June 14, 2014

Consistency of Test batsmen - Part 1

Which batsmen have been the most consistent in Test cricket?
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Dudley Nourse may have been among the most consistent batsmen in Test history © Getty Images

A couple of years back I did a two-part analysis on Test player consistency. You can access the batsmen-specific article here. You have to move to the top of the page to view the article. Overall, it was well received. The analysis was based on a "slice concept". I split the careers of Test batsmen into slices of ten innings and looked at consistency across these slices. As many readers had expressed therein, this went past the unit of innings, which is the most important measurable contribution of a batsman. It also allowed a batsman to be very inconsistent within a slice but come out with acceptable numbers for the slice.

I realised that I have to do the batsmen consistency work with innings as the base, not even a Test. Based on Tests, a batsman could come out roses in the consistency stakes by scoring a 100 and 0. Perfect for the Test but way off as far as innings are concerned.

Let me remind the readers that I will not do any article which is not understood by 90% of the readers. These articles may not come through the statistical validations test but have to be based on common sense and understood by most of the readers. So there will not be any Z-factors or skewness coefficients, or whatever else it is that statisticians look for. Do not look for these in this article and complain about the absence of the same.

First, let me say that the score distribution for almost all batsmen is skewed (note only a verb is used) to the left. An established batsman's lowest score is 0 and the highest score could be anything from, say, 200 to 400. His mean score is around 50. This means that he would have more scores below the mean than above. This is what I meant by being skewed to the left. For the selected population of 200 batsmen, the average percentage of scores above the mean is only 35%. The highest is for Bruce Mitchell with 44.9% and the lowest is for Marvan Atapattu with 29.1%. So this is way away from a normal distribution and we have to adopt special methods to analyse the scores.

What is consistency? OED says: The quality of achieving a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time. DicCom says: Agreement or accordance with facts, form, or characteristics previously shown or stated. FreeDic says: Reliability or uniformity of successive results or events. So what we are looking at is uniformity of performance, absence of surprises, reduction in number of outliers and probably clustering of performances towards the central positions.

Taking a pair of scores, it is clear and obvious that a 100 and 0 is woefully inconsistent, an 85 and 15, quite inconsistent, a 70 and 30, reasonably consistent, a 60 and 40 quite consistent and a 50 and 50 the pinnacle of consistency. For this analysis it does not matter if the 100 was scored master-minding a successful 150 for 9 chase or part of a 700 for 3 score in Faisalabad. Let us see how we can move forward on this premise.

Let us assume that this is a three-Test series and the eight batsmen below have played five innings each. All these batsmen have scored 250 runs in the series and are averaging 50. Let us get a handle on their consistency by perusing the scores, rather than through any mathematical methods.

A;  25@  45@  50@   60@   70@  (5)
B:  10   45@  55@   65@   75@  (4)
C:  25@  30@  40@   55@  100   (4)
D:   5   30@  45@   75@   95   (3)
E:   0   10   40@   60@  140   (2)
F:   0   30@  40@   80   100   (2)
G:   5   10   20    50@  165   (1)
H:   0    0   10   110   130   (0)

A is the epitome of consistency and can be called Mr Consistent (with apologies to Michael Hussey, the original Mr C). No really low or high score.
B and C can be called very consistent. B has got one low score and C, one high score. The other four are in the consistency zone.
D is consistent. There are two outliers: one on each side. Three are in the zone.
E and F can be called somewhat inconsistent. Only two of the five scores are in the consistency zone, i.e. in the middle.
G is quite unpredictable. Four of his scores are outliers. Tough to expect what his next score would be.
H is so inconsistent that we have no clue what he will do. A duck or 100 might come off his bat next.

Even though I used only a visual inspection while determining the consistency levels of these batsmen, we are beginning to get a handle on what analytical method can be used to determine consistency of a batsman. The key phrase is "consistency zone", which I used couple of times in these sentences.

Let me make a brace of somewhat sweeping statements and justify these later.

Define a consistency zone for each batsman and check how many of his innings are within this zone. The higher the percentage of innings within the consistency zone, the more consistent the batsman was.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this statement. There is no attempt to define a consistency zone across batsmen. This postulate accepts that the basis for consistency determination for Don Bradman would be totally different to the same for Habibul Bashar. It is dynamic and will accommodate significant changes across the career of batsmen. It could be applicable to selected parts of a batsman's career. So we seem to be on a very nice wicket.

The only problem seems to be to define a valid consistency zone, hereafter called Con_Zone. There is no mathematical solution. If one exists, I would not understand it myself and cannot explain the same in simple words to the readers. So I have to use common sense and the cricketing knowledge acquired over the years.

The one point I am certain is that for this exercise, the batting average cannot be used as the basis. Especially when I am going to say that 400* or 257* are two of the greatest outliers ever, what is the point of adding these runs but not the innings played? I have to use a Runs per innings (RpI), but a slightly modified one, RpxI, after taking care of the next bone of contention, the not-outs. I will come to this later, after explaining the basis for Con_Zone.

After days of trials and evaluating aggregates of various measures, I have defined Con_Zone as the range of scores that falls between 50% of RpxI to 150% of RpxI. It is dynamic and varies according to the batsman's career performance. It gives me an exact RpxI width of scores, enough to give very high confidence level while proclaiming a batsman's consistency or lack of.

Three examples - Bradman's Con_Zone ranges between 44.4 and 133.3. Ken Barrington's Con_Zone ranges between 26.7 and 80.1. Habibul Bashar's between 15.3 to 45.8. While looking at these examples, do not forget that a 365 or 293 is as much of an outlier as a 0 or 1.

Now for the not-outs. My first article in the Cordon was called "The vexed question of not outs in Test cricket". Unfortunately, I could not view the comments and respond to those because of certain technical issues. But I knew that there were arguments for and against my suggestion of extending the not-out innings by his recent-form runs. A revolutionary idea it was but some of the respondents felt that there was really no problem and I was trying to solve a non-existent problem. They were probably correct. Some felt that the RpFI, described below, was an arbitrary number.

It is clear that the not-outs have to be addressed properly. Let us take Garry Sobers with a basic RpI value of around 50. His 178* or 365* are clear outliers and have to be considered as valid innings. His 50* has to be considered, as a perfect innings, along with his 50. His 33* is considered since this is within the Con_Zone. His 5 or 8 are clear outliers and cannot be ignored. But what about the 16*? It is not fair to Sobers if we take this innings as one falling outside the Con_Zone (25.6 to 75.7). He could have scored 34 more runs or 134 more. On the other hand we cannot certify that this falls within the Con_Zone. He could have been out next ball.

In the article I have referred to, I also developed an alternate and simpler concept of considering only fulfilled innings(FI). These are the not-outs above 50% of the RpI and all dismissals. It was an elegant and simple method.

Incidentally Milind has tackled the question of not-outs in his excellent blog, which takes cricket analysis to a higher level. He has tweaked the RpFI, which I had created for the said article and created a further adjusted RpI, called µ, by mapping all not-out innings based on their values. It is a lovely idea and the reader could get the complete information on this tweak and other fascinating analyses. Once you are there his earlier articles on Geometric Mean, Bradman's innings and the like can be viewed.

However, I have decided to stick to my RpFI concept since it is simpler and this is only a Batsman Consistency analysis. Like a perfect Lego block fitting, the beginning of the Con_Zone is pegged at 50% of the RpI value. So I have come to a (hopefully Solomonic and not Tughlaqian) decision for this analysis. I will ignore all not-outs that are below the low-end of the Con_Zone (50% of RpI). These will be excluded from the innings count, RpI determination and consistency determination.

I can hear those knives being sharpened. Before you take those off the scabbard, look at it carefully. No batsman loses out. Sobers' 16* would be outside the consistency calculations, that is all. He will neither benefit nor be hampered. No assumption of any sort has been made regarding his innings. There are no magic numbers. The RpI, if anything, will only be slightly boosted. So any reader who is offended by this, if he takes a minute to think laterally, will see the soundness behind this tweak. And let us not forget, it is uniform but customised and dynamic treatment for all batsmen.

The final justification. For the 200 batsman considered, there are 26,172 innings and of these the excluded special not-outs are just 642, a mere 2.4%. So there is a negligible impact on the numbers but a considerable improvement in the soundness of calculations.

The cut-off is 2684 runs. What? Such an odd number! Before anyone says that I have done this to exclude or include any specific player, let me say that my initial cut-off was 3000 Test runs. Two-thousand, I felt, was too low since only around 30-40 innings would have been played. Three-thousand meant that a reasonable number of innings, well over 50, would have been played.

However, when I did a run with 2500, I suddenly found out that a new batsman started dominating the tables. That was Dudley Nourse. His numbers were way out and I felt that his inclusion would set a benchmark for other batsmen and would validate the approach taken very effectively. But he had scored only 2960 runs. Hence I lowered the cut-off to 2950 Test runs. After all it is my analysis. Finally I decided that instead of having runs as cut-off, I would select the top 200 run scorers. So the population size determined the cut-off. Hence the number 2684. Mark Burgess was the last batsman to get in. In the bargain, Glenn Turner, MAK Pataudi, Norman O'Neill, Stan McCabe and Keith Miller got in. Not a bad lot to look at.

Let us move on to the tables. I have also plotted the graph for five interesting batsman to get a visual idea of how the Consistency Index works.

