Now how would be to calculate the effect of 15 best batsmen of this era on bowlers stats?
Now how would be to calculate the effect of 15 best batsmen of this era on bowlers stats?
Member of the Sanga fan club. (Ugh! it took me so long to become a real fan of his)
A couple of points
- Strictly you should probably add another batsmen in to the averages
- If Bradman had not been present, the English bowlers would of got to bowl at the
Australian Tail a lot more often. This would counter act point 1. There would be matches where instead of picking up 15 Australian wickets and loosing, the English bowlers would pickup 20 wickets Australian wickets and win.
- In some ways Bradmans average does not do him justice. Bradman scored Big and scored Quickly . Thats sets up wins !!!, it does not allow the opposition to escape with a draw.
- If another batsmen comes along and averages 90+ but scored slowly and get's a lot of not outs, he would less dangerous than Bradman was.
To do a proper review you'd have to go through series by series and pick the best man in form. I have a few names like Rigg, Richardson, O'Brien, Nitschke in mind. But I made Arthur Chipperfield stand in all their stead as he was the one the selectors most preferred and had the best ave against England of the lot: which was about 29. If you add that score back in then the overall averages of the pre war group move up a little. I think its a less than 0.1.
Even that should be adjusted by your 2nd point but there isn't way I can calculate that. The speed of DGB's runs were a factor of our and his success. Remember too he saved us Border style, in Eng in 38 with 2 fine defensive innings.
With these figures you can quickly see the difficulty Bradman presented to pre war bowlers. Note that their average falls 3.57 points when Bradman's contribution is deducted. From that new point (26.95) it falls only 2.42 points to the best of the other sides, SA and the WI. The step up in class is greater between Australia's other batsmen to Bradman than it was from SA or the WI to all the other Australian batsmen.
Really none of this should be surprising. Bedser and Tate are recalled with equal fondness. Besides DGB faced both. Larwood and Tyson both won a famous series for Eng (though Tyson has the better figures until you adjust for Bradman's effect and Tyson's gimmes against lesser teams). No surprises that Allen, Farnes, Bowes and Voce adjusted figures are comparable to Trueman, Statham and Bailey or Geary matches Brown. I dare say a similar pattern would emerge when rating the spinners too.
You only assume what you do bcos the post war group had more opportunities than the pre war group. And that fits in with the modern preference of rating players after they have played a large no. of tests. But that is the only difference btwn the group. Post war had more opportunities and therefore looks more credentialed. But in quality there is no difference btwn the 2 groups at all.
But there is something even more interesting about pre conceptions which shows up when looking at DGB's series against SA.
A recent comparison is to look at the recent South Africa vs Australia and South Africa Vs Packistan (or New Zealand). Dale Steyn average drops from 31 to 12. While Australian Batting is hopefully stronger than Pakistan, it is still very ordinary. A lot of the difference in Steyn's/ South African averages is Down to clark's efforts.
Thanks again, it was great effort
That is true. Clarke's effort in that series and even the last year will most likely be the pinnacle of his career. Whereas with Bradman it was a constant factor on bowling averages. So much so that in the sample group chosen he alone represented a greater jump in class than moving from a series against say SA.
The funny thing abt pre conceptions is that they are selectively applied and when they are they are usually wrong. For example some people downgrade DGB's stats bcos of games he played against minnows. This is wrong as anyone who can divide 37/52 will realise he played 71% of his tests against his era's strongest opponent. Sure it was a quirk of the test program of the time but its ratio far higher than any modern player will achieve.
But when his SA opponents are rated they are called minnows. I think it is a brave man who would describe any SA side post the mid 20s as minnows. Including the one DGB played as it had just beat a strong Eng team and was fated to repeat the effort some 3 years later. To oppose that view a poster linked to the bowling averages of the men who bowled to DGB in 31/32 and summarised their stats with "Its not pretty". And thats all he said. On reading it doesn't look pretty. Vincent ave 31. Bell and Quinn 32. McMillan 34 and Morkel 45.
