Friday, 28 October 2011

"England vs India" vs "India vs England"

In a series where one team wins comfortably, it can normally be expected that that team would score the most runs. I was interested to see that in the England India series in England that was not the case. In fact, Duckworth and Lewis decided the result of every game except one, and as England was always batting second, they had to score a lot less. England actually faced 421 less deliveries than India, that is about 1 and a half innings normally.

** Trivia Alert **
This was the second ODI series this year where a team got clean swept despite scoring more runs than their opponents - It also happened in the West Indies tour to Sri Lanka.
** Trivia over - back to statistics **

Despite playing shorter innings, England relied on the boundaries less than India, instead getting their runs inside the field. They ran about 58% of their runs, while India ran about 54.5%.

However If we look at the series in India, the results are reversed. India still ran about 54.5% of their runs, but this time England only ran about 51% of their runs. Each series the team that relied the most on boundaries lost the series.

The activity rates were interesting too. In England it was England 0.64, and India 0.54. In India it was England 0.45 and India 0.56. It is interesting, because the difference between the two teams at home and away was largely the running between wickets and fielding. Both of them scored a similar number of boundaries in either series.

It leads me to question if it is harder to judge a run in home conditions or away conditions across the board, so this was the next thing I looked into. Here are some numbers from the last 10 years:

teamrun runs (rr)run outs (ro)balls faced (bf)rr per robf per ro

Now this is a quite significant difference, about 10%. It certainly brings up questions for further analysis. It would be interesting to see if this is true for other modes of dismissal, and which teams have the biggest difference between their home figures and their away figures.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A quite remarkable innings

Kane Williamson was somewhat overshadowed again in hitting his second ODI hundred.

His first came in a loss against Bangladesh. He was the last wicket to fall, caught at deep midwicket, with New Zealand needing 9 runs of the last 4 balls. His strike rate was a fairly disappointing 81.81

His second was in the same innings as Ross Taylor scored 119, and it was done without much big hitting or fanfare. Which really made it more remarkable.

His chances of a hundred looked dead and buried when Taylor got out, and Nathan McCullum was in strike in the last over. Williamson needed seven to get to his hundred, and there was only one ball left. But Ncube obliged, bowled a beamer, which Williamson hit for 4, and then (after a change of bowler due to repeated beamers) Williamson manages to run 3 on a push to mid on, requiring a dive to make his ground.

His innings was the second fastest century by a New Zealander (off 69 balls) and the second fastest by anyone to not have a majority of runs scored in boundaries (after MoYo's 68 ball 100 against Zimbabwe in 2002). This was the thing that really impressed.

He scored 11 4's and 1 6, meaning that he got 50 runs in boundaries, and ran 50. His activity rate (runs per ball removing boundaries) for the innings was 0.877 - quite remarkable really. It was a triumph for placement, timing and running between wickets, rather than the less effective brutality coming from the other end.

And yet very few people will remember it, for 2 reasons. 1. It was against Zimbabwe. And they are rubbish. 2. It was in a losing cause, in a dead rubber. But regardless, it was a beautiful innings, that perhaps is a sign of things to come from a prodigious young batsman.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tigers at home, Pussycats away

It has been said that the Indian team were tigers at home, and pussycats away. The idea was that to beat India in India was a real achievement, but beating them away was in a similar class to beating Zimbabwe or Bangladesh. Now this is obviously an exaggeration, but the current series between India and England looks like two completely different teams to the previous series in England.

England have gone back to their recent history of being rubbish at One Day Cricket (won less than 44% of matches against test playing nations in the last 10 years) and India look like champions again.

So the question arises, is there a statistical difference between their home and away performances?

Over the last 5 years, England have won 27 home matches against test opposition and lost 21, giving a home win/loss ratio of 1.28. Away from home they have won 18 and lost 26, giving an away win/loss ratio of 0.69. Quite different. India have won 34 and lost 17 at home giving them an impressive home win/loss ratio of 2. Away they have won 33 and lost 30 (much better than the stereotype) with a ratio of 1.1. This means both teams are roughly twice as good at home as they are away.

So who are the most 2 faced teams? Here is the list of all teams, and their percentage better at home than away in the last 5 years against test teams:

TeamW/L HomeW/L Away% change
New Zealand 1.610.36347
Pakistan 2.250.75200
Zimbabwe 0.360.16125
England 1.280.6986
India 2.001.1082
Bangladesh 0.750.4470
Australia 2.251.7032
South Africa 2.902.4419
Sri Lanka 1.361.2013
West Indies 0.530.4810

The big surprise for me was the first team. New Zealand have been appalling on the road, performing worse than West Indies or Bangladesh. But at home they sit in 5th place.

Breaking it down a bit, New Zealand score at 5.78 at home, but only 4.8 away. A difference of almost 1 per over. The days of New Zealand being a place were regularly defended are long gone.

TeamRPO HomeRPO AwayDifference
New Zealand5.784.80 0.98
India5.795.25 0.54
Zimbabwe4.674.14 0.53
England5.405.06 0.34
Pakistan5.305.00 0.30
South Africa5.705.44 0.26
West Indies4.974.86 0.11
Sri Lanka4.905.10-0.20

In fact the transition in New Zealand's home scoring rates has been phenomenal. Before 2004 there had only been 2 seasons where NZ scored over 5 rpo at home, Since then they have scored at over 5 every year, and scored over 300 at least once per year. The days of the low slow NZ ODI pitch is long gone.