Champions Trophy 2013 June 10, 2013

Why net run rate doesn't work

The method of ranking teams which are level on points through NRR was designed to reward comprehensive wins, but it surely isn't working at the Champions Trophy
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Over the last few of days, there have been a couple of close, low-scoring games in the Champions Trophy. Both have been won by the team chasing with plenty of overs to spare, but they've been nail-biters because in both instances the winning teams had to rely on their last couple of wickets to do the job. West Indies squeezed past Pakistan's 170 with 56 balls to spare but only two wickets in hand, while New Zealand were very nearly unsuccessful in their quest for 139 against Sri Lanka, winning only by one wicket even though they had 13.3 overs in hand. The other two results in each of the two groups - India beating South Africa in group B and England trouncing Australia in A - were clearly more convincing wins.

However, you wouldn't know that if you looked at the points table, for New Zealand are on top in group A and West Indies in B. That's because of the net run rates, which is the method used to break the deadlock if teams are level on points in multi-team tournaments. The NRR takes into account only the run rates of teams, and is calculated as the difference between the batting run rate of a team and the bowling economy rate over the entire tournament. A team which is all out is considered to have faced the full quota overs. However, in non-all-out situations, wickets lost isn't factored in at all. Thus, New Zealand benefit because the method considers the fact that they won with 81 balls to spare, but ignores the fact that they were nine down when they did so. Hence, their NRR of 1.048 is superior to England's 0.960. Even their most ardent supporter would admit, though, that England's win was far more convincing. Group B's scenario with West Indies and India is exactly the same. This method of ranking teams which are level on points was designed to reward comprehensive wins, but that surely isn't working here.

Limited-overs cricket is clearly a game where teams need to juggle with two sets of resources - overs and wickets in hand. Depletion of either of those resources, with respect to the target before the team, is a sign that the team's in trouble. Any method which is used to differentiate between teams on equal points should therefore consider both these factors when judging how comprehensive the victory was. The NRR method fails to do that. There have been other debates and arguments on the shortcomings of the NRR, but this is clearly the greatest one.

A possible solution here is to use the rain rule to decide the margin. In the case of the New Zealand-Sri Lanka match, the par score for New Zealand when nine down in 36.3 overs is 132. Since they won the match at this stage, they were seven runs ahead of the par score, which thus becomes the margin of victory. Since England's margin of victory over Australia was 48 runs, they would clearly be the group leaders. However, if New Zealand had won in the same number of overs for the loss of four wickets, then the margin by the D-L method would have been 52 runs.

Similarly, the margin of victory for West Indies over Pakistan would have been 20 runs by this method. Since India beat South Africa by 28, they'd have been the group B table-toppers at this stage. The victory margins in games which are won by the team batting first are anyway in terms of runs, so this option allows all match results to be expressed in terms of runs. It can be further argued that these margins should further take into account the target, so that a ten-run margin in a low-scoring game counts for more than the same margin in a high-scoring one.

As things stand in this tournament, there could be a scenario - however unlikely it seems at the moment - in which New Zealand and England finish with the same number of points, and are fighting for second place in the group. If New Zealand stay ahead of England on NRR based on their one-wicket victory in Cardiff, it'll surely be a travesty.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pelham_Barton on June 10, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    There is a drawback to using the D/L margin at the point of victory, as pointed out by SR Clarke and P Allsopp (Journal of the Operational Research Society, volume 53, pp 1160-1161, October 2002). As they say, on 8 December 2001, Sri Lanka took only 4.2 overs to score 39 for 1 wicket in response to Zimbabwe's all out for 38. They calculated the winning margin as 34 runs, but reasonably described the match as the most one-sided victory in International One day cricket at the time they were writing.

  • on June 10, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Say New Zealand and England tie in their next game. I've done a quick calculation and found that England's NRR would halve to +0.4800 no matter the score, whereas New Zealand's NRR would vary depending on how many runs were scored (e.g. +0.6951 for 300-300, +0.6171 for 250-250, +0.5391 for 200-200). This is a result of the smaller denominator used to calculate NZ's overall run rate. Any runs NZ score against England will be divided by 86.5 in the NRR calculation, whereas any runs England score will be divided by 100 and so would not count for as much as NZ's runs in the calculation. If in the Sri Lanka match NZ had themselves been bowled out, or had used the full 50 overs, this effect would not occur.

    I'll leave it to everyone else to argue whether this is fair or not!

  • ac_Indian on June 10, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Can we use the following: Effective RR = (total runs scored)/(EO), where, EO = "Equivalent number of overs used"= a number that is proportional to the wickets fallen. One simple suggestion is that: EO = Max[actual no. of overs played, 5*wickets fallen]. A simple example, if team A scores 150 all out in 42 overs, then EO for team A = Max[42, 5*10] = Max[42, 50] = higher value of 42 and 50, which is = 50, so Effective RR = 150/50 = 3. If team B chases down this score and makes 151/8 in 35 overs, the for team B, EO = Max[35, 8*5] = 40, thus Effective RR = 151/40 = 3.775 Thus, I am trying to account for wickets fallen into run rate through a simple linear method. We can use a non linear method realizing that say for e.g. first 6 wickets have a higher importance than next 4

  • TATTUs on June 10, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Absolutely, I posted this on another page, before this article appeared.

    "I think the points and net runrate system needs a recheck. Now NZ top the table even though they won by 1 wicket. Englands was the dominant/bigger and more comfortable win. So naturally England should top the table. Suppose SL got out for 50 and NZ chased that in 10 overs but with 9 wickets down then NZ will have NRR of 4 which would be ridiculous as both the teams would have played badly. I think the wickets lost should come in the denominator somehow so that the NRR will reflect the quality of the win."

  • PratUSA on June 10, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    Good point Rajesh. Other day I was thinking of pre '92 era when just the run rate was used. NRR is so much better that that but it disregards the pitch and conditions that different matches deal with. My thought went to bonus point system that has been used in many series in different variants but to me it was always a flawed system due to an arbitrary 1.25 times run rate cut off for bonus point. Don't know if D/L is the right solution but there is surely a case for a better system.

  • on June 17, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Remove NRR, get head to head match ups to break deadlocks. Using DL to solve this is just more reason to get confused...

  • sreejith0712 on June 11, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Calculate each team's Effective Run Rate (ERR) as Number of runs scored/Number of overs played (50 if all wickets lost)/Number of wickets lost. In NZ vs SL game, NZ's ERR (for) = 139/36.5/9 = 0.4231 (SL's ERR against) and SL's ERR (for) = 138/50/10 = 0.276 (NZ's ERR against). Now NZ's NRR = 0.4231 - 0.276 = 0.1471 and SL's NRR = -0.1471. Likewise, in the Eng vs Aus game, Eng's ERR (for) = 269/50/6 = 0.8967 (Aus's against) and Aus's ERR (for) = 221/50/9 = 0.4911 (Eng's against). So Eng's NRR = 0.8967 - 0.4911 = 0.4056 and Aus's NRR = -0.4056. Lets say in the next match (NZ vs Eng), NZ score 250/5 in 50 overs and Eng score 252/4 in 43.3 overs. Then NZ's new ERR for = 389/86.5/14 = 0.3212 and ERR against = 390/93.5/14 = 0.2979. So NZ's NRR = 0.0233, whereas Eng's ERR for = 521/93.5/10 = 0.5572 and ERR against = 471/100/14 = 0.3364. So Eng's NRR = 0.2208.

