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Standardised ODI Batting Performances

Rob Cribb | 9:43pm gmt 18 Jul 2008
FeaturesCricket is almost unique in the way individual statistics are so widely accepted as a measure of performance despite its results being so team-reliant. This is a mere extension of the nature of a game which is so individual yet so collective at the same time. Results are often decided by more than the just the sum of all the parts with team balance, cohesion and variety all playing big roles, but each delivery itself is an intense individual battle between batsman and bowler before the other ten men on the field can do a thing. This individual component makes player statistics much easier to track and indeed much more representative of value than in other team sports.

In Test cricket, averages have long been accepted as the best measure of performance. Two fairly simple equations - runs scored per wicket lost and runs conceded per wicket taken - have ruled the cricket world for decades. Other statistics are commonly kept but these two averages have made and broken many selection debates and sparked many arguments. In one day cricket, the rate at which runs are scored are vital and hence strike rates and economy rates are carefully examined when evaluating a player's value these days as well. It has even started to become more common to multiply a batsman's average by his strike rate when looking at his one day contributions although this has yet to take over as the standard measure. Averages have been our main reference point in cricket since statistics started being kept seriously and while the comparison of scoring rates is starting to make them slightly less important, these basic formulas are still what cricket nerds across the world turn to immediately.

Whilst these measures are fine for comparing players to their contemporaries, it has long been the holy grail of cricket statisticians to compare players across eras. This has been attempted many times in Test cricket with adjustments to discount everything from helmets to uncovered pitches, but due to one day cricket's short history, no-one has bothered delve in to possible variables across time. However, research shows that one day cricket has changed greatly in its short history with batting averages and particularly scoring rights going through the roof. Arguably, one day cricket has changed more since its inception than Test cricket has changed in the last fifty years. The following data shows the upward trend:

YearGlobal AverageGlobal Strike Rate
< 197927.0162.92

Only matches involving two of the top eight nations have been considered. This has been implemented to remove the anomalies caused by associate teams, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, this eliminates the likes of Andy Flower and Heath Streak from the research completely, however the damage Zimbabwe across time could cause to the consistency of this data far outweighs the benefits of including such players in overall rankings. More significantly, though, is the fact that the data only considers performances in the top seven of the batting order - tailend scoring is not relevant when comparing batsmen across time and could only corrupt the data. All matches before 1979 have been grouped together due to the small number of ODIs played in the embryonic stages.

This data was used to "standardise" one day batting across time. The standardisation method involves finding the par values for different time periods (see above) and then weighting performances in those different periods to find the overall value of one's performances. For example, averaging 20 in a period where 30 was par would be the equivalent to averaging 40 in a period where 60 was par, while averaging 30 in a period where 30 was par would be the equivalent to averaging 20 in a period where 20 was par. The same of course can be applied to the changes in strike rates across time. It could be argued that this method favours batsmen who were ahead of their time in terms of scoring rates, however these batsmen should be recognised for not only revolutionising the game to a degree but added such value to their respective teams at the time. After the standardisation had been calculated, the method involving the multiplication of strike rate and average mentioned above was used to rank every One Day International batsman in history (a qualification of 30 innings in the top seven against top eight teams was used). The following data shows the top 20; a full list can be seen at the bottom of this page.

1IVA Richards (WI)48.3649.4790.59103.2451.07
2Zaheer Abbas (Pak)47.8549.5585.0497.0648.10
3MEK Hussey (Aus)54.7149.6085.6381.3640.35
4MG Bevan (Aus)53.8952.1873.6275.6839.49
5CH Lloyd (WI)39.5441.5181.2293.9138.98
6GS Chappell (Aus)40.1942.6575.7189.0737.99
7KP Pietersen (Eng)48.4643.7687.2882.7936.23
8DM Jones (Aus)44.6244.5172.5681.0536.08
9MS Dhoni (India)46.3841.9090.5785.7935.94
10A Symonds (Aus)41.0638.1693.6491.6334.97
11SR Tendulkar (India)42.3540.4384.1786.0834.80
12GM Turner (NZ)41.9744.5066.4678.0534.73
13AJ Lamb (Eng)39.5339.8075.6084.5233.64
14CG Greenidge (WI)44.4745.5464.7873.7733.59
15BC Lara (WI)40.6939.5478.0782.1532.48
16NH Fairbrother (Eng)40.0640.3372.8480.0032.26
17RT Ponting (Aus)42.2939.8780.3879.8231.83
18Javed Miandad (Pak)41.4442.0766.8375.4431.74
19AC Gilchrist (Aus)34.8533.0795.7495.6431.63
20RA Smith (Eng)39.6239.7969.8678.5431.25

