Statsguru awards February 24, 2017

That man Kohli again

India's captain dominated the game in 2016 on a number of parameters

Virat Kohli averaged more than 75 in every format in international cricket in 2016 © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

The Statsguru Awards are based purely on numbers from international matches in 2016. However, they go beyond the usual stats and are based instead on detailed data analyses of performances. Which batsman played more consistently than any other over the entire year? Which batting pair was the most prolific through the year? Who scored the most runs in boundaries? Read on to find out.

(cut-off: 750 runs in Tests, 600 in ODIs, 350 in T20Is)

Virat Kohli
Test weighted score 62.46, ODI weighted scored 49.18, T20I weighted scored 155; Total 266.64
Kohli had a dream year in every format, and no other batsman even comes close to what he achieved in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. His average in Tests was 75.93, in ODIs 92.37 (strike rate 100), and in T20Is 106.83 (strike rate 140.26).

Kohli's aggregate of 1215 and his average of 75.93 gave him a Test weighted score of 62.46 (average weighted by the number of runs scored, as a ratio of the top scorer in the year), while his ODI score was 49.18 (average multiplied by runs scored per ball, and weighted by the runs scored, as a ratio of the top scorer in the year). His T20I score, calculated in a similar manner to ODIs but with a 1.1 weightage for strike rate, was a whopping 155, giving him a total of 266.64.

There were two other batsmen who had superb years in two formats - Steven Smith averaged 71.93 in Tests and 50.17 (Strike rate 89.18) in ODIs, while Joe Root was the leading run scorer of the year in Tests (average 49.23), and averaged 61.23 (strike rate 91.81) in ODIs, but neither came close to Kohli in T20Is.

(cut-off: 40 wickets in Tests, 25 in ODIs, 20 in T20Is)

R Ashwin
Test weighted score 23.90, T20I weighted score 20.77, Total 44.67
Unlike in Tests, where Kohli was head and shoulders above everyone else, in bowling no one player dominated all formats. Ashwin was outstanding in Tests and T20Is, and just about managed to pip Mitchell Starc, who was terrific in Tests and ODIs. In Tests, Ashwin was the leading wicket-taker with 72, which was 15 more than the next best, at an average of 23.90, while in T20Is, he took 23 wickets at 16.17 and an economy rate of 6.30. Starc took 50 Test wickets at 22.58, and 26 ODI wickets at 19.69 (economy rate 4.49).

Overall, Ashwin had a Test score of 23.90 (average weighted by the number of wickets, as a ratio of the leading wicket-taker of the year), while his T20I score was 20.77. (The T20I score was calculated as follows: average multiplied by runs per ball with a 1.1 weightage for economy rate, weighted by the number of wickets as a ratio of the leading wicket-taker of the year.) That gave him a total score of 44.67. Starc had a score of 32.52 in Tests, and 17 in ODIs, giving him a total of 49.52. (Since a lower total is better in bowling, Ashwin pipped Starc.)

(cut-off: 750 runs)

Virat Kohli - 1215 runs at 75.93, weighted score 62.46
Kohli was the fourth-highest run-getter in Tests in 2016, but his average was far superior to the other three who score more runs - Root, Bairstow and Cook. Even when weighted against the top run-getter of the year (1477, by Root), Kohli still managed a weighted score of 62.46, marginally ahead of Bairstow's 58.52.

(cut-off: 750 runs)

Steven Smith - Consistency factor 1.55
Kohli had a higher average, but Smith was the most consistent Test batsman of 2016, with only three scores below 30 in 18 innings. His standard deviation - which is a measure of the average distance from the mean - was an impressive 46.48. That combined with his average of 71.93 gave him a consistency factor (average divided by standard deviation) of 1.55, which was the best among all batsmen who scored 750-plus Test runs in 2016.

Cheteshwar Pujara was next best with an index of 1.45, followed by Bairstow's 1.42. Kohli's index was relatively low at 0.99, due to the fact that he was dismissed below 20 seven times in 18 innings.

In his last seven one-day innings of the year, David Warner managed to make five scores of 50 and above © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

(cut-off: 30 wickets)

R Ashwin - 72 wickets, average 23.90, weighted score 23.90
This one was a close contest between the two leading wicket-takers of the year, Ashwin and Rangana Herath, which Ashwin edged on account of India having played more Tests in the year than Sri Lanka. Herath took 57 wickets in nine Tests at an excellent average of 18.92 compared to Ashwin's 72 at 23.90, but when the wickets weightage was applied, Ashwin's weighted score was 23.90, compared to Herath's 23.91. In an ideal world, this one would be shared by the two bowlers.

