Baseball vs Cricket Averages


So I decided to go ahead and try and create my baseball style averages for cricket, reverse engineering Henry Chadwick‘s conversion of the key cricketing statistic to baseball, to try and get a sense of a batsman’s worth from something beyond their average. The average is an incredibly useful tool in cricket, but I guess there are a few others which are starting to gain some currency. Strike rate, particularly in the short form of the game, is key, but conversion rate (the number of times a half century becomes a century) is perhaps underweighted when the worth of a batsmen is considered.

It forms part of the following numbers, anyway, though more by inference than a direct comparison. I think the most useful way of conceptualising this is that the first number reflects the rate at which a batsman scores over fifty (regardless of whether they went on to a century), the second the frequency with which they score a century. The closer the numbers, the better their conversion rate.The final number is their batting average.

Like baseball, it’s rendered as a decimal figure, with 1.000 being perfect, that a batsmen scores fifty or better every time they bat. What’s interesting about the numbers is how well they tally with baseball, that the best bastmen of our time have a score of consequence roughly one in every three times they head out to bat. I’ve taken a random smattering of the great batsmen of our time, plus a few noteworthy New Zealanders. Obviously Ryder’s numbers are skewed at the moment, but they back up the extremely favourable impression we have of him. Anyway, here they are…

Don Bradman – .525 / .363 / 99.94

Jesse Ryder – .429 / .143 / 64.00

Ricky Ponting – .375 / .167 / 56.2

Jacques Kallis – .371 / .140 / 54.7

Sachin Tendulkar – .362 / .163 / 54.5

Shivnarine Chanderpaul – .361 / .104 / 50.01

Mark Richardson – .354 / .062 / 44.5

Rahul Dravid – .350 / .114 / 52.4

Kevin Pietersen – .339 / .176 / 51.09

Graeme Smith – .318 / .133 / 50.33

Steve Waugh – .315 / .123 / 51.06

Stephen Fleming – .291 / .048 / 40.0

Martin Crowe – .267 / .130 / 45.36

Nathan Astle – .255 / .080 / 37.0

Chris Martin – .000 / .000 / 2.2

Some interesting numbers come out of it I reckon. Bradman’s obviously a God, but he scored centuries at a rate better than all bar a handful of batsmen in history have scored 50s. Mark Richardson was brilliant at getting in, then getting out before the big score (and Fleming even worse at both). Dravid has a lower conversion rate than you’d expect, and Pietersen’s is fantastic, as was Crowe’s. Mostly, the best batsmen are at the top, and the New Zealanders at the bottom, but I think you can see the value in a Ponting, scoring a score of consequence over a third of the time he heads to the crease, vs an Astle, who, much as I love him, was barely working out a quarter of the time.

So nothing earth shattering, but a different way of approaching the topic I guess. Chris Martin really wants to work on his numbers though.

– Duncan



Filed under Cricket

3 responses to “Baseball vs Cricket Averages

  1. Is that Manny? There are some serious flaws in his technique. I’m sure he’s going to chop that on to his stumps.

  2. Duncan

    Well spotted… Yeah he looks hideous huh? Pretty sure he’s not intentionally playing at that with the angled side of the bat. Feet are nailed to the ground… And that’s a serious gap between bat and pad. Stick to your knitting, Ramirez!

  3. sorry I missed this earlier Duncan. GREAT work. Those averages look about right too. They should be slightly higher than the baseball equivalent, but not by much, and they are. Bradman’s average is completely believable. I have a theory he was actually a mid level club player who managed to go back in time 120 years because nothing else makes sense. Has there been a bigger talent gap in any other sport, ever?
    Also, bloody Ponting is disturbingly good the little bastard.

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