But did you notice what was missing? Where is all the qualifying talk abt minnows that poster was only too happy to spout in error in relation to Bradman? The SA of the era almost played exclusively against Eng and Australia. By far the best 2 teams. The bowlers listed only played 2 games against NZ who could be described as a lesser team. Although they had Dempster who averaged 60 odd. Even then Bell and Vincent did not benefit statistically as they averaged much higher in that series then they did overall. Quinn cashed in somewhat but the real beneficiary was McMillan whose leg spinners won that series against NZ and in doing so dropped his test ave from the mid 40s to mid 30s. Another 2 tests against NZ and he may have droped it to the mid 20s and all of sudden...
Of the 5 bowlers mentioned you can safely overlook McMillan and Morkel as test performers. Though to give then credit McMillan could atleast wallop NZ and the likes of him would probably be Australia's best spinner now. Morkel was really a bits and pieces cricketer. One picked to extend the batting and bowling. But against England and Australia Vincent averaged 30, Bell 31 and Quinn 38. These aren't bad figures against such strong opponents, as even the selective poster indirectly admitted. In another context he posted Grimmett's record against England. It is 32. No one doubts Grimmett's greatness but his average against a strong opponent is higher than Vincent and Bell's and only superior to Quinn's Yet the SA had an even harder job than Grimmett. They also had to bowl at the batsmen who were Grimmett's team mates. Most of all they had to bowl against Bradman. And the 2 things we've come to know is that the less you bowl at Bradman and the more you bowl at minnows the better off you'll be.
Well unfortunately for the SA bowlers of the era they got the ratio the wrong way around and that is why their figures appear unimpressive. Next up I'll post just how drastically Bradman inflated the bowling averages of Bell and Quinn.
Last edited by the big bambino; 08-03-2013 at 02:42 PM.
I think I've deleted a post. Just to summarise it Allen, Voce, Farnes and Bowes as a group had the same ave against Aus as Trueman, Statham and Bailey. When DGB's contribution is removed the pre war group's ave is abt 3 run/wkt less. The post war group's ave against other countries is lesser by abt the same margin which shows there is little to no difference btwn the 2 groups when Bradman's contribution is deducted.
I also have SRT's record against all bowlers (up to abt 3 yrs ago). They show he averaged 34 v Donald and increased that bowler's ave against India by 1.68. If you scale up SRT's ave to 100 he increases Donald's ave against India by 4.01 runs.
After the distractions of the goings on in India a quick review of the SA side Bradman played in 31/32. Particularly their bowlers. If you consider Morkel and McMillan of ltd use then SA relied mainly on new ball bowlers Bell and Quinn and left arm spinner Vincent. The latter had a rough tour averaging 54 in tests. Even if you allow for the runs DGB scored off him his tour ave would still be up there. I have done a potted review of spin bowlers in Aus and concluded their best role here is to keep runs down and hopefully master atleast 1 batsman. So if Vincent averaged around 40 he would have been doing well for a spinner in Aus, historically speaking.
In tests Quinn took 13 wkts @ 39 and Bell 23 @ 27. Bell's effort on those figures alone rates as one of the better efforts for a touring pace bowler. What you don't get is an appreciation of how well both bowled. Bradman scored around 35% of Australia's runs that series. Woodfull also had a top series. Yet most of the others struggled. Kippax ave 32. McCabe 33. Ponsford was so poor against Quinn he was eventually dropped. However Bradman averaged 201. The weird impression is given that Bell and Quinn were bowling SA to almost parity at one end and getting slaughtered by DGB at the other. In fact they only managed to dismiss Bradman once btwn them. I've estimated that Quinn conceded 185 runs to DGB for a single success. Bell 206 runs for no successes.
Adjusted for Bradman's effect Quinn averaged 27 and Bell an incredbile 18. Bell's effort was almost as good as Larwood's in the following season and one of the most impressive pace bowling efforts by anyone to visit Australia. Their overall figures, when similarly adjusted wouldve fallen abt 4 points and into the 28 region. Vincent's would also have fallen into the high 20s I'm guessing as I haven't done the exercise to prove that.
