / slips because of his sheer tendency to play only when he is made to play. Essentially batsmen with water-tight techniques and a leaning towards self-preservation can be dismissed in one of 2 ways - (a) a rare lapse of concentration after a long vigil (b) a top quality delivery. This may just explain Dravid's surprisingly high percentage of bowled dismissals
    [[
    Pl see my response to Raghav.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • orvilled on January 27, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Ananth, This is a very interesting piece - I wonder how much today's teams do this when planning against opposition batsmen! Would it be worth replacing the home and away analysis with an Indian sub-continent / other analysis? This might bring out some of the insights more clearly. On Dravid's home bowled % being higher than the away, perhaps this is because he left the ball a lot and in away tests could do this on bounce as well as line?
    [[
    In Dravid's case it seems to be a case of slower reflexes during the last 2 years of his career. And this might have been one of the reasons why he declared his innings closed.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • dummy4fb on January 27, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    Clarke (and Hammond's) high number of dismissals stumped may only show that they played a very high percentage of balls from down the wicket - trying to establish dominance I imagine. If they'd stayed in the crease they might have a) been caught at short-leg anyway or b) never managed to hit the bowler off his length. I must agree though that some of the stats are really surprising! Thanks for all that work.
    [[
    For all the intent shown, establishing dominance et al, Clarke's s/r is only 56. With a cut-off of 2500 runs, he is 29th. Hammond's is only 45.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Raghav_Bihani on January 27, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    I have been reading all your articles but have not been able to comment due to some niggles I was having with the browser. All the recent articles were excellent and very focused. On the current one. While it is fair to say that Dravid has a high BWL % or that SRT defense has been breached more than 40%; we have completely ignored the balls faced data. This is important to bring out the technique of the players. e.g. Player A (Sehwag) might has a lower bowled % at 17.9 than Player B (Dravid) at 21.7%. However a balls faced basis Sehwag got bowled once every 336 balls and dravid every 568 balls. Sehwag is one off case due exceptional SR. Take Graeme Smith who has a BWL of 16% but gets bowled once every 515 balls. Is he really better at guarding his stumps than Dravid? As the analysis really tries to bring what a batsman is good at or vulberable, we should also include the balls faced data (even though not available for all). In fact I find it equally relevant as % of dismissals.
    [[
    Raghav, what you say is true. However balls faced is available only for the career and for all classifications from Test 1547 onwards. Since this is a complete analysis, I went by the % of dismissals.
    Maybe Runs scored is also a factor.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • shari1110 on January 27, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    My gut feel is that in Dravid's case, we would see a lot more bowled dismissals towards the end of his career. I do remember that when he started his technique was mainly onside and he used to have a small initial trigger movement, and as such didnt get bowled too often. A little later he had changed his initial trigger movement to back and across and again was not bowled too often. Howeverr towards the end of his career, he had completely cut out his initial trigger movememnt and as such lost his second line of defence. And had been bowled a lot more regularly. Having said that, i would like to appreciate the analysis which is brilliant.
    [[
    Someone has already poisted Dravid's numbers towards the last part of his career. What you say is true.
    Ananth
    ]]