Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top batting averages in world cups: facts that we expected and facts that we didn't

These days we are playing a little cricket quizzing game in a closed Facebook forum of a few old friends...and trying to answer each others questons without using the net.

AD Prasad, one of my friends, asked about the guy who comes in this WC with highest World Cup batting average. Turns out to be Shane Watson (112). Holland hero Ryan ten Doeschate is number 5 with a figure in the 80's from 4 matches.

Then AD, as he is famously called this side of Motera, filtered out the guys with top World Cup averages and run tally >400.

His findings:
1) Andrew Symonds at 103.00 is tops
2) Michael Clarke comes in at no.2 with 98.80
3) Scott Styris
4) Peter Kirsten (he played just one cup)
5) 'The King' [Viv]
6) Rahul Dravid
Sachin is 9th on this list, while Ponting is ranked in 30's

Surprised at the 6th name? So were we...

Now AD decided to do a further bit of study based on our queries. Dravid is number 6..which is quite something. But his runs may have come slow, not as valuable as some others maybe?

AD took the top 50 scorers in World Cup (by aggregates & not by averages). He multiplied their World Cup averages with the corresponding World Cup strike rates (avg 100 ~ 1.00 & so on proportionately). There may be (and SHOULD be) a formal name given to this value - perhaps it is there already - but we called it the 'factored average'.

Here's the new leaderboard (pasted straight from AD's Facebook post):

1) SCOTT STYRIS (62.107).
2) King Richards (53.845),
3) SRT (50.342),
4) HH Gibbs (49.064),
5) RR Sarwan (48.787),
6) ML Hayden (48.268)
7) R Dravid(46.047),
8) MD Crowe (45.964),
9) ME Waugh (44.243),
10) V Sehwag (43.483),
11) SC Ganguly (43.307),
12) Kapil Dev (42.786),
13) S Anwar (42.561),
14) AJ Lamb (42.437) &
14) DC Boon (39.639).
Ponting comes in at no. 20.

Conclusions we drew:

1) This last list brings out the true greatness of Viv 'da' as ODI player...To have anyone playing half of his WC's in the 70's (when 30+ avg & 60+ strike rate was very good) as high as no.2 on this is simply out of this world. 

These were his world cup specific averages, but his overall stat also reflects a batting average of 47 & strike rate of 90....effectively 42.3 factored average. We wondered if any player with >5000 runs in ODI's still exceeds that*..and we are not even talking about advantage of batting with protective gear / field restrictions / bouncer restrictions / lack of pacers / shorter boundaries etc

2) This part is a completely unexpected side-effect of the fun study that AD undertook:

One Indian player has played out the whole of his three-World-cup career between the last sub-continent World Cup (1996) and the current one. Over those 3 tournaments, Rahul Dravid bettered all but one of his all time great contemporaries from the sub-continent in World Cup averages - both normal AS WELL AS factored ones.

Famous for his away performances in Tests, this stat captures one whole career of stellar 'away only' performance from Rahul Dravid in the decidedly lesser facet of his game - ODI's. Not quite the King or the Master but a man for all occasions nevertheless.

Update: For a perfect contrast to Dravid's World Cup career, have a look at Afridi's World Cup career as it looks 10 days (& 2 Pak matches) into the 2011 WC. Both started their ODI careers in 1996, WC careers in 1999 World Cup.

Update 2: See what I mean when I say no one expects Rahul Dravid on that list, least of all at a position that high?
* Michael Bevan is the only possible suspect that comes to mind

1 comment:

Sportsbook Betting said...

wow I had no idea about that kind of data on the top batting averages in the world cup, but I found it rather interesting, thanks!