    This way, teams value their wickets and overs while both chasing or setting a total. NRR's also fair taking both wickets and overs lost

  • SLSup on June 11, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    My response to @Bishop and other comments here that continue to engage in a meaningless effort to outsmart each other with rhetoric:

    Firstly, if it is called a Net Run Rate (NRR) - what is that? It is the RATE at which the batting side scored their runs off of a specific number of overs. Period! Forget about the REST! : )

    @Bishop: Yes, it IS POSSIBLE for a team to have a Plus NRR to the side it lost to - here in the case of SL losing to NZ. YES, if in the course of a tournament it so happens that a team only needs to focus on the NRR (the whole point of it being CONSIDERED A FACTOR in a tournament such as this Champions Trophy) then that is what they should do! This Trophy from the beginning had EVERYONE focusing on the NRR! - Why? As I said before, Go figure! And I say it with respect to you and others cos if there is one things humans are pretty good at it is COMPLICATING things for themselves and others!

    ICC is conducting a Trophy that defies logic. Not smart.

  • Thommo44 on June 11, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    The Goal Difference method used in football leagues around the globe is based on two important tenets that cricket has long overlooked. Firstly, it rewards teams that ENTERTAIN by scoring lots of goals. Secondly, its SIMPLISTIC enough for even a young fan to work out what his/her team needs to accomplish on the field. This makes for a gripping viewing experience for the entire duration of the game. I was entertained a lot more watching the NZ/SL & WI/PK clashes than the other so called 'comprehensive' wins by IN & AU. Today, the excitement of watching 4's & 6's has been significantly devalued, while the value in taking wickets remains least hit by the scourge of T20 cricket. So I would leave it to Ramesh and you whizzes to determine whether a system based on wickets taken and wickets conceded is feasible. The way limited overs cricket is headed, bowlers would soon prefer safer defensive non-wicket taking tactics like targeting the tram-lines than attempting yorkers. My 2cents

  • on June 11, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    I think every wicket should be valued as 5 overs in a run chase. When a team chases the total, the overs played should be num_wickets_lost*5 or actual overs played whichever is higher. So in the nz-sl case, nz would have got a nrr of 0.33 as follows 1. sl run rate: 138/50 = 2.76 2. nz run rate : 139/45 (9*5) = 3.03 3. nz net run rate: 3.03 - 2.76 = 0.33

    This way teams will value their wickets and run rate both.The wickets lost factor needs to changed based on number of overs played in a rain affected match. For ex, if the match is of 35 overs, the factor should be 3.5 (35/10).

    Also, this should not be called as net-run-rate. It can be called as net-average, as average is runs scored per wicket lost.

  • Pelham_Barton on June 10, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    There is a drawback to using the D/L margin at the point of victory, as pointed out by SR Clarke and P Allsopp (Journal of the Operational Research Society, volume 53, pp 1160-1161, October 2002). As they say, on 8 December 2001, Sri Lanka took only 4.2 overs to score 39 for 1 wicket in response to Zimbabwe's all out for 38. They calculated the winning margin as 34 runs, but reasonably described the match as the most one-sided victory in International One day cricket at the time they were writing.

  • on June 10, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Say New Zealand and England tie in their next game. I've done a quick calculation and found that England's NRR would halve to +0.4800 no matter the score, whereas New Zealand's NRR would vary depending on how many runs were scored (e.g. +0.6951 for 300-300, +0.6171 for 250-250, +0.5391 for 200-200). This is a result of the smaller denominator used to calculate NZ's overall run rate. Any runs NZ score against England will be divided by 86.5 in the NRR calculation, whereas any runs England score will be divided by 100 and so would not count for as much as NZ's runs in the calculation. If in the Sri Lanka match NZ had themselves been bowled out, or had used the full 50 overs, this effect would not occur.

    I'll leave it to everyone else to argue whether this is fair or not!

  • ac_Indian on June 10, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Can we use the following: Effective RR = (total runs scored)/(EO), where, EO = "Equivalent number of overs used"= a number that is proportional to the wickets fallen. One simple suggestion is that: EO = Max[actual no. of overs played, 5*wickets fallen]. A simple example, if team A scores 150 all out in 42 overs, then EO for team A = Max[42, 5*10] = Max[42, 50] = higher value of 42 and 50, which is = 50, so Effective RR = 150/50 = 3. If team B chases down this score and makes 151/8 in 35 overs, the for team B, EO = Max[35, 8*5] = 40, thus Effective RR = 151/40 = 3.775 Thus, I am trying to account for wickets fallen into run rate through a simple linear method. We can use a non linear method realizing that say for e.g. first 6 wickets have a higher importance than next 4

  • TATTUs on June 10, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Absolutely, I posted this on another page, before this article appeared.

    "I think the points and net runrate system needs a recheck. Now NZ top the table even though they won by 1 wicket. Englands was the dominant/bigger and more comfortable win. So naturally England should top the table. Suppose SL got out for 50 and NZ chased that in 10 overs but with 9 wickets down then NZ will have NRR of 4 which would be ridiculous as both the teams would have played badly. I think the wickets lost should come in the denominator somehow so that the NRR will reflect the quality of the win."

  • PratUSA on June 10, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    Good point Rajesh. Other day I was thinking of pre '92 era when just the run rate was used. NRR is so much better that that but it disregards the pitch and conditions that different matches deal with. My thought went to bonus point system that has been used in many series in different variants but to me it was always a flawed system due to an arbitrary 1.25 times run rate cut off for bonus point. Don't know if D/L is the right solution but there is surely a case for a better system.

  • on June 17, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Remove NRR, get head to head match ups to break deadlocks. Using DL to solve this is just more reason to get confused...

  • sreejith0712 on June 11, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Calculate each team's Effective Run Rate (ERR) as Number of runs scored/Number of overs played (50 if all wickets lost)/Number of wickets lost. In NZ vs SL game, NZ's ERR (for) = 139/36.5/9 = 0.4231 (SL's ERR against) and SL's ERR (for) = 138/50/10 = 0.276 (NZ's ERR against). Now NZ's NRR = 0.4231 - 0.276 = 0.1471 and SL's NRR = -0.1471. Likewise, in the Eng vs Aus game, Eng's ERR (for) = 269/50/6 = 0.8967 (Aus's against) and Aus's ERR (for) = 221/50/9 = 0.4911 (Eng's against). So Eng's NRR = 0.8967 - 0.4911 = 0.4056 and Aus's NRR = -0.4056. Lets say in the next match (NZ vs Eng), NZ score 250/5 in 50 overs and Eng score 252/4 in 43.3 overs. Then NZ's new ERR for = 389/86.5/14 = 0.3212 and ERR against = 390/93.5/14 = 0.2979. So NZ's NRR = 0.0233, whereas Eng's ERR for = 521/93.5/10 = 0.5572 and ERR against = 471/100/14 = 0.3364. So Eng's NRR = 0.2208.

