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Thread: Standardised Test Bowling Averages Across Time

  1. #1
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Standardised Test Bowling Averages Across Time

    Im bored so I though I would look to standardise bowling Test bowling averages of different players from any time period. This would hopefully make comparisons easier, though never exact.

    Im sure it will have been done before but it is an interesting exercise.

    Im sure there may be points made about the methodology but it is the fairest way I can see possible.

    Methodology
    Break the history of Test cricket into smaller groups and work out the 'global' Test bowling average for that period.

    19th C- 22.38 Global bowling average

    Pre WW1- 26.15 Global bowling average

    Inter War Years- 33.33 Global bowling average

    1945-75- 31.80 Global bowling average

    75-90- 32.56 Global bowling average

    1990s- 31.87 Global bowling average

    2000s- 34.38 Global bowling average

    It is important to see the differences as each time period will have had different conditions that may have favoured the batsman or the bowler and affected the balance between the two. eg uncovered tracks, bat technology, LBW laws etc

    One of the figures needs to be chosen as the base number. I chose the 1990s as any one would do but it is simply the period I watched the most cricket in.

    So the 1990s number of 31.87 is the base number of 1. Then this number of 31.87 is divided by all the other 'global averages' to give the weighting for that period of time.

    19th C- 1.42 Weighting

    Pre WW1- 1.22 Weighting

    Inter War Years- 0.96 Weighting

    1945-75- 1 Weighting

    75-90- 0.98 Weighting

    1990s- 1 Weighting

    2000s- 0.93 Weighting

    Now averages from those periods would be multiplied by the weighting and a new and more standardised average would be the result.

    However, to further ensure that the numbers are more comparable and that we are comparing apples with apples, only the wickets taken in games won or lost will be used in the new average.

    This is to get a stable base where all games are played in an environment where 20 wickets are capable of being taken and doesnt penalise players who played on dead tracks or favour players that spent most of their times on bowling heavens (eg Lohmann never played in a drawn test match).

    So the stats from non-drawn tests are given their weightings and the new standardised averaged are the product.

    Many players have played across different periods so the games they played are weighted differently.

    Results

    Malcolm Marshall
    Actual Test Av= 20.94
    Standardised Test Av= 17.78

    41 games in 75-90 that were either won or lost taking 238 wickets @ 17.24
    11 games in 1990s that were either won or lost taking 43 wickets @ 21.09

    so
    ((41/52)*0.98*17.24) + ((11/52)*1*21.09) = 17.78

    Fred Trueman
    Actual Test Av= 21.57
    Standardised Test Av= 20.26

    45 games in 45-75 that were either won or lost taking 218 wickets @ 20.26

    so
    20.26*1 = 20.26

    Syd Barnes
    Actual Test Av= 16.43
    Standardised Test Av= 19.58

    In Pre-WWI he took 165 wickets in games either won or lost @ 16.05

    so
    16.05*1.22 = 19.58

    Murali
    Actual Test Av= 21.73
    Standardised Test Av= 19.79

    28 games in 1990s that were either won or lost taking 161 wickets @ 24.08
    50 games in 2000s that were either won or lost taking 375 wickets @ 18.7

    so
    ((28/78)*1*24.08) + ((50/78)*0.93*18.7 = 19.79

    So with the few I have done.

    Standardised Test Bowling Av Leaderboard
    Marshall = 17.78
    McGrath = 19.29
    Barnes = 19.58
    Murali = 19.79
    Hadlee = 20.12
    Trueman = 20.26
    Donald = 21.33
    Warne = 22.91
    Kumble = 23.97
    Harmison = 26.45
    Sobers = 30.22

    Would be willing to work out some other players if people want to request them
    Last edited by Goughy; 25-05-2007 at 04:55 AM.
    If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there is bound to be edits

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  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Im bored so I though I would look to standardise bowling Test bowling averages of different players from any time period. This would hopefully make comparisons easier, though never exact.

    Im sure it will have been done before but it is an interesting exercise.

    Im sure there may be points made about the methodology but it is the fairest way I can see possible.

    Currently adding the full post.
    I just hope this not like the brothel in the caravan?

