Month: June 2014

Ten Irrelevant but Interesting Cricket Stats

Cricinfo’s Statsguru web application is the best friend of any cricket statistician, largely, perhaps, due to the fact that you can simply look up any stat, record, list, or other piece of information about any cricket match, player, team or combination of these that you would ever want. Seriously, this tool offers such a diverse range of statistical manipulation that it’s possible to spend several days on end discovering things you never needed or wanted to know, only to forget most of it in a few days time just because you looked up SO MUCH STUFF. Here’s a list of my top ten bits of cricketing trivia that nobody would even want to know until they know it.


10 – Jonathon Trott (Most test runs without any sixes)

One of Englands finest players in recent years, Trott has scored 3763 test runs at an average of 46.5, which is no mean feat, but when it comes with the remarkable addition that he’s never hit a test match maximum, it becomes even more impressive. In fact, he’s 500 runs ahead of the next six-less cricketer, and over 2000 runs ahead of the next 21st century player. Source


9 – Danny Morrison (Most toss-won ducks vs Pakistan)

Ex New Zealand bowler, now known for his enthusiastic commentary in the IPL, doesn’t have many records. He was a good enough player to warrant 48 test caps, but was never the best in the world at anything – until now. Danny can now say that he’s the proud (joint-)holder of the record for the most ducks in any form of the game, specifically against Pakistan in games where Pakistan lost the toss. Source.


8 – Sachin Tendulkar (ODI Five-Wicket Hauls)

The Little Master, as he is affectionately known, was not given such a name for his bowling prowess. In fact, in researching these stats, his batting is so clearly leaps and bounds ahead of his bowling that I’d completely forgotten that he ever bowled in international cricket. He ended his international career with a remarkable two five-fors, more than bowling greats Shane Warne, Zaheer Khan, Kapil Dev and Courtney Walsh. Even more unbelievable is that he has taken more five-fors than Steve Waugh, Imran Khan, Shane Watson, Malcom Marshall and Ian Botham all combined, a bowling attack which has taken over 800 ODI wickets between them. Source (Tendulkar) – Source (Others)


7 – AB de Villiers (Best T20i Fielder)

Although a prolific ‘keeper himself, de Villiers has always been a fantastic addition to the outfield. In T20 cricket, where every run counts, a good piece of fielding could be the difference between a win or a loss, which is why AB’s 0.914 dismissals/innings as an outfielder, nearly 50% higher than the next best, is so crucial to South Africa’s success. Source.


6 – Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann (Fastest-Scoring Test Partnership)

The actual data for this one is a little inconclusive, since balls-faced information is scarce pre-1990, but of the partnerships which have complete data, the English duo of Broad and Swann are the only 15-innings plus partnership ever to have a run-rate of >5, narrowly edging out rivals Warne and Gilchrist to the number one spot. Source.


5 – Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Longest time spent losing)

As much as Shiv can be proud of his various batting achievements and records, there’s one that I’ve come across that he certainly won’t want to dwell on. At over 25,000 he has spent by far the most minutes batting during games that his team has gone on to lose. Perhaps due to the West Indies recent incompetence, perhaps not, but that’s over 400 hours of wasted time at the crease. Source.


4 – Steve Davis (Most Used TV Umpire)

Not quite the big-time, but the biggest, hardest decisions are always made by a game’s TV umpire, and with exactly 100 appearances, Australia’s Davis has 33% more than the next most popular, Billy Bowden. Source.


3 – Alfred Lyttleton (Best Bowling figures as Keeper)

Taking 4 wickets for 19 runs is no mean feat as a designated bowler, and would probably get any player a recall to play again, but surely for a wicketkeeper to take off his gloves, step up to bowl and take such good figures, you’d be even more impressed. Apparently not, though, since poor old Alfred never played again after this, his fourth test match for England in 1884. Source.


2 – Kiran More (Most Stumpings in one Innings)

The fourth innings of a test match is not normally associated with risky batting, especially when the batting team are fighting for a draw, so the last thing a batsman should expect is to get out stumped. However, on one day in 1988, not one, not two, but five of the West Indies’ batting lineup succumbed to the quick hands of India’s More. Yes, five. Four of these men fell to the bowling of Narendra Hirwani, who took the incredible figures of 8-75 in what mush have been one of the most bizarre innings that test match cricket has ever seen. Hirwani finished with match figures of 16-136 and More took 6 stumpings across the two innings.  Source.