    This way, teams value their wickets and overs while both chasing or setting a total. NRR's also fair taking both wickets and overs lost

  • SLSup on June 11, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    My response to @Bishop and other comments here that continue to engage in a meaningless effort to outsmart each other with rhetoric:

    Firstly, if it is called a Net Run Rate (NRR) - what is that? It is the RATE at which the batting side scored their runs off of a specific number of overs. Period! Forget about the REST! : )

    @Bishop: Yes, it IS POSSIBLE for a team to have a Plus NRR to the side it lost to - here in the case of SL losing to NZ. YES, if in the course of a tournament it so happens that a team only needs to focus on the NRR (the whole point of it being CONSIDERED A FACTOR in a tournament such as this Champions Trophy) then that is what they should do! This Trophy from the beginning had EVERYONE focusing on the NRR! - Why? As I said before, Go figure! And I say it with respect to you and others cos if there is one things humans are pretty good at it is COMPLICATING things for themselves and others!

    ICC is conducting a Trophy that defies logic. Not smart.

  • Thommo44 on June 11, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    The Goal Difference method used in football leagues around the globe is based on two important tenets that cricket has long overlooked. Firstly, it rewards teams that ENTERTAIN by scoring lots of goals. Secondly, its SIMPLISTIC enough for even a young fan to work out what his/her team needs to accomplish on the field. This makes for a gripping viewing experience for the entire duration of the game. I was entertained a lot more watching the NZ/SL & WI/PK clashes than the other so called 'comprehensive' wins by IN & AU. Today, the excitement of watching 4's & 6's has been significantly devalued, while the value in taking wickets remains least hit by the scourge of T20 cricket. So I would leave it to Ramesh and you whizzes to determine whether a system based on wickets taken and wickets conceded is feasible. The way limited overs cricket is headed, bowlers would soon prefer safer defensive non-wicket taking tactics like targeting the tram-lines than attempting yorkers. My 2cents

  • on June 11, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    I think every wicket should be valued as 5 overs in a run chase. When a team chases the total, the overs played should be num_wickets_lost*5 or actual overs played whichever is higher. So in the nz-sl case, nz would have got a nrr of 0.33 as follows 1. sl run rate: 138/50 = 2.76 2. nz run rate : 139/45 (9*5) = 3.03 3. nz net run rate: 3.03 - 2.76 = 0.33

    This way teams will value their wickets and run rate both.The wickets lost factor needs to changed based on number of overs played in a rain affected match. For ex, if the match is of 35 overs, the factor should be 3.5 (35/10).

    Also, this should not be called as net-run-rate. It can be called as net-average, as average is runs scored per wicket lost.

  • on June 11, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    The problem here is that some matches decided by runs and some by wickets and there is no direct relation between wickets & runs. If you look from Sri Lanka's point of view it is fair since they didn't bat entire 50 overs.

    Using D/L method will be tricky since D/L method does have many problems of its own. Instead of reducing it using D/L, it could be tried to project the score (as if the team chasing has played full 50 overs).

    Another alternative is, if 2 teams have same points, it should be decided on head-to-head record. Since in this tournaments, each team plays the other only once there is no issue of having a 1-1 lockout (as in when you have home-away system and each team wins 1).

  • Harmony111 on June 11, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    The article over-complicates a very simple concept. I agree that chasing 180 with 1 wicket in hand is no great chase, whether it is done in the 25th or in the 50th over but that is how the game of cricket is supposed to be played. The win or loss is defined in terms of the runs scored. The wicket parameter has never been considered except in some cases of tie or when the situation is too crowded in some table standings.

    So since that team is deemed to have won that scored more runs even if it chased 300 for 9 while the other team might have scored 299/1 how can we talk of wickets in NRR?

  • on June 11, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    A simpler system would be to just compare the true run rate. Runs given away divided by balls bowled and compare it to runs scored divided by balls faced. Simple and effective. I believe wickets lost should not be factored in. Wickets are a resource that the teams have to exploit and can and should use them as they please. All eleven players are expected to bat in cricket. Teams should not be penalised for using what they have available. And no D/L method, it has caused too much pain already in cricket. Why open it to up to cause more misery.

  • differentView on June 11, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    I completly disagree! Let´s just avoid the pointless rocket science and consider the matter as such: 1.The team bowling first restricted the team batting to a considerably low total. 2. As a result, it is up to that chasing team, to dispose their ressources at will. 3. Due to their bowling efforts in the first innings, they gained the advantage to establish whatever tactics they want. 4. If it means to chase down the target quickly at the risk/expense of losing wickets - be it so! 5. If they chose to bat carefully, thus using the whole range of overs - be it so! 6. The most important thing is to reach the target, regardless of losing on wicket or nine. Remember: you have got 9 wickets in order to do so, there´s no need to save seven or eight of them. 7. Hence - the NRR-thing looks completely ok with me!

  • on June 11, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    I tend to disagree that Eng won more comprehensively. New zealand did a better job at restricting Sri Lanka at a low score and if you just concentrate on the run chase, you are considering on the Batting. You dont want to give credit to bowlers doing a good job? As somebody commented , Sri Lanka bowling out Zim for 38 runs was one of the most one-sided match.

  • Bloodprince on June 11, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    One of the best methods could be : Runs Scored (Balls Faced). Means if its a low scoring game or high scoring game you must see the strike rate. thats it and minus 0.05 on fall of every wicket in case of a Tie between two tems,Lets say it is a Tie breaker only.

  • on June 11, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    The whole problem here, that people seem to forget is that England failed to bowl out Australia before the 50 overs were up, so their net run rate wasn't as good as it could've been. Its not a bad system, it recognises finishing a game off early as being better than playing the full 50 overs to beat a team.

  • Viswesh.cricket on June 11, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Is it right to say that the team batting first is at a disadvantage when it comes to the NRR? I think the main reason that NZ and WI have a better run rate is because they were chasing a score. The D/L system is a problematic system in rain curtailed matches itself and I feel it is better to not decide matches based on a par score. Different teams have different ways of going about setting and chasing a target. The par score concept entirely removes the concept of team strategy. The NRR system that is currently in place is probably the best we have. Over three matches, the NRR system will possibly show a better stat than it does, now. Most often than not, the team with the best run rate and best economy rate ought to progress to the semis without bringing the NRR equation into the picture. The fact that the NRR is brought into picture itself is an indication that teams haven't performed as well as they ought to have, when they had a chance.