Test Batsmen Consistency analysis: 30 most consistent batsmen
No Batsman LHB Ctry Tests Inns NOs Runs Avge AdjInns AdjRuns AdjRpi Cons-Zone Range Cons-Zone Inns Cons-Index
1AD NourseSaf 34 62 7296053.82 60292448.7324.4 to 73.13151.7%
2WW ArmstrongAus 50 8410286338.69 81283334.9817.5 to 52.53846.9%
3BF ButcherWin 44 78 6310443.11 77309740.2220.1 to 60.33444.2%
4H SutcliffeEng 54 84 9455560.73 82454155.3827.7 to 83.13643.9%
5VL ManjrekarInd 55 9210320839.12 90320835.6417.8 to 53.53943.3%
6JB HobbsEng 61102 7541056.95 98534854.5727.3 to 81.94242.9%
7CC HunteWin 44 78 6324545.07 75322342.9721.5 to 64.53242.7%
8WR HammondEng 8514016724958.46137723452.8026.4 to 79.25842.3%
9Imran KhanPak 8812625380737.69119374131.4415.7 to 47.25042.0%
10ER DexterEng 62102 8450247.89100449744.9722.5 to 67.54242.0%
11CC McDonaldAus 47 83 4310739.33 81309938.2619.1 to 57.43442.0%
12IJL TrottEng 49 87 6376346.46 86374643.5621.8 to 65.33641.9%
13RB RichardsonWin 8614612594944.40140593042.3621.2 to 63.55841.4%
14SR WatsonAus 52 97 3340836.26 97340835.1317.6 to 52.74041.2%
15IR RedpathAus 6612011473743.46119472539.7119.9 to 59.64941.2%
16RC FredericksLWin 59109 7433442.49107432840.4520.2 to 60.74441.1%
17ND McKenzieSaf 58 94 7325337.39 90321835.7617.9 to 53.63741.1%
18AB de VilliersSaf 9215416716851.94149711447.7423.9 to 71.66140.9%
19RB KanhaiWin 79137 6622747.53133618846.5323.3 to 69.85440.6%
20DI GowerLEng11720418823144.25201818440.7220.4 to 61.18140.3%
21PJL DujonWin 8111511332231.94113331029.2914.6 to 43.94539.8%
22GS SobersLWin 9316021803257.78156798151.1625.6 to 76.76239.7%
23TW GraveneyEng 7912313488244.38121487240.2620.1 to 60.44839.7%
24GM TurnerNzl 41 73 6299144.64 71296841.8020.9 to 62.72839.4%
25AJ StraussLEng100178 6703740.91175701740.1020.0 to 60.16939.4%
26KF BarringtonEng 8213115680658.67127677853.3726.7 to 80.15039.4%
27L HuttonEng 7913815697156.67134691651.6125.8 to 77.45238.8%
28GC SmithLSaf11720412926648.26201924846.0123.0 to 69.07838.8%
29RJ HadleeLNzl 8613419312427.17129310024.0312.0 to 36.05038.8%
30AW GreigEng 58 93 4359940.44 93359938.7019.3 to 58.03638.7%

Most consistent batsmen: When readers peruse the tables they will realise why I was so enthused about Dudley Nourse. Let me present his career numbers. 62 innings. The mean score was 48.7 allowing the Con_Zone range of 24.4 to 73.1. This entire range is indicative of acceptable scores. Two scores, 17* and 19*, are ignored. Nourse has 31 scores in the Con_Zone. He is the only batsman to have more scores inside the Con_Zone than outside it. If this is not consistency, that too across 16 years, I am not sure what is. He has two double-hundreds but the next highest score is 149. That explains his excellent Con_Index.

Herbert Sutcliffe and Jack Hobbs are almost inseparable even in this analysis, as they were on the field. For Sutcliffe, two unbeaten innings, viz., 1* and 13*, are excluded. For Hobbs, four innings, viz., 9*, 11*, 19* and 23*, are removed. Otherwise, look at how close their numbers are. Very similar Con_Zone ranges (~20 to ~80). Con_Index coming at well above 42%. These are their individual numbers. How well they would have performed together. Right at the top, as far opening pairs are concerned.

Wally Hammond, who followed Hobbs and Sutcliffe, has similar figures. His Consistency Index is also well above 42%. The top 20 of the table features batsmen who have Consistency Index values above 40%. This includes some unlikely batsman. Who would have expected the flamboyant Kanhai to have a fairly high value of 40.6%. David Gower is another surprise 40+% batsman featured here. Sobers and Barrington are two top-level batsmen standing at just below 40%.

Contemporary batsmen: For all the problems he has faced recently, Trott is the most consistent of the contemporary batsmen. Thirty-six of his 86 qualifying innings are within the Con_Zone, giving him an index value of 41.9%. Watson might not have scored many hundreds but he is certainly high on the Consistency Index value table, with 41.2%. His Con_Zone range is, of course, lower at 18-53. He is expected to deliver at lower levels.

Since Watson and Trott have played fewer matches, AB de Villiers' lays claim to be the most consistent current batsman. This is borne out by his recent record-breaking form. His exclusions are 4*, 4*, 8*, 19* and 19*. He has 61 innings within the Con_Zone range of 25-79, out of 149 qualifying innings. This gives him a high Consistency Index of 40.9%. Any number above 35% is very good and anything above 40% is outstanding.

Strauss with 39.4% and Langer, with 38.2% are in the top-40.

Summary of a few top batsmen: Many top batsmen are not even in the top 50 of the table. Hence I have summarised the Consistency Index of a few top batsmen. Bradman is way down the table with a barely acceptable index of 30.8%. This is understandable since 15% of his innings are above 200 and there have to be compensating low scores.

Sachin Tendulkar's index value is a fairly low 31.2%, Brian Lara's is slightly better at 33%, Rahul Dravid at a relatively high 37.2%, Kumar Sangakkara is similarly placed at 36.8%, Ricky Ponting at a low index value of 32.9%, Jacques Kallis at a moderate 34.4%, and finally Sunil Gavaskar, at a very low 30.5%. To those who are surprised at the last figure, let me remind readers that Gavaskar was a poor starter and had 55 single-digit dismissals. And these have been balanced by 12 150-plus scores.

Test Batsmen Consistency analysis: 10 most inconsistent batsmen
No Batsman LHB Ctry Tests Inns NOs Runs Avge AdjInns AdjRuns AdjRpi Cons-Zone Range Cons-Zone Inns Cons-Index
191NS SidhuInd 51 78 2 320242.13 78 320241.05 20.5- 61.6 2126.9%
192MJ ClarkeAus10518020 824051.50176 818246.49 23.2- 69.7 4726.7%
193DL AmissEng 50 8810 361246.31 84 356942.49 21.2- 63.7 2226.2%
194TT SamaraweeraSlk 8113220 546248.77127 540742.57 21.3- 63.9 3326.0%
195HW TaylorSaf 42 76 4 293640.78 74 290839.30 19.6- 58.9 1925.7%
196C Hill~Aus 49 89 2 341239.22 88 340238.66 19.3- 58.0 2225.0%
197JR ReidNzl 58108 5 342833.28108 342831.74 15.9- 47.6 2725.0%
198MN SamuelsWin 51 90 6 298335.51 88 296833.73 16.9- 50.6 2225.0%
199Mansur Ali KhanInd 46 83 3 279334.91 82 277933.89 16.9- 50.8 1923.2%
200Ijaz AhmedPak 60 92 4 331537.67 90 328736.52 18.3- 54.8 1820.0%

Now for the other end. The most interesting in this lot is Michael Clarke, with a really low index value of 26.7%. That means that just about one in four fulfilled innings have been within the Con_Zone range of 23 to 70. His exclusions are 6*, 14*, 17* and 21*. The fact that there are 16 other not-outs has also contributed to this. He has had 47 single-digit dismissals and ten 150-plus scores do not help.

Dennis Amiss, Clem Hill and Mansur Ali Khan are two prominent batsmen in this group. Let us look at the most inconsistent batsman amongst the selected 200 - Ijaz Ahmed. Look at the Consistency Index. It is a very low 20%, which means one in five innings are within the Cons_Zone of 18-54. He has only 18 innings in this group, out of a total of 90. Not surprising considering the fact that 33 innings, out of 90, a whopping 37%, are single-digit dismissals. No doubt compensated by 12 hundreds.

Now for a few graphs. The graphs are plotted in increasing order of scores. Only the fulfilled innings are plotted. Also the Con_Zone and mean are shown.

Let us look at the graphs of three batsmen. Bradman is the king, albeit an inconsistent one, Nourse is the most consistent and Ijaz, the least consistent.

In Bradman's case, the reason for the inconsistency is very clear. Look at those seven zeroes and seven single-digit dismissals. At the other end, we have huge peaks relating to those 18 150-plus scores. All pointing to nummerous innings of total domination or dismissals within the first hour. Perfect candidate for a high degree of inconsistency.

Look at Nourse's graph. Look at the way the graph moves up quickly and the width of the Con_Zone. He has had 13 single-digit dismissals but many intermediate scores. There are not many peaks. Confirmation of a very high degree of consistency. All these lead to a Consistency Index of over 50%. Very few innings are below 10.

Now for the other end. Look at the width of the Con_Zone of Ijaz . Especially look at the number of low scores. More than the peaks on the right hand side of the Con_Zone, it is the number of low scores which leads to a wholly inconsistent career. There are many innings below 10.

This graph depicts the career of Clarke, the most inconsistent current batsman. This is in a way similar to Ijaz's graph. A very high number of innings to the left-hand side of the Con_Zone and significant number of innings to the right side. The width of the Con_Zone is quite low at only 26%. Look at how many innings are below 10. This is borne out by the fact that Clarke has scored four hundreds, three huge ones, in his last 11 Tests. The other 18 innings are 30 or lower.