1 – Donald Bradman – (Most Runs in a Series)

This countdown wouldn’t be anywhere without the Don himself, Sir Donald Bradman, and what better way than to show off one of his most impressive records (other than the one that the whole world knows). Bradman scored a massive 974 runs in a 5-match series back in 1930, scoring hundreds in four of his seven innings and averaging 139, with a high score of 334. That’s just unbelievable. Source. 


Thanks for reading my countdown! Add any stats you might have and I’ll be sure to have a look.

IPL 7 – ThatCricketGuy’s XI

I know I’m a little late on this – This year’s IPL finished a week ago today, but I thought I’d have a crack at naming my ideal t20 side from the tournament. This isn’t going to be the best side possible from everyone who played, but the 11 players who impressed me the most this year. I will be following the IPL selection rules, which require one uncapped Indian player and no more than four overseas player.


Opening Batsman – Dwayne Smith (CSK)

Smith’s IPL season has been by far his most impressive, scoring 566 runs at a strike rate of 136. He was Chennai’s ‘Mr Reliable’ having made only five scores below 20 in his 16 innings opening the batting, and proved useful with the ball as well, picking up 4 wickets at an average of just 23. A former Mumbai Indians player, something we’ll see a surprising amount of in this team, but a valuable asset for Chennai to hold on to next time around.


Opening Batsman – David Warner (SRH)

Hyderabad fans know that their team has more than enough world-class bowling to be in with a chance of defending any total, but their batting lineup left a lot to be desired. David Warner, scoring 58 runs at 140 strike rate, was the answer to their prayers. Helping the Sunrisers to a defendable score on a number of occasions, and being crucial in several successful chases gives Joe Root’s worst enemy a spot in this XI.


Batsman – Glenn Maxwell (KXIP)

Glenn stormed onto the IPL scene this year, contributing three of the top ten individual innings scores, with each of the three being the highest strike rates in the top ten. His 552 runs came at the second highest strike rate of all players in the tournament, a whopping 187, and the King’s XI owe a large amount of their success this year to him. Mumbai Indians fans must be scratching thier heads in confusion as to how their team didn’t use him last year.


Batsman – Robin Uthappa (KKR)

The first of our tournament winners, Robin Uthappa, was this year’s orange cap winner, scoring an impressive 660 runs (nearly 100 more than second place) at 138. Providing many crucial innings for Kolkata, especially toward the end of the tournament when it mattered the most, earned him the honour of the top fantasy league points scorer, to add to his winner’s medal. Robin proved this year that you don’t have to hit the ball a long way to score runs, hitting ‘only’ 18 sixes, half that of previous orange cap favourite Glenn Maxwell.


Batsman – Suresh Raina (CSK)

Suresh Raina has consistently delivered, season after season scoring bundles of runs, and this year was no different. The highlight of his year, and for me the highlight of the tournament, was Raina’s astonishing 87 off 25, cut short by a sharp run-out but otherwise well on track to break Gayle’s fastest hundred. Scoring 523 runs at a very nice strike rate of 146, Suresh rounds off the batsmen in this team.


Wicketkeeper/Captain – MS Dhoni (CSK)

India’s captain had another terrific season, both with the bat and the gloves. Averaging 74 and with 10 not-outs, he has shown again why he is renowned for being the best finisher to play the game. His ability to keep his cool and score at 148 strike rate, chasing down almost every score needed of him, despite the degree of difficulty, is why no IPL dream XI can do without him. Although not his most successful season as captain, he can be proud that he still lead his team to 3rd place despite the huge amount of competition seen this year.


All-rounder – Ravindra Jadeja (CSK)

A star with both the bat and the ball, Ravi Jadeja has proven this year that he’s the complete all-rounder that Chennai desperately need. Able to provide four overs and quick runs, he’s been a crucial part of the team. His bowling spell against eventual champions KKR ended with figures of 4-12, the best by any bowler this year’s tournament, whilst his average of 29 with the bat showed how useful he could be at number 7.


Bowler – Sunil Narine (KKR)

Without a doubt, Sunil Narine has yet again been the hardest bowler to play against in this year’s tournament. His deceit, guile, and astonishing consistency have seen him take 21 wickets with a remarkable economy of just 6.35. Despite this being his (statistically) worst season in recent history, he’s still the only bowler to have bowled every single one of his allotted 384 balls, testament to how good he has been throughout his career. Had luck gone his way a little more in the last couple of matches, he’d have easily won the purple cap.


