Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Making of Freddie

It took seven years for him to fulfill his potential, but most (including the Aussies) will agree it was well worth the wait.

From being the Next Botham in 1998, to the Fat Lad in 2000 and finally World Beater in 2005, this is his journey over the years.

ps. The Red line indicates the point when his batting average finally overtook his bowling average (the hallmark of a Genuine allrounder).

Friday, December 30, 2005

35 years, 323 days and counting (down)...

There is nothing sadder then watching a great player struggle at the end of his career, and they don't come any greater than the Pigeon himself.

Six months ago, McGrath was Australia's undisputed strike bowler (of course along with Warne) but since coming back from his freak injury after Lord's 2005, his Strike Rate and Bowling Average has been on a decline.

Though he did finish the Melbourne Test with 4 wickets, he has taken just 31 wickets in the last 9 Tests (excluding Lord's) at SR of 62.13 and Average of 28.52 (compared to a career SR of 51.3 and Average of 21.44). But more importantly, he rarely looks like taking wickets these days. His is not accurate (one of his biggest strengths) and he is (now) just a line and length bowler who can be taken apart.

Question is, will he realize his time is up, or will he prove me wrong with another "5 for nothing" performance at Sydney next week? Either way, I will be surprised if he is still around for the Ashes next year, let alone the World Cup 2007.

Anyway, here is his Cumulative Strike Rate and Bowling Average since Lord's 2005 (included)...

(click on image to view)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

SRT Vs SG (again)

I know its a few days old, but I came across this article by Ashok Mitra in the Telegraph, so couldn't resist.

(click on image to view)

Now if only someone could point Mr Mitra to this blog so he can shut up, once and for all. In case he still misses the point (or the lines), SG's Average since the World cup excluding the Minnows is 27.08 (as opposed to SRT 42.31). Or in other words he has scored 1083 runs in 40 completed innings compared to Sachins 1,777 in 42 (again excluding the minnows). And no, his stats including the minnows dont get any better either....

Walk (but don't hop) like an Aussie!

More Spaghetti here, but this time of the shorter version.

(click to view larger image)

Nothing special if you look at this in isolation. However, if you merge India’s ranking in the ODI’s with that of its Test Ranking during the corresponding period, you get an interesting picture.

(click to view larger image)

Is it pure coincidence that India's ODI and Test Performances have finally began to move upwards, and more importantly, merge since Greg Chappell took over?

ps. Apologies, my laptop is still acting up. and I am working on an Italian computer, hence the Months are in Italian. But you get the point. I hope...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005



Sorry for ignoring the blog these last few days. I am on Skiing holiday in the Italian Alps but worse, my Laptop's gone kaput. While the former was a welcome and planned break, the latter definitely wasn't.

And while I am busy trying to sort out my Skiing and the Laptop (both of which can be, on a cold icy day, a real pain in the backside), here is wishing you all a (Belated) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

One more to go...

So India has finally reached the Nr. 2 spot in the ICC Test Championship (which indecently is the only Sporting Championship in the world without a Winner).

While we all know that India is some way away from reaching the top, lets not forget that India’s progress in the last four years (in Test cricket) has been remarkable.

Here is the journey of the various Teams since the ICC Test Championship was introduced in 2001. Looks like Spaghetti to me, but that could be because I spend too much time in Italy....

(Click on the image to view)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Poor Warney

So Warney's got every right to be worried that there are "some blokes" out there who bowl from one end all day and will eventually break his record.

After all, he only got to bowl 37% of his Team's overs in this match, which interestingly is being played in Perth (today, he 'merely' bowled 39% of his Teams overs, i.e. 35 overs).

And not to forget that he only got to bowl 33% of the overs during the Ashes (toping at 39% at the Oval in the last Test).

Anyway, a quick look at Warne's increasing workload this year (Given that the Aussie bowling attack looks more like that of the Lankans, I think its not just Warne who needs to be worried here).

Sunday, December 18, 2005

India's Most Valuable Player

He is, in my mind, India's Nr. 1 Match winner of all times. Sachin, Rahul, Kapil & Sunil; take a bow.

And on the eve of his 100th Test, his strike rate over the years...

(click on image to view)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Games BCCI plays

No, I don't mean the political ones, but the ones it has sent "Team BCCI" to play since the 1990/91 season (Home and away).

If only they spend less time on playing "Games" on a regular basis, and more time playing Regular games...

(click on image to view)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ganguly and the BIG-3

While Ganguly's own performance dipped since he became captain, that of Dravid, Tendulkar and Kumble definately improved under him.

