Sunday 27 May 2012

Comparing Sammy with others

On Twitter I got asked to provide a comparison of Sammy to other prominent captains.

He is more defensive of boundaries than any of the captains that I looked at.

CaptainBoundary runsRun runsExtra boundary runs (%)
v Vettori13911421.9
v Fleming13411219.6
v Cronje1169719.6
v G Smith14211919.3
v Inzamam14612516.8
v S Waugh13011513
v Vaughan14112512.8
v Ganguly13211910.9
v Strauss1351248.9
v Ponting1321264.8
v A Flower1061041.9
v Clarke124125-0.8
v Jayawardene124131-5.3
v M Crowe117125-6.4
v MS Dhoni125142-12
v Hooper105121-13.2
v Saleem Malik117137-14.6
v Sangakkara128152-15.8
v Sammy113145-22.1

I think if Sammy wants to achieve the success that his supporters demand, he needs to make some changes to how he sets a field. To do this is not going to be easy, as it involves actually changing how he thinks about the game.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Captain Sammy

I believe that Darren Sammy could be the best captain in world cricket.

I don't believe, however that he is yet.

As far as I can see there are three things that are required to be a good captain. The first thing is someone who can bring out the best in his players. The bowlers will bowl better and the batsmen bat better with a good captain who is setting good batting/bowling plans. The second thing is good decisions as to when to change his bowlers and when to declare. A captain that does this well can create extra pressure for his opponents and really make a difference to the flow of the match. The third thing that a captain needs to do is set good fields. This is an incredibly difficult art as there are a number of things to think about.

I believe that this is the area that Sammy needs to work on.

Over the time that he has been captain, he has managed to get most of his bowlers bowling better and his batsmen batting better.

Of the 6 batsmen who played a significant number of innings both with and without Sammy as captain, 4 have averaged better under his captaincy. Most of them quite significantly better.

Of the 8 bowlers who bowled both with and without Sammy as captain 6 have a better average with Sammy than they had previously.

He is clearly good at getting the best out of his players.

I have also enjoyed his bowling changes and decisions regarding declarations etc. It's very difficult to measure the ability of a captain at this, but he seems to do this well, exemplified especially by the pressure he put on Australia in the recent series.

The field settings however are a different story.

There are a number of things that a captain needs to balance out. One of these is how many fielders are in attacking positions, how many are saving singles and how many are saving boundaries. Another is what parts of the field need special protection, and where a batsman is likely to give up an opportunity. There needs to be a combination of homework, observation, psychology, intuition and good luck in setting a good field.

One key part of setting a field is playing with the head of the batsman. Stephen Fleming was a master at this. He knew what a batsman's favoutite shot was, and put 4 fielders there. The bowlers then made it as easy as possible for the batsmen to hit the ball in their favourite spot, but the field made it too risky. Saleem Malik was another who had a real ability to make the batsmen hit the ball where he wanted them to. It was a bit part in the success that Pakistan had under his watch. (Especially impressive considering he wasn't always wanting to win every match)

It is hard to measure statistically the field setting skills of a captain, but one thing that can be measured is how their opponents score their runs. If a team is scoring their runs in boundaries, it's likely that the field is up close. If they are scoring them by running, then it is likely that the field is set back. It's not a fool-proof assumption, but I think it is a fair one to make.

So I looked at all matches that had a result in the last 10 years, and saw if there were any patterns. I noticed that there was a difference in how the captains that won and lost conceded the runs. I've averaged the runs out to runs per 90 overs (ie. runs per day)

resultBoundary runsRun runsExtra boundary runs (%)

Teams that win the match tend to have their field up more than teams that lose. This is not particularly surprising, as teams that are losing tend to set defensive fields. However the difference is more than I would have expected.

Then I looked at teams playing against Sammy.

Boundary runsRun runsExtra boundary runs (%)

Sammy actually conceded less runs from boundaries than from running. He is very intent on defending boundaries, but at the expense of letting in a lot of singles. Captains that win matches only concede on average 113 run runs, but Sammy concedes on average 145 run runs.

So it appears that Sammy is too defensive of the boundary, and leaves too many singles.