Hammond has been a very consistent player with an index value of 42.3%. Let us look at the career graph of Hammond. Look at the width of the Con_Zone. The number of innings within this zone is quite high. On either side there are no great tail-offs. Look at how few innings are below 10.

Finally, the graph for de Villiers. It is far closer to the Hammond graph rather than the Clarke graph. A fairly wide Cons_Zone, just over 40%. All those recent fifties helped. There are not many innings below 10.

The common view is that the sedate, defensive batsmen are more consistent than the attacking batsmen. This unfounded adage has been given a serious jolt in this analysis. When attacking batsmen like Ted Dexter, Roy Fredericks, Rohan Kanhai, Gower, Sobers et al are in the top 40 and defensive stalwarts like Gavaskar, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kallis, Mohammad Yousuf, Hanif Mohammad et al are in the lower half of the table, there seems no justification for this axiom.

Couple of messages to my readers.

If you perceive this to be some sort of batsman-ranking table and come out with comments such as: "xyz is ranked too high or low", it is your problem, not mine. This is not a ranking list at all. It is an indication of how consistent a batsman was, relative to his own mean. That is all. If this table does not conform to your subjective perception of a batsman's consistency, maybe it is time to change that to an objective perception and not find fault.

If anyone tries to hijack this article into a xyz-lauding or pqr-bashing exercise, I will be quite ruthless, cutting off such comments right at the top.

I have uploaded the table containing the data for all 200 qualifying players. To download/view this file, please CLICK HERE.

Halfway through the extensive work done on this article I located another very interesting gem that can be used to measure the Test batsman consistency. This was the positioning of the Median score (the middle score). It was clear that the closer the Median was to the Mean (RpI), more innings would be in the central area and this can also be used as an excellent measure of consistency. In fact, for quite some time, I was working with both measures and had also determined a composite Consistency Index. However, covering all these three measures would have made the article twice as long as my previous longest article and would have thrown ESPNcricinfo's publishing mechanism into disarray. I also did not want to miss any of the graphs for both measures. Hence there will be a second part covering the rest of the topic.

As I conclude the article, I read, with sadness, that Gary Gilmour passed away. An outstanding allrounder, Gilmour did not get enough opportunities to play Test cricket and World Series Cricket was also a magnet that drew him away. However, I have a special fascination and appreciation for Gilmour since my first ODI Top 100, released in 2002, had Gilmour's 6 for 14 in the 1975 World Cup semi-final as the best ever ODI bowling performance. This performance, and Richards' 189*, have topped every one of the ODI performance analysis tables that I have done during the past 12 years. Others might have done more, but this single performance will always make Gilmour stand out. Gilmour: R.I.P. My thoughts are with the bereaved family.

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

  • Anshu.N.Jain on June 18, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    On consistency, I'd think the Standard Deviation of a sample of averages/adjusted averages (such as against different countries, home and away, won and lost and drawn games etc.), with a minimum number of innings for each such variable (say 10 innings) as a qualifier, would best capture this measure.

    I also see great merit in the (HQ-Median)/(Median-LQ) measure, with values closer to 1 indicating higher consistency.

    Perhaps some combination of the two measures could be worked out.

    Looking forward to the bowlers' consistency measure now :-)
    [[
    When I do the Median work I will look at your (HQ-Median)/(Median-LQ) measure as an additional index. On Not outs, I prefer simpler methods which any reader can adopt.
    To me my non-fulfilled innings method is the embodiment of simplicity. The idea is sound. The impact is negligible. I am only saying that an 18* is not considered for this work, that is all. The impact on averages is normally in the second decimal.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Anshu.N.Jain on June 18, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Hi Anantha, Good to see a new article on this topic. I remember the comments on the old article on batsmen consistency, which went down the path of intense statistical discussions around skewness coefficients and a formula of the kind (HQ-Median)/(Median-LQ) to measure consistency.

    On addressing the issue of not-outs, I will repeat a suggestion I had offered on your article "ODI Batting giants Part 1":

    1. Substitute each not out score with the mean/median of all dismissals at scores above the not out score (I prefer the median) 2. If the highest score is a not out score, take it as is. 3. Add all such scores to the total runs scored in dismissals. 4. Derive the Adj Average using value in 3. above as the numerator, and all innings played in as denominator.

    contd..

  • on June 17, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Excellent post Ananth - as usual - back to where our heart lies - white flannels!I filtered for runs per innings>40. Got 100 entries (exactly half the population had actually an ave > 40!). Funny part was the top10 were still more or less the same folks (as listed here). But after the top 10, there are so many jumps (the 100th in the list of 40+ RPI is 194th in the overall list - Samaraweera) - which means that its one thing to be consistently making 15-20 but yet another to make 40+ across at a good frequency. And those with Comf zone closer to 25-75 had wide variations. Making consistently good scores (as against to scoring consistently) is definitely a huge ask. At a 40% consistency cut-off, there are only 13 (Gower at 13, 20th overall). From India, Sehwag over VVS and VVS over SRT shows how unsung these folks are.
    [[
    This filtered list of 13 is a creme de la creme. 40+ in both takes away any low RpI batsmen. Not many, since out of those 20 batsmen with 40% cons index, only 7 have less than 40 as RpI. This list is Nourse, Butcher, Sutcliffe, Hobbs, Hunte, Hammond, Dexter, Trott, RB Richardson, Fredericks, de Villiers, Kanhai and Gower. A combination of a few really great batsmen, a few not-so-great batsmen and a few attacking batsmen. Trott and de Villiers !!! And look at the number of Englishmen and West Indians: 6 and 5 respectively. And 2 South Africans. No Australian, Indian or Pakistani batsmen. Thanks for a nice interpretation.
    Striking a different note, Test cricket lives: and how? England must rue the missed opportunities: batting beyond a lead of 350 and the 14 overs not bowled. Sri Lanka must rue their batting collapses in both innings. Also a great advertisement for DRS. I am just visualizing a situation of India at 200 for 9 with two balls to go, Shami Ahmad nicking a ball on to the pad and being given out. I wish that happens so that DRS is given a leg up.
    And Sangakkara is fifth in the all-time average table, with 4000 runs cut-off, above Sobers, Hammond, Hobbs and Hutton.
    Ananth
    ]]
    I think we could have this list with some of your old blogs (Bowling Quality Index) against tough attacks / Tough conditions. Let me see if I can get something out.

  • on June 17, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Ananth, while I agree that innings like 365, 375 and 400 are outliers, to get to that final score the batsman did achieve the cons-zone. Lets say a batsman having a cons-zone of 25-75 has three scores of 30,35 and 55 and in the 4th inns he scores a 200. From a consistency point of view I think that 4th inns should qualify in the No of cons-zone inns and cons-zone index since he achieved his cons-zone in that 4th inns. Just that he went on to score much more. Secondly to get a serious list of batsman i think there should be a cutoff for RPI maybe around 25 (would filter out batsmen like Kirmani, Parore, Vaas, Akram, Warne) or even 30 (would filter out even Kapil, Hadlee, A Campbell). All these are great cricketers in their own respect.
    [[
    Santosh
    In essence you are asking me to do a Batsman-low-score analysis. My ideas are already running in that direction. As I see the numbers more and respond to comments, I realize that I keep on talking about non-fulfilled innings, single-digit dismissals and so on. All these relate to low scores. Maybe a comprehensive study of the sub-CZ_Start innings is what is needed.
    Re the second point, there is nothing wrong in Hadlee, with a sub-30 RpFI, occupying the excellent 29th place. After all in his own customized Con_Zone, he has nearly 40% scores.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Ukri82 on June 16, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    One more comment. The current measure is very simple and I like it. But one thing is misses is the aspect of time. In this analysis you just count the number of innings in the zone and I think this is enough from a retrospective point of view. However, using this, you cannot arrive at a reasonable expectation when an active batman is coming to crease. What I would be interested is how consistent is he in the recent past. Maybe in last one year. So, this would be another angle to which you might have to look into. Maybe doing the above analysis for a running block of one-year inningses would be enough.
    [[
    Out of these 200 batsmen probably 185 are already retired. So your idea, while it is a nice one, can be applicable only to those current batsmen. As I have already mentioned, this can be applied with no loss of value, to a period of time. Clarke might be 26% but over the past year he has been better at 32.6%. de Villiers, who is already quite high at 41%, has been extraordinary during the last year and is past 50%. Such statements will let us get insights into how players arrive into important series.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 16, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Very nice article Ananth! I agree with some of the guys that peak of certain players should be taken, rather than the whole playing life. Results become more and more skewed, as a player starts playing more and more cricket. You can't compare consistency of a player who has scored just 3000 runs to that who has scored more than 10000.
    [[
    Yes, it will be good. The key question is to define the peak. Probably the idea would be to try what I did in the Streak analysis. Take Bradman as the base. Look at 50 Tests (Bradman batted in only 50 Tests). For each batsmen determine his peak sub-career, of 50 Tests, dynamically and then do a Consistency analysis for this period. Lot of tricky work but can be done..
    Ananth
    ]]
    One may also think about taking into consideration bigger innings as consistant, specially considering, Bradman's record! Moreover, will be waiting for such an article for ODIs as well! Jay