  • on June 11, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Sri Lanka scored 138 all out, New Zealand scored 139/9 wickets in 36.3 overs. But Sri Lanka got a net run rate of -1.048. That is not fair. If the game continues after the victory of New Zealand, The next ball could be the 10th wicket. If that happen net run rate won't high as that. There is a high possibility New Zealand getting out within 50 overs. The current net run rate system only based on the overs, it won't give a chance for the wickets that has taken.

  • Geeks on June 11, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Already installed D/L method will work here. Find the difference between the target achieved and D/L par score at that point (should be closer to the target if the side lost 9 wkts)

  • Bishop on June 11, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    @slsup How do you figure NZ to have a negative runrate from a match they WON, while SL have a positive NRR for a match they LOST. Is it because SL scored their runs quicker? Because if that is seriously your method, it suffers from one major drawback...if a team goes into a match not needing the points as much as needing to improve their rate they can simply aim to be all out for 60 after 5 overs, regardless of what score they're chasing.

  • SrirajV on June 11, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    I'd like to draw the basic rules of cricket to support the current run-rate system. Both the teams are at ease to use the 10 wickets limit to their disposal. Say the team that batted first scores 250/3 in 50 overs and the team that batted second scores 251/9 in 50 overs sneaking a victory of the last ball, we don't look at the difference of 6 wickets right and say the first team won the game.

    Another way to look at this is, though India and England had considerably convincing wins, they couldn't do what the West Indies and New Zealand do (restricting Pakistan and South Africa to a small total).

    Though, I'm up for letting the system be, a mat solution by introducing the wickets spared as a parameter would be interesting. No Duckworth-Lewis please! :)

  • SLSup on June 11, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    I don't mean to offend but, boy, what efforts at sounding smart by some without realizing how impractical and, therefore, useless some thoughts are! The call by author S Rajesh to include wickets lost and the opinion of some applauding this is absurd to say the least. Do we really expect either team in a game to approach a strategy - batting first or last - based on how overs, wickets, weather, umpire errors, and other methods employed to administer a game WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE? Here's the point table as it should be when you keep things simple. Go figure!

    GROUP A England Points: 2 NRR: Plus 0.96 New Zealand Points: 2 NRR: Minus 0.06 Sri Lanka Points: 0 NRR: Plus 0.06 Australia Points: 0 NRR: Minus 0.96

    GROUP B West Indies Points: 2 NRR: Plus 0.71 India Points: 2 NRR: Plus 0.52 South Africa Points: 2 NRR: Plus 0.46 Pakistan Points: 0 NRR: Minus 1.69

  • murraymckechnie on June 10, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    @ac_Indian, that is a good idea except that is almost exactly what DL does so we might as well just use that.

    I think the DL system would work well except you should make a par score of say 250 runs (doesn't matter what you choose). If a team chases down 150 and are 15 ahead of DL, then you times that number to make it as if they were chasing 250 so their DL difference would be 25. This would stop extremely low scoring and high scoring games from messing up the system.

  • on June 10, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    Thats just what I was thinking . The system needs to take all factors into account . The calculations should be done relatively . The factor of wicket s lost or left should be considered as is the factor of runs remaining and overs left . An exact value should be considered of how comprehensive a win . At the moment ,where limited overs cricket is gaining great importance ,upgrading and improving system like the DL method and NRR system is very important and an issue which should certainly not be ignored .

  • kr_kinshuk on June 10, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    let's ignore all statistical arguments for a moment and ask some very simple questions??

    what's the purpose of the NRR? since multiple teams can end up with the same no. of points a second indicator is required to determine which team has been better during the league stage overall, and hence, should go through to the next stage.

    now in the two games played in the england group which side was the more convincing winner? was england or new zealand the more convincing winner? if forced to decide between the two winners would the team that put up the more convincing display go through if the decision was made based on NRR???

    answer the second question honestly and u'll realize if the article is correct in its assertion or not.....

  • asithaSL on June 10, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @ Geoff Talbot, well said, thatz fair than the current NRR system. thatz really not a good way to eliminate a team by using available system when NRR comes to play a part.

  • cricket-india on June 10, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    so rajesh, when do we use NRR and when do we use the rain rule or the D/L method? or do you say we dump the NRR concept altogether? the idea of NRR is exactly that...it is the net run rate. in a tournament where a few matches are played before elimination sets in, the NRR is a consistent method of breaking ties by points. over a few matches, the NRR settles itself down and lends itself to stability. if a team plays extremely badly to be all out for 50 and the chasing team wins in 5 overs, the latter gets a hefty NRR boost, and they deserve it for dismissing the first team so cheaply and then for not imploding themselves. and it's a lesson to every team that consistency pays. so the NRR concept aint bad at all. you also have to realize despite losing wickets the chasing team did not go into a shell; you could argue they took the risk of losing, for the potential payoff of a superior NRR to help them if they need it in the later stages.

  • calcu on June 10, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    NRR should be removed and DL method should be used instead. Consider this- Had NZ batted first they would have not gone above 150(as they were at 139/9) and then when SL would have been dismissed for 138, they would have got just a slightly positive NRR. Just because that they are batting second they should not get a great NRR!!

  • on June 10, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    I believe being bowled out should not count as 50 overs.

    Example:

    Team A scores 300 all out in 40 overs. (RR 7.50) Team B scores 300/5 in 50 overs. (RR 6.00)

    Both teams restrict the opposition to 250 from 50 overs. In the current system both will have the same net run rate. (1.00)

    I believe Team A's NRR should be calculated using 40 overs rather than 50. They play more exciting cricket and should be rewarded for this.

    In that case, Team A would have a higher NRR (2.50) than Team B (1.00) and so would progress to the next round.

  • SLSup on June 10, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    Two excellent featured comments here. I've been writing to Cricinfo - which they've so far failed/refused to publish - about the NR system and the D/L system. I guess they don't like the fact that I call Duckworth & Lewis for what it is: Nortworth & Stupid. It is unfortunate that ICC is run by people who appear to too close to the wood to see the obvious! The old adage Keep Things Simple maybe old but it is GOLDEN. But, then, you've got to be smart to live that way and not everyone is.

  • spgrey on June 10, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    NRR is also susceptible to the Simpson Paradox, whereby it's possible that two teams could go into the the round of matches with the same NRR, Team A's NRR for the third game is better than Team B's, but Team B's overall NRR across the entire three matches is better than Team A's. I think Phillip Taylor's comments above may be alluding to this.

  • Gizza on June 10, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    @Rogerunionjack, great point. If wickets mattered in an ODI chase, the team batting second in a low scoring game will always bat as slow as possible to preserve all of their 10 wickets defeating the purpose of 50 over or 20 over cricket.

  • Pelham_Barton on June 10, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    For those who favour head-to-head result as an early tie-break rule, can I point out a possible anomaly? Suppose in a group of four teams, A beats B and D by moderate margins, B beats C and D by large margins, C beats A by a small margin, and C ties with D. Then the points would go A 4, B 4, C 3, D1, and the head-to-head rule would place A ahead of B in first place in the group. Now suppose instead that C had beaten D by a small margin. The points would now be A 4, B 4, C 4, D 0. Head-to-head would not help, and the next tie-break would have to be used. This could easily put B at the top of the group, with A second and C third. In other words, a change in the result of C v D would not alter the positions of those teams, but would reverse the order of A and B. In this case it would not affect qualifying, but would change the semi-final line-up. It should be clear that a pattern similar to the one I have described could affect qualification in groups of 5 or more teams.