But the big issue is in the 4th innings. He has had a few opportunities in recent matches to bowl teams out, and each of them he has not managed to take the vital wickets. He has actually had 7 chances to bowl at a team in the 4th innings. Here are the numbers:

resultBoundary runsRun runsExtra boundary runs (%)

The numbers tell the story. He is so scared to concede boundaries that the fields are set well too deep.

If he can rectify this balance Sammy could be a magnificent captain. He makes good changes, gets the most out of his players, but really needs to set better fields.

Friday 25 May 2012

Mini-session Analysis 2nd test Eng WI Trent Bridge 12

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the second test between England and the West Indies at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, England.

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aWest Indies 42/3 off 14.3England
1-1bWest Indies 41/1 off 12.3West Indies
1-2aWest Indies 33/0 off 17draw
1-2bWest Indies 38/2 off 13England
1-3aWest Indies 70/0 off 16West Indies
1-3bWest Indies 80/0 off 17West Indies
2-1aWest Indies 37/2 off 12.2England
2-1bWest Indies 29/2 off 7West Indies
England 8/0 off 5
2-2aEngland 43/1 off 14draw
2-2bEngland 72/0 off 15England
2-3aEngland 67/1 off 14England
2-3bEngland 69/0 off 20England
3-1aEngland 41/2 off 14West Indies
3-3bEngland 40/2 off 12West Indies
3-2aEngland 33/1 off 15West Indies
3-2bEngland 55/3 off 14.4England
3-3aWest Indies 42/3 off 14England
3-3bWest Indies 19/3 off 12England
4-1aWest Indies 49/0 off 15West Indies
4-1bWest Indies 31/2 off 12England
4-2aWest Indies 20/2 off 7.1England
4-2bEngland 74/0 off 21England
4-3aEngland 37/1 off 9.4England

Final Summary: West Indies lose the mini-session count 13-8, and lose the match comprehensively too. England outplayed West Indies for the majority of the match, and (while there were three particular hours that were particularly decisive) deserved their win.

Marlon Samuels played what was possibly the match of his life, but it was to no avail. He top scored in both innings, and had the best match figures of the West Indians with the ball. It's not often that a player scores 193 runs for only one dismissal, and takes 3/32, and doesn't win man of the match. It's arguable that Bresnan's 8/140 was a better performance, but it's not arguable that he was decisive in winning the match for England.

England's bowlers again took the pace off the ball to good effect, generally making their breakthroughs with slower deliveries. People often say there's no substitute for pace. However I believe that pace is over-rated. You don't need to be break-neck speed, you just need to be fast enough. England have shown us this again.

Stumps, day 3: England lead 9-7. And they are well in the lead in the match too. West Indies are effectively 3/6, but they have the two heroes of the first innings at the crease. However there are a couple of things in their favour.

Firstly Kemar Roach seemed to rediscover his touch (and run up), and the pitch is starting to get a bit two paced, which could make Shillingford a real handful. If West Indies can manage to get another 170, we could be in for a great day 5 finish. Sammy himself could be a dangerous bowler, given that 14 of the 26 wickets to have fallen so far in this test have been to deliveries bowled slower than 130km/h (80.77mph for those of you who still use a measurement system based on the width of a horse's backside)

But before they get to have a crack at the English batsmen, they need to survive the English bowlers. Anderson is doing what Steyn has done very well recently: changing his pace to find the pace where the ball moves the most. He is capable of bowling over 140km/h, but all his wickets today were less than 130km/h. Likewise Bresnan was significantly down on pace, but was more dangerous than ever. Ian Chappell once said that he was always worried playing against a bowler who he felt was holding back his pace. Akram, Hadlee, McGrath and Pollock all became much better bowlers once they dropped their pace a bit, and reserved the quicker ball for once every couple of overs. However it seems that bowlers that get the most benefit out of it are ones who start off with a reputation for pace or bounce, and that's probably where the English trio are at now in their careers. This could be another step along the road of them becoming one of the all time great bowling attacks, or it could just be a good session, where they took wickets despite not having their normal zip.

