Saturday 28 December 2013


I'm sure that there will be tributes to Jacques Kallis all over the web at the moment. I wanted to do something uniquely CricketGeeky. So I've put together an interactive calculator, similar to the Tendulkulator that I did when Tendulkar retired. You enter in the runs and say if they are out or not out, then the basic bowling figures and it will tell you where he will end up on the all time batting and all-rounder's average leader board. You will need to scroll to the right to see the full all-rounder's numbers

I've done my best to lock it down, but it is a shared file, so if you find a way round the security, please don't vandalise it. Let everyone else play too.

Monday 23 December 2013

When not going for the victory is an act of courage

South Africa chose to defend the last 4 overs, rather than try and score 16 runs for victory. At first glance this seems like an act of either stupidity or cowardice, but I think it was neither.

They missed out on a chance to make history, by becoming the only team to have successfully chased over 450. But they also missed out on losing a match that would have meant that the series was unwinnable.

Instead Steyn and Philander looked at the options and decided that they were a better team than India, and backed themselves to win the next test. If they went 1-0 down in the series, the best possible outcome was a drawn series, but if the match was a draw, then it was still possible to win the series.

Imran Tahir was probably the next man in. In roughly 2/3 of his innings he has lasted less than 10 balls. That is not the player you want to have saving a test. Morne Morkel is more competent, but it's difficult to bat with only one leg working. It was entirely likely that those two could have been dismissed in the space of an over.

Given that restriction, it made sense that the South Africans decided to be positive with regards to the series, and back themselves to win the second match. It certainly would have been frustrating for them and for any South African fans, but it was probably the correct call.

It appeared to be an act of cowardice, but really it was an act borne of a confidence in their ability to win the second test.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Mini-session Analysis, 3rd test, NZvWI, Seddon Park, Hamilton

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the third test between New Zealand and West Indies at Seddon Park, Hamilton

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.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Is the Southee - Boult partnership greater than the Hadlee - Chatfield partnership?

There is a theory that bowlers are supposed to hunt in a pack. That the two bowlers are supposed to work together to get the batsmen out.  There are some proponents of this theory, and some who feel that it is rubbish, and that each bowler is wholly responsible for their own figures.

In the light of their recent performances I've been looking into the opening partnership of Boult and Southee and then I've compared that to others opening partnerships throughout time. They are a fairly new pair, but they actually stack up quite well.

Monday 16 December 2013

Warner in Perth

I have written before about how impressed I am with David Warner's running between wickets. I genuinely believe that he is one of the best at judging a run that I've seen.

Accordingly I was surprised to see that he had scored the same number of singles as boundaries in the second innings at Perth. I also heard the commentators describe it as a typical innings from Warner. It made me wonder if it actually was a typical innings.

First of all I looked at how Warner compared to other batsmen.  The method I chose to look at was to compare the boundary percentage (boundaries per delivery) and the activity rate (runs scored per non-boundary delivery). I filtered out any batsman who hadn't faced more than 650 deliveries since 2000, hadn't hit more than 50 fours and hadn't played in the past 2 years. I then put the rest of the batsmen on a single graph.

I divided up the batsmen into 4 categories. Aggressive, Block Bash, Pushers and Defensive. Close to the extremes of each group were players who have been reasonably successful.

In the defensive group are players like Rahul Dravid, Peter Fulton, Tino Mawoyo, Ed Cowan and JP Duminy.
Block Bash contains Angelo Mathews, Shane Watson, Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh.
Pushers includes Kane Williamson, Shiv Chanderpaul, Jonathan Trott and Thilan Samaraweera.
Aggressive include Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Darren Sammy and David Warner.

Warner has a higher activity rate than anyone in the list. But he also hits more boundaries than most batsmen.

Warner's activity rate for his career is 0.353 and his boundary rate is 9.3%. His innings in Perth lasted 140 deliveries. We would expect 13 boundaries, perhaps 12 fours and 1 six. Off the other 127 deliveries we would expect him to score 45 runs. Overall we would expect that he would be on about 99, rather than 112, so he scored slightly faster than we would expect, but the big difference was the make up of the innings.

Warner scored 80 runs in boundaries. That's about 40% more than we would normally expect him to get.

I used the same graph as above, to analyse Warner's other innings. I've included every innings where Warner has scored more than 30. I've drawn in lines to show which group the innings would have fit in.
We can see that Warner's innings does fit in with some of his other innings, but really is closer to the Block Bash quadrant than almost any of his other innings.

It was an interesting innings, because of the context and the opponent, but also because of the way that he scored the runs.