Was he plain lucky to have them in his team or did he really know how to get the best out of them? Guess we will never know...

Anyway, a simple graphic showing how the BIG-3 performed under Ganguly.

(click on image to view)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Came across Dravid's milestones on Midday
Could not resist a comparison with his contemporaries

(click on image to view a larger version).

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Can SA Defend 169 Today

Look at these stats and judge for yourself...

(All these stats are for Games that have been 45 oer or more and excludes No-results)

1. In only 20 out 300 games has a team defended a total of less than 170 in a Game.

2. South Africa has done it thrice:
Against WI in 92/93, Capetown (SA 140, WI - 136 all out)
Against Eng in 95/96, East London (SA 129, Eng 115 all out)
Against England in 2000, Joh'brg (SA 149, Eng 111 all out)

3. In India, the only time it has happened was when Kenya defeated WI in the 1996 world cup (Kenya 166, WI 93 all out) .

4. The lowest total India failed to chase in India was against WI in 1987/88 in Guwahati (It was a 45 over game) (WI 187 in 45 overs, Ind: 135 all out)

5. The Lowest Total SA have defended in India was 214 against SL in 1993/94 in Guwahati (SL 136 all out)

6. The Lowest Total SA have defended against India (in India) was 249 in 1996/97 in Jaipur (India ended on 222/7)

7. The lowest Total SA have defended against India (home and away) is 235 in Kenya in 1999/00 (India finished on 209/10)

8. Average First Innings score at Bangalore is 255!

9. The lowest total defended in Bangalore is by England in 1993 (Eng 218/9 in 47 overs, India 170 all out)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

400,000 runs and more Stats!

When Strauss hit Lee for a 4 in the 57th over of the first innings of the Oval Test, the English score moved to 223/4 (Strauss to 97 and Flintoff was batting on 44). What is significant about this is that it was the 400,000th run scored by England in Test cricket!!!

And in the second innings, when Peitersen eaised Warne through cover for a single in the 46th over, England moved on to 172/5. Again what is significant about this score is that it was the 400,000th Test run scored in England by all Test Teams including the Neutral SA/Aus games played in 1912. If you exclude these games, the total stands at 397,937. That means, the 2063 runs required should be scored sometime in the series against Sri Lanka next year.

Watch out for another 400,000 milestone for England!!!

Another interesting stat: When Trescothick flicked Anwar Hossain Monir of Bangladesh for a single in the 1st Test at Lord’s to move to 149 (eng 335/1), it was the 100,000th Test run scored at Lord’s in games involving England!

And talking of Bangladesh, they are also created a ‘bit’ of history by taking the 50,000th Test wicket. It happened in the 1st Test at Dakha between Bangladesh and West indies in the 2002/03 series. And it wasn’t a bowler who took that wicket, but a fielder who ran out Darren Ganga on 40 (West indies 417/6).

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Zealand: 278/9. Can India Win?

Statistically speaking, highly unlikely!


Because of the 55 times India has been set a target of 275 or more in a 50 over match, they have lost 46 times and won only 8 times (one was a no result). A Win/Lose ratio of 0.174 does not look promising!

Against New Zealand, they have only won once chasing more than 275 (in 1988/89 at Vadodora chasing 281) and lost 3 times (1995/96 Nagpur, 1998/99 Christchurch and 1999/00 Rajkot).

And to make it worse, they have won only once chasing the 275+outside the sub-continent (against england in the famous 2002 Natwest finals) .

And if 270+ seems too much, here is some more stats regarding run chases:

Chasing 250+, won 25, Lost 83.
Chasing 260+, won 18, Lost 65.

If I were a betting man, I would bet on India losing this game. But they say, cricket is a funny old game....

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Trent bridge - Vital Stats

Bat first or second?

While most teams prefer to bat first after winning the toss, here are some interesting statistics worth considering; In the last ten Tests, the team batting first has Won 2, Lost 4 and Drawn 4. Looks like the pitch eases after the first day and is a beauty to bat on day 2 & 3.

This should throw up an intresting dilemma for the captains after winning the Toss. Will Ponting repeat what he did at Edgebaston? Or will Vaughan want to change a 'winning habit'? I recon not. I think it will be a 'we will bat first' decision...

What's a good First innings score?

Average first innings score on this ground is 326 but for the last 10 Tests it is 408. England's first innings average score is 325, (overall), 344 (last 1o0 and 271 (against Australia).

Interestingly, England have never lost to Australia after scoring more then 200 in first innings of a match. And the only time a team has lost after scoring 400 in the first innings was England against South Africa in 1951 when they made 419/5dec.

