Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stats-2: the darker side of a big chase

(continued from previous post)

No, if you ask me.

There's another level of adversity to be added to
that stat. Those averages cover ALL big chasing wins, i.e. chases under the sun as well as chases under lights. Now that is a mixed bag.

I used not to think much of this difference until a couple of years back. Then I saw a list of win-loss percentage results of international sides while batting first and second in ODI's. I was pleasantly surprised to find that India, traditionally poor chasers either side of last year’s 17 match record of consecutive successful chases, have more wins than losses chasing in day ODIs.

Now I am hardly blessed with a photographic memory but the instant feeling was that the overall chasing record was not that great. A few stats searches later I had inferred that the dark half of the stat came from chasing in the darker hours.

A year and a half back I had filtered the performances of leading Indian batsmen in night-time chases. A look at the tables in
this post and the problem comes to the fore. [Notice Sachin's record there.] If it is some consolation, Indian players are not alone there.

Coming back to the
cricinfo list of ‘big game hunters’, Inzy, Sanath and Lara have got the better of big totals many times over come sun or moon. Many matches come to mind when they, especially the first two, have led mammoth chases under lights.

The two recent Inzy innings chasing big totals against India that promptly came to mind - the 1st match of the 2004 ODI bilateral series in Pakistan (day) as well as the 2nd DLF Cup match at Abu Dhabi in April 2006 (night) - did not even contribute to his phenomenal big chasing average of 104 as they were scored in losing cause.

But the breakup may not be so even for all the names there. I am not sure how board leader Sarwan fares in the ‘darker' game of chase but as we saw in that old post Yuvi, under lights, has certainly not been a patch on his day-time avatar.

Batting second in a high scoring day-nighter, even in the subcontinent, often proves to be a different ball game for most batsmen and Yuvi is one of them.

A study of 'Batting averages in big chases under lights' (irrespective of results, obviously) should make for some interesting reading. Those year-and-half old chasing stats of Indian batsmen were for all kind of totals - no '275+' criteria was involved. Willing to take up the unfinished work, anyone?

"Naah," probably. Rightly so too. Why bother ahead of an all-day-matches World Cup???

[to be concluded]

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