  • frazell on June 10, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Correct me if wrong, but DL takes into account overs and wickets therefore using DL instead of NRR is better, as batting for 50 overs DL would show a tight game no matter how many wickets were lost but winning after 30 overs DL does take into account wickets lost thus closeness of finish.

  • chetanphanse on June 10, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Perfect! Can you pass this article to ICC please.

  • scorchio on June 10, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    (cont.) I think that in limited overs cricket, teams have a right to use all the resources available to them (ie. all 11 batsmen) during the time that they are batting, so unless the team is bowled out, the number of wickets lost should be considered irrelevant to the match result.

  • scorchio on June 10, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Although I find it hard to argue against the fact that England's win was easier than New Zealand's, I don't think the current system should be changed. If we start bringing wickets lost into the equation for separating teams on equal points, we are left with a scenario that team A scoring 300/0 off their 50 overs is rewarded far more than team B scoring 300/6.

    In this scenario it can be argued that team B made far better use of their resources - it could be that their number 8 is renowned for a high strike rate so their upper/middle employed a 'hit out or get out' mentality which helped propel the team towards 300. At the end of the day, limited overs cricket is all about making the most of the balls you have available to you, and how you utilise your 11 batsman during that time is up to you.

    Plus, who are we to say that the final partnership of Southee/McClenaghan would not have gone on to score a century partnership given the opportunity?

  • jackthelad on June 10, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    D/L is purely for matches which are not finished, it has no application to completed matches; @uglyhunk, not sure what your scenario is, no team should ever have to chase a total in 35 overs (they all have 50, no?); if a team is given a target in fewer than 50, D/L applies; over 50, if a team loses 9 wickets chasing 280, then, yes, it was a tight match. By the way, my suggestion wasn't really serious, it was just to point out that all these differentials and fractals and so on will never solve the question, so why not make a simple system that any fool can understand and that is, in my opinion, no more inequitable than the existing one?

  • Go_F.Alonso on June 10, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    I think the NRR system is just fine. NZ and WI bowled the other team out and were duly rewarded, whereas India and England due to their inability had to bowl their entire quota of 50 overs. As you say Rajesh, batting run rate and bowling economy rate are both taken into consideration. In addition these points make NRR a fair system 1) It's the same set of rules for all teams. 2) A win is a win - big or small. 3) Don't bring the pitch into the equation either - cos once again it's the same for both teams. While it may change during the game, would it be massively different?

  • nzforever on June 10, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Jackthelad. So if NZ for eg beat England exactly the same format as they beat SL they would then be on 2 points while England having a win & loss while NZ have 2 wins England would still be top on 10points?????????

  • jmcilhinney on June 10, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    @Beige_and_blue on (June 10, 2013, 10:07 GMT), yes you are missing something. Just because the rules are the same for everyone doesn;t necessarily mean that they're fair because they may still provide advantage for teams that find themselves in certain circumstances. Let's say that you had a competition where you got 10 points for a win, 9 points fro a draw but you lost 10 points for a loss. A team that finished with 10 draws would beat a team that ended with 9 wins and a loss. Do you think that's fair? I certainly don't, yet the rules are the same for everyone. That's obviously a contrived example but it illustrates that consistent rules aren't necessarily fair rules.

  • jmcilhinney on June 10, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    @rockstarev on (June 10, 2013, 9:26 GMT), "Say if you chase 200 (score 201) in exactly 50 overs, you will be awarded NRR 0.02, the same NRR will be awarded even if you chase 400(score 401) in 50 overs, even though both are not same if you see the performance". They may not be the same in terms of batting performance but they are the same in terms of team performance. Bowling matters just as much as batting and in the first case the bowlers only conceded 200 while in the second case they conceded 400. The batting may be twice as good in the second case but the bowling is twice as bad so there shouldn't be any increase in NRR for the second case.

  • Rogerunionjack on June 10, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Totally wrong from the writer! If indeed it were wickets lost (and not net run rate) to be used as the criteria, then there is nothing to prevent the Kiwis from scoring 139 for 0 in say, 49.5 overs - i.e. bat ultra cautious, use the full quota and lose 0 wickets. Then these same critics WOULD be advocating net run rate. Fact is, you know your target, and you achieve the same. Wickets lost is irrelevant, as long as you get across the line.

    cric_options on (June 10, 2013, 6:23 GMT) - spot on!

  • uglyhunK on June 10, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    @jackthelad - going by your method, if a team chases a stiff target, say 280 in 35 overs losing 9 wickets, it will get 1 point. Do you think it is a fair reflection of the performance of the chasing side ? Apply NRR for this case.

  • rockstarev on June 10, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @Kunuko : Your's runrate system has a flaw man . Say if ENG score 305 and lose all 10 wickets. Aus score only 200 for 5 wickets. According to you , ENG run rate=6.10/10=0.61 .. But Aus run rate = 4/5=0.8 .. England run rate will be -0.19 despite of winning (i.e.) negative runrate :P .. But your methodology is good. Still it has a flaw :)

  • __PK on June 10, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    No, don't use the D-L par score to determine the notional winning margin, because you need to assume the side batting second would have scored more runs before they lost their last wicket, with the full 50 overs at their disposal. In this case, you'd need statistics to estimate how many runs sides scored after being 9 down after 36.3 overs. Better still, keep the rule the same. All sides know the rules, one aspect of which is that a side which dismisses the opposition gets the benefits of the full 50 overs. A side which is not out gets the benefit of all the remaining wickets. Only fair.

  • Beige_and_blue on June 10, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Am I missing something? are the rules not the same for all sides?

  • on June 10, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Agreed. NRR is not at all a correct indicator. When D/L is available for rains why not have same rules for final differentiation.

  • on June 10, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    I agree with the article, was thinking about this yesterday. Given that we already have duckworth lewis in place, i.e. it's part of the rules, it could be used for normalising all results. I don't think anybody below has actually argued that the current system is fair.

  • kunuko on June 10, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    On the contrary, the NET Run Rate should be changed to Average Net Run Rate.... You still calculate the Run Rate and divide that by the number of wickets lost and then calculate the Net. However, unlike Yugandhar's view, wickets of both team must be taken into account. So, in India's case,

    India scored 331 runs and lost 7 wkts while SA scored 305 and lost all 10. So India's Average Run Rate becomes 0.9457 and that of SA is 0.61. Thus India's ANRR is 0.3357. For WI then it is 0.5275 and Pak is 0.34. Thus WI ANRR is 0.1875. This way, not only winning by a good margin matters but also does having wickets in hand.