I recon anywhere between 400 and 450 is a winning score. Ok, 420 so the Aussies know they have history against then if they want to beat England :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Twenty Wickets

You need 20 wickets to win a Test match, so I thought it will be interesting to see how Austrlia and England compare in that respect. This analysis is purely mathematical, but it does make interesting reading.

I have taken the Wickets per test as a basis for this analysis and looked at the records of the last 25 Test for the English bolwers and last 50 for the Aussies to reflect their domination periods. Also, since Lee and Kasprowicz have not played in all tests (and rarely together), I have combined their records (25 each).

Ignoring Giles for a moment, if we compare the Stats for Australia and England, we see an interesting scenario:

Austrlia (Wickets per Test)
McGrath-4.62, Warne-5.38, Gillespie-3.52, Lee+Kasprowicz-3.42 (3.56 and 3.28 respectively)

England (wickets per Test)
Harmison-4.32,Hoggard-3.92, Flintoff-3.76, Jones-3.18 (over 17 Tests)

This give the Aussies a 'potential' to take 16.94 or 17 wickets per Test whereas England have a 'potential' to take 15.18 or 15 wickers per Test.

Now add Giles (2.92 wickets per test), to the equation and England have a 'potential' to take 18.1 wickets per Test, thus giving them the edge over the Aussies. Add to the fact that Gillespie is not delivering and Clarke will not be able to bowl anytime soon, its clear that the Aussies have their job cut out to get England out twice. Depending on Warne & McGrath to run through the English batting line-up everytime is going to be a bit ask.

In my opinion, they need a genuine all-rounder to replace Katich and a replacement for Gillespie (only one wont do it). I think Symonds and Kaspa might be an option.

But what do the Aussies do about Hayden who, in Damien Fleming's
words yerterday was made to look like a 'monkey' by Flintoff. But that's a different topic of discussion...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Closest Draws

This is not the first time that the Aussies have managed a draw after being 9 wickets down. In fact, they have done it three times in the past.

1. Vs the West Indies in 1961 at the Adelaide Oval. Needing 460 to win in 120 overs, the Aussies were reeling at 31/3 at End of day 4. They were then down to 207 for 9 with more than 25 overs left on the last day. KD Mackay (62 no) and last man LF Kline (15 no) hung on for 109 minutes to hold on to a draw. Ritche Benaud played in the game; he should remember (he took 5 wickets and scored 77 in the first innins, but did not do too well with Bat or Ball in the second).

2. Vs the West Indies in 1968/69 at the Adelaide Oval (again). Needing 360 to win on the last day, the Aussies were 333 for 9 with 10 minutes left. AP Sheahan (11 no) and AN Connolly (6 no) hung on for a draw.

3. Vs New Zealand in 1987/88 at Melbourne. Needing 247 to win on the last day, the aussies were sitting pretty at 209 for 5. Hadlee then took 3 wickets (and Brackewell 1) to reduce the Aussies to 227 for 9. CJ McDermott (10 runs in 49 balls) and MR Whitney (2 runs in 18 balls hung on for a draw).

Against England, their closed draw (prior to OldTrafford 2005) was in 1974/75 in Melbourne. Needing 246 to win, they were 238 for 8 when play ended.

And this is not the first time Old trafford has witnessed a close draw. Back in 1946, needing 278 to win, India hung on to a draw and finished on 152/9.

Monday, August 15, 2005

India-Centuries in 4th innings

S Mushtaq Ali 106 WI 1948/49 Kolkata DRAW
VS Hazare 122 WI 1948/49 Mumbai (BS) DRAW
AA Baig 112 Eng 1959 Manchester LOST
PR Umrigar 118 Eng 1959 Manchester LOST
ML Jaisimha 101 Aus 1967/68 Brisbane LOST
SM Gavaskar 117* WI 1970/71 Bridgetown DRAW
SM Gavaskar 102 WI 1975/76 Port of Spain WON
GR Viswanath 112 WI (Same game as above)
SM Gavaskar 113 Aus 1977/78 Brisbane LOST
SM Gavaskar 221 Eng 1979 The Oval DRAW
DB Vengsarkar 146* Pak 1979/80 Delhi DRAW
SV Manjrekar 113* Pak 1989/90 Karachi DRAW
SR Tendulkar 119* Eng 1990 Manchester DRAW
*M Azharuddin 106 Aus 1991/92 Adelaide LOST
M Azharuddin 108* SL 1997 Colombo (SSC) DRAW
R Dravid 103* NZ 1998/99 Hamilton DRAW
SC Ganguly 101* NZ (Same game as above)
SR Tendulkar 136 Pak 1998/99 Chennai LOST
AB Agarkar 109* Eng 2002 Lord's LOST