Unsurprisingly, Viv Richards - a One Day Internation batsman before his time - leads the pack. More surprisingly is Zaheer Abbas, recognised as merely a good one day batsman in many circles, coming in second, indicating that he perhaps deserves more acclaim than he receives. Hussey sits in third having out-Bevaned Bevan with the man himself close behind. The achievements of Ponting have been put into better perspective with his modern-day feats seeing him slide behind the forgotten Neil Farbrother. Most interesting is the large difference between actual and standardised strike rates for the likes of Lamb, Turner and Chappell, really putting their strange-looking records by modern standards into much better perspective. Dhoni is probably the biggest surprise in the top twenty, finding himself ahead of recognised greats of one day batting such as Tendulkar and Lara.

This data, of course, is not the be all and end all. Standardising performances across time removes one variable, but player roles within teams, longevity, the ability the withstand pressure situations and many other factors will still live on to fuel discussions and even arguments between fans. Statisiticans will try, but you there will always be something you can't accurately standardise and this is what makes cricket not only the great game it is, but the great debate it is as well.

Full list:

1IVA Richards (WI)48.3649.4790.59103.2451.07
2Zaheer Abbas (Pak)47.8549.5585.0497.0648.10
3MEK Hussey (Aus)54.7149.6085.6381.3640.35
4MG Bevan (Aus)53.8952.1873.6275.6839.49
5CH Lloyd (WI)39.5441.5181.2293.9138.98
6GS Chappell (Aus)40.1942.6575.7189.0737.99
7KP Pietersen (Eng)48.4643.7687.2882.7936.23
8DM Jones (Aus)44.6244.5172.5681.0536.08
9MS Dhoni (India)46.3841.9090.5785.7935.94
10A Symonds (Aus)41.0638.1693.6491.6334.97
11SR Tendulkar (India)42.3540.4384.1786.0834.80
12GM Turner (NZ)41.9744.5066.4678.0534.73
13AJ Lamb (Eng)39.5339.8075.6084.5233.64
14CG Greenidge (WI)44.4745.5464.7873.7733.59
15BC Lara (WI)40.6939.5478.0782.1532.48
16NH Fairbrother (Eng)40.0640.3372.8480.0032.26
17RT Ponting (Aus)42.2939.8780.3879.8231.83
18Javed Miandad (Pak)41.4442.0766.8375.4431.74
19AC Gilchrist (Aus)34.8533.0795.7495.6431.63
20RA Smith (Eng)39.6239.7969.8678.5431.25
21Saeed Anwar (Pak)37.8136.8980.2584.4431.15
22ML Hayden (Aus)43.0239.8578.0276.6630.55
23MD Crowe (NZ)36.7337.6070.7680.2130.16
24MJ Clarke (Aus)42.5138.7881.0377.7130.14
25JH Kallis (SA)44.6842.3870.6170.5429.90
26DL Haynes (WI)40.9841.7662.9571.5129.86
27WJ Cronje (SA)37.3236.3476.3281.0729.46
28RR Sarwan (WI)42.2439.2176.0974.2629.12
29ME Waugh (Aus)36.7336.0076.2880.8529.11
30M Azharuddin (India)36.6936.2173.8079.5928.82
31Basit Ali (Pak)34.5733.9776.5884.6728.76
32CL Hooper (WI)35.8835.0776.6281.8228.69
33Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak)38.7137.3474.0176.6728.63
34DS Lehmann (Aus)36.8635.5779.3980.3128.57
