Category Archives: Blog

Tim Bresnan: The Real Answer to England’s Opening Batting Conundrum?

Test Match Sofa - The Cricketer

When speaking to the guys at Test Match Sofa after the 2nd Investec Ashes Test, we discussed the fragility of Australia’s top order and considered how opening batsman Shane Watson, had taken the brunt of the blame for this from the Aussie media and fans.

It was the opinion of Test Match Sofa anchor, Daniel Norcross, Australia’s other opening bat, Phillip Hughes, had gotten off rather lightly in comparison to Watson and suspected that the vulnerability of Australia’s batting attack was being disproportionality blamed on Watson.

To address this, we did some player analysis on Shane Watson and Phil Hughes’ Test Match batting performances, to see how the two compare and to make it a fair test, we only sampled innings in which both players batted, so as to compare their performance against the same bowlers.

What we found was that Shane Watson trumps Hughes in every batting statistic. Not only does he outperform Hughes in terms of total runs (861 vs 724), batting average (28.70 vs 24.97) and strike rate (52.73 vs 48.53), but Watson also offers better bowling statistics than Tim Bresnan.

Watson v Hughes (flat)Having established that Watson has been slightly more effective for Australia than Hughes with the bat (during the games in which they both played), we decided to examine Watson’s stats with the ball and compare them with those of England’s 3rd seamer, Tim Bresnan in both players last 18 innings.

What we found was that Bresnan trumps Watson with the ball in terms on Average (33.77 vs 35.15) and Strike Rate (66.7 vs 86.1), whilst Watson’s Econ Rate of 2.45 is considerably lower than Bresnan’s 3.04.

Watson v Bresnan (Bowling)

Considering how similar Watson and Bresnan’s bowling stats are in their last 18 innings, we wondered how Bresnan’s batting stats would stack up against Watson’s. Comparing Bresnan and Watson’s batting stats in their previous 18 innings, we were surprised to find that whilst both players high score and strike rate are very similar, Bresnan’s average of 31.60 is significantly higher than Watson’s 24.61.

Watson v Bresnan (Batting)

In the last 18 innings both players have played, the only statistic in which Watson outperforms Bresnan, is economy rate (2.45 vs 3.04) but this can be attributed to his role in the side as 4th seamer, usually required to dry up the runs.

The conclusion we have reached is that Australia are batting a slightly inferior Tim Bresnan at the top of their order, whilst England conversely, are playing a slightly improved Australian Opener at number 8. Perhaps this indicates a fundamentally different approach to selection in the two camps, with Australia choosing to play a 5 man bowling attack, using Watson as their all rounder. Conversely, England stick rigidly to 6 specialist batsman whilst having a player of Bresnan’s quality coming in at 8. Were they to use Bresnan like Watson, they would be able to play an extra seamer (Tremlett) or spinner (Panesar), depending on the conditions.

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All the data visualisation in this article was generated using new Cricket Stats app My Cricket AverageMy Cricket Average is an iPhone app which enables all cricketers to record, analyse and predict their cricket statistics. As this article illustrates, the app has also been purpose built for cricket enthusiasts to record and analyse the performances of other players (family members, team mates, professionals).

My Cricket Average is FREE to DOWNLOAD and is available on the App Store here.

My Cricket Average – Professional statistical analysis of your/other players cricket performances on your smartphone.

 

Friends Life t20 Player Analysis of Kent CC’s Darren Stevens & Sam Billings

Radio Kent Blog Header

BBC Radio Kent Sport were kind enough to invite us onto their show to talk about My Cricket Average, so we decided to do some player analysis of some of Kent CC’s players during this year’s Friends Life t20 campaign.

Darren Stevens and Sam Billings performances with the bat stood out to us, so we decided to compare these 2 players like-for-like batting statistics throughout the tournament.

Stevens trumps Billings in terms of High Score (67* vs 28), Strike Rate (160.84 vs 109.25) and Total Runs (267 vs 189) but as the graphs below illustrate, the 22 year-old demonstrated great consistency at the crease throughout the competition and will no doubt have many more chances to shine, in this format of the game.

