Lies, damn lies and statistics in cricket-Revised in 2020

For some unknown reason, this post in Dec 2015 was the most popular of my cricket-related posts and got over 700 views in that month.

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/lies-damn-lies-and-statistics-in-cricket/

So I thought of revising it in 2020.

The first question we asked was “Who is the best opening bowler of the 2010s?”

Here we set the bowling position as #1 or #2, and a minimum of 50 wickets.

You may have thought of someone like Steyn or Mitchell Johnson or Morkel.

In Dec 2015, R Ashwin had the best average, BW Hilfenhaus the best economy rate, and Ashwin again with the best strike rate.

When we consider the entire 2010s:

Best opening bowlers of 2010s

There is another unexpected result with the burly Rangana Herath having the best bowling average here. He is followed by Bumrah (expected) and Rabada (also expected). Ashwin is 4th.

Other spinners here are MDK (Dilruwan) Perera, and MH Miraz.

This time Mohammad Abbas has the best economy rate and K Rabada the best strike rate.

Next, who is India’s best opening bowler? Surely Kapil or Srinath?

In 2015 we got Ashwin again (followed by Srinath and Kapil). Phadkar had the best economy rate and Ashwin the best strike rate.

Again in 2020, we consider all those who bowled at 1 or 2 for India and took at least 50 wickets up to the end of 2019.

Indias best opening bowlers

This time Bumrah leads, followed by his contemporaries Ashwin and B Kumar. The first 4 places are held by current players.

Phadkar still has the best economy rate and is now followed by Bumrah. Bumrah has the best strike rate while Ashwin is second.

Finally, who was India’s best all-rounder? We consider all those who scored at least 1000 runs and took 100 wickets up to the end of 2019.

In 2015, it was Ashwin followed by Kapil and Pathan.

In 2020, the topper was not Ashwin but one of his contemporaries.

Indias best allrounders

Indeed, this is led by Jadeja who is followed by Ashwin and Kapil. Of course, anyone below Shastri in this table should not really be called an all-rounder.

 

Review of India-Sri Lanka T20Is

India won this series 2-0 after the first match was washed out.

Here is the record of all T20Is between these sides:

I v SL T20I 2020

Of the 18 completed matches:

India lead 13-5 overall

In India, they lead 8-2

In Sri Lanka, they lead 4-1

In neutral venues, India trail 1-2

From the above list, we see that the only bilateral series of 3 matches was in India in Dec 2017, which India won 3-0. Earlier in Sri Lanka that year, India won all the Tests and ODIs plus the sole T20I.

Now for individual records, starting with

Batting:

Most runs (115 or more):

I v SL T20I runs

The Indian top 4 in white-ball cricket are the top 4 here.

RG Sharma is the only one with a century. Kohli has the most (4) scores of 50+.

Highest individual scores (50 and above):

I v SL T20I bat inngs

This was a low-scoring series as the highest score was just 57 by DM de Silva.

Most wickets (6 or more):

Wkts-6

YS Chahal and Ashwin lead here, along with K Yadav, Bumrah and others who played in this series.

Best innings bowling (3 wickets or more):

Innings bowling

The top positions are of those who have not played for a while. The best in this series was SN Thakur’s 3-23.

Most dismissals (5 or more):

Fielding dis

Dhoni expectedly leads, although HH Pandya is a bit of  a surprise here. He also has the same dismissal rate as Dhoni.

Most innings dismissals (3 or more):

Innings fielding

An one-man show.

All-round match performance (20 runs and 2 wickets):

AR

Yuvraj Singh’s performance was clearly the best. Also note Thakur’s performance in this series.

 

The Indian tail also wags

Data as of 14 Oct 2019:

Having seen how batsmen of no 8 and below have fared against India, we see how India’s tailend batsmen have done in Tests:

Innings of 90 and above by Indian batsmen at No 8 and below:

Indian tail innings

Dhoni and Ashwin are among the main contributors here. It is often forgotten that Saha has scored centuries (also two more while batting at 7 or higher).

There are relatively few newcomers here. RH Shodhan is the only debutant here, while Ratra, Ashwin and Pandya made their centuries at the start of their career. J Yadav soon dropped out of the Test reckoning. Kumble and Harbhajan made their centuries at a late stage of their careers.

It should be noted that Kapil usually batted at 7 or higher.

We now look at averages of those batting at 8 and below, subject to a minimum of 10 innings:

India tail averages

Dhoni expectedly has the highest average, while Saha is surprisingly second and Prabhakar third. Prabhakar also played many of his matches higher in the order.

Sandhu seems to have been better as a batsman than a bowler during his brief career. He still holds the record of the highest score by a debutant (71) at no 9.

Dhoni, Kapil, Ashwin and Harbhajan all have two centuries here. The most 50+ scores are by Kapil (15), Harbhajan (11) and Jadeja (10). Harbhajan did make rapid progress as a batsman since his debut.

