Monday, December 29, 2008

An overrated problem.

This was a comment in response to Over-rate blues by Michael Jeh


I think over rates are an overrated problem (sorry about that). The blame for the Mohali test is surely to be placed at the authorities for scheduling it there in spite of knowing that Mohali, as well as other test centers in North India, would be severely affected by fog and short days. Surely other centers, like Bangalore, Hyderabad or Kolkatta could have been employed.

Another point is how people say that the last Mohali test kills test cricket when there is no mention of the Ind/Aus Nagpur test. Ponting's "tactics" to speed up the overrate did more to kill off test cricket by robbing an absorbing contest. I think the spirit of any sport is that all teams would strive to win (or draw if that is not possible) at all times. When a team like Australia does not do it when there was a distinct possibility, it does a lot of harm.

Disclaimer: This comes from an Indian supporter. Even to me it was plain obvious that the tactics resulted in India escaping making the result frivolous.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


"He is literally making the ball talk" -- Arun Lal.

I would like to see that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Optimal first innings score in a Test Match.

In this post, the optimal score that provides the team batting in the first innings the best chance of winning will be analyzed using statistics of matches gone by.

The thought occurred during the India - Australia series in October, 2008. India won the match in Mohali when they made a score of 400+ in the first innings. In Delhi, India made a score of 600+, but the match ended in a draw. At this point, I wondered whether a score of 400 - 500 would be better for the team batting first than a score in excess of 500. Sure enough, though due to idiotic 'tactics' by Ricky Ponting, India won in Nagpur when they made a score of 400 something in the match.

Closer inspection was warranted.

Using Cricinfo's stats guru, the following data can be obtained.

Team batting first scores 0-100 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 0 / 12 = 0%
Loss Percentage: 11/ 12 = 91.7%
Draw Percentage: 1 / 12 = 8.3%

Team batting first scores 100-200 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 8 / 84 = 9.5%
Loss Percentage: 65 / 84 = 77.3%
Draw Percentage: 11 / 84 =13.1%

Team batting first scores 200-300 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 34 / 127 = 26.8%
Loss Percentage: 75 / 127 = 59.1%
Draw Percentage: 18 / 127 =14.2%

Team batting first scores 300-400 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 33 / 94 = 35.1%
Loss Percentage: 35 / 94 = 37.2%
Draw Percentage: 25 / 94 =26.6%

Team batting first scores 400-500 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 45 / 78 = 57.7%
Loss Percentage: 14 / 78 = 17.9%
Draw Percentage: 19 / 78 =24.4%

Team batting first scores 500-600 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 23 / 55 = 41.8%
Loss Percentage: 2 / 55 = 3.6%
Draw Percentage: 30 / 55 = 54.5%

Team batting first scores more than 600 runs:

The stats show
Win Percentage: 13 / 23 = 56.5%
Loss Percentage: 0 / 23 = 0%
Draw Percentage: 10 / 23 =43.5%

The above records show the split for the matches over the past 10 years only. Considering only the first innings scores, it is clear that teams batting first win more when they score between 400-500 runs (win percentage of 57.7%) followed closely by when they score more than 600 runs (win percentage of 56.5%). Strangely, when the score is between 500-600, the win percentage drops to 41.8%. At the same time, when the score is between 400-500, the loss percentage is 17.9% whereas when the score increases above 500, it decreases dramatically to 3.6% when the scores are between 500-600 and 0% when it is above 600.

This is probably due to several reasons. A score of above 500 could indicate that the pitch is really good for batting making draw very likely. It could also indicate that to make scores of above 500 takes up more time than that required to make a score in excess of 400.

To conclude, if winning -- and not 'not losing' -- is the main objective, teams are better off scoring between 400 and 500 runs rather than more than 500 runs.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fall of "The Wall"

It is very apparent that through India's exceptional performance in test match cricket, one non performer has been Rahul Dravid. The downfall started in South Africa, 2 years ago. Coincidentally, it was same series where Saurav Ganguly famously made his comeback. Is there a relation to the two events -- Ganguly's comeback and Dravid's fall?

Dravid was one of the main reasons that Ganguly had become India's most successful captain. However, the fallout between Greg Chappel and Ganguly must have had its effect on Dravid. Also, Dravid may have had something to do with the removal of Ganguly. It is possible that Ganguly's comeback caused Dravid -- the then captain -- some mental discomfort that may have caused the downfall in Dravid's batting.

All this is pure conjecture, but when there is such a perfect alignment of events, there is a possibility of one event causing the other.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

On possible ways to prevent terror attacks.

As already posted earlier, one of the things that has not been very transparent in the aftermath has been the rejection and distancing of the attacks by Islamic leaders. The Muslim public has taken a distancing stand by not burying the bodies of the terrorists.

If there has been widespread condemnation by the leaders, I have missed it. These, if they exist, should be publicized by the major news channels.

Otherwise, I believe that the main leaders from the main Islamic religious bodies should condemn the attacks in a stronger manner. Barring that, the news channels should ask these leaders about their view. There is a good chance that they will disown the attacks. I believe that if enough leaders, both in India and abroad do this, then the impressionable youth perpetrating the terror could be positively affected.

I think this might get to one of the root causes of the problem and hopefully do something to try and eliminate it.

Update 1: More muslims have come together to denounce the attack as attacks on Islam. Links follow.

Muslims denounce Mumbai attackers as enemy of Islam

Indian Muslims unite against terror, hold peace march

Muslims forced to pick between good madarasas & bad

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Distancing of terrorists.

At least the citizens have begun distancing themselves from these terrorists who are disgracing their religion.

It is the turn of the leaders all over the world now. Hope they follow suit.