Tuesday 31 July 2018

Fakhar Zaman's amazing start

18 matches. That's all it took.

1 year and 45 days to go from relative obscurity to being one of the most talked about cricketers in the world. Fakhar Zaman has certainly burst onto the world stage.

I wanted to look into the context around the record, and also to see how his start compares to others.

I then will look at how well we can predict someone's eventual career record based on their start.

Tuesday 3 July 2018

Using Added Value to assess cricket performances - Part 3 ODI all rounders

Viv Richards - by Aditya Naikdesai
Growing up in the 1980's, cricket was all about three things: the mighty West Indies, Lance Cairns biffing 6's and the "Big 4" all rounders.

I remember sitting on the school bus as someone was sharing the updates of a match that they'd been listening to on the radio: Viv Richards hit a century, Malcolm Marshall took 3 wickets, Lance Cairns hit a ball onto the roof. I may have been mixing up 3 different games, but that's what every match report felt like.

Other matches were all about the battle between Imran Khan and Ian Botham, or Richard Hadlee vs Kapil Dev. Those 4 players transfixed a generation - each of them had the ability to win a match with either the bat or the ball.

Throughout history, all rounders have been both highly sought after, and incredibly rare. To find a player who was capable of playing as a batsman or a bowler was unusual. To find someone who was a star with both was phenomenal.

There are 43 players who took more than 100 wickets and scored more than 2000 runs in ODI cricket. Some of them were batsmen who bowled a bit, some bowlers who occasionally contributed with the bat, some were "bit's and pieces players." An interesting question is if any were truly all rounders. Were any players both above average batsmen and bowlers?