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…
Hard to know what to say after a match like that. I should crack jokes and stuff for this blog war thing with Short Of A Length, but don’t really know how. Ultimately India take an unassailable lead in the series, and New Zealand have another epically awful bowling performance to despair over, but those bare facts disguise a truly momentous game of cricket. Had one or two inscrutable moments rolled another way we might have won, or lost by 200 or so.
In any case, some highlights. Sachin Tendulkar’s century was maybe the best ODI innings I’ve ever seen, beautifully paced (he brought up his half-century of 59; his century at a run a ball; by the time he retired hurt he was on 163 off 133) and such effortless hitting. I truly believed until his stomach strain that he was going to break the last great batting barrier, the ODI double century. Tim Southee outdid him though, bringing up his century in under 60 balls, a truly terrible day with the ball for him, though he partially redeemed himself with some quick runs at the close. Oh, and the match had the small matter of 726 runs scored on the day, the second-highest in ODI history. Continue reading