Cricket Statistics


Cricket is a game rich in statistical information. Over multiple games within a series, season, or an entire career, each player accumulates a set of statistics that can be used to compare the performances of different players.

Statistics for different classes of matches are recorded separately, in particular a top-level player would have statistics recorded for:


Batting Statistics

The statistics accumulated for a batsman are: There are also two calculated statistics.

Batting Average

Batting Averages A batting average represents how many runs, on average, a batsman scores before getting out. The higher the batting average, the better the batsman's ability to score runs without getting out. Batting averages are usually expressed to two decimal places. If a batsman has scored runs but not been dismissed, his batting average is technically infinite, but is usually expressed simply as "no batting average". The graph shows the distribution of career batting averages for all Test and one-day international players who have batted at least 20 innings.

Test batting averages over a career are mostly between 10 and 40. Averages are roughly considered as follows:

The graph shows one batsman with a Test career average of 99.94. This is Sir Donald Bradman, who played for Australia from 1928 to 1948, and is universally recognised as the greatest cricket player in history. As you can see, nobody else has even come remotely close to equalling his batting ability.

Battng averages in one-day internationals tend to be lower than in Test matches, because there is no time to build truly large innings, and because the emphasis is more on scoring runs quickly than on not getting out, so batsmen more often sacrifice their wickets in an attempt to score faster.

Strike Rate

Batting Strike Rates A strike rate represents how many runs, on average, a batsman scores for every 100 balls he faces. The higher the batting strike rate, the better the batsman's ability to score runs quickly. Strike rates are usually expressed to two decimal places. The graph shows the distribution of career batting strike rates for Test and one-day international players who have batted at least 20 innings. Note that the number of balls faced is only available for Test players beginning from the 1970s and consistently from the mid 80s, thus restricting the sample size below that available for Test batting averages.

Test batting strike rates over a career are mostly between 30 and 60.

Batting strike rates in one-day internationals are significantly higher than in Test matches, because of the emphasis on scoring runs quickly, within the allotted number of overs.

For further analysis of batting statistics, see Statistical Analysis of Cricket.


Bowling Statistics

The statistics accumulated for a bowler are: There are also three calculated statistics.

Bowling Average

Bowling Averages A bowling average represents how many runs, on average, a bowler concedes per wicket he takes. The lower the bowling average, the better the bowler's ability to take wickets without conceding many runs. Bowling averages are usually expressed to two decimal places. The graph shows the distribution of career bowling averages for all Test players and one-day international players who have bowled at least 1000 balls.

Test bowling averages over a career are mostly between 20 and 50. Averages are roughly considered as follows:

Bowling averages in one-day internationals follow roughly the same distribution. Although batsmen score faster, they tend to get out faster too, as the following two statstics show.

Economy Rate

Bowling Economy Rates An economy rate represents how many runs, on average, a bowler concedes per (6-ball) over he bowls. The lower the bowling economy rate, the better the bowler's ability to bowl without conceding many runs. Economy Rates are usually expressed to two decimal places. The graph shows the distribution of career bowling economy rates for all Test and one-day international players who have bowled at least 1000 balls.

Test bowling economy rates over a career are mostly between 2.0 and 3.5 runs per over.

Bowling economy rates in one-day internationals are significantly higher than in Test matches, because of the emphasis on scoring runs quickly, within the allotted number of overs.

Strike Rate

Bowling Strike Rates A bowling strike rate represents how many balls, on average, a bowler bowls for each wicket he takes. The lower the bowling strike rate, the better the bowler's ability to take wickets. Strike Rates are usually expressed to two decimal places. The graph shows the distribution of career bowling strike rates for all Test and one-day international players who have bowled at least 1000 balls.

Test bowling strike rates over a career are mostly between one wicket every 60 to 100 balls. The long tail of players with higher strike rates are mostly batsmen who bowl occasionally.

Bowling strike rates in one-day internationals tend to be lower than in Test matches, because the batsmen are not as protective of their wickets, since they are trying to score runs faster.