  • on June 16, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Anantha, it seems to me that Con_Zone = RpxI ± 50% is quite wider. For a starting point, it is good. But this zone may be subdivided into ±10%, ±20%, ±30%, ±40% & ±50% like the Archery FITA Target, RpxI ± 10% being the bull's eye zone. Can you please add respective columns for these, so that we can see who has the highest % of innings in RpxI ± 10% band? You may do this in your next article also, if you like this idea. Alternatively, once you have calculated a batsman's RpxI, would using SD be very much technical so that none will understand? It will be easy, Lower SD = Greater Consistency & Higher SD = Lower Consistency. Arnab, Kolkata
    [[
    Arnamb, my fear is that SD will not work at all since even the RpFI is somewhere in the RpI/Average range and the higher values will be way off. I calculated the SD using the Mean (RpI) and it was very high. (0-50)squared is fine but (400-50)squared is very high. The distribution is skewed too much to the left for SD to have any relevance.
    Splitting the Con_Zone into 5 zones might lead to too many numbers. Maybe RpFI ±15%, ±30%, ±50% would be better. I might not do this now because I cannot add anything to the article. I can do that with the follow-up articles. If nothing else, I can do and upload the tables.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 15, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    Perhaps the wording of my comment was a bit strong because of my incredulity that no one had caught on to it - on cricket blog ! My apologies.
    [[
    No need for any apologies. You have not crossed any line.
    Ananth
    ]]
    Re. " Kim Hughes scored 89 when the going was good at Headingley in 1981. In the second innings when the target was 130, he scored 0." If Hughes had not scored 89 in the first innings and a duck instead the target would then have been 219. It is mainly on account of the drama surrounding 4th innings chases that one tends to accord them more value. As far as the team is concerned - All runs during the course of a "match" count equally. Had Lara scored 153 in the first innings and 8 in the 2nd - mathematically the team would have still won.
    [[
    What you are really asking me to do a three-part analysis with the Test as the basis as the next one. Once I get past the "100 & 0 in a test is inconsistent" view, things will become clearer. The strongest point in doing Test as the basis is the fact Tests are won, lost or drawn and the performances have more relevance. Referring to my article it would not matter if the 100 was part of a 150 for 9 chase or 700 for 3.
    Thanks for an excellent pair of comments.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 15, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    It is wholly incorrect to use "innings" as the unit of consistency in Test matches. A team can, with any conceivable logic, only win/ lose / draw a "match". It cannot possibly win/ lose/ draw an "innings" - under any circumstances. Even to make such a claim is bizarre. i.e the smallest unit of win/loss/draw in Test cricket is a "match".

    As such the only consistency of any importance is how much a batsman contributes to a particular "match".To the team a Lara scoring 8 and 153 in a single "match" is of exact consistency to him scoring 80 in each "innings". The unit of win/loss/draw is a "match". Period. If a bowler takes 8 wickets in a match , but with a split of 2 and 6 per "innings" we cannot possibly call him inconsistent.

    Only in ODIS may we use single "innings".

    It is mind-boggling that such basic logical inconsistency has escaped notice.
    [[
    These are all points of view. If you are so sure about it, why is Bradman's average 99.96 and not 134.5. I am a great supporter of RpT and have used it in many of my calculations. The only thing I can say is that using a Test as the basis is a viable alternative and worth a look in. But not by saying "My way or the highway". Let me give you a counter to the Lara Test. Kim Hughes scored 89 when the going was good at Headingley in 1981. In the second innings when the target was 130, he scored 0.
    Let me also add that I was working with both sets of numbers, per innings and per Test but decided on the innings as the most common delivery place. I can always re-visit the Test basis, accepting that 120 & 0 is and 60 & 60 both lead to 130 for the Test.


    Ananth
    ]]

  • MilPand on June 15, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    In early 2003 Tendulkar played 3 unbeaten knocks that camouflage a lengthy slump. That period is partially responsible in search of G and µ. Of course two variables are not enough hence LS, Q1, Median, Q3 and HS are listed to get a better feel at distribution of scores. Every batsman is vulnerable at the beginning of an innings. Volatility - opposite of consistency - is a given. In general once set we want a player to dig deep. So the lack of consistency due to high scores is welcome. Instead of consistency, if we plot resilience, then both the con_zone and area above are the scores where a batsman overcomes the tyranny of low scores. µ, the AM, accounts very well for the skyscrapers. GeoMean is also influenced by the scores on the RHS of con_zone but not as much as AM. Independently a string of low scores will affect G. I believe the next article will independently look at the difference between G & µ to find careers with plenty of medium scores.
    [[
    Yes, Milind. The narrow definition of Consistency masks the true value of the innings. My feeling is that this is only the start of a wider analysis. See Harsh's comment. I toyed with doing something purely based on the below-half-mean position. But decided on this broader definition of consistency. Maybe I should do that and separate the poor starters from the well-past-the-first-hour players.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Anshu.N.Jain on June 18, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    On consistency, I'd think the Standard Deviation of a sample of averages/adjusted averages (such as against different countries, home and away, won and lost and drawn games etc.), with a minimum number of innings for each such variable (say 10 innings) as a qualifier, would best capture this measure.

    I also see great merit in the (HQ-Median)/(Median-LQ) measure, with values closer to 1 indicating higher consistency.

    Perhaps some combination of the two measures could be worked out.

    Looking forward to the bowlers' consistency measure now :-)
    [[
    When I do the Median work I will look at your (HQ-Median)/(Median-LQ) measure as an additional index. On Not outs, I prefer simpler methods which any reader can adopt.
    To me my non-fulfilled innings method is the embodiment of simplicity. The idea is sound. The impact is negligible. I am only saying that an 18* is not considered for this work, that is all. The impact on averages is normally in the second decimal.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Anshu.N.Jain on June 18, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Hi Anantha, Good to see a new article on this topic. I remember the comments on the old article on batsmen consistency, which went down the path of intense statistical discussions around skewness coefficients and a formula of the kind (HQ-Median)/(Median-LQ) to measure consistency.

    On addressing the issue of not-outs, I will repeat a suggestion I had offered on your article "ODI Batting giants Part 1":

    1. Substitute each not out score with the mean/median of all dismissals at scores above the not out score (I prefer the median) 2. If the highest score is a not out score, take it as is. 3. Add all such scores to the total runs scored in dismissals. 4. Derive the Adj Average using value in 3. above as the numerator, and all innings played in as denominator.

    contd..

  • on June 17, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    Excellent post Ananth - as usual - back to where our heart lies - white flannels!I filtered for runs per innings>40. Got 100 entries (exactly half the population had actually an ave > 40!). Funny part was the top10 were still more or less the same folks (as listed here). But after the top 10, there are so many jumps (the 100th in the list of 40+ RPI is 194th in the overall list - Samaraweera) - which means that its one thing to be consistently making 15-20 but yet another to make 40+ across at a good frequency. And those with Comf zone closer to 25-75 had wide variations. Making consistently good scores (as against to scoring consistently) is definitely a huge ask. At a 40% consistency cut-off, there are only 13 (Gower at 13, 20th overall). From India, Sehwag over VVS and VVS over SRT shows how unsung these folks are.
    [[
    This filtered list of 13 is a creme de la creme. 40+ in both takes away any low RpI batsmen. Not many, since out of those 20 batsmen with 40% cons index, only 7 have less than 40 as RpI. This list is Nourse, Butcher, Sutcliffe, Hobbs, Hunte, Hammond, Dexter, Trott, RB Richardson, Fredericks, de Villiers, Kanhai and Gower. A combination of a few really great batsmen, a few not-so-great batsmen and a few attacking batsmen. Trott and de Villiers !!! And look at the number of Englishmen and West Indians: 6 and 5 respectively. And 2 South Africans. No Australian, Indian or Pakistani batsmen. Thanks for a nice interpretation.
    Striking a different note, Test cricket lives: and how? England must rue the missed opportunities: batting beyond a lead of 350 and the 14 overs not bowled. Sri Lanka must rue their batting collapses in both innings. Also a great advertisement for DRS. I am just visualizing a situation of India at 200 for 9 with two balls to go, Shami Ahmad nicking a ball on to the pad and being given out. I wish that happens so that DRS is given a leg up.
    And Sangakkara is fifth in the all-time average table, with 4000 runs cut-off, above Sobers, Hammond, Hobbs and Hutton.
    Ananth
    ]]
    I think we could have this list with some of your old blogs (Bowling Quality Index) against tough attacks / Tough conditions. Let me see if I can get something out.

  • on June 17, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    Ananth, while I agree that innings like 365, 375 and 400 are outliers, to get to that final score the batsman did achieve the cons-zone. Lets say a batsman having a cons-zone of 25-75 has three scores of 30,35 and 55 and in the 4th inns he scores a 200. From a consistency point of view I think that 4th inns should qualify in the No of cons-zone inns and cons-zone index since he achieved his cons-zone in that 4th inns. Just that he went on to score much more. Secondly to get a serious list of batsman i think there should be a cutoff for RPI maybe around 25 (would filter out batsmen like Kirmani, Parore, Vaas, Akram, Warne) or even 30 (would filter out even Kapil, Hadlee, A Campbell). All these are great cricketers in their own respect.
    [[
    Santosh
    In essence you are asking me to do a Batsman-low-score analysis. My ideas are already running in that direction. As I see the numbers more and respond to comments, I realize that I keep on talking about non-fulfilled innings, single-digit dismissals and so on. All these relate to low scores. Maybe a comprehensive study of the sub-CZ_Start innings is what is needed.
    Re the second point, there is nothing wrong in Hadlee, with a sub-30 RpFI, occupying the excellent 29th place. After all in his own customized Con_Zone, he has nearly 40% scores.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Ukri82 on June 16, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    One more comment. The current measure is very simple and I like it. But one thing is misses is the aspect of time. In this analysis you just count the number of innings in the zone and I think this is enough from a retrospective point of view. However, using this, you cannot arrive at a reasonable expectation when an active batman is coming to crease. What I would be interested is how consistent is he in the recent past. Maybe in last one year. So, this would be another angle to which you might have to look into. Maybe doing the above analysis for a running block of one-year inningses would be enough.
    [[
    Out of these 200 batsmen probably 185 are already retired. So your idea, while it is a nice one, can be applicable only to those current batsmen. As I have already mentioned, this can be applied with no loss of value, to a period of time. Clarke might be 26% but over the past year he has been better at 32.6%. de Villiers, who is already quite high at 41%, has been extraordinary during the last year and is past 50%. Such statements will let us get insights into how players arrive into important series.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 16, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Very nice article Ananth! I agree with some of the guys that peak of certain players should be taken, rather than the whole playing life. Results become more and more skewed, as a player starts playing more and more cricket. You can't compare consistency of a player who has scored just 3000 runs to that who has scored more than 10000.
    [[
    Yes, it will be good. The key question is to define the peak. Probably the idea would be to try what I did in the Streak analysis. Take Bradman as the base. Look at 50 Tests (Bradman batted in only 50 Tests). For each batsmen determine his peak sub-career, of 50 Tests, dynamically and then do a Consistency analysis for this period. Lot of tricky work but can be done..
    Ananth
    ]]
    One may also think about taking into consideration bigger innings as consistant, specially considering, Bradman's record! Moreover, will be waiting for such an article for ODIs as well! Jay