It's a normal cliche, but the morning session is huge for the West Indies. They probably need to get to drinks after lunch tomorrow one or none down. If they do then they have given themselves a chance to get back into the test. However I feel that them doing that is somewhat unlikely, and we are more likely to see a fairly comprehensive English victory.

Lunch, day 3: All tied up 6-6. And that really tells the story. West Indies have stormed back into the game. The pitch seems to have freshened up over night, and now West Indies have the chance to clean up the tail and take the lead in the match.

Stumps, day 2: England lead the count 6-4. They also are ahead in the match. West Indies are paying the price for missing the two chances earlier.

The battle between Trott and Sammy continued, with this round going to Trott, who scored at better than a run a ball against him. But the highlights were another magnificent hundred from Strauss and an attacking innings of true class from Pietersen. They have taken back any initiative that West Indies had, and left England in a commanding position. For all my complaints about Sammy being too eager to defend the boundaries, today England found the boundary often. However, that was largely due to the wider lines that West Indies bowled. Captaining a team who are not bowling well is a difficult task.

West Indies will want to remove at least one of these before drinks tomorrow, then have another go with the new ball, and hope that this time Roach can get his run up sorted out.

Middle drinks, day 2: West Indies still lead the count 4-3. They again gave Cook a life, but it was 3rd time a charm and Rampaul has his first wicket of the series. West Indies have bowled a very good containing line, keeping the ball outside the off stump and making the English chase the ball if they want to score.

Lunch, day 2: West Indies leads the count 4-3. West Indies managed to just sneak that hour, however they made what could turn out to be a very costly mistake when Roach had Cook caught off a no ball. It will be interesting to see if England make the West Indies pay for their mistake.

First drinks break, day 2: The mini-session count is tied up 3-3. West Indies started well, but then in a couple of overs lost both established batsmen, and England are back. Sammy has got his hundred, and will be happy about that, but a really big score was probably on offer here.

Stumps, day 1: West Indies lead 3-2. It appears that the job of West Indies top 4 is to see off the shine, so that the next 4 can score the runs. Sammy is in uncharted territory here. Despite being thought of as an all-rounder, he has never scored more than 75 runs in a test match before, let alone a test innings. In fact he is only 7 runs short of his second highest score in first class cricket. He survived a few wobbles, particularly against Anderson, but he has made it to stumps. If he continues to bat like this he could easily take the game away from England. The most impressive thing about his innings was the patient start. He commented in the post match interview from the last test that he felt that he wasn't patient enough, and her certainly learned from that in this test.

A nice little sidelight has been the battle of the medium pacers. In the last test Trott faced 52 balls from Sammy, and scored 24 before getting out to him. This test Sammy has faced 16 balls so far from Trott and scored 19. It's like Sammy rises to the occasion when he is facing another medium pacer, with the bat or ball.

West Indies are in a very strong position. This is the 29th time a team has scored over 300 batting first at Trent Bridge. Of those 29 matches, the team batting first has won 12, drawn 15 and lost just 2. The first session tomorrow will be incredibly important. If West Indies manages to see off the new ball and fresh pitch, England could be in for a morale-sapping day. If, however, they make an early break-through there is not a great deal of batting left, and England could be batting before lunch.

Lunch, day 1: The mini-sessions are all tied up, but England are well in control. The Samuels-Chanderpaul combination are back together again, but a lot earlier than West Indies would have wanted.

First drinks break, day 1: England will be thoroughly pleased with this start. The West Indies will not be. Chanderpaul is not keen on batting before lunch, but he has had to again.

Friday 18 May 2012

Mini-session Analysis 1st test Eng WI Lords 2012

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the first test between England and the West Indies at Lords, London, England.

