Monday, April 23, 2012

Poore pachas khelo yaar!!!

I’ve been wishing to discuss this topic for quiet sometime now. The subject might appeal to you better had you played this wonderful game of cricket. I don’t imply that the regular follower has nothing to read in this post. I promise to connect you if you take the effort to read me further.

Any batsman, inclusive of Sachin Tendulkar walks to the crease with single mind set. That is ‘to bat as many overs as possible’. Though the underlying principle of batting is to score runs the mindset of the batsman is always about playing one over at a time if possible take one delivery at a time. After all, the batsman knows that batting more balls automatically takes care of run making. Despite, facing deliveries being the fundamental approach, the average no. of overs batted per match doesn’t feature in player’s statistics. In general, the public see is total runs scored in as many games aggregating to show the player potential alongside no. of 50’s, 100’s, highest score, strike rate etc., as a part of the profile.

However, the overs  batted average of the batsman can be derived by inversely mutiplying strike rate with the batting average. It gives an indicator of balls faced by the batsman per match. For example, let us say the batsman has an average of 40 at a strike rate of 80 in ODI cricket, (40*100/80)/6 = (50)/6 = 8.3 overs or 50 balls on average played per ODI game. But this may not yield a fair stat as average and strike rate are not direct data but arrived math.

Batting Average of Tendulkar
                     Mat      Inns    NO         Runs         HS        Ave       BF              SR      100       50
ODIs              463      452        41          18426      200*     44.84        21367       86.23    49       96       

You can try the formula with Tendulkar stats. Per formula (44.83*100/86.23) = 51.99/6 = 8.67, so Tendulkar on average bats 8.67 overs. However a better stat can be arrived by doing the calculations with actual balls faced with no. of innings. According to this calculations, Tendulkar averages 21367/452 = 47.27/6 = 7.88 overs per game. Unfortunately the balls faced or strike rate information are not stored for Test Matches in cricinfo to do any of the above calculations.

Guess, I deviated little too much. So, if you watch a minor league game, the common anthem would be “Poore pachas khelo yaar!!!” (play full 50 overs). I always wonder why the fundamental approach of batsman doesn’t account being part of statistics. So, in common man terms, can this attitude be equated to Salary earned Vs Hours worked? In principle, we don’t bother about the number of hours worked, but care a lot about the salary we make. As the no. of hours worked grow (experience) so is the salary correspondingly. Despite the fundamental aspect of cricket and life is about facing deliveries and putting hours at work, the metrics for evaluation remains runs scored and salary earned, though the rudiments efforts are equally quantifiable.

What is the point, I’m trying to make?
Actually I’m not trying to make any point here. All I meant to ask is, why such an important stat that is also the foundation of the sport, doesn’t evoke the interest of audience. On the contrary the bowler profile carries Matches, Runs, Wickets, Economy, Average and Strike Rate covering all aspect of the player’s effort.

In my wish list of what to see, I would like to add OBA (overs batted average) as a part of viewing a player profile. Don’t know if this would come true. Before that, I definitely like to see the fielding chart all the time to know how the captain maneuvers his fielders.

Cricket Lover

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