  • rockstarev on June 10, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    winning by 10 runs in a low scoring match say 170 should be counted more than the same marigin in high scoring match say 350 .. Excellent point sir. Apart from the rain rule you suggested, there must be performance indicator which needs to be taken into account for NRR Calculation. I would like to add another point too. Say if you chase 200 (score 201) in exactly 50 overs, you will be awarded NRR 0.02, the same NRR will be awarded even if you chase 400(score 401) in 50 overs, even though both are not same if you see the performance.

  • trevgrif on June 10, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    The playing conditions state that the order to resolve tied teams is 1. total wins, 2. NRR, 3. winner of the head to head. It would have been better to use the 3rd rule instead of the 2nd rule to decide the issue - if 2 teams finish equal on points and wins, then the side that won the HEAD TO HEAD goes through. After all, the 1st rule already establishes a priority on wins!

  • jackthelad on June 10, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    This solution is probably so simple that nobody will believe it would work. A team winning by runs gets 1 point for every five (or part of five) runs by which it wins; a team winning by wickets gets 1 point for every wicket it has standing. By this reckoning, England would have 10, India 6, West Indies 2 and New Zealand 1, which seems reasonably to reflect the degree of dominance each of these teams had in the respective games. Games which finish in few overs will still reflect this graded scale, since a dominant team which wins in, say, 35 overs is likely to still have six or seven wickets in hand, while squeaky pants low-overs games (NZ v Sri) equally reflect the near parity of performances. Bah, no need for slide-rules, algorhythms, theodolytes, geiger counters or snickeramas - nobody would ever understand it. Sorry I spoke!

  • CricketingStargazer on June 10, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @jmcilhinney Define "genuinely inconvenienced"! It's a matter or opinion. It's also a matter of national volubility: what is a minor annoyance to an English fan may feel like a grave injustice to, for example, a Bangladeshi fan who tends to be more passionate about all aspects of the game.

    It is very hard indeed to equate games such as those that we have seen with two low-scoring thrillers, one high-scoring game and one where the scores were high, but so large. A low-scoring match may be due to a poor pitch, inept batting, or brilliant bowling: how do you factor in which is to blame? Similarly, as side may score 350 due to brilliant batting, or the opposition simply bowling so badly that they can't help scoring. If you reverse the venues, would the same pattern or scores been repeated? No one knows.

    England can qualify if they will all three group games. If they don't, you have to accept that it may be down to the lottery of NRR. Few games -> iniquities. It's unavoidable.

  • Sameer_Tatake on June 10, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    You can't use wickets gone simply for following reasons: 1) Winning is important, whether i win by 1 wicket or 10 wickets. 2) Say, i have 200 to chase, i am 150 /0 in 30 overs, and realising, i want to up my NRR, i can start hitting out and getting out. Eventually, I win by 1 wicket. So was this due to oppositions brillinace or my own struggle to increase nrr. So, wickets lost here cannot be taken into account 3) there cannot be 1 single formula to say that 1 wicket lost less = .1 in NRR as the team batting first can lose wickets in a heap to score fast in closing overs 4) Also, wickets cannot be considered for sole reason that one team can be strong in batting lower down the order, other strong top the order. So obviously, the team stronger lower down the order will lose more wickets but will still win easily.

  • on June 10, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Honestly I only find Gizza able to make some logic here.

    It doesn't matter how many wickets you loose. It only matters the winning team out scoring their opponents.

    If the first batting team bowled out within 50 overs is their fault for not using the full 50 overs. So their score will automatically be calculated across the 50 overs

    Chasing team should just cross that score with their 10 wickets within 50 overs. As long as they are not bowled out their score do not have to be calculated across 50 overs. It doesn't matter if they used 1 wicket or 9 wicket to achieve that score.

    Wickets should never be counted for reference in cricket. It's always the runs scored by the number of overs to calculate nrr.

  • on June 10, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Similarly. I am always peeved by media that records a win by x wickets, when that is irrelevant. I am far more interested in how many overs/ balls they won by, as it's a more accurate reflection of the game

  • yugandhar1786 on June 10, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Instead it would be better to divide the net run rate with number of wickets fall of winning team and give negative value of it to losing team. An example here it is: SL vs NZ NZ net run rate is +1.048 but divide it by nine. NZ NRR +0.1164 and SL NRR -0.1164 (after all SL didn't played it very badly and it was so close match when we look at the wickets as well also we are not leaving out the remaining balls left anyway.)

    Pak vs WI WI net run rate is +0.83 but divide it by eight. WI NRR +0.104 Pak NRR -0.104

    Eng vs Aus Eng net run rate is 0.96 but divide it by six Eng NRR is +0.16 Aus NRR is -0.16

    Ind vs SA Ind net run rate is 0.52 but divide it by seven Ind NRR is +0.074 SA NRR is -0.074

    So here it is clear that WI win got more NRR because it also taken account the number of wickets lost, so the wickets get its importance.

  • ac_Indian on June 10, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Forgot to mention my in previous post (although it should be obvious to all the informed readers). With effective RR for each side, NRR (or effective NRR)will simply be the difference of Effective run rates.

  • eddiecameron on June 10, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    There definitely needs to be some acknowledgement of the bowling effort of both sides as well as the batting, especially in close games such as this one. Obviously, the discrepancy in this game is that the NRR result indirectly rewards New Zealand's bowling effort (lower total to chase) whereas Sri Lanka's bowling effort, as fantastic as it was, ultimately was not recognised at all.

    A bonus points system could be introduced that rewards big victories for the winning side and close losses for the losing side.

  • jmcilhinney on June 10, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    I agree that it would be a good idea to look at a fairer system. As some have said, no system is perfect, as we've seen with D/L, but it is possible to do better than we currently have. I doubt that anything will happen until someone is genuinely disadvantaged by the current system though. As an England supporter, I really hope that that isn't England in this tournament.

  • rampinput on June 10, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    I knew such an article was about due!! But to all those great thinkers, New Zealand's higher NRR has much lower weightage than England's because of the lower denominator!! ( Anyone with CGPA in colleges would know that an A in a 2 credit course is not as great as an A in a 4 credit course) Please go through NRR fundamentals, next match will clear the picture properly.

    So please stop crying out for nothing.

  • CricketingStargazer on June 10, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    It's an interesting piece of research on an anomaly that has vexed quite a few fans this weekend. It's also an issue for which we may have to accept that there is no satisfactory solution as the very diverse replies have shown. There is an obvious, built-in advantage to chasing a low total in a low-scoring match however, I can understand that the chasing side will say that it has earned that advantage by bowling out the opposition cheaply.