35ST Jayasuriya (SL)32.3430.8689.9291.6628.28
36NV Knight (Eng)40.6639.0771.3072.1328.18
37GA Hick (Eng)35.0834.8575.0880.7728.15
38V Sehwag (India)31.9529.7396.6094.5828.12
39ME Trescothick (Eng)36.2434.2982.1281.9128.08
40Saleem Malik (Pak)33.9533.3976.9683.9828.04
41Imran Khan (Pak)34.5434.5572.6280.9427.97
42JN Rhodes (SA)34.5433.3679.9183.3827.82
43A Ranatunga (SL)34.2233.7276.3182.3627.77
44G Kirsten (SA)39.2138.0670.2272.6927.66
45L Klusener (SA)30.8629.9090.1992.2027.57
46DI Gower (Eng)30.7831.7775.1586.3227.43
47PA de Silva (SL)32.6332.0179.5585.0427.22
48DR Martyn (Aus)37.8936.1774.8275.2527.22
49SC Ganguly (India)37.9336.2873.0373.7826.76
50HH Dippenaar (SA)42.6240.1267.0966.5426.70
51GA Gooch (Eng)37.4437.9561.8470.2926.67
52Shoaib Malik (Pak)38.3635.3277.8575.4126.64
53DB Vengsarkar (India)33.9534.8667.2576.2726.59
54R Dravid (India)39.1037.2570.8371.2426.54
55DC Boon (Aus)36.4036.4764.8872.7226.52
56AB de Villiers (SA)37.0733.2784.1679.5326.46
57GC Smith (SA)36.7833.7881.0078.1826.41
58GP Thorpe (Eng)36.7135.6771.0973.8526.34
59RG Twose (NZ)33.7233.6374.7678.2826.32
60Yuvraj Singh (India)35.2332.4283.7681.1626.31
61NS Sidhu (India)35.5334.7068.8774.4425.83
62Mohammad Yousuf (Pak)38.1235.9672.3871.8125.83
63Ijaz Ahmed (Pak)31.6430.7779.3983.4925.69
64SM Gavaskar (India)34.8836.0462.3371.1425.64
65KC Wessels (Aus)35.7237.6758.8367.8025.54
66AR Border (Aus)30.7531.3171.5581.1025.39
67GR Marsh (Aus)39.7940.1255.8562.6025.12
68HH Gibbs (SA)33.4931.6179.6479.1325.02
69SR Waugh (Aus)31.6831.2474.4379.8824.96
70CH Gayle (WI)34.3432.0079.4777.9824.96
71G Boycott (Eng)35.6037.9553.8365.3324.79
72JV Coney (NZ)31.5233.0664.3974.5224.63
73WB Phillips (Aus)24.3425.1485.7197.5824.53
74N Kapil Dev (India)22.6423.0793.73106.2424.51
75S Chanderpaul (WI)37.3435.1269.8669.4124.38
76AL Logie (WI)29.1129.3073.7382.4924.17
77CL Cairns (NZ)29.1228.2383.1785.6124.16
78A Jadeja (India)34.6133.7168.0271.5524.12
79RL Dias (SL)32.0831.7968.0875.2423.91
80MW Gatting (Eng)29.5129.9670.5979.2423.74
81A Flintoff (Eng)29.7827.8286.3784.9523.64
82SM Patil (India)24.4625.3182.3193.3123.62
83SB Styris (NZ)34.4031.7176.6474.4023.60
84BC Broad (Eng)40.0338.8955.6260.5323.54
85RB Richardson (WI)33.2833.5762.6170.0023.50
86MA Atherton (Eng)37.6136.4960.3464.3923.50
87K Srikkanth (India)28.9229.3071.2180.0123.44
88NJ Astle (NZ)33.3731.9572.1372.9523.31
89GM Wood (Aus)33.0533.9259.6868.4023.20
90Rameez Raja (Pak)32.7632.6663.9070.9623.18
91Manzoor Elahi (Pak)21.5822.1892.57104.3123.13
92SP O'Donnell (Aus)25.9625.6181.5690.3023.12
93KC Sangakkara (SL)35.0032.5372.6671.0523.11
94SR Watson (Aus)32.0029.0783.5379.5123.11
95PV Simmons (WI)30.7630.4369.0075.6923.03
96Salman Butt (Pak)35.7632.3574.6970.9322.94
97DJ Cullinan (SA)31.8631.0070.4973.8322.89
98SV Manjrekar (India)32.9132.9263.1869.4322.86
99Saleem Elahi (Pak)33.9232.6468.4869.9822.84
100Shahid Afridi (Pak)23.0221.84104.32104.5722.84