Kumble has over 2000 runs here, while Kapil and several others have over a thousand. Saha, Ashwin and Jadeja are among the current players here.

Finally we look at century partnerships for the 8th to 10th wicket:

Indian tail partnerships

There are some large partnerships here, some of which were in a losing cause (such as the one between Azhar and Kumble). One which was significant was the 122 by Prasanna and Sardesai, which helped India to impose the follow-on on the West Indies and gain a psychological advantage which lasted till the end of the series.

The partnership between Tendulkar (248*) and Zaheer Khan (75) was then the record for the 10th wicket, until Root and Anderson overtook it against India. Both Tendulkar and Zaheer made their highest scores here. Another useful 10th-wicket partnership was the one between B Kumar and Shami, in which both scored fifties.

Review of South Africa-India T20I matches-Sep 2019

The just-concluded bilateral series in India ended with an 1-1 draw with one washout.

Here is the complete story of these matches between the countries. India played its first-ever T20I in 2006. Their next matches were in the World T20 Championship (not World Cup!)

It may well be a record in any sport (not just cricket) where a national team won a major tournament having played only one match in that format earlier.

Since 2007 the teams have also met in one-off matches and in the World Championships.

There are only 17 matches, of which 2 were washed out.

I v SA T20I results

And the results can be summarized here:

I v SA T20I table

India enjoys a healthy 9-6 lead over SA in this format.

The only bilateral series of more than one match were

2015 in India: SA won 2-0

2018 in SA: India won 2-0

2019 in India: Drawn 1-1.

The match in Mohali was the first time India had won a T20I at home against SA.

We now look at individual performances. The sample size is too small to make averages meaningful.

Batting:

Most runs (100 and above):

I v SA T20I most runs

RG Sharma and Raina are the only ones with centuries. RG Sharma and Duminy have the most 50+ scores at 3.

Highest innings scores (60 and above):

I v SA T20I highest innings

Note de Kock’s 79* in this series. It is the highest for SA in all T20Is against India, surpassing the 78 by CA Ingram in Jo’Burg in 2012. The previous highest for SA in India was 68* by Duminy in 2015.

Bowling:

Most wickets (5 and above):

I v SA T20I most wkts

HH Pandya is the only one from the current series. The only 5wi was by B Kumar in 2018.

Best innings bowling (all instances of 3wi and above):

I v SA T20I best innings bowling

Rabada’s 3-39 is the best from this series.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (4 and above):

I v SA T20I most dismissals

The most by a pure keeper is 5 by Dhoni, while Raina and RG Sharma have 9 as fielders.

Also note de Villiers with 8 dismissals as keeper and non-keeper.

Most innings dismissals (3 and above):

I v SA T20I best innings dismissals

Strangely Dhoni does not appear here.

KD Karthik took 1 catch as a fielder as well as 2 stumpings in the same match.

All-round performance in a match (20 runs and 2wi):

I v SA T20I AR match

Only one, and it is not Kallis as you may think.

 

India’s best tailenders

Ishant Sharma’s heroics and his maiden Test fifty reminded us of the importance of having tailenders who can score some runs. Or, failing that, at least stay around long enough for other batsmen to score some more runs. Ishant was perhaps more of the second type.

We have a quick look at the best performers at 8-11 in the three formats.

For Tests and ODIs  a cutoff of 20 innings is used. For T20Is it is 10 innings.

Test batting averages at 8-11:

Indian tailenders

RA Jadeja’s average is now above Kapil Dev’s. Remember that both of them and a few others like Nadkarni scored centuries up to No 7 as well.

Kapil, Ashwin and Harbhajan have two centuries here. Others with centuries are Kirmani, IK Pathan, Kumble and Agarkar.

Here Agarkar has the lowest average by a century-maker and Ishant the lowest by a fifty-maker.

The lowest average here is by Maninder Singh, followed by Chandrashekhar and Doshi which most would have guessed.

In ODIs, we have:

Indian Tailenders (ODI)

The highest averages are by Pathan and Chetan Sharma. Sharma has scored a century batting lower.

Pathan and Agarkar are the only ones here with 2 fifties. The lowest average by a fifty-scorer is by Praveen Kumar.

The lowest average is by Sreesanth, followed by Ishant Sharma and Nehra.

For T20Is, no one has 20 innings so we take the cutoff of 10 innings instead.

Indian tailenders - T20I

Ashwin and Harbhajan are the only ones who qualify here. Neither has scored a fifty.

 

Review of India – Aus T20Is-2019

A total of 20 T20Is have been played between India and Australia. Here is the summary of all results:

Result table

And the summary of the matches in India:

Series history

Considering bilateral matches in a series of at least 2 matches, we see that the 2017 series was drawn 1-1 and this series was won 2-0 by Australia.

Coming to individual performances:

Batting:

100 or more runs:

Runs-100

Kohli is far ahead of the others. Watson and Maxwell are the only ones to score centuries. The most 50+ scores are by Kohli (6 with no centuries) and 3 each by RG Sharma, Watson and Yuvraj.