  • on June 16, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    Anantha, it seems to me that Con_Zone = RpxI ± 50% is quite wider. For a starting point, it is good. But this zone may be subdivided into ±10%, ±20%, ±30%, ±40% & ±50% like the Archery FITA Target, RpxI ± 10% being the bull's eye zone. Can you please add respective columns for these, so that we can see who has the highest % of innings in RpxI ± 10% band? You may do this in your next article also, if you like this idea. Alternatively, once you have calculated a batsman's RpxI, would using SD be very much technical so that none will understand? It will be easy, Lower SD = Greater Consistency & Higher SD = Lower Consistency. Arnab, Kolkata
    [[
    Arnamb, my fear is that SD will not work at all since even the RpFI is somewhere in the RpI/Average range and the higher values will be way off. I calculated the SD using the Mean (RpI) and it was very high. (0-50)squared is fine but (400-50)squared is very high. The distribution is skewed too much to the left for SD to have any relevance.
    Splitting the Con_Zone into 5 zones might lead to too many numbers. Maybe RpFI ±15%, ±30%, ±50% would be better. I might not do this now because I cannot add anything to the article. I can do that with the follow-up articles. If nothing else, I can do and upload the tables.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 15, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    Perhaps the wording of my comment was a bit strong because of my incredulity that no one had caught on to it - on cricket blog ! My apologies.
    [[
    No need for any apologies. You have not crossed any line.
    Ananth
    ]]
    Re. " Kim Hughes scored 89 when the going was good at Headingley in 1981. In the second innings when the target was 130, he scored 0." If Hughes had not scored 89 in the first innings and a duck instead the target would then have been 219. It is mainly on account of the drama surrounding 4th innings chases that one tends to accord them more value. As far as the team is concerned - All runs during the course of a "match" count equally. Had Lara scored 153 in the first innings and 8 in the 2nd - mathematically the team would have still won.
    [[
    What you are really asking me to do a three-part analysis with the Test as the basis as the next one. Once I get past the "100 & 0 in a test is inconsistent" view, things will become clearer. The strongest point in doing Test as the basis is the fact Tests are won, lost or drawn and the performances have more relevance. Referring to my article it would not matter if the 100 was part of a 150 for 9 chase or 700 for 3.
    Thanks for an excellent pair of comments.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 15, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    It is wholly incorrect to use "innings" as the unit of consistency in Test matches. A team can, with any conceivable logic, only win/ lose / draw a "match". It cannot possibly win/ lose/ draw an "innings" - under any circumstances. Even to make such a claim is bizarre. i.e the smallest unit of win/loss/draw in Test cricket is a "match".

    As such the only consistency of any importance is how much a batsman contributes to a particular "match".To the team a Lara scoring 8 and 153 in a single "match" is of exact consistency to him scoring 80 in each "innings". The unit of win/loss/draw is a "match". Period. If a bowler takes 8 wickets in a match , but with a split of 2 and 6 per "innings" we cannot possibly call him inconsistent.

    Only in ODIS may we use single "innings".

    It is mind-boggling that such basic logical inconsistency has escaped notice.
    [[
    These are all points of view. If you are so sure about it, why is Bradman's average 99.96 and not 134.5. I am a great supporter of RpT and have used it in many of my calculations. The only thing I can say is that using a Test as the basis is a viable alternative and worth a look in. But not by saying "My way or the highway". Let me give you a counter to the Lara Test. Kim Hughes scored 89 when the going was good at Headingley in 1981. In the second innings when the target was 130, he scored 0.
    Let me also add that I was working with both sets of numbers, per innings and per Test but decided on the innings as the most common delivery place. I can always re-visit the Test basis, accepting that 120 & 0 is and 60 & 60 both lead to 130 for the Test.


    Ananth
    ]]

  • MilPand on June 15, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    In early 2003 Tendulkar played 3 unbeaten knocks that camouflage a lengthy slump. That period is partially responsible in search of G and µ. Of course two variables are not enough hence LS, Q1, Median, Q3 and HS are listed to get a better feel at distribution of scores. Every batsman is vulnerable at the beginning of an innings. Volatility - opposite of consistency - is a given. In general once set we want a player to dig deep. So the lack of consistency due to high scores is welcome. Instead of consistency, if we plot resilience, then both the con_zone and area above are the scores where a batsman overcomes the tyranny of low scores. µ, the AM, accounts very well for the skyscrapers. GeoMean is also influenced by the scores on the RHS of con_zone but not as much as AM. Independently a string of low scores will affect G. I believe the next article will independently look at the difference between G & µ to find careers with plenty of medium scores.
    [[
    Yes, Milind. The narrow definition of Consistency masks the true value of the innings. My feeling is that this is only the start of a wider analysis. See Harsh's comment. I toyed with doing something purely based on the below-half-mean position. But decided on this broader definition of consistency. Maybe I should do that and separate the poor starters from the well-past-the-first-hour players.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • harshthakor on June 15, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Goood Work,Ananth ,something of invaluable importance.I feel however that it is injustice to the likes of Dravid,Border,Gavaskar,Boycott,Miandad,Tendulkar,Greg Chappell,Steve Waugh and Lara ,in that order.An important criteria arguably is the consistency in peak period be it of Brian Lara or Viv Richards.Infact if we asses the weakness of his team Lara's consistency was outstanding in his peak periods,while in the better half of their careers Dravid's and Steve Waugh's consistency was exceptional.An important aspect is how often batsmen scored consistently in a crisis.
    [[
    It is possible to do the Consistency analysis for specific segments of a batsman's career. If we keep a minimum of 50 innings, I know this is quite arbitrary, we might get startling insights. I am not sure how this can be done easily. Through programming would be quite unwieldy. Maybe what we should do is to assimilate the current concept fully and understand the significance of the 5-0% Consistency Index. Then when we get a segment of Lara's career, say 70 innings, during which he crossed o.5, that will be true knowledge. Let me see how this can be done.
    Ananth
    ]]
    We learn that the great batsmen have been so outstanding at their best that although they have been remarkably consistent their consistency is not equal to 'very good 'batsmen.

    Happy to see Rohan Kanhai,a true batting great in the list and feel that Gundappa Vishwanath just missed out if you remember his consistency in the 1970's.

  • Deuce03 on June 14, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    Another good article as usual. Some initially surprising names in the list of consistent batsmen - although perhaps not when I think about it. I think with Strauss (as with Gower) there was a perception they were inconsistent because they would often get out without going on to make a big score, but, clearly, they also relatively rarely got out very cheaply. Hammond is a genuine surprise, though, especially so high in the table. I suppose you don't gain a reputation like his just from flattening second-rate New Zealand attacks.
    [[
    In addition to getting those high scores off the weakest-ever New Zealand attacks, Hammond was very good against the other quality attacks also.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    I would also like to suggest one more analysis, something I would have done myself if I had the necessary database(and a tiny something called knowledge in case of some measures I am not sure of.You will know more about them ahead). I want to find out how good batsmen were at their peaks. For example, what was Lara's average and RPI at his peak. What was the expectation of a tendulkar century at his peak(I define an expectation score as the amount of times a particular number has been crossed in the last 25 Test innings. That gives me the empirical probability for the same.In this case 100 runs would be the score). How many balls did Dravid play per innings at his peak(very much interested in this one). I have the impression that you sometimes oblige your readers if they give good enough suggestions. Could we expect an analysis on these measures somewhere in the future.
    [[
    That is an interesting one. I will look at it. The key is to define a "peak". It would also vary from player to player. Couple of players whose peaks were there for during the last 5 years were Sangakkara and Mohd Yousuf. Will certainly look at this.The phrase "Akshunna-Peak analysis" has gone into the Ideas tray.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Nayan-Jyoti on June 18, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    @Ananth Sir I excluded Bangladesh matches because they increased Sachin's avg. during the slump from 36 to 46. On the other hand Bangladesh matches increased Dravid's avg. during the slump from 37 to only 40. I feared that some readers would attack me with blames like "You included Bangladesh matches to show that Sachin is better than Dravid." I never want to get into such pointless debates.
    [[
    You should have no problems as long as you personally feel that you are unbiased and fair. I have always stood by my convictions in calling a spade a spade. There might have been easy runs scored off Bangladesh. There have been times when it was quite tough. The 105 of Tendulkar, 144 by Gilchrist, 118 by Ponting and 138 by Inzamam, all against Bangladesh, are worth more than many a double-hundred.
    Ananth
    ]]
    Only complain I have with Sachin that he extended his career more than required. He should have retired after 2011 England tour where he failed to perform. But he kept on playing for another 1 and half years.
    [[
    Yes, but that was his choice and his, only. Like Federer now, who plays because he believes that he can compete with the best, Tendulkar felt like that. Unfortunately his last dozen Tests tell us otherwise.
    Ananth
    ]]
    Have you done any article on players who pushed their careers far too long? Another name comes to mind is Ricky Ponting. May be Wasim Akram.

