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Thread: Are Players Overly Concerned with their Stats?

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    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    Are Players Overly Concerned with their Stats?

    Whilst watching Sunday night's play, Michael Atherton had a lot to say about how much he disliked the fact that there was so much talk about Fleming ending with a 40 average, and Fleming should just be concerned with helping NZ rather than his own average.

    Do a lot of cricketers care much for their average, and should they? I know that stats are a divisive point round here, some think that an average is very important, some think averages must be placed in context and perhaps modified, whereas others don't care one jot for them. But what about the players themselves? Do all batsmen strive through their careers to reach specific marks. KP should finish averaging 50 but I hate the thought of him batting slowly, or carefully for a NO in his final tests to ensure this (hopefully that's a good 8 or 9 years in the future anyway!!!).

    I'm not sure how much emphasis players place on their stats, I get the feeling the it's something batsmen care about a lot more than bowlers. Thoughts?

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    Cricket Web Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    I heard that Trescothick's illness was mainly caused by the thought of what another scratchy tour would do to his first-chance average.
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    International Captain cover drive man's Avatar
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    Human nature. Players are always going to care more about they're own careers than they're teams success.
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    Banned sideshowtim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup View Post
    I heard that Trescothick's illness was mainly caused by the thought of what another scratchy tour would do to his first-chance average.
    LOL.

    I think there definitely would be players who care a lot about their stats. I mean it's just human nature isn't it? Most fans of the game are obsessed with stats, so I don't see why some of the players wouldn't be either.

    I reckon Kallis is one who cares about his stats a bit too much, and it's glaringly obvious...Recent Test in Bangladesh for example. He should've come out and tried to pound the bowlers all over the place. Smith and Mackenzie made it look easy and South Africa were in a ridiculously strong position...They should've pushed on and looked for a quicker declaration...but he decided to strike at 32.50 and finish not out...I mean c'mon...


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    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cover drive man View Post
    Human nature. Players are always going to care more about they're own careers than they're teams success.
    DWTA, strongly. Someone like Flintoff has never struck me as being bothered by his stats (good job too), otherwise he wouldn't bowl 50 overs on the trot, which in all reality is very rarely going to be an average booster even if you take a few wickets.

    Professional sportsmen should care more about the team than themselves, and I am sure that there are plenty that do, but obviously there are some that don't.

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    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    I think some are, and I don't really like it. That's why I love guys Miller, Gilchrist and Warne. They did what they needed to and only as much as it helped the team.

    Miller needs no explanation, he pretty much gave his wicket away when his side was that far ahead. He is probably the prime example of a great player who did not care enough for stats.

    I'd say the same for Gilchrist. He could've batted slower, a bit more carefully when the result didn't rely on his speed of scoring and his average would be a few points up. Same with his walking. He could continue to bat and raise his average if he didn't walk.

    Same with Warne. He never took himself off or got into a shell if he was being hit around. He'd always try new things and keep having a go. He'd just keep at it. Conversely, in the last Ashes, he was used to stem the run-rate, and he did that and played his part instead of throwing it up and trying to get more wickets.

    I am sure there are many more players like that but those 3 spring to mind fast.
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    Banned sideshowtim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    DWTA, strongly. Someone like Flintoff has never struck me as being bothered by his stats (good job too), otherwise he wouldn't bowl 50 overs on the trot, which in all reality is very rarely going to be an average booster even if you take a few wickets.

    Professional sportsmen should care more about the team than themselves, and I am sure that there are plenty that do, but obviously there are some that don't.
    Yeah, no doubt there are plenty who don't care. Gilchrist is a big one in terms of this.

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    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    Yeah, all great examples, Warne came to mind for me, but y'know, I'm a mark for Freddie

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    Banned sideshowtim's Avatar
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    Phil Jaques cares about his stats a fair bit. Heard a couple of interviews where he's cited some of his stats perfectly right off the top of his head (regarding Pura Cup, Aus A tour to Pakistan etc).

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    I think all the attention Fleming's average of over 40+ got from himself and the media was ridiculous, and quite unexpected.