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aWest Indies 32/2 off 14.5England
1-1bWest Indies 51/0 off 14.1West Indies
1-2aWest Indies 31/2 off 14England
1-2bWest Indies 32/0 off 15West Indies
1-3aWest Indies 41/2 off 14England
1-3bWest Indies 56/3 off 17.4England
2-1aWest Indies 0/1 off 0.1England
England 47/1 off 11.5
2-1bEngland 33/0 off 11.1England
2-2aEngland 38/0 off 13England
2-2bEngland 49/0 off 15England
2-3aEngland 39/1 off 17West Indies
2-3bEngland 53/1 off 12.2England
3-1aEngland 44/2 off 11.4West Indies
3-1bEngland 38/2 off 12West Indies
3-2aEngland 57/3 off 9.3England
3-2bWest Indies 36/3 off 14.1England
3-3aWest Indies 33/1 off 18.5England
3-3bWest Indies 51/0 off 17West Indies
4-1aWest Indies 40/0 off 15West Indies
4-1bWest Indies 52/0 off 14West Indies
4-2aWest Indies 23/1 off 15England
4-2bWest Indies 30/1 off 13draw
4-3aWest Indies 49/2 off 12draw
4-3bWest Indies 31/2 off 11.5West Indies
England 10/2 off 4
5-1aEngland 60/2 off 13draw
5-1bEngland 61/0 off 15England
5-2aEngland 62/1 off 14.1England

End of match England win the count 15-9 and win the match by 5 wickets. Darren Sammy has proven to be good at getting his team into positions where they are competing. He's taken some good sides to the wire. And lost every time. He managed to stop the boundaries, but left plenty of chances for England to hit singles, and they happily ran their way to victory. They ran 79 runs off the last 29.1 overs. That is a lot too many singles to be giving up on the final day when a team is chasing 181.

Sammy did the same thing against India and Australia. There's nothing wrong with giving up runs while trying to get wickets. You just need to provide an incentive for risky behaviour. If you know a player likes to reverse sweep, then leave a gap for him, but get the bowler to bowl a line that makes that shot difficult. Or bowl a line that makes it easy, but fill that gap. Instead Sammy seems to feel that cutting off boundaries creates pressure, and batsmen want to score boundaries, so the batsmen will try something rash and get out. This is a great tactic against impatient batsmen, but Cook and Trott did not fit into that category.

I rate Sammy generally. I feel he makes the right bowling changes. He motivates his team well. The players seem to play for him. But he does not set good fields in test matches. Until he fixes this he will continue to be a captain that gets his players to play well, but not win. That's not a reputation that he wants.

First drinks break day 5: England still lead 13-9. While conventional wisdom would suggest that taking 2 wickets in the first hour would have given the first session to West Indies, England scored 60 runs off 13 overs. The game is in the sort of position that any result is open. I love test cricket.

Stumps day 4: England lead 13-9. What a fight back. West Indies have well and truly got themselves into this game. I'm delighted, because we will get to see some great test cricket tomorrow. Everything went to the script today for West Indies. Samuels and Chanderpaul were magnificent. Ramdin batted sensibly. Sammy scored some quick runs. Gabriel suggested with the bat that the comparisons with Chris Martin were a little premature.

Then Kemar Roach turned the heat up. He's still not bowling as quick as we expect from him according to the speedball radar. But the batsmen don't seem to have enough time, which means he's quick enough. He was described by one commentator as the ghost of West Indies past, but he's a very different bowler to the four horsemen. He tends to use line more than length to dismiss batsmen. He does have one similarity with Andy Roberts in that he changes his pace effectively to keep batsmen guessing. A big part of the art of a fast bowler is getting the batsmen to react to their bowling, hurrying their shots and causing them to follow the ball. Roach does this very well.

We're all set up for a great chase tomorrow. 181 runs, 8 wickets on a dying pitch. Brilliant.

First drinks day 4: England lead the count 12-7. West Indies have made a good start, and have gotten a lead up. If they were to have written a plan for the first hour, knocking off the deficit without losing any wickets would have probably been it.

Stumps day 3: England lead the count 12-6. I though about calling 3-2a a draw, as England were bowled out, but they scored so many runs that despite losing 3 wickets in 9 overs, they were probably in a better place at the end of the hour than they were at the start of it.

The real story of the day came at the end of the middle session, when West Indies lost 3 wickets without adding a run. Their ability to have horrific collapses is very much reminiscent of New Zealand in the mid 1990's. It is a terrible habit to get into, and one that seems to be very difficult to break.