  • Nayan-Jyoti on June 18, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    So, I think it's unfair that people criticizes Sachin for getting more chances when out of form. Dravid got that too. And remember, Dravid is one of my most favorite player. I would have him at no. 3 position If I had to make world 11 test team. But I am not a blind fan to ignore failures of my favorite players and achievements of other players. What I am trying to say that many great players go through lengthy slump. But they are given more chances because they are better skilled and have higher chance to deliver. And both Sachin and Dravid delivered again.

    Ananth Sir, regarding DRS I have similar views as yours. I don't understand what is BCCI's problem with DRS. It's not that it creates disadvantage for India. In last three years India won two major ICC trophies which involved DRS. WC 2011 (remember Sachin's match winning use of DRS in semi final) and Champions Trophy 2013. In fact, In CT 2013 India is the team which overturned most number of decisions in their favour using DRS.

  • Nayan-Jyoti on June 18, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Whenever the discussion of a batsman's lengthy slump takes place, Sachin's name comes to mind for his 2003-2007 out of form period. But I today noticed that Dravid has also gone through a such period without anybody realizing. It started in SA tour in 2006 and lasted to SA tour in 2010-2011. During that 4 years,(excluding Bangladesh matches) he played 42 matches, scored 2683 runs, avg. 37 with 6 centuries and 12 half-centuries. In away matches,(excluding BAN) he played 22 matches, scored 1165 runs, avg. 29 with no century and 8 half centuries. Very similar to Sachin's slump. Sachin's slump started in early 2004 and lasted to 2007 England tour. (Excluding BAN matches again), He played 27 matches, scored 1418 runs, avg. 36 with two centuries and 9 half cenruties.
    [[
    One of the topics I have added during the past couple of days to my "To-do list" is "Analysis of batsman troughs". There may be many a surprise for us there. One suggestion. Never exclude Bangladesh in any calculations. These are Test runs and exclusion is wrong. How can anyone ever excude the 105* of Tendulkar against Bangladesh in 2010. I consider that as one of his three finest innings ever.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • MilPand on June 17, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    Thanks for featuring the G & µ post which was largely focussed on the topic for this article. Vijay Manjrekar ranks high in consistency but with a low AM for a specialist batsman. It means that we should primarily categorise players by µ. A number of players with similar runs per innings can be further categorised by G. I think G does a very good job of capturing both - a string of low scores as well as nominally accounting for the ability to scoring heavily.
    [[
    Milind, I will publish your comments without any responses since these are self-explanatory for those who have gone through your blog.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • MilPand on June 17, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    A lower cutoff for Q1 will be topped by Sidney Barnes, Duleepsinhji & Vijay Merchant. Merchant and Walters with similar careers selected themselves as featured batsmen from the table sorted by Q1 which was part of rough draft. Another section that was edited out featured Dennis Amiss. His scoring pattern is extraordinary. He failed to reach 50 in 75% innings. His remaining scores or the final quarter are: 50,53,56,56,56,64,79,82,86*,90,99,112,118,138*,158,164*,174,179,183,188,203,262* He has the largest difference in G and Median. Most players have a G lower than Median(Q2) but his GeoMean of 21 is 5 runs higher than Q2 of 16.

  • MilPand on June 17, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    If I select World XV again, Sutcliffe/Hobbs as openers and Walcott as keeper-batsman will be my automatic selections based on this image http://pandimi.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/batavgmu50g30inn15.gif

    Amongst those who played 70+ innings, Sutcliffe has the highest Q1 of 20.75, then Hobbs 19 and Bradman 17.5 followed by Hammond. I wanted to convey that getting out early is extremely common. These players have set unlikely standards to emulate. I agree that 8 for Gavaskar is fairly low but he has company in Lara, Waugh twins, Boycott, Greenidge, Greg Chappell, Mohinder Amarnath, Hanif Mohammad, Glenn Turner.

  • on June 17, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    The consistency method offers a better insight into players performance rather than just averages. A case in point in the difference of con-zon% between Miandad and Sutcliffe- the only batsmen whose test averages never got below 50. 2) Taking of the other extreme, can you in future do some analysis of the most inconsistent phase of batsmen over a prolonged period of time (like the 21 Mark Taylor innings without a fifty or the 2003 Tendulkar struggle) and what was the magnitude of these deviations from the actual figures
    [[
    Pawan, I have done some thinng like this when I did my streak analysis. But a structured trough analysis seems nice. If nothing else, this article seems to have generated some interesting possibilities.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Nayan-Jyoti on June 17, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    I really like your articles, sir. I have read almost all your articles. But this the first time I am commenting. Main reason for not commenting is that it always ends up in debating over "Who is the best batsman/bowler?" I don't understand why some people always debate over 'Who is the best batsman?' whenever they see an article like this. They should understand that the ranking in this article is for consistency, not best batsman. Here Watson is at much higher position than Bradman. That does not mean he is better batsman than Bradman.
    [[
    You have got the essence of the article. And in many cases the reasons for a player's low position has been explained. Like Gavaskar.
    Ananth
    ]]
    Anyway great work. I would like to see an article on ODI consistency.

  • on June 16, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    Thank you for an insightful commentary. It is good to know that likes of you are out. GO Proteas!

  • Ukri82 on June 16, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Some comments on the meat of the article. I found this is measure is quite good. I would have expected that you would use median instead of mean because essentially you are arranging the scores in some order and finding out the mid-value and finding a spread about this mid. So median is the logican mid of a sequence, not the mean. Next comment is about the spread values. You state that "This means that he would have more scores below the mean than above". So, this means the lower half of the spread should be bigger than the higher half. In my opinion, only then there would be a proportional inclusion of scores in the con-zone.
    [[
    The Con_Zone has to be based on the Mean. In a way I finding how many innings are close to the mean, on either side. I will use the Median in another manner in the follow-up article.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Ukri82 on June 16, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    It is refreshing to see that you are back to some analysis on tests.

    "These articles may not come through the statistical validations test but have to be based on common sense and understood by most of the readers" : Interesting. In the past two hundred or so years timeframe several statisticians thought about real world problems and came out with some measures based on their 'common sense' and other people accepted those meausers. The only 'sin' in this context was that the people who used those measures gave a name to those measures. So, if this measure which introduced is widely accepted and in next 50 years people start to use it and out of shear necessity they start to call it 'Ananthan's S factor of statistical dispersion' or something more nerdy it would be funny to hear your comment in that future world :)

    Btw, the measure which you introduced is closely related to 'Cyhelský's skewness coefficient', if that displeases you (or pleases?)
    [[
    But one thing you should agree with me. If I had started with 'Cyhelský's skewness coefficient', I would have lost 3 out of 4 readers!!!. It is not the nomenclature but the need tro identify with the average reader which drives me. Thanks for the comment.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 16, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    "Hammond played 4 Tests against Miller & Lindwall at the end of his career when he was past 40 after missing the 6 war years". Yes but that was really the only period in his career where australia was pace heavy. The other pace heavy team was WI and he struggled against them. He averages what a mediocre 35 against them.

  • Ammar72 on June 16, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    Dear Ananth While not taking away any credit for this in-depth analysis which is really worth appreciating, I cannot stop my anxious query about the fact that Javed Miandad is, perhaps, the only cricketer whose career average never came below 50 and that too in over 100 Tests. But surprisingly, he is not there in the most consistent batsmen list. No doubt that statistical surgery reveals some very hard-to-digest and some times bitter facts, but sometimes it is better to just enjoy the game and its greatest exponents just on the face value and thrill they provide throughout their careers rather than going deep into statistics. Apologies in advance if this causes inconvenience. Pls keep up the good work. From a faithful espncricinfo reader who finds many a times, his comments (perhaps bitter ones) not published in cricinfo.
    [[
    Ammar, one thing I can assure you is that your comments, as long as they follow the required minimal requirements, will be published.
    Javed is 33rd in this collection of 200 top btsmen. That is a reasonable position. He just missed the cutooff for featuring. His consistency index is a creditable 38.6%.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • MilPand on June 15, 2014, 16:39 GMT

