Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A new era in cricket statistics?

This post is a few years delayed. Why? Because the suggestions I mention here are so self-evident that I assumed they would be incorporated by the statisticians serving the game sooner than later. Well, it hasn't happened so far, so here goes.
I think it's high time we measure the following in our players:

1) Weighted Batting Index
This will be the product of a batsman's average and his Strike Rate per ball.

WBI = Average * (Strike Rate/100)

In the era of T20, the WBI is a better indicator of a batsman's performance as compared to the Average. Let's compare two players using the WBI.
Sachin Tendulkar's average in ODIs is 45.12 and his Strike Rate is a healthy (considering the era he debuted in) 86.26.
Virender Sehwag's average in ODIs is 34.25 and his Strike Rate is an awesome 103.51.
Comparing the averages, Sehwag performs at 75.9% of Sachin's benchmark. But comparing the WBI gives a different picture altogether.
Sachin's WBI is 38.9.
Sehwag's WBI is 35.45.
This means that Sehwag actually performs at 91% of Sachin's benchmark. Now that's a very different picture, isn't it?

In summary, the WBI incorporates two parameters of batting - consistency and aggression - to arrive at a new measure of prowess.

2) The Weighted Bowling Index
Exactly the same concept as the WBI, except that this combines Average and Run Rate per ball.

WBoI = Average * Run Rate/6

As an easy corollary, the WBoI incorporates two parameters of bowling - wicket-taking ability and thrift - to arrive at a new measure of prowess.
I daresay that the WBoI will show that we've not given sufficient due to many thrifty bowlers.

3) The All Rounder Index
I've never understood why the two aspects of an all-rounder's game have never been combined together to create an All Rounder Index.

ARI = (Weighted Batting Index) * (1/Weighted Bowling Index)

Self-explanatory, right? An all-rounder, by definition, is one who can claim his place in the team either as a batsman or a bowler (I'm excluding wicket-keeper all-rounders here). So someone who has a reputation as an all-rounder but consistently underperforms in either batting or bowling will be revealed in his true colours. Similarly, an all-rounder who's just good in both aspects will be shown as "better than good" overall.

4) Safe Hands Index

Just when will we start collecting metrics on dropped catches? Why hasn't this been done so far? Is it sufficient to say that a Test player has, over twelve years of slip fielding, taken 130 catches? What about the 45 catches he dropped in the process?
The SHI is a simple percentage formula.

SHI = (1 - (Catches Dropped/Catches Taken))*100
An SHI of 65 means that his hands are safe 65% of the time.

I have more ideas, but I guess this should suffice for now.


  1. As they say, awwwsumm man! :-)
    COuple of suggestions though:
    1. For anyone with a SHI of 80 and less, the term will become Slippery Hands Index
    2. A wicketkeeper allrounder could have the same formula with the denominator as Weighted WK Index

  2. An addendum:
    Weighted Batting Index is not a catchy enough term. Why not call it Strikage? Incorporates Strike Rate and Average...