The Samuels-Chanderpaul combination has looked solid, but West Indies need them to really bat well tomorrow. Samuels has shown that playing in the IPL doesn't necessarily ruin someone for test match cricket. To have a realistic chance at winning this game, West Indies probably need another 250 runs. The current format for West Indies totals means that Chanderpaul will have to bat for a long time, and the others will need to score at the other end. Samuels is a much better player than an average of 29 would suggest. Perhaps this is his time to step up.

If the rain keeps away, and West Indies are still batting at tea tomorrow we could have a grandstand finish. However, it's probably more likely to be a procession where England knock off the final wickets for about 70 then score the runs for the loss of 0 or 1 wicket. As much as it hurts me to say that.

Lunch day 3: England lead the count 9-5. Sammy showed in that last hour exactly why a lot of people don't rate him. And also why a lot of people do rate him. He moved the ball enough to take the edge, made the batsmen think about what they were doing, and stop them playing instinctively. It will be interesting to see what he does after lunch. I would imagine that he will go for Roach and Edwards, but Gabriel is bowling with some menace, and it might be a good idea to give him a couple of overs after the break.

Bell has batted through the morning, accumulating runs effectively, and without really getting noticed.

First drinks, day 3: England lead the count 9-4. Kemar Roach has taken two good wickets, and has continued to stand high above the rest of the West Indian bowlers. This partnership between Prior and Bell is a vital one. The English bowlers are very good at batting against the old ball, but I'm not so sure they will be as good against a new ball.

Stumps day 2: England lead the count 9-3. West Indies hardly had anything to smile about today. They lost their last wicket on the first ball. They then took only 3 wickets on an overcast day with a reasonably fresh pitch.

Sammy was unlucky to not have Trott lbw just after lunch, and England made them pay. Sammy finally got his man, but it took 40 more overs. The battle between Trott and Sammy was one of the highlights. Trott was moving well forward, often trying to attack, and Sammy was trying to keep the ball in the awkward areas. Sammy won this round, with Trott only scoring 24 off the 52 balls he faced of Sammy's.

The other highlight for the West Indians was the bowling of Shannon Gabriel. While he didn't take any wickets he got it through well (only bowler this match to get over 145km/h), and looks like the sort of bowler who could be very effective against the tail. (Although looking back through his recent matches, only 4 of his last 21 wickets were numbers 9, 10 or 11, so he has actually tended to be more effective against decent batsmen)

But the overwhelming story of the day was Andrew Strauss getting his century. He's been under some pressure recently as there is only so long a team can keep a captain who isn't contributing with the bat (or ball). This was a magnificent hundred. One half chance, when he was dropped off a no ball, but other than that it was immaculate. He cut and drove the ball to the fence, some of the shots with exquisite timing. He got tied down for a while in the middle of the day, at one point scoring only 2 runs off 31 deliveries, but his patience was rewarded and he put up a score that has put his team into a commanding position.

Lunch day 2: England lead the count 6-2. England move further ahead in the match. Sammy came on, but Trott had answers to all his questions. If the rain keeps away it could be a very interesting 2nd session, as there will still be plenty in the air for the West Indian bowlers, but England will want to keep up their positive intent. A couple of wickets just after lunch could make this a very interesting match.

First drinks break day 2: England move ahead 5-2. It was going convincingly to England before that final wicket. Still England's hour. Now when will we see Sammy bowl?

Stumps day 1: England lead the count 4-2. They are ahead in the match, and are about where they would have wanted to be at the start of the day after winning the toss. West Indies won't be too upset though, as they have some decent runs on the board and there seems to be plenty of life, both in the pitch and in the air.

Anderson slowed down his pace in order to get more movement, and looked quite dangerous. Which suggests that Darren Sammy could be quite a handful on this pitch. It should be an interesting second day.

Sunday 13 May 2012

First ever video upload

This is my first ever YouTube upload.

I think some of my readers will enjoy this.

(btw it's at a friend's house - I don't have such a nice TV)

Saturday 12 May 2012

Spring Cricket in England

Recently I was having a conversation with someone who was telling me how much more competitive the County Championship was than the Plunket Shield. I found their logic difficult to agree with. It went along the lines of England are a better team than New Zealand - therefore the County Championship is better than the Plunket Shield.