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Old Trafford - Day 1

McGrath Wicketless
This is the 11th time McGrath has gone wicketless in the 1st or 2nd Innings of a match. His figures of 86/0 in this match is his most expensive wicketless performance (previous being 83/0 against WI in Adeliade in 2001). On 4 previous occasions, he has gone wicketless in the whole match.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Old Trafford - Day 1 Lunch

What's a good First innings score?
With England on 93/1 at Lunch, I guess the question on most minds will be "What should England aim for in the first innings". Some of these stats might help you judge for yourselves:

The Old trafford pitch has got better for batting over the years. The average 1st innings score on this ground is 326, but in the last 10 matches, it has gone up to 385!

Only 7 times has a team lost to the Aussies after scoring more then 400 in the first innings (and Won 28 times, 26 draws and 1 Tie).

And only twice after scoring more then 450 (england in 1928/29 & 1948).

Only two teams have lost the game at Old trafford after scoring 300 runs in the first innings:
South Africa in 1947 after scoring 339 & West Indies in 2004 after scoring 395 for 9d

I recon 450 is a great score, but England can settle for 400+. Remember, they have a good bowling attack

Personal Landmarks
I guess we are all aware of Warne approaching 600 wickets. Couple of other worth mentioning.

Lee has just taken his 150th test wicket in his 40th Test.

And Treskothick needs just 31 runs to complete 500o runs in his 64th Test (he will cross 5000 when he scores 66).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Old Trafford - Vital Stats

Bat or Bowl?
England have drawn 19, won 13 and lost 3 when batting first compared to 14 draws, 8 wins and 11 loses when batting second.

Against the Aussies on this ground, their record is D6, W5, L1 when batting first and D7, W2, L6 when Batting second.

It's a no-brainer; win the toss and bat at Old Trafford.

Highest Team Totals
First innings of Match: 627/9d against Aus, 3rd Test 1934 (Draw)
Second innings of Match: 611 ao against Aus, 3rd Test 1964 (Draw)
Third innings of Match: 404 ao against Aus, 5th Test 1981 (Won)
Fourth innings of Match: 332 ao against Aus, 1st Test 1993 (Lost)

First innings of Match: 656/8d against Eng, 4th Test 1964 (Draw)
Second innings of Match: 491 ao against Eng, 3rd Test 1934 (Draw)
Third innings of Match: 432 ao against Eng, 4th Test 1961 (Won) &
432/5d against Eng, 1st Test 1993 (Won)
Fourth innings of Match: 402 ao against Aus, 5th Test 1981 (Lost)

Highest ever by any team: 656/8d by Aus against Eng 3rd Test 1964 (Draw)

Run chases:
Highest Successful run chases:
England 231/3 in 65.4 overs 3rd Test Vs WI-2004
RSA 145/7 in 30.3 overs 3rd Test Vs Eng-1955

Highest Successful run chases - England Vs Australia
England 107/6 in 77.2 overs 1st Test in 1886
Australia 125/7 in 84.3 overs 2nd Test in 1896
England 82/1 in 29.1 overs 2nd Test in 1977
Australia 81/1 in 32.5 overs 4th Test in 1989

Highest Ever Losing 4th innings totals
Aus 402 chasing 506 in 5th Test Vs Eng 1981
Ind 376 chasing 548 in 4th Test Vs Eng 1959
Eng 332 chasing 512 in 1st Test Vs Aus 1993

Highest to Draw
Ind 343/6 in 90 overs chasing 408 in 2nd Test Vs Eng in 1990

Warne Factor
Warne has taken 17 wickets in Two tests at 14.58 with 6/48 in the 3rd Test in 1997 being his best. He is also two wickets away from taking 150 English wickets.

Vital Statistics

Over the years, one of my biggest frustration use to be getting meaningful and up to date statistics while watching a game of cricket. I had to either wait for the commentator to dish out the statistics or spend time on the web looking for the information on websites and blogs.

In the last year or so, I have build my own database and refer to it on a regular basis while watching cricket. What is the average first innings score at Mumbai? Who has taken most number of wickets at Old Trafford, etc. etc.

Realizing that there are thousands of other cricket fans who would love to have access to this information, I decided to set-up this blog. The idea is to update this on a regular basis during the course of Test matches and One-Day games with vital and relavant statistics.

At the end of the day, statistics count for nothing, but perfect statistics can be a real pleasure!