ODIs: The high and low RpIs
How much does a batsman actually contribute per innings? Our expert analyses this with the RpI measure instead of the usual Batting Average.
I will continue on the theme of highs and lows of important measures. This time, I will look at ODIs. I have looked at RpI (Runs per Innings) values rather than Batting Averages since the ‘not outs’ in ODIs have a different meaning. It is difficult for the top-order batsmen to remain not out and many a batsman has to throw his wicket away during the end overs. Thus there are inflated batting averages for middle order finishers like Bevan, Hussey, Dhoni et al. The RpI is a far more acceptable measure. There is no doubt that the late middle order batsmen might feel a little bit wronged. However, that is fine considering the overall fairness of the method.
|4||de Villiers A.B||Saf||124||120||4852||40.43||47.57||146|
First, the table of high RpI values. The cut-off is 2500 runs.
Hashim Amla leads the table, whatever be the measure used, RpI or Batting Average. He is the only batsman in history to exceed 50 in the RpI value. Just think of it. Every single time he walks in, he assures his team of 50 runs. He is ahead of Zaheer Abbas by nearly 9 runs. Then comes the master, Sachin Tendulkar. To average over 40 runs during his 442 visits to the crease is the stuff dreams and legends are made of.
AB De Villiers also exceeds 40. Two West Indian greats, Greenidge and Richards also have RpI values exceeding 40. It is a measure of the authority Virat Kohli has stamped on the ODI game that we do not question his presence in the 40+ RpI elite group.
Three Australians of widely differing techniques, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Geoff Marsh complete the Top-10.
Now for the other end of the RpI table.
Glenn McGrath is in a class by himself, with a RpI value of 1.69. His RpI value is nearly half that of the next batsman. Then a few assorted bowlers clock in with RpIs of below 5.0. It is surprising that Muttiah Muralitharan and Shoaib Akhtar, reasonably good batsmen with unorthodox batting techniques, also come in under the 5.0 mark. Aaqib Javed’s case is a perfect example of the folly of Batting Average. His Batting average is over twice the RpI value because of the profusion of not outs. An accomplished batsman like Anil Kumble props up the table with a RpI of 6.89.
Lasith Malinga is the only batsman in this bowler-group to have crossed 50. That was an amazing match-winning innings against Australia during 2010. He helped Angelo Mathews move the score from 107 for 8 to 239 for 9 and a win.
I will next look at various bowling measures of Tests and ODIs.