This seems to be a flawed way of assessing a competition to me. It would be like saying that Uruguay are currently ranked ahead of Italy in football, so the Uruguayan Primera DivisiĆ³n must be better than the Serie A. It might be true, but it seems unlikely. So I thought about how we could assess the strength of different competitions.

One option I thought of was looking at all the players who played in both competitions, and looking at their averages in each, and seeing which was better.

Now it's much too soon to assess the current season, but when I looked at the numbers so far, I did notice something interesting.

There are 5 players (that I know of) who have played in both the County Championship and the Plunket Shield, Andre Adams, Steven Finn, Martin Guptill, Jeetan Patel and Kane Williamson. Here are the collective results:

BattingPlunket ShieldCounty Championship
Not outs55

On the face of it, the numbers don't tell us clearly which competition is stronger, although there are a number of factors that need to be taken into account here. Williamson and Guptill only played one match each in the Plunket Shield, and both of them scored unbeaten double centuries in their single match. The other 19 innings in NZ produced 360 runs.

It is not fair to compare a partial season to a full one, as there are often phases in a season when it is easier and harder to score runs.

For me the biggest difference is just how much harder batting seems to be in England than in New Zealand. The ratio between averages is similar (the batsmen scored 44% more in New Zealand, and the bowlers conceded 46% less in England)

The pitches just seem to be a lot harder to bat on in the start of the season in England than in New Zealand. It will be interesting to look at these numbers again later in the season and see if the same trend still applies.

Monday 7 May 2012

Do Wickets Matter in the IPL

How much does a wicket mean in T20 cricket?

Is the main job of a bowler to take wickets or contain runs? Which is better off 4 overs, 4/40 or 0/16? They are all interesting questions.

In a large degree limited overs is much more interesting statistically than test cricket. Because there are finite resources, and more than one of them, the analysis can be quite different to what is required in the full game. The concept of batting and bowling averages are easy to calculate and are effective for telling us who is the best performers in the longer form. But someone that averages 18 and goes for 12 an over in T20 is not really as useful as someone who averages 24 and goes for 6 an over.

So I tried to see if I could quantify the value of a wicket in this years IPL. To do this I looked at every innings total. I found the run-rate (using 20 overs for any team that was bowled out) for them, and then put them into a graph, to see if anything interesting came out.

In the process I noticed something: in almost every game the team that lost the least wickets won. In the 42 games where the teams lost a different number of wickets, the team that lost the least won on 33 occasions. That's 78%. To put that in perspective, when teams score 180 they only win 69% of the time. So losing less wickets is a better predictor of winning than scoring 180. This was a surprise to me.

Next I looked at the graph:

While it is obvious that wickets lost are not the only factor that determine the scoring rate, it is also clear that there is a relationship between the wickets lost and the run-rate.

I had previously been a fan of Glenn Turner's theory of "You're all out after [20 overs] so you shouldn't leave any wickets out there" over Richie Benaud's theory of "It's a cardinal sin to get bowled out before your overs are up." However, it looks like Richie has actually got the better theory. It is clear that (generally) if a team loses more wickets, they end up scoring at a slower rate. Now clearly the timing of when the wickets fall is important, but this graph suggests that it's not as important as we would have thought.

The other interesting thing here is that this gives us a value for a wicket. Every wicket, on average, results in a team scoring 0.25 less runs per over in their innings. Hence every wicket is worth (a surprisingly low) 5 runs.

This allows us then to compare some of the bowlers, and see who has actually been the most effective in the IPL.

If we consider that every wicket is worth 5 runs, we can subtract 5 from the runs a bowler has conceded for every wicket that they have taken, and then we have a fair way to compare them, by looking at their economy rates.

Here is the table of the best bowlers in the IPL so far. (min 10 overs)

At the top, as we expect is the magnificent Lasith Malinga, who has proved his doubters that he more than a one-trick pony. But the real interest for me comes form the next 3 names. All of them are KKR players. When we combine them with Brett Lee who is further down the table, it isn't difficult to see why they have been the hardest team to score against throughout the tournament.

