Australia in England / Features

England v Australia, 1st Test, Lord's, 3rd day

The luckless Simon Jones

Check out the bowling analysis for England in the Australian second innings, and you'd imagine Simon Jones was the worst of the lot

On the ball with S Rajesh and Arun Gopalakrishnan

July 23, 2005

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Check out the bowling analysis for England in the Australian second innings, and you'd imagine that Steve Harmison was easily the best of the four pace bowlers. And the worst? You'd reckon it would be Simon Jones - after all, his figures don't make for great reading: 69 runs in 18 overs, that's nearly four an over, and just the wicket of Jason Gillespie to show for it. That's pretty ordinary bowling, it would appear.

However, with some luck, those stats could easily have read 4 for 50, or better. Jones had four chances dropped off him, all of which were eminently catchable. As the graphic shows, Jones bowled the highest percentage of potential wicket-taking deliveries - that's balls which beat the bat, were edged, or rapped the batsmen on the pad. Of the 109 balls he bowled, 30 of them forced the batsmen to play a stroke they weren't in control of. And on the third morning, that percentage went up to a whopping 35.71 (15 out of 42 balls) - that's even better than Steve Harmison's 34.8% in Australia's first innings. However, the fielders supported Harmison fairly well - four of his five victims were caught. Jones, on the other hand, had to entirely make his own dismissals, and by the end of the innings, the only person he could trust with catches was himself.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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