Fielding Statistics

In baseball, errors made by a fielder are officially assigned by the scorer and counted as a statistic. In cricket, fielding errors are not recorded and do not form a statistic of interest. (The captain, bowler, and fans will be unimpressed, though.)
The statistics accumulated for a fielder, including a wicket-keeper are: Fielders responsible for run outs have historically not been recorded, although there is a trend now to indicate the fielder who threw the ball to the wicket and/or the fielder who gathered the ball at the wicket and hit the stumps with it in the scorecard, in parentheses after the "run out" notation. This is not recorded as part of a fielders statistics though.

Other Statistics

Partnerships

A partnership is when a specific pair of batsmen bat together, from the time the previous wicket fell until one of the batsmen gets out or the innings is declared closed before the next wicket falls. The number of runs scored by the side during a partnership - the runs scored by both batsmen plus any extras scored in that time - is recorded as a statistic. The number can be worked out from the fall of wicket record in a scorecard.

Partnerships are named as follows:

Extra Detail: Partnerships are defined by the falls of wickets, not by the batsmen. If a batsman retires hurt, three different batsmen will contribute to the one partnership.

Graphical Statistics

Some statistics vary in two dimensions - either spatially or a value changing over time - and these are most easily presented as graphics.

Batting Shot Placement (Wagon Wheel)

Wagon Wheel A wagon wheel is a graphic representing the top view of a cricket field, with lines drawn from the striker's wicket into the field to indicate the path of balls hit by a batsman. Often the lines are colour-coded to indicate the number of runs scored from each hit. Usually the lines are drawn from only one wicket, showing the directions relative to the striker's wicket, regardless of which physical end of the pitch was actually the striker's end at any time.

A wagon wheel shows clearly whether a batsman has scored runs more easily on the off or leg sides, and behind, square, or forward of the wicket. This can show the strengths and weaknesses of a particular batsman - a batsman who mostly scores square on the off side has a good cut shot, while one who scores predominantly on the leg side might be a good puller of the ball. A side can use wagon wheels of opponents to formulate field settings and bowling lines to attack particular batsmen more effectively.

Runs Per Over (Manhattan)

Manhattan A manhattan is a bar graph showing the number of runs scored in each over of an innings. Wickets are also generally shown, plotted as obvious dots on top of the bar in the over in which they occur. This gives an indication of the consistency of scoring throughout the innings, showing any periods of good scoring or particularly slow scoring, and how they relate to the falls of wicket.

Manhattans are mostly used during one-day matches - where scoring rate is more important than in a two-innings match - to give the audience an idea of scoring rates.

Run Rate Per Over (Worm)

Worm A worm is a line graph showing the run rate plotted against the number of overs bowled in an innings. Wickets are also generally shown, plotted as obvious dots on the line in the over in which they occur. This gives an indication of the average scoring progress throughout the innings and can dramatically show any significant increases or decreases in the scoring rate.

Like manhattans, worms are mostly used during one-day matches. During the second innings of a one-day match, the worm of the side batting second is usually overlaid on the worm of the first side, giving a good idea of the comparative run rates throughout the match, and a good indication of which side is currently in a stronger position to win.

Cumulative Runs Per Over

Cumulative Runs Per Over A cumulative runs per over graph (sometimes also called a worm) is a line graph showing the cumulative run total for a side plotted against the number of overs bowled in an innings. Wickets are also generally shown, plotted as obvious dots on the line in the over in which they occur. This gives an indication of the cumulative scoring progress throughout the innings and better highlights any periods of slow scoring compared to a worm. (Mathematicians will note this type of graph is essentially the integral of a manhattan.)

Like manhattans and worms, these graphs are mostly used during one-day matches. During the second innings of a one-day match, the graph of the side batting second is usually overlaid on the graph of the first side, giving a good idea of the comparative run totals throughout the match, and a good indication of which side is currently in a stronger position to win.


Records

Cricket is a game replete with records. Typical records of interest include (some may be out of date): There are many other records of somewhat lesser interest, including "negative" records such as lowest innings totals. In addition, all of these sort of records are also noted for specific match circumstances, such as: A much more comprehensive list of records is available at CricInfo.


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Last updated: Saturday, 17 February, 2007; 15:18:10 PST.
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