(cut-off: 600 runs)

David Warner - ODI weighted score 66.54
This was another award that seemed to be heading Kohli's way till Warner came along and smashed three hundreds in his last four ODI innings of the year, to finish with 1388 runs - the most by far in 2016 - at an average of 63.09 and a strike rate of 105.47. Kohli had a higher average - 92.37 - but his aggregate of 739 was far lower than Warner's. That he finished in second place despite playing only ten ODI innings in 2016 itself indicates how well he fared in those games.

(cut-off: 25 wickets)

Mitchell Starc - ODI weighted score 17.00
For the second year in a row, Starc was the best ODI bowler. He finished with 26 wickets at 19.69 and an economy rate of 4.49. There were five bowlers who took more wickets than Starc did, but none of them had an average below 24 or an economy rate of under five runs per over. The ODI bowling factor (which is calculated by multiplying the average by runs conceded per ball, and then weighting the score by their wickets tally) for Starc was 17, while the next best was John Hastings' 22.13.

(cut-off: 350 runs)

Virat Kohli - T20I weighted score 155.00
Kohli's magnificent year extended to the 20-over format as well. Apart from an outstanding IPL, in which he scored 973 runs including four hundreds, he also scored 641 runs from 15 T20Is, at a phenomenal average of 106.83 and a strike rate of 140.26. His batting factor was 155, while the next best was Glenn Maxwell's 60.58.

(cut-off: 20 wickets)

Rashid Khan - T20I weighted score 20.65
Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah has strong performances in T20Is in 2016, but both were pipped to the top spot by Rashid Khan, an Afghanistan legbreak bowler who took 23 wickets at 16.13 and an economy rate of 6.28. While his best hauls came against Zimbabwe and the UAE, he held his own against the stronger teams too, returning figures of 2 for 17 in the World T20 game against England, and 2 for 26 against West Indies. Ashwin had a weighted score of 20.77, while Bumrah, the leading wicket-taker in the format with 28, had a score of 20.97.



Test batting
(Cut-off: 750 runs, unless mentioned otherwise)

(Cut-off: ten innings)

Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam
In a year of relatively slim pickings for opening pairs, Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam topped the averages among opening pairs who batted together at least eight times. They averaged 43.86 in 16 partnerships, while Martin Guptill and Tom Latham were next with an average of 40.37.

R Ashwin and Mitchell Starc were the stand-out bowlers of 2016 © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

(Cut-off: eight innings)

Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes
With 887 runs in 10 stands, Bairstow and Stokes were the stand-out pair of the year. They started the year with a 399-run stand in Cape Town, and then added two more century stands, and one of 99. The three other pairs who were superb in 2016 were Kohli-Rahane (average 71.77 in nine stands), Latham-Williamson (average 70.77 in nine stands) and Khawaja-Smith (average 69.66 in nine stands).


Steven Smith
Among players/ teams who played at least five Tests in 2016, Smith's contribution of 21.33% of Australia's total runs off the bat in the year was the highest. He just pipped Azhar Ali, whose 1198 runs was 21.04% of Pakistan's total bat runs in the year. Root was the top scorer of the year, but since so many England batsmen did well in the year, Root's contribution was 16.04% of England's total bat runs, while Kohli's contribution was 18.19%.


Virat Kohli
Kohli is streets ahead of everyone else in this category too, with 1082 runs at 77.28 in the nine Tests that India won in 2016. Next best is Smith, with 719 runs in five matches.


Ben Stokes
Warner had won this three years in a row before 2016, but Stokes, striking at 66.76 for his 904 runs, was quicker than anyone else who scored 750-plus runs this year. Two other batsmen scored at 60-plus: Root (60.70) and Kohli (60.41).

Test bowling
(cut-off: 30 wickets)


Kagiso Rabada
In 2016, Rabada truly took over from Dale Steyn as the strike bowler in the South African attack. He took 46 wickets from nine Tests, and though his economy rate was relatively high at 3.81, his strike rate of 36.6 was the best among all bowlers with 40-plus wickets in the year. Starc ran him close with a strike rate of 39, followed by Herath's 43.4.


R Ashwin
After winning the prize with seven five-fors in 2015, Ashwin went one better with eight in 2016. In fact, only two bowlers - Malcolm Marshall and Muttiah Muralitharan - have taken more five-fors in a calendar year. The next best in 2016 was Herath's five, while Rabada and Yasir Shah had four each.

(cut-off: 15 wickets)

Rangana Herath
Sri Lanka's bowlers took 150 Test wickets in 2016, of which Herath contributed 57 - that's a percentage of 38, the best among all bowlers whose team played at least five Tests in the year. Two other bowlers took more than 30% of their team's wickets: Ashwin (35.47%), and Rabada (34.59%). No other bowler took more than 28% of their team's wickets.