101MS Atapattu (SL)34.9733.2767.0467.4822.45
102DPMD Jayawardene (SL)32.1830.2374.8474.1622.42
103GM Ritchie (Aus)27.4029.5764.8475.4922.32
104DW Hookes (Aus)24.8826.1173.9185.2622.26
105IT Botham (Eng)23.4524.0280.0592.0122.10
106RP Arnold (SL)32.5330.8471.2471.2321.97
107JM Kemp (SA)31.2528.5280.1977.0221.96
108PN Kirsten (SA)35.5035.2054.6762.1121.87
109AH Jones (NZ)34.9534.8256.2662.6221.80
110SC Williams (WI)33.0431.6266.0668.7021.73
111IR Bell (Eng)34.9831.3573.2569.1421.68
112MJ Greatbatch (NZ)28.1528.0070.1877.3421.65
113Abdul Razzaq (Pak)29.4528.1276.4776.8421.61
114DW Randall (Eng)27.2329.0562.8074.3321.59
115Yasir Hameed (Pak)35.2433.2464.9264.7821.53
116AJ Stewart (Eng)30.3029.6968.1472.4521.51
117RJ Shastri (India)30.2630.8461.2769.2521.36
118Yashpal Sharma (India)28.5329.5063.2272.2021.30
119JA Rudolph (SA)33.6431.7167.2367.0321.26
120MV Boucher (SA)28.3826.6580.7379.5621.21
121Aamer Sohail (Pak)31.2530.4764.8569.4221.15
122SP Fleming (NZ)31.3729.7870.0870.5921.03
123KLT Arthurton (WI)28.0327.8667.9975.1520.94
124R Lamba (India)27.0027.5167.1576.0220.91
125IA Healy (Aus)22.9622.6784.5592.2320.90
126MN Samuels (WI)29.3627.2077.5776.2620.74
127MA Taylor (Aus)32.3531.9959.1864.6020.67
128Younis Khan (Pak)30.8028.7173.1071.6320.56
129IDS Smith (NZ)18.5118.9096.29108.5820.52
130KR Rutherford (NZ)29.0328.9163.8970.9820.52
131M Amarnath (India)30.7131.4657.6365.0820.47
132PD Collingwood (Eng)31.3028.6174.3471.5220.46
133PG Fulton (NZ)33.2129.8372.3068.5120.44
134G Gambhir (India)30.3227.2179.8875.0720.43
135ND McKenzie (SA)31.1630.1766.1167.3020.30
136Asif Mujtaba (Pak)27.4728.0163.0672.2520.24
137RL Powell (WI)22.5321.8290.8392.7620.24
138VG Kambli (India)27.6027.0968.6674.5520.19
139VVS Laxman (India)30.3128.5270.5770.4720.10
140KJ Hughes (Aus)23.8825.3167.8379.3720.09
141SM Katich (Aus)33.2430.6367.6765.4520.05
142AC Hudson (SA)29.3929.0362.4868.8619.99
143Imran Farhat (Pak)29.6028.0870.8771.1719.99
144LRD Mendis (SL)23.4923.6775.0784.0419.89
145Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ)22.0222.9275.5986.7119.87
146CWJ Athey (Eng)31.4131.3656.7263.3619.87
147LRPL Taylor (NZ)30.0626.8278.5273.7119.77
148DA Gunawardene (SL)27.7026.8271.7473.5819.73
149HJH Marshall (NZ)29.3927.3673.2471.9019.67
150AC Parore (NZ)29.1628.1366.2769.5919.58
151SG Law (Aus)25.9525.1174.3576.8419.29
152PJL Dujon (WI)25.2025.5667.2275.3619.26
153TM Dilshan (SL)27.7125.3078.8175.7119.16
154RW Marsh (Aus)18.7820.1180.7694.8819.08
155BA Edgar (NZ)30.7532.7549.2357.8018.93
156SM Pollock (SA)24.8123.1981.4980.3918.64
157Wasim Akram (Pak)17.8517.5897.72105.6918.58
158AP Gurusinha (SL)28.0327.8860.4566.4018.51
159CD McMillan (NZ)27.1625.5073.1072.4018.46
160JC Adams (WI)28.4928.2761.1865.1718.42
161AJ Strauss (Eng)28.6326.2072.6370.0118.35
162RR Singh (India)24.6224.1273.2975.6218.24
163OA Shah (Eng)27.8825.1875.6672.0318.13
164M Prabhakar (India)27.1826.8061.4167.6218.12