Saturday 5 May 2012

Big innings in the IPL

The IPL is a fair way through now, and it's a good time to look back at some of the highlights.

The highest scorers are widely recognised, but often the highest score is not the one that makes the biggest contribution. Take for example the match between Chennai Super Kings and the Deccan Chargers at Vizag. Jadeja hit 48 off 29, a good knock, and one that really set his team up well. When he got out his team looked set for about 175-180, with 2 and a half overs left. Then up steppe Dwayne Bravo. He got to 43 off 18, and carried the team through to 193. It's not that Jadeja did not contribute to the team's total, but despite scoring 5 runs less, Bravo's made a bigger contribution.

I think Cricinfo's S Rajesh came up with the batting index before me (although I developed it independently) as a better way to measure a batsman's performance over a career/season of limited overs cricket than their average. I use that idea (runs squared divided by dismissals and deliveries faced) to look at individual innings. I don't give any bonus for not outs, because I haven't found a way that does that that I feel is fair for individual innings and because the team is effectively all out after 20 overs anyway, so a not out is not as valuable in T20's as it is in the longer forms. So I simply square the runs scored and divide it by the balls faced to find the innings index.

Here is the table of the 25 biggest contributions so far:

AM Rahane 103* 60176.8v RCB Bangalore 15-4
G Gambhir 9351169.6v RCB Kolkata 28-4
KP Pietersen 103* 64165.8v Chargers Delhi 19-4
V Sehwag 87* 48157.7v Warriors Pune 24-4
AB de Villiers 59* 23151.3v Royals Jaipur 23-4
AM Rahane 9866145.5v Kings XI Jaipur 6-4
V Sehwag 7338140.2v Royals Jaipur 1-5
OA Shah 6026138.5v RCB Bangalore 15-4
OA Shah 7642137.5v Mum Indians Mumbai 11-4
CH Gayle 8148136.7v Warriors Bangalore 17-4
V Sehwag 7339136.6v Mum Indians Delhi 27-4
CH Gayle 8756135.2v Kings XI Mohali 20-4
CL White 7846132.3v Warriors Pune 26-4
CH Gayle 6835132.1v Super Kings Chennai 12-4
JP Duminy 58* 26129.4v Royals Jaipur 17-4
KC Sangakkara 8252129.3v Warriors Cuttack 1-5
JD Ryder 8658127.5v Daredevils Delhi 21-4
CH Gayle 8658127.5v KKR Kolkata 28-4
KA Pollard 6433124.1v Royals Mumbai 11-4
JEC Franklin 7951122.4v Kings XI Mumbai 22-4
CL White 7445121.7v Warriors Cuttack 1-5
CH Gayle 7142120v Kings XI Bangalore 2-5
SE Marsh 68* 40115.6v Mum Indians Mumbai 22-4
DJ Hussey 68* 40115.6v Mum Indians Mohali 25-4
MK Pandey 80* 56114.3v Daredevils Pune 24-4

Some interesting points here:

Chris Gayle makes up 20% of this list. Half of the times he has gone out to bat he has made a big contribution. He is easily the most consistent batsman in the tournament.

Sehwag makes it into the list 3 times and has 2 more innings with an index score of over 100.

There are a few teams that are good at stopping batsmen making big contributions. The best at it is KKR. Only 2 of the top 80 innings were scored against KKR. This is possibly why they have conceded a lot less runs than anyone else.

There are no sub-50 scores on the list, but number 26 on the list is a quite extraordinary innings from Albie Morkel. There are a few interesting innings that didn't make the top 25, here are some of them, including the Bravo and Jadeja innings above:

JA Morkel 287112v RCB Chennai 12-4
BJ Hodge 48* 21109.7v Chargers Jaipur 17-4
DJ Bravo 43* 18102.7v Chargers Visakhapatnam 7-4
SPD Smith 34* 1388.9v Daredevils Delhi 21-4
RA Jadeja 482979.4v Chargers Visakhapatnam 7-4

I like this method of rating innings, as it gives players at the top and the bottom of the innings an equal chance of producing an innings that count.

Over the next week or so, I'm going to bring out a few different stats from the IPL - let me know if there is anything that you want to know about, and I'll see what I can do.