Bowler – Sandeep Sharma (KXIP)

By no means a ‘token’ uncapped player, Sandeep has excelled this season, and it was the shock of the season when he was dropped for the final. An impressive 18 wickets at an average of under 20 runs becomes even more so when you consider that he only played 11 matches, resulting in Sandeep having the best strike rate of any bowler who played more than half of his team’s matches. An ideal middle-overs bowler.


Bowler – Mohit Sharma (CSK)

Our final Chennai player, Mohit Sharma has consistently performed well, raking in 23 IPL wickets and this year’s purple cap. Taking a wicket once every 14 balls, batsmen never felt comfortable against him, which was vital to CSK making the final four after some less than impressive bowling from some of their other players. Even the best batting lineups have a limit to how many runs they can chase, and Chennai’s men must have been very thankful at some stages that they weren’t chasing upwards of 250 because of Mohit’s timely wickets.


Bowler – Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SRH)

The most impressive seam bowler the IPL has seen in the last couple of years, Bhuvi has narrowly missed out on the purple cap once again, and would have been in with every chance had the Sunrisers qualified for the final four. With a bowling average of 17 runs, and an economy of just 6.65, Kumar has been, in my opinion, the best seam bowler in this iteration of the IPL. Able to swing it effectively and make the best batsmen in the world look completely out of their depth, he has been the pick of the Sunrisers bowling lineup all season.


Thanks for reading, be sure to add your own comments about who you would have in your team!

Mankad – #TeamSenanayake


The ‘controversial’ run out of Jos Buttler yesterday has blown up in the cricket world, creating strong opinions on both sides and a swarm of misinformation. Many current and ex-cricketers have made their opinions clear, whether it be pro-mankad or otherwise, with the main reasons cited against it being outlined (and scrutinised) in this blog post. For those of you who aren’t familiar with ‘mankad’, it’s the practise of running out the non-striker before the ball is bowled – if he is out of his crease, of course.

‘He didn’t mean to gain an unfair advantage’ – This is simply ridiculous. So what if he didn’t mean to gain an advantage, he’s still out. The lines are there for a reason, and they are pretty useful, too. If intent is brought into any sporting rulebook it’s bound to come with problems, so thankfully it hasn’t in this instance. Law 42.15 is very clear, that the bowler IS permitted to run out the non-striker. Not dependant on intent. Not dependant on having previously given a warning (we’ll come back to this later). Just because he’s not ‘trying’ to gain an advantage doesn’t mean he hasn’t gained one.

‘He was only out of his crease by a couple of inches’ – Again, ridiculous. Can you imagine the pandemonium caused if people tried to argue this about all runouts? How about stumpings? The lines, drawn on the pitch to designate ‘in’ and ‘out’ aren’t there for how close you are to being within them, they’re there for the binary option that is ‘out’ – either a yes or a no. If you were to take it a bit further, this ‘close to being in’ logic could be used to give sixes that bounced just inside the rope, disallow catches off of edges that ‘only just hit the bat’ and even, bizarrely, claim victories in matches where ‘we nearly got as many runs as them’.

‘It’s against the spirit of cricket’ – Aha, we’ve finally reached it. The ‘spirit’ of the game. So, I’ve read the Spirit of Cricket, the 402 word Preamble to the Laws, and I can’t find anything in it that forbids mankad. I doubt that many of Buttler’s supporters have even glanced at it, let alone found any evidence that it ‘deeply prohibits this kind of behaviour’ as I’ve so been told.

‘It’s not specifically stated in the preamble, but the gist of it would say otherwise’ – So the Spirit of Cricket is indirectly telling players to ignore the Laws of Cricket? Yeah, right. The gist of the Spirit of Cricket can essentially be summarised in two words. ‘Play nice’. As far as I’m concerned, throwing bats, grabbing shirts, screaming in faces and hurling abuse is all against the spirit of cricket. Note, this does not include sledging, unless of course it becomes abusive or threatening, Mankading, however, does not even come close to this. Sure, the Spirit of Cricket can tell you to mankad nicely, ie. give a warning to the batsman, maybe even two…

If you’d like to find out more about why the Spirit of Cricket is inherently flawed (with a small segment on mankad near the end), Peter Miller and Dave Tickner give it a comprehensive run down on their podcast, which can be found here.

Thanks for reading, and make sure you come back soon as I’ll be updating this as often as I have something to talk about.