Wednesday 6 May 2009

Golden balls

David Barry came up with some great stats with regard to the post below. Here are the percentage chances of the top five batsmen getting out first ball [drawn from dismissals in all ODIs]:

No 1: 1.6%
No 2: 2.1%
No 3. 2.0%
No 4: 1.9%
No 5: 1.7%

So opening batters are slightly less likely to go first ball, or at least the number one is. The number two's stat is revealing. The psychology of an opening pair is complex: you'd imagine the senior player would take the first ball, but some just don't like to. Others want to swap innings by innings, which is a mindfuck. I open [at a rather more modest level] and I always want to face, but only through fear, and a desire to get it over with. I mask it, of course...

I wonder if the number three stat bulges because they are, by definition, facing a fired-up bowler who's just knocked over an opener [more often than not the number two, that snivelling mummy's boy...]. 

The overall percentage is most interesting though. A top five batter is likely to be out first ball between once and twice per 100 innings. It's strangely comforting.

How it feels when it happens is probably a whole other post. Somehow, it's not as tough mentally as being worked over and then beaten. It's almost like a by-product of the job; once or twice per 100 knocks, you're going to get a ball like KP got today and you don't actually know whether you've batted well or not.



Q said...

Sachin Tendulkar never faces. He says he would rather get his eye in from the non striker's end.

Sunil Gavaskar always used to face. His theory was that the first few balls are the ones with which u can settle down cos the bowler is just looseing up and will throw down some looseners at you.

I believe in Gavaskar's theory.. I have always opened for my school, college, and now club team and have always faced :-)

The Old Batsman said...

A man after my own heart, Q...