    People will always complain about the D/L system, mainly because they do not understand it (there is a simple guide by Bill Frindall in the 2007 Playfair Cricket Annual). While not perfect (it can't include everything), it is far superior to anything that existed before and, although it occasionally gives odd answers, in England, where it is used so often, it is accepted as a pretty good guide; so much so that commentators use the "D/L par score" to see if a chase is on course and it is rarely wrong. Use it to calculate points? Not so sure you can

  • Gizza on June 10, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    I agree with Elan and Stup1d. This is a flawed piece of writing. It only looks at the batting while forgetting New Zealand's bowling efforts in bowling out Sri Lanka. And it was a thrashing keeping in mind that Sri Lanka couldn't completely bowl out the team. In a limited overs match, if one team scores 300 all out and the other scores 280 runs with the loss of only one wicket then the first team is clearly better. This isn't a Test where it is runs vs wickets. It is an ODI (and similarly in T20's) where it is runs vs overs and wickets only matter if you get all out before the max number of overs. But that didn't happen. NZ and WI deserve their higher run rates than India and England. If anything this will put the focus back on improving bowling and fielding in the shorter forms rather than just batting. To reiterate runs vs overs not wickets.

  • Naresh28 on June 10, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    A win with bonus points scheme should be introduced. This will help to reflect on the quality of the win. Sometimes we see the MoM going to a batsman, but bowlers are not rewarded. This is unfair on the bowler.

  • on June 10, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    I totally agree...if u remember in the last T20 world cup India was on the receiving end of this system. We won 3 out of 4 matches....most of them comprehensively. Except for the thrashing we got from Australia we were by far the superior team. Furthermore, we got all 10 wickets of the opposition in 3 of the 4 games that we played. If there was a ranking on most dismissals in the tournament India would be ranked first despite the fact that we took only 1 wicket in the Australia game. However, since wickets were not considered in the NRR India had to be eliminated from the tournament and a team like Australia, which was heavily dependent on the performance of Shane Watson, didn't end up winning it either.

    Its time ICC tool both runs per over and runs per wicket into account while calculating the NRR as this would be a true measure of a teams performance against others in any tournament and any format.

  • SmooDiver on June 10, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    The system is fine as it is. NZ are on top because their bowlers performed well enough to bowl a side out in 37.5 overs. Then they chased this target with 13.3 overs to spare. It's only because NZ were 9 down in this particular scenario that the writer of this article thinks that their (weak) argument is valid. Wickets lost is irrelevant - you are supposed to use up your resources in order to chase a score down with time to spare. In this case they cut it fine by losing 9, but they still won the game and everyone knows that winning's winning. An additional argument is that a team may chase a total knowing the NRR is a factor, which in turn influences their chase (they are happy to lose more wickets in order to chase the total down quicker).

  • on June 10, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    There are also some more flawed in the current system of calculating NRR. Just look at some of them. a) A team which has won 1 match by 50 runs and lost another match by 50 runs will have a superior net run rate than a team which has lost 1 match by 50 runs and, won another match by 49 runs in a rain shortened 25 over match. b) It is possible in a triangular tournament that Team A has won both of its matches, and the match between Team B and Team C gets tied. Team B can still go to final even if it has lower NRR than Team C before the match. c) In a multi nation tournament, it is possible that Team A has lower NRR than Team B before the match between the two sides, but a higher NRR than Team B after the match is played, though Team A has lost the match. These are only some of the so many flawed, actually the list can be very long if I will try to write each and every flawed.

  • jagmagh on June 10, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    What happened to considering head to head match win / loss before using NRR? I seem to remember that head to head win / loss would be used as a differentiator in some tournaments in the past. While it may have had its flaws too but in such a situation as described in this article, surely that is a better option than NRR, i feel.

  • regofpicton on June 10, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Teams have always tried to manipulate NRR figures to aid their forward progress in tournaments. Well the smart ones have at any rate. Toward the end of the last IPL there were many enquiries from posters as to how their team might advance.

    Obviously a system as simple as NRR is open to some fairly crude manipulations. But adding complexity to the system is unlikely to eliminate manipulation - it will just favour more cunning management. And even mentioning those two words "Duckworth" and "Lewis" in a situation where there was no interruption for anything but the break between innings will cause screams and sobs wherever cricket is played. The D/L system might better than its predecessor, but it is still not universally accepted, and it too throws up some oddities.

    It should also be noted that the advantages to NZ and WI were not manipulated advantages - they simply fell into the teams laps by bowling well and winning with balls to spare.

  • GDubNZ on June 10, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    I think this is simply a case of no system being perfect. The explanation of the possible 'rain rule to decide margin' gets confusing also - really confusing! Any system will have situations where it does not quite work that well. Is D/L perfect - no, but it's better than alternatives tried in the past Remember ENG vs SAF in the 1992 World Cup many moons ago? (If not read this http://www.espncricinfo.com/wctimeline/content/story/280142.html).

    Cricket is a game of so many variables (what if 1 match is played on a seaming wicket, and another played on a dusty turner, should that be taken into consideration too???) so deciding on the 'breaker' will always be difficult. End of the day if you're relying on NetRun Rate then you're needing some sort of luck, and you simply can't replicate luck in a formula.

    End of the day, if you win all your cricket games NRR won't affect your team.

  • parimal_t on June 10, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Absolutely Fantastic Article. S Rajesh is brilliant when the matter is of cricket intelligence. This is something what we ardent cricket fans feel. To see it put in words makes our day. Thank you.

  • Bishop on June 10, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    I kind of agree it is unfair that the NNR indicates a thrashing in this case when the game was actually a squeaker, but I'm not sure the solution offered is the best one. For one thing, the DL system is far from perfect, hasn't been updated to reflect power plays and routinely throws up nonsensical calculations. But my biggest problem would be in the situation where a batting side chasing a modest total goes hard specifically to improve the net run rate. In this case they would (and should) be willing to sacrifice wickets in order to get to the target as quickly as possible. I'm not saying that is what happened here, more that NZwilted in the face of both their own ineptitude and a pretty damaging display of fast bowling

  • WaryAry on June 10, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    One approach could be scrap NRR. In case of a tie for a spot, rate the teams in order of difference in the number of wickets lost to number of wickets taken , similar to goal difference in football.

  • Romanticstud on June 10, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    I reckon there should be a column for wickets lost ... Then the run rate achieved by the team batting first gets put over the whole 50 overs because of the fact that they were all out ... then the second side struggles and wins by one wicket in a similar time ie 38 overs ... normally that would be a huge difference in net run rate ... now if instead of just having run rate in the equation you take the team A'S ACTUAL RUN RATE ... over the number of overs they took to get dismissed, then the second side would have their run rate for their overs took and then take the runrate and multiply it by 1+ the number of wickets divided by ten ... The difference is then the net run rate.

  • 12th_man on June 10, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    I am a New Zealand fan and I must say I agree in part, wickets lost (or something else) needs to be considered but these are the rules for this tournament and we have to accept them so it's not a travesity. It's abit unfortunate but the Sri Lankan batsman may wish they scored another 10 or 20 runs and anything could have happened.

    I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the match anymore had New Zealand batted for 50 overs and lost no wickets (and bored me to death). Had they done that would we give them credit for losing no wickets as well?

  • my11hehe on June 10, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    I dont agree to D/L system. D/L system awards more points to team winning in high scoring games.