Azhar Ali (left) and Sami Aslam made 215 for the first wicket against West Indies in Dubai © AFP

ODI batting
(cut-off: 750 runs, unless mentioned otherwise)

BEST SCORING RATE (Qual: 600 balls)

Quinton de Kock
With a strike rate of 108.61 (857 runs from 789 balls), de Kock led the way in terms of quick scoring, among batsmen who faced at least 600 balls in ODIs in 2016. Three other batsmen had strike rates of 100 or more - Warner (105.47), Alex Hales (101.36) and Kohli (100).

LOWEST SCORING RATE (Qual: 600 balls)

Dinesh Chandimal
Only two batsmen, among the 15 who faced 600-plus balls, had a strike rate of less than 80 in ODIs in 2016. George Bailey had a rate of 79.21, but the batsman with the lowest rate was Chandimal: though he averaged an impressive 59.63, his strike rate was 77.72.

(cut-off: eight innings)

Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock
Amla and de Kock formed a superb opening combination in 2016, scoring 703 partnership runs at an average of 54.07 and a run rate of 5.58 per over. They had two huge stands - 239 against England in Centurion and 182 against West Indies in Basseterre. Two other pairs batted together in eight or more innings and averaged more than 40 - Jason Roy and Hales (average 44.08, run rate 6.51), and Aaron Finch and Warner (average 42.72, run rate 6.20).

(cut-off: eight innings)

Alex Hales and Joe Root
The pair which scored the most runs (excluding opening pairs) was also the one with the best average (with a cut-off of eight partnerships). Hales and Root scored 722 runs in just nine innings, at an average of 80.22. This included a stand of 248 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. In nine partnerships, they went past 60 six times, which is an emphatic statement of how successful the combination was. Next best was Chandimal and Angelo Mathews, with an average of 58.11, while George Bailey and Smith averaged 54.58.


Martin Guptill
For the second year in a row, Martin Guptill won this one, with a boundary percentage of 63.82, an improvement over his 2015 percentage of 60.44. In 2016, Guptill hit 74 fours and 28 sixes, which is 464 out of his aggregate of 727 runs. Next up was Finch, with a percentage of 61.37, followed by de Kock's 60.68. Hales and Warner followed, ensuring that openers took each of the top five positions. The lowest percentage was 28.05, by Chandimal.


Virat Kohli
AB de Villiers owned this category from 2012 to 2015, but in 2016 Kohli was the man to beat, achieving a dot percentage of 40.19, the lowest among all batsmen who scored 600-plus runs in the year. Babar Azam came in next at 42.82%, followed by Root (43.71) and Warner (44.98).


Virat Kolhi
Of the 3097 runs scored by India's batsmen in ODIs in 2016 (excluding extras), Kohli's contribution was 739, which means he made 23.86% of India's runs in the year. Three other batsmen contributed more than 20% runs for their teams: Babar Azam (21.99% for Pakistan), de Kock (20.47 for South Africa), and Warner (20.28 for Australia).

Rangana Herath took more than a third of Sri Lanka's Test wickets © Associated Press


David Warner
Warner was phenomenal when Australia batted first in ODIs in 2016, scoring 786 runs at 87.33, but he was also the leading run scorer in chases, making 602 runs at 46.30. De Kock lost out in terms of aggregate, though he had the more impressive numbers, scoring 595 runs in nine chases, at an average of 74.37 and a strike rate of 123.18.

ODI bowling
(cut-off: min 125 overs)


Rashid Khan
Among the 19 bowlers who sent down at least 100 overs in ODIs in 2016, Rashid had the best economy rate, of 4.12. He was well clear of Starc, who was in second place with 4.49, followed by Mitchell Santner's 4.77.


Scott Boland
Boland, the Australian seamer, was one of only two bowlers who bowled 100-plus overs and went at more than a run a ball in ODIs in 2016. In 119.2 overs, Boland conceded 725 runs, an economy rate of 6.07. New Zealand's Matt Henry was the other bowler with an economy rate of more than six: he went at 6.01 per over.


Mitchell Starc
The fast bowlers took the top three spots in this category: Starc was well clear of the others, though, with an incredible dot-ball percentage of 64.71. Hazlewood was almost six percentage points behind, at 58.86, followed by Rabada's 58.20%.


Mitchell Santner
Santner conceded only 32 fours and 17 sixes in the 806 balls he bowled in ODIs in 2016. The percentage of 6.08 is the lowest among all bowlers who bowled at least 100 overs. He edged Rashid Khan (6.09%) and Adil Rashid (6.42%). In terms of percentage of runs in boundaries, Adil Rashid was the best, conceding only 32.12% of his runs in fours and sixes, followed by Moeen Ali (36.31%), and Santner (36.74%).