Highest individual scores (50 and above):

Maxwell’s 113* was the highest for Australia in India, surpassing AJ Finch’s 89 in 2013.

Innings-50

Bowling:

Most wickets (5 and above):

Bowling-5

Bumrah has moved into the lead.

Best innings bowling (includes all 3wi and above):

Innings bowl-3

Bumrah’s 3-16 is the best for India at home, surpassing the earlier 3-26 by Vinay Kumar in 2013. The overall best performance was by Ashwin in the 2014 World Championship.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (4 or more dismissals):

Fielding-4

Dhoni has the most stumpings and catches by a keeper. Kohli has the most catches by a non-keeper.

Best innings dismissals (2 and above):

Innings field

All-round performance:

100 runs and 5 wickets:

AR-overall

Clearly they are the best all-rounders in these teams.

Match performance (20 runs and 2 wickets):

AR-match

Watson’s effort is the best here.

The same teams continue with a 5-match ODI series.

Best debut bowling against India

The second Test at Centurion was noted for various things such as silly runouts and young Ngidi’s bowling. Here we look at the best bowling figures on debut against and for India (all figures as of 17 Jan 2018).

Best against India-innings (5wi): 

Debut bowling against India-I

Ngidi is in 5th position here, while his compatriot Klusener leads. That was to remain Klusener’s best in Tests, as in the case of Lever. Krezja’s effort came in a defeat for his team, and he played only one Test after this. Hazlewood is another current player in this list, while B Lee, like Bedser, had a long career.

Bedser and Pollard made their debut together. BR Taylor remains the only one in all Tests to make a century and take a fiver on debut. We will come to Lever’s similar record in a moment.

Best against India-match (7wm):

Debut bowling against India-M

The luckless Krezja tops this table. Bedser is second, and he followed with another 11-wicket haul in his second Test to start a long career for England. His partner Pollard is also here, though he had a relatively short career. Ngidi is relatively lower in this table as he took only one wicket in the first innings.

Hazlewood is the only other current player to appear here. Other famous names include B Lee and Trueman.

In an odd case of symmetry, JK Lever was the only one in all Tests to score a fifty and take a ten-for on debut. India’s S Venkataraghavan was in the Indian team on both occasions.

We also look at the corresponding figures for Indian bowlers on debut.

Best for India-innings (5wi):

Debut bowling for India-I

Hirwani steals the show here. He had a slightly better career than RAL Massie, who also took 16 wickets on debut. Ashwin and Shami are in the current team, as is Mishra from recent times. Nissar’s effort came in India’s first-ever Test.

Best for India-match (7wm):

Debut bowling for India-M

Hirwani again leads, with the best match figures in all Tests by a debutant. His 16-136 was just ahead of Massie’s 16-137. Shami, Ashwin and Mishra appear here as well. Doshi and Yadav had moderately successful careers.

Lies, damn lies and statistics in cricket

It has been said that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. And Test cricket is a good place to check this out.

After the conclusion of the India-South Africa series we ask Statsguru a few questions. The answers will not be what you expect.

Q1: Who is the best opening bowler in Tests in the 2010s?

A1: Consider all those who bowled at No 1 or 2 since 01 Jan 2010 and took at least 50 wickets while doing so, and rank them by their bowling averages.

Opening bowlers since 2010

Didn’t realize it was a spinner, did you?

Q2: OK, something more conventional. Who is India’s best opening bowler of all time?

A2: Consider all Indian bowlers who bowled at No 1 and No 2, and took at least 50 wickets while doing so. Rank them by their bowling averages.

India-opening bowler

Probably you should have seen that coming.

Q3: OK, but wasn’t Kapil Dev India’s greatest all-rounder?

A3: Let us consider all Indians who scored the double of 1000 runs/100 wickets, and rank by them by the difference between their batting average and bowling average. This measure is as good as any other means for ranking all-rounders.

India-allrounder

Well, you should have seen that one coming too.

It is up to you to decide how seriously you take these figures.

 

Wish him happy birthday on Sep 17

As you know, several famous Indians were born on September 17. Some are fortunate to have Mallika Sherawat singing birthday greetings for them. Here we look at one who is not a politician but is famous in his own right as

  1. India’s best Test all-rounder, surpassing Kapil
  2. The second-best spinning all-rounder in all Tests, ahead of bigger names like Mankad and Benaud.

In these tables we are considering a cutoff of 1000 runs, 100 wickets, batting average above 15.00, bowling average below 45.00. Ranking is by (Batting average-Bowling average).

Indian all-rounders:

Ashwin1

Spinning all-rounders from all countries.

Note that Statsguru does not seem to consider Sobers and Greig to be spinners, since they bowled medium-pace as well.

Ashwin2

Tail piece: he is also India’s leading opening bowler of the 2010s (ie bowling at no 1 or 2)-far ahead of regular opening bowlers such as Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma:

Ashwin