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Thread: Batting SR in test cricket

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    International Captain Ruckus's Avatar
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    Batting SR in test cricket

    Watching Warner in this SA/Aus series, was thinking how underrated a high SR for batsmen in test cricket is. A lot of people seem to say that it doesn't matter all that much because there aren't often time concerns in the longest format etc., but the effect a high SR has on the opposition is so palpable...it brings in this element of pressure which completely changes the feeling of the game. The captain is forced to abandon normal tactics and change around field settings, the bowlers stray from their lines, pressure to take catches and field well increases. And aside from all of that, the pressure is off the batsman at the other end, especially if they happen to be more of an accumulator type player. You just really get the feeling that if a player like Warner succeeds, then it completely sets up the game for the rest of the team. Be interested to hear how other people see it.
    Last edited by Ruckus; 02-03-2014 at 05:41 PM.
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    International Captain OverratedSanity's Avatar
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    I don't think the SR matters too much perse. More important I think is the ability of a batsman to switch gears and score quickly to transfer pressure back on the bowlers. This is definitely underrated on here when posters say "getting the runs matters, not how quickly you get them" . But there are so many situations in test cricket where quick runs can be so vital, I can't see how people completely ignore it. This may or may not necessarily get reflected in the actual career SR too much. Now obviously all batsmen don't need to do this but one who can do both (ie) buckle down and see off tough periods of play and counterattack when in good nick is definitely a better batsman imo
    Last edited by OverratedSanity; 01-03-2014 at 11:33 PM.
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    Yeah look, having a player like a Warner or Sehwag definitely is a huge asset. I know the "Sehwag factor" is largely dismissed on here but during his prime it definitely was there........really do think it affected opposition captains mindsets when setting a total to chase.

    But the key thing for me is consistency. A test team is much better off with a Kallis or a Ponting striking at 50 odd and consistently making big scores than they are with a dasher that makes a run a ball hundred every 10 innings. Warner really seems to be coming of age now and is most certainly getting some consistency in his game, if he keeps going in this nick then you have a real gem in your ranks. IMO though a lot of the gushing being done over him at the moment is a tad premature, lets see him string a couple of years together like this.

    Edit:

    Completely got lost in my own BS there. I was intending to make the same point as OS re the gears........the innings Warner played yesterday was great, but not as great as his Hobert effort against the kiwis. If he can adapt and play to the conditions then that is a greater asset to the team than just his blitzing knocks.
    Last edited by Adders; 01-03-2014 at 11:39 PM.

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    International Vice-Captain Riggins's Avatar
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    I think the strike rate itself isn't very important. High SR is nice, but just as a bonus. What's important is the ability to score consistently, to not go through long periods without scoring, which builds pressure and leads to wickets. Whether that's a boundary an over or a single every three balls or whatever, I don't think really matters.


    The thing is, test cricket is ****ing hard. You don't get many balls to score off, and so a guy who hits those occasional bad balls for four/six instead of one/two, and as a result has a higher strike rate, is very valuable.
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    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverratedSanity View Post
    I don't think the SR matters too much perse. More important I think is the ability of a batsman to switch gears and score quickly to transfer pressure back on the bowlers. This is definitely underrated on here when posters say "getting the runs matters, not how quickly you get them" . But there are so many situations in test cricket where quick runs can be so vital, I can't see how people completely ignore it. This may or may not necessarily get reflected in the actual career SR too much. Now obviously all batsmen don't need to do this but one who can do both (ie) buckle down and see off tough periods of play and counterattack when in good nick is definitely a better batsman imo
    Spot on. Having a high strike rate is handy but having gears is what makes a proper Test batsman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adders View Post
    Kallis striking at 50 odd
    wut

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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverratedSanity View Post
    I don't think the SR matters too much perse. More important I think is the ability of a batsman to switch gears and score quickly to transfer pressure back on the bowlers. This is definitely underrated on here when posters say "getting the runs matters, not how quickly you get them" . But there are so many situations in test cricket where quick runs can be so vital, I can't see how people completely ignore it. This may or may not necessarily get reflected in the actual career SR too much. Now obviously all batsmen don't need to do this but one who can do both (ie) buckle down and see off tough periods of play and counterattack when in good nick is definitely a better batsman imo
    Aye, what you're really after is adaptability. There are plenty of situations where quick scoring is the imperative but there are situations where scoring itself ceases to matter, and batting success is measured in minutes instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    wut
    Kallis never scored big runs with a strike rate around the 50 mark??

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    International Captain Ruckus's Avatar
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    Can definitely appreciate the 'ability to change gears' argument, but I guess I'm more referring to the 'standard' innings of a player - i.e. in a situation where there isn't a clear-cut requirement to either bat very quickly or slowly. In those situations do you think it matters at what SR your scoring at? I still think it's important (for the reasons in the OP). E.g. take Warner's hundred in this current match. If that was Alistair Cook opening it's very likely if he scored those runs they would have come at a standard SR of around 40-50. Would both innings have been of the same value to the team though? I don't think so.

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    Sometimes I feel people discount strike rate for elitist reasons. The rate at which Warner was scoring his runs in on Saturday has played a massive part in why Australia are in the position they are in, where despite losing a session they still have time to win this match.

    There were times, particularly around 2004-06 and again in 2010 or so, when Sehwag would make a pitch look like the flattest piece of **** ever, and then he'd get dismissed after a quickfire century. Superior batsman such as Dravid, Sachin and (arguably) Laxman would then look like they couldn't get it off the square - not because the pitch was a minefield but because it was slow and they needed time to work out how to score considering the pace of the wicket. However they had time to get set and bat at 30-50 sr because India were cruising in terms of run rate (and obviously runs on the board).

    Also they were showing some 2002 highlights of Aus tour of SA. The rate at which Langer and Hayden put the SA bowlers to the sword just set the tone every time Australia batted in that series. Was incredible. Was a nice reminder as to why they were such an amazing opening pair.

    Very rarely is a batsman better than another because of their higher strike rate, and indeed there are circumstances where its not an advantage at all. But I think the benefit of a higher strike rate is definitely downplayed on here - possibly because it may be overplayed by commentators so there is this weird need to equalise the cricketing world.
    Last edited by Jono; 02-03-2014 at 07:33 PM.
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    Batting records | Test matches | Cricinfo Statsguru | ESPN Cricinfo

    Here is the link to batsman with more than 2000 runs sorted by SR.

    There are some decent players on that list if you consider a high SR as anything over 60 led by Viv and Gilchrist (as those I have the most time for).

    I'll talk about Viv as I have more memories of him. I think he did advance the game but sometimes you could, as a cricket fan, get frustrated with him when he didn't come off and you would wish he was a bit more circumspect. So I think he (and probably the others) lived by the sword and died by the sword.

    Is having a high SR always better than having a lower SR - no not really. I wouldn't want every player in my team to have a SR like Kapil Dev and Viv. I would want some steady eddies to consistently perform and be a person for a crisis if there was one.
    If you gave me a choice of picking one SR that everyone at my team had to bat at then I would choose 50. Because I think it is quick enough and steady enough for most situations.

    If you asked me if I would want one guy in my team who batted like a hyena on heat and have a high average then I wouldn't say no.
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    International Captain Ruckus's Avatar
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    You shouldn't conflate having a high SR with inconsistency though. I'm only taking about comparisons where the SR's are different but the amount of runs are similar. Obviously if a player has a SR of 100 and has an average of 35 because of it, it's probably not going to be an ideal situation. But if they can have a high SR and score a lot of runs doing it, to me that's pretty invaluable. If you look at someone like viv's batting graph his consistency and run distribution across his career is actually pretty good, and similar to any other great batsman HowSTAT! Player Batting Graph. I didn't realize just how high his SR was as well, so I can definitely see why he was rated so favourably a bit more now.
    Last edited by Ruckus; 03-03-2014 at 01:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
    Batting records | Test matches | Cricinfo Statsguru | ESPN Cricinfo

    Here is the link to batsman with more than 2000 runs sorted by SR.

    There are some decent players on that list if you consider a high SR as anything over 60 led by Viv and Gilchrist (as those I have the most time for).

    I'll talk about Viv as I have more memories of him. I think he did advance the game but sometimes you could, as a cricket fan, get frustrated with him when he didn't come off and you would wish he was a bit more circumspect. So I think he (and probably the others) lived by the sword and died by the sword.

    Is having a high SR always better than having a lower SR - no not really. I wouldn't want every player in my team to have a SR like Kapil Dev and Viv. I would want some steady eddies to consistently perform and be a person for a crisis if there was one.
    If you gave me a choice of picking one SR that everyone at my team had to bat at then I would choose 50. Because I think it is quick enough and steady enough for most situations.

    If you asked me if I would want one guy in my team who batted like a hyena on heat and have a high average then I wouldn't say no.
    This is illogical. Assuming the averages are the same, a higher strike rate is always more desirable than lower strike rate. Even in a crisis situation, I'd take the guy who'd blow apart the bowling opposition and shift the pressure on to them than the guy who plays into their hands by being a solid no-scoring guy. There are insane benifits in a cricket match to be able to hit a bowler off his normal line or length.

    The only positive thing about mr slowpoke over mr hurricane strike rate is mr slowpoke may be able to save a few more matches. But the objective in cricket fundamentally is to win, not to go into a match trying to save it and for that reason, the guy who scores his runs faster gives your team a better chance of winning, since he lets your team put up runs and have longer to get the opposition out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    Aye, what you're really after is adaptability. There are plenty of situations where quick scoring is the imperative but there are situations where scoring itself ceases to matter, and batting success is measured in minutes instead.
    It's not just that though, sometimes the bowlers will be on top, you need to reign yourself in and fight through it, then return the pressure back to the bowlers by scoring quickly once again when things become a bit easier. A good example would be Clarke's innings.
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    International Captain Ruckus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muloghonto View Post
    This is illogical. Assuming the averages are the same, a higher strike rate is always more desirable than lower strike rate. Even in a crisis situation, I'd take the guy who'd blow apart the bowling opposition and shift the pressure on to them than the guy who plays into their hands by being a solid no-scoring guy. There are insane benifits in a cricket match to be able to hit a bowler off his normal line or length.

    The only positive thing about mr slowpoke over mr hurricane strike rate is mr slowpoke may be able to save a few more matches. But the objective in cricket fundamentally is to win, not to go into a match trying to save it and for that reason, the guy who scores his runs faster gives your team a better chance of winning, since he lets your team put up runs and have longer to get the opposition out.
    I agree for the majority of situations, but as you yourself said, if a match needs to be saved and the runs don't matter then a high SR is a negative. As HoweZat said, in those situations success is measured merely by balls faced and time at the crease.

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