    All the best bits are in the trailer (there an attempt by AM at humour)

    No offence attended Goughy, I am sure you will do a great job
    You know it makes sense.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    I hope I'll get this when I see the thing, 'cos just reading the explanation I don't.
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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    If anyones interested just post a player and Ill try to do their standardised average.

    Its an effort to make averages form different time periods more comparable. Obviously though, there is no perfect way of doing it.


  5. #5
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    TBH, I'd prefer it if you did it (regarding games in England, in any case) into 19th-century, 1900-1930, 1930-1970 and 1970-current day.

    In Australia it'd be different - if Sean could remind me again when pitches started being covered over there?

    EDIT: having just read the entire post, my head is spinning, TBH.

  6. #6
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Adding pre-WW1 and Inter war years isnt appropriate as you can see there is a big difference in the bowling averages of the period and both were very different in cricketing terms.

    Also doing 1970 to current is a little broad IMO as the game has changed a lot in the past 10 years let alone 37.

  7. #7
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Possibly 1970-2000 would be better.

    Was the game really that different in 1924 to how it was in 1912? I honestly don't know a heck of a lot about anything pre-1930.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Possibly 1970-2000 would be better.

    Was the game really that different in 1924 to how it was in 1912? I honestly don't know a heck of a lot about anything pre-1930.
    Very different. The war changed a lot and brought the end of the 'Golden Age of Cricket'. Cricket was a different animal after WWI

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    TBH, I'd prefer it if you did it (regarding games in England, in any case) into 19th-century, 1900-1930, 1930-1970 and 1970-current day.

    In Australia it'd be different - if Sean could remind me again when pitches started being covered over there?

    EDIT: having just read the entire post, my head is spinning, TBH.
    It's hardly complicated IMO. He has simply taken the global bowling averages (that is, the average of all test bowling) of each period and then tried to standardise them by converting that global average to the same number. Once that was done, he had different weightings for each year.

    For example, a bowler who has bowled exclusively since 2000 - say, Stuart Clark - would have his bowling average multiplied by 0.93 to get his standardised average, as the bowling averages of the base period (the 1990s) were 0.93 times the size of the averages in Clark's period. Someone who bowled exclusively in the 19th century would have their average multipled by 1.42 because the global bowling average in that period was 1.42 times bigger than the base period.

    It gets a little more complicated for players who bowled across two periods - but I'm sure you can see how he figured that.
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  10. #10
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Just thought I do McGraths before heading to bed.

    McGrath
    Test Av = 21.64
    Standardised Test Av = 19.29

    Puts him second on the list so far.
    Last edited by Goughy; 24-05-2007 at 05:53 PM.

  11. #11
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Just thought I do McGraths before heading to bed.
    Sod it 1 more

    Harmison
    Test Av = 31.10
    Standardised Test Av = 26.45

    EDIT 1 more

    Warne
    Test Av = 25.41
    Standardised Test Av = 22.91
    Last edited by Goughy; 24-05-2007 at 06:12 PM.

  12. #12
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    It's hardly complicated IMO. He has simply taken the global bowling averages (that is, the average of all test bowling) of each period and then tried to standardise them by converting that global average to the same number. Once that was done, he had different weightings for each year.

    For example, a bowler who has bowled exclusively since 2000 - say, Stuart Clark - would have his bowling average multiplied by 0.93 to get his standardised average, as the bowling averages of the base period (the 1990s) were 0.93 times the size of the averages in Clark's period. Someone who bowled exclusively in the 19th century would have their average multipled by 1.42 because the global bowling average in that period was 1.42 times bigger than the base period.

    It gets a little more complicated for players who bowled across two periods - but I'm sure you can see how he figured that.
    I'm sure I could work it easily having read Kev's post, say, 10 times.

    That's normally how long it takes me to take-up any mathematical formula these days.

  13. #13
    International Regular shortpitched713's Avatar
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    Hmm... seems pretty good to me. The periods seem a bit arbitrary though. Maybe decades would be a better and more objective cut-off point.
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    Hall of Fame Member NZTailender's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff, Goughy. Can you do them for Hadlee, Donald, Cairns and Vaas?
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    Love it Goughy - Lohmann, Hadlee and Kumble please.

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