Remember those averages are obtained with the negligible assistance of bowling to minnows as SA's test program was almost exclusively against Aus and Eng. I know there is a big difference in tests played but that is down to the opportunities available, but such an average compares with McDermott and Hughes.
Too many people have dismissed the SA bowling as minnow standard. Yet these people have not allowed for the fact these men rarely had the chance to bowl at minnows themselves to improve their figures. Yet they always raise the minnow issue when they believe it assists them to make the point. Even then the point they make is often in error.
The averages of Bell, Quinn and Vincent is only high bcos they bowled at Bradman and rarely at minnows. The assessment of their skill is distorted by a failure to appreciate those facts.
In a marketing announcement I can confirm that I have written a feature about Bill Ponsford which will, assuming I have understood the schedule correctly, appear on the front page tomorrow.
But back on point Bell and Quinn had the Indian Sign on Ponny in 31/32, so much so that he was dropped for the final Test
Great: Can't wait.
The less you bowl at Bradman and the more you bowl at weaker teams the better for it you'll be. Such a simple thing to understand and yet some people don't seem to credit it. Some try and revise DGB's achievements by denigrating his opposition, exaggerating his games against minnows or say he played too often against England. The fact these last 2 points are contradictory doesn't proclude some from stating both of them.
Most of all they try and use his success against him. Look at the bowling averages they say. Proves none of them could bowl. Well the only way to prove the quality of the attacks he faced is to remove his contribution which would reveal the kind of attacks he dominated to begin with. When that is done I have shown that there is no statistical difference btwn the prominent English pace men of the 30s and 50s. I have shown the 30s to be the 2nd lowest scoring decade by batting average. I have shown that in the 30s Australia's Bradmanless batting ave to be the 2nd lowest in ashes cricket since that time. In short all impressive recommendations for the quality of the attacks he subsequently dominated.
To my surprise that isn't enough to convince some people who nonetheless offer nothing in refutation. So I have compared the English attacks of 27-39 with certain modern attacks with and without his contribution deducted. First some parameters:
1) Comparison is the Eng attack of 27-39, Eng attack of 98-2009, SA attack 93-2004, Pak attack of 88-2000 and the Aus attack of the same time frame.
2) I have compared each team's record v Aus (except the last side of course) no. of top 10 bowlers who ave <30 v Aus, record v All, no. of top 10 bowlers with ave <30 and proportionally adjusted ave v All. I'll get to that last point in a while but it came about bcos I'm coming to the conclusion that the record v All (highlighted) is more a measure of how often you were fortunate enough to escape playing the best team moreso than overall quality.
3) I picked the 27-39 timeframe bcos it is the most relevant. It is the time dating back to DGB's fc debut up to the last test before the war. Therefore the others should be compared to a 12 year timeframe too. I picked the modern teams and their timeframes bcos no one can credibly doubt their quality. A knee jerk reaction might groan at the inclusion of the modern Eng team. However it won 2 ashes against strong Aussie teams in that era. I have concentrated on the 90s in the main (but not wholly) bcos it was an era of comparatively low batting averages.
4) I have selected each side's record v Aus bcos they were the quality opposition for all teams over both eras. This is the most important comparative stat imo bcos the no of tests each group played v Aus is approximately similar. Neither can anyone doubt Aus' quality in either era. The ave against Aus isnot distorted by proportions of games teams played against minnows as the figure v All is so corrupted. It is a direct and stark comparison showing how each side performed against quality.
5) Why deduct the Bradman Effect? Well bcos the DGB revisers invite it. It isn't fair to quote bowling stats after DGB distorted them. To make an absolute comparison btwn eras his stats have to be removed. After all no one's bowling reputation suffers at all if you take away SRT's and Lara's contribution toward them. Even then the 1st comparison will include DGB's stats.
Next post I'll explain why I have come to doubt the importance of overall averages which I highlighted in point 2.
Last edited by the big bambino; 07-04-2013 at 10:01 PM.
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