165CZ Harris (NZ)27.3926.5365.0867.8518.00
166SK Raina (India)26.8324.5675.6872.6317.84
167M Kaif (India)27.8926.0569.5368.2717.79
168RS Mahanama (SL)28.0127.6559.0364.1117.73
169JDP Oram (NZ)24.4622.4280.7578.2817.55
170JJ Crowe (NZ)24.3225.3560.3969.1717.54
171BB McCullum (NZ)24.2221.9284.0179.9117.52
172JG Wright (NZ)26.1726.9556.8064.8717.48
173HA Gomes (WI)27.8928.4854.2961.3217.47
174Wasim Raja (Pak)21.7622.8066.2575.9017.31
175Mohsin Khan (Pak)26.8027.5355.5462.6117.23
176DJ Richardson (SA)25.8625.0762.3468.6517.21
177HP Tillakaratne (SL)28.2728.0156.5361.1817.13
178Moin Khan (Pak)21.7421.1078.6880.8317.06
179RS Kaluwitharana (SL)22.1121.5776.3479.0217.05
180GP Howarth (NZ)22.9224.2460.2270.2717.03
181Kamran Akmal (Pak)25.0222.7378.4774.8117.00
182TM Moody (Aus)23.6323.3565.9272.3116.88
183WU Tharanga (SL)28.2225.6268.8365.7716.85
184LPC Silva (SL)29.3226.3167.5663.7716.78
185RD Jacobs (WI)24.3123.7568.1470.1916.67
186KC Wessels (SA)29.0429.1549.9157.0816.64
187BM McMillan (SA)22.1722.1968.3874.7616.59
188N Hussain (Eng)25.5524.7265.5366.4216.42
189SA Thomson (NZ)23.4222.3867.7773.3416.41
190DJ Bravo (WI)23.5221.3679.9176.1416.27
191WW Hinds (WI)27.1526.0062.1262.5016.25
192D Mongia (India)25.3423.9465.7265.0715.58
193Qasim Umar (Pak)22.8223.7657.4165.3315.52
194BA Young (NZ)24.5323.6561.0365.0615.39
195MAR Samarasekera (SL)20.3120.2267.5075.8215.33
196RS Morton (WI)28.0025.6262.3659.8315.33
197MP Vaughan (Eng)24.5522.9567.6066.6915.30
198IK Pathan (India)23.8821.8372.4269.5115.17
199CJ Nevin (NZ)21.1820.3573.4774.1815.10
200L Vincent (NZ)25.1023.2466.3364.8615.07
201MS Sinclair (NZ)25.9024.3761.3661.5815.01
202MJ Slater (Aus)23.9223.1660.1664.7815.00
203Mudassar Nazar (Pak)24.9725.5751.7158.3614.92
204SL Campbell (WI)24.8524.6656.8359.5614.69
205Imran Nazir (Pak)20.1919.2874.4774.4314.35
206NR Mongia (India)20.6919.9069.3771.1614.16
207Shoaib Mohammad (Pak)24.4824.4551.6257.6414.10
208RA Harper (WI)17.7817.7272.5479.0114.00
209DR Smith (WI)15.5414.2499.6395.9913.67
210UDU Chandana (SL)18.2917.5974.5275.8813.35
211S Wettimuny (SL)24.5624.6148.0453.0313.05
212GO Jones (Eng)20.2518.6071.4168.7412.78
213RS Madugalle (SL)18.9018.9160.5467.1712.70
214GS Blewett (Aus)20.4119.7361.9864.2212.67
215Azhar Mahmood (Pak)18.5618.0568.8770.1612.67
216RS Kalpage (SL)19.4818.8960.9566.8712.63
217MJ Horne (NZ)19.6819.1564.3065.7912.60
218Rashid Latif (Pak)16.7816.1074.3077.3012.44
219RT Latham (NZ)19.0819.2954.9962.7112.10
220GRJ Matthews (Aus)14.3115.2763.7074.5511.38
221DSBP Kuruppu (SL)19.2219.5251.1757.4711.22
222MD Marshall (WI)13.2113.4972.6981.9911.06
223CM Spearman (NZ)14.5814.4072.2375.2210.83
224Mansoor Akhtar (Pak)17.4417.6851.6657.2910.13
225Mohammad Hafeez (Pak)18.7417.6257.4757.0010.04
226JR Ratnayeke (SL)14.6314.4447.1052.067.52

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Red rose bear
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