    Distribution of batting scores is skewed. Quartile values can be used for a quick summary of distribution. Key measures sorted by number of runs scored: http://pandimi.wordpress.com/testbatavg/ Tendulkar and Lara are 3rd and 4th behind Bradman/Barrington on Q3 (amongst runs > 6800). Higher Q3 indicates consolidation of a good start. Sangakkara is the best modern batsman who trumps both Sachin and Brian based on average values. Does Gavaskar get out more often in single digits than others? Average Q1 is 4. If you glance down the stated list, amongst top runscorers, Gavaskar's Q1= 8 is neither high nor unusually low. Despite a lot of 0 dismissals, Bradman tops Q1 with 17.5. Hammond 14.8, Lloyd 13.5 and Miandad/Sobers 13 are exceptional in avoiding very low scores. Vengsarkar, Bell and Zaheer Abbas fair poorly on Q1. Boucher/Gilchrist and Botham/Kapil also have comparatively low Q1 but they play as all rounders.
    [[
    These points will make sense only for those who have seen your article. However I will say that Gavaskar's Q1 of 8 represents below-average start. Compared to Sutcliffe's 20 and Hobbs' 19. The average of 4 probably includes many average batsmen. In fact Gavaskar's 8 is almost the lowest amongst the top-50 run-scorers.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • getsetgopk on June 15, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    So my personal view of the greatest ever is that he should be better than others in all these four aspects compared to his counter parts, now again a bit confusing because i'm limiting the cricketers and disqualifying anyone who hasn't been a captain but its a bit hard to exclude this aspect of cricket. Many if not all know that captaincy has a heavy toll on your abilities as a cricket and not many can handle themselves under the pressure of captaincy so personally I would exclude all those who haven't been captains or maybe Anantha can come up with a different solution. There isn't enough data available on fielding, catches taken/dropped etc besides how do you judge a captain, statistically the best captain is with best W/L ratio but there's more to it isn't it? Problems a plenty...Anyways my greatest cricket would be Imran Khan, best bowler for an entire decade, 9th ranked most consistent bat ever, good average and v good in his last decade and arguably the best captain. Regards,
    [[
    Amjad, these are questions which do not have a straight-forward answer. The contenders are many and the choice would be, most probably, personal. Definition of greatness in players is often subjective.
    Your choice will be in my list of the 10 greatest players ever. That much I can assure you.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • getsetgopk on June 15, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    A very absorbing article and I haven't read it all to be frank. I liked how the main course was set up and approached in the begining of the article by setting up con zone so quite an enjoyable experience. NOw I know i'm trying to get ahead of everything so pardon my venture but I hope you like what Im about to say. Who in your opinion is the GREATEST CRICKETER EVER to have walked the earth? I heard G Boycot once said 'Gary Sobers was the greatest cricketer I've ever seen. 4 aspects of cricket, batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy in a single player and there you have your greatest cricker ever? There are a number of fine articles by you on both batting and bowling though I cant recall any on the other two but that certainly would be an ultimate analysis I would really love to see that final list. The reason I'm saying this is because I saw IK, 9th on the most consistent list and then I remembered one fine article that analyzed bowling decade wise and IK was on top of that list TBC

  • on June 15, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    Is it not possible that Batsman H might not be more influential in a 3 match series? He failed in the first test, which we can imagine drawn or lost. In the second test he played a match saving, or winning, innings in the second innings. Then, with the series in the balance, he contributed to a large first innings total. He may not be consistent, but he does what a test match batsman should do, make a hundred when he gets in. On the other hand, he may the sort of batsman who makes runs only when a series is won.
    [[
    That is a different analysis altogether, Kevin, and I myself have already done quite a few series-level analyses. Bringing series status etc are context-based analysis which is quite different to this one.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • harshthakor on June 15, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    What is significant Ananth is that some of the greatest batsmen like Rahul Dravid,Sachin Tendulkar ,Greg Chappell or Sunil Gavaskar have been so brilliant at their best that although they have been phenomenally consistent are rated below inferior batsmen..Thus it is an erroneous criteria for assessing quality.

    I am very pleased with the inclusion of Rohan Kanhai to whom statistics hardly did justice and who on merit was in the class of batsmen like Viv Richards.Infact I would rank Vishwanath in that light in the class of the best batsmen in the late 1970's .

    A very good criteria is to asses a batsmen's consistency in a crisis.Here Border,Miandad,Steve Waugh or Ian Chappell would emerge champions.Infact in his peak period Brian Lara was an epitome of consistency,particularly if you consider he bore the brunt of a weak team.I would place George Headley in the same light.

    In consistency morally,Border,Boycott,Gavaskar,Dravid,Headley and Steve Waugh have to make the cut.
    [[
    Harsh, many of your conclusions, I fear, are subjective. Why should the great batsmen be in the top-25 in all charts. What is wrong in calling a spade a spade. Bradman was quite inconsistent. So were many top batsmen. There is no need to take them into an acceptable zone. How can Gavaskar be rated phenomenally consistent if 55 out of his 210 innings are single-digit dismissals. Sutcliffe had 12 single-wicket dismissals out of his 82 innings. Let us give credit to Sutcliffe instead of questioning Gavaskar's relatively low, and justified, position.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Rohan1 on June 15, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    @Naikan - I fully agree. The time factor has been a contentious issue for long ( Though never addressed). For eg. Tendulkar since first averaging 50+ cumulatively had an average of 50+ for a total of almost 20 years. Kallis for around 11 years. However, most would simply use a naive argument such as Kallis averages more - and ignore the fact that Tendulkar was effectively a Great batsman for almost twice as long. But that's where one starts to recognise the limits of statistical analysis...

  • Rohan1 on June 15, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    Given the length, scope and canvas of Tendulkar's monumental career over 24 years since age 16 - It beggars belief that he signed off with a consistency even in the same ball park as his peers. The highest among contemporary batsmen, Dravid debuted 7 years after Tendulkar and retired well before. Bradman's "inconsistency" is also the reason for his high average - The recognition of the virtue of making hay when the sun shines made sure his low scores were well balanced out.
    [[
    Good points. Consistency is not necessarily a great virtue.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • harshthakor on June 15, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    Amongst the modern greats Alan Border may win my vote if you remember his durability and consistency in all types of conditions,against all types of pace attacks.Geoff Boycott would come very close if you measure the frequency of his fifties,particularly against the West Indies.From 1976-1980 Gavaskar beat any modern great.Another name that misses out was Clive Lloyd in the 2nd half of his carer who batted with the durability of a military general,always scoring fifties when needed.For consistency,arguably Ian Chappell too was remarkable,overshadowing Brother Greg in a crisis.

  • on June 15, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    "Hammond was very good against the other quality attacks also". Didn't he struggle against genuine pace bowling like one against WI or against Australia when they had keith miller and ray lindwall.
    [[
    Hammond played 4 Tests against Miller & Lindwall at the end of his career when he was past 40 after missing the 6 war years.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • ww56 on June 14, 2014, 19:18 GMT


    [[
    Contents deleted.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on June 14, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Anantha, the median article is eagerly awaited. Here the concept and work is lucid but it looks like good batting and racking up 150 plus is almost penalised. Agreed no one plans ducks and single digit scores but this is a bit thick.
    [[
    There is no getting away from the fact that someone who scores single-digit scores and 150s regularly is inconsistent. If you go to the definition this will be clear. What can we expect next? That is the difference between Clarke and de Villiers. It does not mean that de Villiers is better than Clarks. Let us not get on that route. If I say that since Bradman has got 14 single-digit dismissals, he is quite inconsistent, it does not take away from his other qualities.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • CaptainMurugan on June 14, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    I am suprised to not see sehwag in the inconsistent list. Does he feature somewhere close to the top 10. In the modern era, I assumed he would be one of the most inconsistent/unreliable batsman with an average > 45.
    [[
    If you see the available document, Sehwag is 60th with a Consistency Index of 36.7%. Not bad considering how quickly he played. He is fanlked on either side by Sangakkara and Stewart. So he in good company.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    I get your point. Well put. Interesting. Goes to show that match winners by enlarge may not be the most consistent scorers. Of course, match situation and battle under pressure cannot obviously be included in statistics. Also the concentration zone, as you said is difficult to determine...if an absolute range even exists. Perhaps for mere mortals? Bradman clearly does not conform to basic stats. He truly was an enigma, and will evade all sorts of measures when compared to the rest. He was just that brilliant.

  • wouldlovetoplayagain on June 14, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    Thank you for this. Also for the reminder of the late Gary Gilmour - I also remember a few bludgeoning innings from Gus in World Series Cricket. He would certainly have been a sought after player if IPL had been around then!

    And I found the link to your ODI ratings (here if anyone else is looking) http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/616912.html

