Saturday, September 01, 2012
Our expert analyses ODI batsmen split across three career segments.
This time, I look at the ODI careers of batsmen who have scored over 3000 runs. The three-way split lets us look at the settling down period, peak performance period and the winding down period in an objective manner.
Ponting, who has a very high career run aggregate of 13704 runs, has got three career-segment values either side of 4600 with a difference of just over 100 runs. That is a wonderful level of consistency exhibited over 375 matches. Tharanga and Bell have similar even splits, however over much lower level of matches. It is of interest to note that all are modern players.
The three who have had the highest level of performance in the initial career-segment are batsmen who played a few years back. Parore scored 50% of his runs in the first career-segment. Kapil Dev and Arnold scored nearly 50% in the first career-segment. Then all of them dropped like stones.
The batsmen who have performed best in the middle career-segment have inverted-V shape patterns. Flintoff achieved nearly 50%, Cullinan above 50% and Gower, around 45%. But it is clear that these are not the high-scoring batsmen.
Now we come back to the fantastic finishers. The three who have finished most strongly are all currently active batsmen: Dilshan, de Villiers and Watson. While Dilshan and de Villiers have had steady upward graphs, Watson had an awful start and scored only 16% of his career runs in the first career-segment, followed by above 40% in the next two. Let us not forget that all are currently active players and these figures are bound to change.
Now for the Runs per Innings analysis. The RpI is chosen rather than the Batting average which is skewed because of the excessive number of middle-order not outs.
Ponting not only scores equally in his three career-segments, but also scores these runs at almost the same RpI value of around 37. This is a confirmation of his consistency. Bell has similar figures too. Greenidge averages either side of 41 in his three career-segments.
Parore and Kapil Dev are making their appearance again with high RpI values in the first career-segment followed by huge drops. Not so surprisingly, Pietersen joins these two and has dropped from a high RpI value of 42 to 32 recently. His recent poor ODI form is well-known.
The same three - Flintoff, Cullinan and Gower - are present in the middle graph, in the inverted-V pattern.
de Villiers and Dilshan reappear with a new entrant Virat Kohli who has moved from an RpI of around 38 in the first two career-segments to an amazing 54+ currently. Don’t forget this is the RpI and not Batting average.
I will do the Bowling analysis later. I had done this work for one of my other columns. I was so fascinated by the insight it conveys that I decided to extract the same for CastrolCricket.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Mark Boucher’s career ended tragically due to an injury and he was left with 999 dismissals to his name. Wicketkeepers are our special focus this week.
When an innocuous delivery in the nets thudded into the eyes of Mark Boucher, it signified the end of a truly wonderful career of a great player. The poignancy of the situation is that Boucher was sitting on 999 international victims and the first Test at Kennington Oval would have got him this magical number with a familiar “Strauss/Cook/Trott c Boucher b Steyn” dismissal. However, there is a charm in such a near-miss. It is more likely to be talked about than if the landmark had been reached. A la Bradman’s 99.94 batting average. Anyhow, I thought it is time that I give due respect to the toughest of cricketing tasks: the wicketkeeper’s. Hence this article.
There is only one criterion. The concerned wicketkeeper should have effected a minimum of 100 dismissals in the two main forms of the game. That leaves us with 20 wicketkeepers.
In the total dismissals measure, Boucher stands tall at 999, followed by Adam Gilchrist with 907 and then after a lot of daylight, Ian Healy with 628. Even the 500-mark is crossed only by 5 keepers, indicating how difficult a task this is.
In the Test format, Boucher leads with 555 dismissals, followed by Gilchrist with 416 and Healy with 395. Rodney Marsh is the only other keeper to effect over 300 dismissals. A trio of Australian keepers.
Gilchrist, despite playing 8 fewer matches than Boucher, leads the ODI list comfortably with 474 dismissals. Boucher has 425 and Kumar Sangakkara is the only other keeper clocking at over 400 dismissals.
Nothing much has happened on the T20 International front. Kamran Akmal leads with 45 dismissals.
Now let us come to the performance measures.
Gilchrist leads the Test performance tables with 4.33 dismissals per Test. Brad Haddin is second at 3.81 and Boucher follows with 3.78. Marsh follows closely with 3.70.
The same order is maintained in ODIs. Gilchrist is again the comfortable leader in the ODI performance table, with a way-out figure of 1.65 dismissals per ODI. Haddin is again the next best one with 1.44 dismissals per ODI. Healy has 1.39 dismissals per ODI.
There is no point in doing a performance analysis across formats since the number of dismissals in different formats varies considerably.
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