  • on June 10, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    I think that there should be a wickets factor multiplied to this. to the current net run rate rule, if we multiply [(no. of wickets left of the winning side+no of wickets taken by the winning side)/20], a clearer picture of closeness of match will me there. as in this case, the net run rates would have been as follows:

    GROUP A: Eng +0.624 NZL +0.5764 SRI -0.5764 AUS -0.624

    GROUP B: WI +0.498 IND +0.338 SA -0.338 PAK -0.498

    Although this doesn't make any change in group B in terms of ranking, but what it does is that it reduces the gap between india and west indies.

    This was the case if we want to make it simple (unlike the D/L method). If we want to make it more biased on the wickets side, we can link DL method to this calculation (but wewill have to keep in mind that we will then be applying the unwanted D/L method in every match! ).

  • soumyas on June 10, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    surely D-L method represents the game's Net run rate in better way. and to counter Low-scoring, High -scoring run rates. Average score over the last 25 matches on that pitch would give better idea of the winning margin. Eg: If the Avg score of the pitch is 200 then 20 run margin is equivalent to 30 run margin on pitch with 300 avg runs. By this the NRR expression comes close to real scenario of the games.

  • Kart_in_Quartz on June 10, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Perfectly in tandem with this point of view. However what one fails to see here is that the NZ bowlers have restricted SL to a meager score. This in itself is a vital point in considering in continuing with the NRR system for the moment.

    While the normal thought process would lie in how teams fare in the second innings and in this case, how NZ have chased, the bowlers have more than played their part in restricting to bowling as less as 37 odd overs. In short winning for them outright. If one compares the performance of Eng in this stead, NZ were better in this regard.

    With this perspective, we could still consider the NRR as a good option of calculation, and definitely not a faulty one.

  • cric_options on June 10, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Rajesh, I did not see this coming from you. The reason is, questioning this is like questioning some basic assumptions of how cricket is played. Let me lay it out why. Cricket is a game in which wickets are roadblocks, obstacles, constraints, but other than that, there is no meaningful role in deciding the outcome of a game. This assumption has been true since the time cricket has been played in all kinds of formats, whether or not it be time bound or overs bound. This fact is the greatest reason it is a cruel and a beautiful game. It is the reason why great and heroic performances are meaningless unless that allows you to win a game. Your logic of making wickets or the constraints in the game to become the enablers is against the definition of the game. So there is nothing wrong with net run rate. NZ earned tons of credit for bowling out SL for 138, and now they had the full liberty of pacing their innings in any way they like to achieve the goal, the sooner they did the higher NRR.

  • rashivkd on June 10, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    @Elan.S: Are you joking?? Then what about Srilankan bowlers?? They had taken nine wicket for the same score in almost same number of overs and their NRR is -1.048. The only difference in two teams is the wicket of no.11 batsman and NRR difference is 2.096.

  • Pravski on June 10, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    When teams are tied at the end of a group stage, instead of using NRR or some other artificial measure to separate them, why not just play another match between the two tied teams and the winner goes through?

  • on June 10, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    Rajesh,

    You are assuming the rain rule is fairer than current vanilla NRR based on their effects on 2 isolated independent ODIS . Why is that?

    Thanks, Shyam

  • WalkingWicket11 on June 10, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    No this is totally wrong. You seem to be conveniently ignoring that WI & NZ bowled out their opposition for a low score, the keyword being "low score". Ind & Eng failed to do that. Why should India be table toppers after conceding over 300 runs, while WI bowled out their opponent for 170?

    WI won with close to 10 overs to spare, while India won by 28 runs, not 128 runs. Look at it this way, if SA had batted first and assuming that they scored 300 runs, then India would have probably won by the 48th over or so. How is their win more dominating that WI's win? Don't fix what isn't broken.

  • on June 10, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Only Elan makes any sense here. A win is a win. Whether by 10 wickets or 1 wicket. They still got to the target a lot quicker because their bowlers did all the hard work to create a small total.

  • sbhatri on June 10, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    your analysis could also have included the NRR in case sri lanka had won by a run. if i'm not mistaken, they would earn a marginally positive NRR- which would actually be fair considering how close the match was. this also points out the flaw in NZ winning the same close match and gathering a high NRR in such an even match.

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Excellent solution to a tricky problem.

  • vivekek on June 10, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    I agree.. but using wickets as another parameter would make this calculation more complex and I strongly believe that cricket must look beyond these complex numbers if it has to reach to new zones and other parts of the world

  • Elan.S on June 10, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    I don't know what the fuss about NRR here. It's working fine as it is. The author is considering only the batting effort on both the cases but failed to notice the bowling effort of the team won. They had to chase a small target only because they managed to bowl out/restrict the opponent to such a low score. So they earned the cushion they need for the chase. So, the NRR is just fine..

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Very sound suggestions by Mr. Rajesh who has been simply the best stats guy in cricket journalism in my opinion. Well done.

  • TATTUs on June 10, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Just to expand a simple solution would be to add wickets lost in the denominator along with the overs batted. This would bring NZ NRR down than that of England.

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    By now it is understood that NRR does not make sense (and not fair) at all, in these kind of matches. ICC should look into modifying the concept for the betterment.

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Good thought - one of the few places where a man is reporting a problem with at least some sort of solution.

  • emnach on June 10, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    I agree, this point has been in my mind for years and probably many others. ICC should consider changing this rule.

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Well Said Rajesh! It will be cruel on any other teams if they miss out this New Zealand victory takes them to next level, due to NRR or washouts...

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Well Said Rajesh! It will be cruel on any other teams if they miss out this New Zealand victory takes them to next level, due to NRR or washouts...

  • emnach on June 10, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    I agree, this point has been in my mind for years and probably many others. ICC should consider changing this rule.

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Good thought - one of the few places where a man is reporting a problem with at least some sort of solution.

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    By now it is understood that NRR does not make sense (and not fair) at all, in these kind of matches. ICC should look into modifying the concept for the betterment.

  • TATTUs on June 10, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Just to expand a simple solution would be to add wickets lost in the denominator along with the overs batted. This would bring NZ NRR down than that of England.

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Very sound suggestions by Mr. Rajesh who has been simply the best stats guy in cricket journalism in my opinion. Well done.

  • Elan.S on June 10, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    I don't know what the fuss about NRR here. It's working fine as it is. The author is considering only the batting effort on both the cases but failed to notice the bowling effort of the team won. They had to chase a small target only because they managed to bowl out/restrict the opponent to such a low score. So they earned the cushion they need for the chase. So, the NRR is just fine..

  • vivekek on June 10, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    I agree.. but using wickets as another parameter would make this calculation more complex and I strongly believe that cricket must look beyond these complex numbers if it has to reach to new zones and other parts of the world

  • on June 10, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Excellent solution to a tricky problem.

  • sbhatri on June 10, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    your analysis could also have included the NRR in case sri lanka had won by a run. if i'm not mistaken, they would earn a marginally positive NRR- which would actually be fair considering how close the match was. this also points out the flaw in NZ winning the same close match and gathering a high NRR in such an even match.