    I expect a lot of that from message boards, and even some websites. But for a player to actually mention it and for the commentators to bring it up when he got to that landmark was very surprising. Not like I've lost respect for Fleming doing that or anything, but he was batting to save a frickin' test series against England! Who cares if he averaged more than 40 in that context?

    Don't get me wrong, I myself wanted him to get to that mark, but as a player batting in a deciding test I found it quite weird, and was a little uncomfortable with it. Just didn't feel right.

    I have no doubt a lot of players care about their stats btw. Your legacy is always important.
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    Norwood's on Fire GIMH's Avatar
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    Are your stats necessarily your legacy though?

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    No, but unless you're as good as a Freddy, a Warne or a Gilchrist (some of the names been mentioned here), they certainly help your legacy.

    Fact is, Fleming will be looked upon better for having an average over 40, when in truth it doesn't really mean that much more than 39.95 or whatever it may have been. He will be known as a 'terrific captain, who was one of NZ's leading batsmen, and one of the few to average over 40 at test level'

    It sounds better than 'terrific captain, who almost averaged 40, and should have barring a series of missed opportunities in his career'

    Obviously people who watched the players, stats don't mean that much (eg. Viv, but again he's already being taken down by some for not averaging over 55), but to many they do. Whether their opinion really matters is another thing.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero View Post
    Whilst watching Sunday night's play, Michael Atherton had a lot to say about how much he disliked the fact that there was so much talk about Fleming ending with a 40 average, and Fleming should just be concerned with helping NZ rather than his own average.

    Do a lot of cricketers care much for their average, and should they? I know that stats are a divisive point round here, some think that an average is very important, some think averages must be placed in context and perhaps modified, whereas others don't care one jot for them. But what about the players themselves? Do all batsmen strive through their careers to reach specific marks. KP should finish averaging 50 but I hate the thought of him batting slowly, or carefully for a NO in his final tests to ensure this (hopefully that's a good 8 or 9 years in the future anyway!!!).

    I'm not sure how much emphasis players place on their stats, I get the feeling the it's something batsmen care about a lot more than bowlers. Thoughts?
    Truth is, if you help your career stats, you help your team.

    Exceptionally, exceptionally rare is the personal goal that runs counter to the team goal. Don Bradman put it best: "I always try to do the best I can for the team that I'm playing for. If they want me to go in there and lose my wicket so they can win the game, well, I'll be very happy to do so. If, on the other hand, they want me to get runs, then I try and get as many runs as I can."

    That could just as easily be Sydney Barnes saying "I always try to do the best I can for the team that I'm playing for. If they want me to go out and give away runs without trying to take wickets so they can win the game, well, I'll be very happy to do so. If, on the other hand, they want me to as many wickets for as few runs as possible, then I try to do that."

    The better the batsman's batting-average, the more use he is to his team. The better the bowler's bowling-average (and strike-rate, and economy-rate), the more use he is to his team.
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    International Coach KiWiNiNjA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Fact is, Fleming will be looked upon better for having an average over 40, when in truth it doesn't really mean that much more than 39.95 or whatever it may have been. He will be known as a 'terrific captain, who was one of NZ's leading batsmen, and one of the few to average over 40 at test level'
    I think the same thing goes for the stat of hundreds.
    Why should the fact you score in triple figures be so special? Is their much difference between a score of 89 and one of 101? 12 runs? But if you look at stats then 89=50, 101=100.
    Same for big hundreds. 274*=100, 101=100.

    I hate judging players by stats. Hence I don't like judging players I have never seen before, just from looking on cricinfo.

    Regarding Fleming, I think he underachieved as a batsman in Test Cricket, not because he only scored 9 centuries and averaged only 40, but because I have watched him play a lot and think he was capable of a lot more.

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    I agree with you definitely. Amazingly however, Fleming not getting 10 (and more) hundreds really disappointed him, and for one of the biggest tacticians and famous captains of the last 15 years, it showed stats mattered to him. I was surprised.

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