SW Billings vs DI Stevens (flat)

 

All the data visualisation in this article was generated using new Cricket Stats app My Cricket AverageMy Cricket Average is an iPhone app which enables all cricketers to record, analyse and predict their cricket statistics. As this article illustrates, the app has also been purpose built for cricket enthusiasts to record and analyse the performances of other players (family members, team mates, professionals).

My Cricket Average is FREE to DOWNLOAD and is available on the App Store here.

My Cricket Average – Professional statistical analysis of your/other players cricket performances on your smartphone.

Agar’s Anomaly!

In light of 19 year-old Ashes debutant Ashton Agar’s outstanding performance with the bat in last week’s opening Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, we have done some research into Agars previous batting performances. Our findings reveal the true magnitude of his achievement.

Given that Agar had not shone with the bat at Henley CC before getting his Ashes call up (in three league matches for Henley, he batted just once and made four), we looked back at Agar’s previous international batting performances at U19 ODI level, to see if there were any early signs of his inner batsman.

To highlight just how unexpected his debut Test 98 was last week, we have compared his like-for-like international career batting stats with those of batting specialist Ian Bell, who was overall Top Scorer in last weeks opening Ashes Test (134 runs off 224 balls, over 2 innings).

The following infographic shows that Bell had scored 537 Runs and had an average of 26.85 for England in twenty U19 ODI innings, before he was was selected to first represent his country in Test cricket against the West Indies, in 2004.

Agar on the other hand only played in ten U19 ODIs for Australia and batted eight innings. His career runs and batting average in U19 ODIs for Australia was 40 and 6.67 respectively. His high score in U19 ODIs was 14 and his strike rate was an unimpressive 48.78.

Nothing in Agar’s previous international batting performances would have suggested he had the 98 runs in him.

 

Agar & Bell - U19 ODIs

 

The next infographic shows both Agar and Bell’s first ever innings in Test Match Cricket with the bat.

An interesting feature in both players’ performances is the standard deviation in U19 ODIs and their Test Match debuts.

Bell made 70 runs off 130 balls on Test debut against the West Indies in 2004, giving him a respectable strike rate of 53.85 (slightly below his strike rate in U19 ODIs). Agar’s 98 of 101 balls gave him a strike rate on Test debut of 97.03, more than double his strike rate in U19 ODIs.

In a normal distribution 70% of the distribution’s value is within 1 standard deviation of the mean. Against his record in U19 ODIs, Agar’s Test debut batting performance (98 runs) is 20 standard deviations above his U19 batting average which is off the scale! By comparison, Bell’s first innings in his debut Test (70 runs) was still exceptional, but much less so, at 1.76 standard deviations above Bell’s U19 batting average.

 

Agar & Bell 1st Test (Final)After the 1st Test in this year’s Investec Ashes series, Agar is 2nd highest run scorer behind Bell with 112 runs and has a current Test batting average of 56. Bell currently has a run total of 134 and a current batting average for the series of 67 (as depicted in the final infographic below).

Agars & Bell 1st Ashes Innings 2013

Agar’s previous international data set offers no rhyme or reason as to where he found those 98 runs. What happened on the 11th July at Trent Bridge can statistically only be referred to as Agar’s Anomaly!

Hats Off to you Sir!

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All the data visualisation in this article was generated using new Cricket Stats app My Cricket AverageMy Cricket Average is an iPhone app which enables all cricketers to record, analyse and predict their cricket statistics. As this article illustrates, the app has also been purpose built for cricket enthusiasts to record and analyse the performances of other players (family members, team mates, professionals).

My Cricket Average is FREE to DOWNLOAD and is available on the App Store here.

My Cricket Average – Professional statistical analysis of your/other players cricket performances on your smartphone.

 

N.B. Total strike rate for Bell’s U19 ODIs was compiled with incomplete number of balls data (not all available) so we ignored the innings we did not have results for.