    On that IPL matter - have you ever thought about how pre-T20 players would have gone in T20? Do you think there is any math/stats way to guess at this? Or how pre-ODI players would go in ODIs? I have sometimes wondered about Benaud, Bradman, Sydney Barnes etc ! I
    [[
    The real problem is that all these are subjective. Do we know what was Benaud's career strike rate. Or many other attacking batsmen. And I do not venture into anything which I cannot be reasonably certain about.
    Thanks for the link. I did not give the link because the article did not relate to it. But this is not the ODI SPell Ratings. This is a more recent article which covered the idea of Power Factor.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    You did indeed wax lyrical about the 262 score.. Always wondered what would have happened had Dennis not signed for Packer... Would he have been selected infront of Wood for the first test against Pakistan in 78 and judging by the quality or lack of it in the bowling attacks faced by England in 78 & 79 I am pretty sure he would have stayed in the side (judging by his county form in both 78 & 79) at least till the end of the India series in summer 79. I wonder whether that would have been the moment the curtain fell on his test career bearing in mind his previous problems against Lillee......
    [[
    Let us agree, Packer had much to answer for. Granted that he changed the money scene in Cricket completely but the Australian players got away because it was Australian-based. But some other countries paid for it. Let us also not forget that Amiss had two huge centuries, either side of 200, in the 9 Tests before he played his last Test.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Naikan on June 14, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    Dear Sri Anantha, it is clear that most of your articles have stupendous levels of work that go into it. So I am always hesitant to post any comment. I also am aware of the possiblity that my comment may be borne out of incomplete grasp (articles being fantastically long too). So let me word my comment more as a doubt and query - I am not sure if the process gives enough weight-age to time (even though you did talk of slices). Taking your first example to express my concern. If "A" has scored his 5 scores in say 5 years and for the same period C has scored 30,40 & 55, then in my view C is more consistent as age is a definitive factor in consistency. Bradman lost several years of his prime to war; Like wise some have had very long careers. Number of innings is a matter of opportunity also. So time needs to have a greater say than innings or maybe RPI-Per time span? Not sure how time span can be standardised. Of course Nourse will still win I suppose, but some ranks may change.
    [[
    Mohan, a career is what it is defined as. A player's range of Tests, notwithstanding injuries, war, loss of form, WSC, IPL, fights with the board et al. There is no way to quantify any of these happenings. It is quite possible that if the war had not happened, Bradman might have played on for 2/3 years and retired in 1942. He might have finished with an average of 95 or 105. There is no way to evaluate this. Just think of it. Bradman's career average was 97.94 at the end of the Oval Test in 1938. He improved this to 101.39 at the end of the penultimate innings. So what do we make of this.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    I am sad to hear that a series can't be taken as a reference point in such analysis. To be true, I expected that answer, for the variation as you say is too great. Might I suggest an alternative then? Can it be done for 3-test and 4-test series separately. I request you consider this alternative if possible.Although I don't have high hopes for this suggestion, I still request you to ponder over it for a while.Maybe 5 test series of a particular type at least could be your cutoff mark.
    [[
    Let me see, AS. I have just gone off the cluster of innings and do not want immediately to get into it. But I have done series performance analysis previously. Will get you the links in this comment in the next few hours.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    Sadly for Sir Dennis Amiss a certain D.K.Lillee was the main reason Dennis was towards the bottom of that list. Amiss was still a GREAT player though
    [[
    Recently I went lyrical over Amiss' 262, which was an all-time great defensive innings.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    I have been going over your articles for a long time sir. I have found them to be quite instructive as to the game of cricket. The fact that you use mathematics and objective reasoning as a bedrock only increases their stature in my eyes. I would like to point out one thing though. This article looked at consistency from the view of an innings, which doesn't seem to me to be the right marker for a Test batsman. I request you to look at batsmen consistency from the point of view of a series. Of course their would be some additional complications due to the fact that test series don't have a fixed number of matches. Still, I think the analysis would throw up interesting results. Of course, a certain gentleman by the name of bradman will move up these tables. I would like to know if somebody else was even more consistent than him in a test series(except chris martin of course :) )
    [[
    In fact my previous article, link provided in this article, was based on 10-innings slices, almost exactly you want. A series is too wide a reference point though. 2 to 6 Tests in a series meaning 2-12 innings will make the comparisons not very meaningful.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • AviatorPenguin on June 14, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    I'm sorry I have nothing intelligent to add to this article, but it seems a shame to not offer praise. I cant understand many of your articles, but this is exceptional. Concise, thorough, and with the statistical assumptions on firm ground. This was a pleasure to read. P.S. - No surprise to see Shane Watson and Trott in the consistent zone, and Clarke in the inconsistent zone.
    [[
    Thanks. The highest praise for me is when someone says that my article was understood completely, or nearly so.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • AviatorPenguin on June 14, 2014, 9:26 GMT

    I'm sorry I have nothing intelligent to add to this article, but it seems a shame to not offer praise. I cant understand many of your articles, but this is exceptional. Concise, thorough, and with the statistical assumptions on firm ground. This was a pleasure to read. P.S. - No surprise to see Shane Watson and Trott in the consistent zone, and Clarke in the inconsistent zone.
    [[
    Thanks. The highest praise for me is when someone says that my article was understood completely, or nearly so.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    I have been going over your articles for a long time sir. I have found them to be quite instructive as to the game of cricket. The fact that you use mathematics and objective reasoning as a bedrock only increases their stature in my eyes. I would like to point out one thing though. This article looked at consistency from the view of an innings, which doesn't seem to me to be the right marker for a Test batsman. I request you to look at batsmen consistency from the point of view of a series. Of course their would be some additional complications due to the fact that test series don't have a fixed number of matches. Still, I think the analysis would throw up interesting results. Of course, a certain gentleman by the name of bradman will move up these tables. I would like to know if somebody else was even more consistent than him in a test series(except chris martin of course :) )
    [[
    In fact my previous article, link provided in this article, was based on 10-innings slices, almost exactly you want. A series is too wide a reference point though. 2 to 6 Tests in a series meaning 2-12 innings will make the comparisons not very meaningful.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    Sadly for Sir Dennis Amiss a certain D.K.Lillee was the main reason Dennis was towards the bottom of that list. Amiss was still a GREAT player though
    [[
    Recently I went lyrical over Amiss' 262, which was an all-time great defensive innings.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    I am sad to hear that a series can't be taken as a reference point in such analysis. To be true, I expected that answer, for the variation as you say is too great. Might I suggest an alternative then? Can it be done for 3-test and 4-test series separately. I request you consider this alternative if possible.Although I don't have high hopes for this suggestion, I still request you to ponder over it for a while.Maybe 5 test series of a particular type at least could be your cutoff mark.
    [[
    Let me see, AS. I have just gone off the cluster of innings and do not want immediately to get into it. But I have done series performance analysis previously. Will get you the links in this comment in the next few hours.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Naikan on June 14, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    Dear Sri Anantha, it is clear that most of your articles have stupendous levels of work that go into it. So I am always hesitant to post any comment. I also am aware of the possiblity that my comment may be borne out of incomplete grasp (articles being fantastically long too). So let me word my comment more as a doubt and query - I am not sure if the process gives enough weight-age to time (even though you did talk of slices). Taking your first example to express my concern. If "A" has scored his 5 scores in say 5 years and for the same period C has scored 30,40 & 55, then in my view C is more consistent as age is a definitive factor in consistency. Bradman lost several years of his prime to war; Like wise some have had very long careers. Number of innings is a matter of opportunity also. So time needs to have a greater say than innings or maybe RPI-Per time span? Not sure how time span can be standardised. Of course Nourse will still win I suppose, but some ranks may change.
    [[
    Mohan, a career is what it is defined as. A player's range of Tests, notwithstanding injuries, war, loss of form, WSC, IPL, fights with the board et al. There is no way to quantify any of these happenings. It is quite possible that if the war had not happened, Bradman might have played on for 2/3 years and retired in 1942. He might have finished with an average of 95 or 105. There is no way to evaluate this. Just think of it. Bradman's career average was 97.94 at the end of the Oval Test in 1938. He improved this to 101.39 at the end of the penultimate innings. So what do we make of this.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    You did indeed wax lyrical about the 262 score.. Always wondered what would have happened had Dennis not signed for Packer... Would he have been selected infront of Wood for the first test against Pakistan in 78 and judging by the quality or lack of it in the bowling attacks faced by England in 78 & 79 I am pretty sure he would have stayed in the side (judging by his county form in both 78 & 79) at least till the end of the India series in summer 79. I wonder whether that would have been the moment the curtain fell on his test career bearing in mind his previous problems against Lillee......
    [[
    Let us agree, Packer had much to answer for. Granted that he changed the money scene in Cricket completely but the Australian players got away because it was Australian-based. But some other countries paid for it. Let us also not forget that Amiss had two huge centuries, either side of 200, in the 9 Tests before he played his last Test.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • wouldlovetoplayagain on June 14, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    Thank you for this. Also for the reminder of the late Gary Gilmour - I also remember a few bludgeoning innings from Gus in World Series Cricket. He would certainly have been a sought after player if IPL had been around then!

    And I found the link to your ODI ratings (here if anyone else is looking) http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/616912.html

    On that IPL matter - have you ever thought about how pre-T20 players would have gone in T20? Do you think there is any math/stats way to guess at this? Or how pre-ODI players would go in ODIs? I have sometimes wondered about Benaud, Bradman, Sydney Barnes etc ! I
    [[
    The real problem is that all these are subjective. Do we know what was Benaud's career strike rate. Or many other attacking batsmen. And I do not venture into anything which I cannot be reasonably certain about.
    Thanks for the link. I did not give the link because the article did not relate to it. But this is not the ODI SPell Ratings. This is a more recent article which covered the idea of Power Factor.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • on June 14, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    I get your point. Well put. Interesting. Goes to show that match winners by enlarge may not be the most consistent scorers. Of course, match situation and battle under pressure cannot obviously be included in statistics. Also the concentration zone, as you said is difficult to determine...if an absolute range even exists. Perhaps for mere mortals? Bradman clearly does not conform to basic stats. He truly was an enigma, and will evade all sorts of measures when compared to the rest. He was just that brilliant.

  • CaptainMurugan on June 14, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    I am suprised to not see sehwag in the inconsistent list. Does he feature somewhere close to the top 10. In the modern era, I assumed he would be one of the most inconsistent/unreliable batsman with an average > 45.
    [[
    If you see the available document, Sehwag is 60th with a Consistency Index of 36.7%. Not bad considering how quickly he played. He is fanlked on either side by Sangakkara and Stewart. So he in good company.
    Ananth
    ]]

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on June 14, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Anantha, the median article is eagerly awaited. Here the concept and work is lucid but it looks like good batting and racking up 150 plus is almost penalised. Agreed no one plans ducks and single digit scores but this is a bit thick.
    [[
    There is no getting away from the fact that someone who scores single-digit scores and 150s regularly is inconsistent. If you go to the definition this will be clear. What can we expect next? That is the difference between Clarke and de Villiers. It does not mean that de Villiers is better than Clarks. Let us not get on that route. If I say that since Bradman has got 14 single-digit dismissals, he is quite inconsistent, it does not take away from his other qualities.
    Ananth
    ]]