T20I batting

BEST SCORING RATE(cut-off: 200 balls faced)

Glenn Maxwell
Maxwell and Guptill were the two batsmen with 170-plus strike rates, among batsmen who faced 200-plus deliveries in T20Is in 2016. Maxwell had the slightly higher strike rate - 174.69 - to Guptill's 171.92. Both had similar averages as well - 48.33 for Maxwell, 49 for Guptill. No other batsman had a strike rate of more than 155.

LOWEST SCORING RATE (Qual: 200 balls)

Marlon Samuels
The only batsman who faced 200-plus deliveries and scored at less than a run a ball was Marlon Samuels, who made 234 runs in 238 balls (strike rate 98.31).

Rashid Khan: loath to give you any runs © Peter Della Penna


Martin Guptill
Guptill struck 40 fours and 23 sixes from 228 balls, which works out to an average of a four or a six every 3.6 balls, which was the best frequency among all batsmen. Maxwell was next, with a boundary every four balls. In terms of percentage of runs in boundaries too, Guptill was ahead of everyone else, scoring 76% of his runs in fours or sixes, followed by Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan (74%).


Glenn Maxwell
Of the 249 balls Maxwell faced in T20Is, only 69 were dots, a percentage of 27.71. He narrowly edged out Root, who had a dot percentage of 27.88. Guptill's dot percentage was much higher at 36.84, which isn't surprising given that he opens the innings.

BEST PAIR OF THE YEAR (Qual: 200 balls)

Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson
Guptill and Williamson batted together nine times in T20Is in the year, faced 360 balls, and scored 573 runs, including two century stands and four half-century partnerships. They also scored at 9.55 runs per over, the highest among all pairs that faced 200-plus deliveries.

T20I bowling
(cut-off: min 40 overs)


Mohammad Naveed
In 55.4 overs, UAE's Naveed went at only 5.24 runs per over, the only bowler among those who bowled at least 40 overs to go at under a run a ball. The next best economy rate was 6.28, by Rashid, followed by Ashwin's 6.30.


Wahab Riaz
Three bowlers went at more than eight an over, of which Wahab's 8.14 was the poorest. The other two were Mohammad Shahzad of UAE (8.06), and India's Hardik Pandya (8.08).


Mohammad Naveed
With a dot-ball percentage of 58.08, Naveed, a right-arm seamer, had the best dot-ball percentage in T20Is in 2016. He was far ahead of all the others: the next three in the list - Ashish Nehra, Mohammad Amir and Jasprit Bumrah - all had dot percentages between 47.59 and 47.80.


R Ashwin
In the 59 overs Ashwin bowled, he went for only 17 fours and 16 sixes, which means only 9.32% of his deliveries went for boundaries, the lowest among all bowlers. In terms of percentage of runs conceded in boundaries too, Ashwin's percentage of 44.09 (164 runs out of 372) is the lowest.



No team came close to India in Tests in 2016. In 12 matches, India won nine and drew three, with series wins against West Indies (away), New Zealand (home) and England (home). The next best were South Africa, with a 5-2 win-loss record in nine matches, while Sri Lanka were 5-3 in the same number of Tests.


England and South Africa
Both England and South Africa had identical 11-5 win-loss records in ODIs in 2016, the best among all teams. England had a superb run at home in 2016, winning 3-0 against Sri Lanka and 4-1 against Pakistan, while South Africa's highlight was the 5-0 blanking of Australia in October. And in the five-match series between the two top teams of the year, it was South Africa who came out on top, winning 3-2 after losing the first two matches.

Martin Guptill averaged a boundary every 3.6 balls in T20Is © Getty Images


Zimbabwe lost twice as many ODIs as they won in 2016, but they were miserly in terms of giving away extras, conceding 48 wides and four no-balls, an average of 4.73 per game. Sri Lanka were next with an average of 5.89, while New Zealand were the poorest, giving away 9.78 wides and no-balls per game.


New Zealand
New Zealand had a dominant 8-2 win-loss record in T20Is, and at one stage won six games in a row - three against Pakistan, and one each against India, Australia and Bangladesh. India were next with a 15-5 record, while Sri Lanka had a terrible year in the format, winning three and losing 13.


With only 35 wides and two no-balls conceded in 16 games, Bangladesh's average of 2.31 per match was the best among all teams which played ten or more T20Is in the year. UAE were next with an average of 2.93, followed by New Zealand's 3.50. Zimbabwe, the most disciplined in ODIs, were the worst in T20Is, conceding 78 wides and four no-balls in 12 games, an average of 6.83 per match.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats