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Thread: Are team performances assessed by a common objective standard or in isolation?

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    Cricketer Of The Year Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Are team performances assessed by a common objective standard or in isolation?

    I have been thinking about this lately based on the various discussions and posts in various tour threads in CC. One of the thing that I find interesting is how fans of different teams will have a certain way of assessing their teams.

    Example: If Australia score 300 and lose an ODI game, we will most definitely criticise the bowling.

    If India score 300 and lose a game, we will often say oh India should have scored 350 knowing that their bowling is ****.


    South Africa failed to defend 204 yesterday and while I thought the bowling was tripe, I found it interesting that a lot of the SA fans were saying South Africa were short by 30-40 runs.

    Pakistan failed to defend 130 in 20 overs against Bangladesh and some of us said well we knew the batting was **** so the bowlers should have done more.


    So here's the thing, do we assess performances based on individual strengths and weaknesses of that team or do we have a common objective standard where we say 300 is a good score and if you don't defend it, your bowlers are ****, or we say I am sorry 130 is just not good enough and you can't expect any more from your bowlers.


    I think it's also interesting that such different perspectives are seen in LO threads and not test match threads. Perhaps it there is a more commonly accepted objective way of assessing both bowling and batting. We rarely say oh the score was 30 runs short in test cricket.


    And if we do assess them based on individual strengths and weaknesses, then essentially what we are saying is Indian batsmen scoring 300 in 50 overs is not good enough but Pakistani batsmen scoring 280 in 50 overs is absolutely brilliant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Warrior View Post
    I have been thinking about this lately based on the various discussions and posts in various tour threads in CC. One of the thing that I find interesting is how fans of different teams will have a certain way of assessing their teams.

    Example: If Australia score 300 and lose an ODI game, we will most definitely criticise the bowling.

    If India score 300 and lose a game, we will often say oh India should have scored 350 knowing that their bowling is ****.


    South Africa failed to defend 204 yesterday and while I thought the bowling was tripe, I found it interesting that a lot of the SA fans were saying South Africa were short by 30-40 runs.

    Pakistan failed to defend 130 in 20 overs against Bangladesh and some of us said well we knew the batting was **** so the bowlers should have done more.


    So here's the thing, do we assess performances based on individual strengths and weaknesses of that team or do we have a common objective standard where we say 300 is a good score and if you don't defend it, your bowlers are ****, or we say I am sorry 130 is just not good enough and you can't expect any more from your bowlers.


    I think it's also interesting that such different perspectives are seen in LO threads and not test match threads. Perhaps it there is a more commonly accepted objective way of assessing both bowling and batting. We rarely say oh the score was 30 runs short in test cricket.


    And if we do assess them based on individual strengths and weaknesses, then essentially what we are saying is Indian batsmen scoring 300 in 50 overs is not good enough but Pakistani batsmen scoring 280 in 50 overs is absolutely brilliant.
    In ODIs, I don't really agree with shifting the goalposts based on strengths/weaknesses of various teams. If India is facing Australia's attack on a pitch with decent bounce, it doesn't mean our batsmen have failed if they don't make an exceptional score, just because we have cannon-fodder like Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav to defend it. If 300 is a par score, and the batsmen get 300, they've done their job AFAIC.

    In Tests however, I would be disappointed if India failed to defend 300-350+ bowling last on a turning 5th day pitch at home, but you'd excuse SA for that if they were bowling to India. Similarly SA should be criticized if Steyn and company are unable to bowl India out in the 4th innings on a Durban wicket with variable bounce, India not so much.
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    I think there's a tendency to always blame someone -- make 204 and lose, must have been someone's fault, either the batsmen for not getting to a 'par' score (which is shifted upwards post-hoc to something the chasing team didn't chase), or the bowlers for failing to defend. It completely denies that the opposition can play well and pull off a blinder to win a match.

    204 in a T20, in all conditions, is an above-par score. You'd expect to defend it more than 50% of the time (which I'm defining a par score as being: the point where your chance of winning = your chance of losing, all else being equal). Failing to do so isn't some heinous failure of the team, its just that the <50% odds came off -- which can either be down to poor bowling, or due to someone in the opposition doing something special.

    There are some games where you can do everything perfectly well and still lose. Sometimes the opposition will just be better.
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    There are some games where you can do everything perfectly well and still lose. Sometimes the opposition will just be better.


    Well said. Something that various fans of all sports fail to grasp at times and it's always amused me.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Black_Warrior's Avatar
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    Yepp fully agree. I think it's one of those cases where you can have a certain perspective as a fan of the game from the outside, and appreciate the quality of the game without blaming anyone for the defeat. However, for those who are insiders (the players, coaching staff, analysts, etc), I think it's in the nature of sport itself to always strive for a certain level of excellence, to better yourself and minimise your mistakes. Yes sport is brutal and merciless like that. Hence for me, as a fan I can look back at the WC 2015 SF between SA and NZ and say SA played brilliantly, gave everything, but NZ were just the better side.
    But I don't think the SA team, coach or staff can necessarily look at it that way. Even if they acknowledge NZ being better, they are kind of obligated to look at their own 'mistakes' such as fielding mishaps and bowling in that game and try to rectify them.

    The problem though is when the lines are blurred and we as fans start blaming a scapegoat when we can't accept that our team might have been beaten by a better side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I think there's a tendency to always blame someone -- make 204 and lose, must have been someone's fault, either the batsmen for not getting to a 'par' score (which is shifted upwards post-hoc to something the chasing team didn't chase), or the bowlers for failing to defend. It completely denies that the opposition can play well and pull off a blinder to win a match.

    204 in a T20, in all conditions, is an above-par score. You'd expect to defend it more than 50% of the time (which I'm defining a par score as being: the point where your chance of winning = your chance of losing, all else being equal). Failing to do so isn't some heinous failure of the team, its just that the <50% odds came off -- which can either be down to poor bowling, or due to someone in the opposition doing something special.

    There are some games where you can do everything perfectly well and still lose. Sometimes the opposition will just be better.
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