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Cricket stuff that doesn't deserve its own thread

shortpitched713

International Regular
Does anyone know how to set up a filter in statsguru or another Test cricket database / repository which allows you to find the aggregate average value of each batting position throughout Test cricket history (I.e. the overall average at 1, 3, 5, 11, etc.) ?
 
Last edited:

CricAddict

International Captain
Does anyone know how to set up a filter in statsguru or another Test cricket database / repository which allows you to find the aggregate average value of each batting position throughout Test cricket history (I.e. the overall average at 1, 3, 5, 11, etc.) ?
Looks a very simple query to me. Below is what you are asking right? Or am I missing something?

 

CricAddict

International Captain
And when I checked this, I see 3-4 averaging ~40 while openers average ~35 in cricket history. Is it due to the higher degree of difficulty in opening or generally better batsmen in the middle order?

I know the easy answer is both but which one do you think is the higher factor?
 

shortpitched713

International Regular

shortpitched713

International Regular
And when I checked this, I see 3-4 averaging ~40 while openers average ~35 in cricket history. Is it due to the higher degree of difficulty in opening or generally better batsmen in the middle order?

I know the easy answer is both but which one do you think is the higher factor?
This is such a good question, and here's my historical reasoning as to why it should be the first factor (degree of difficulty in opening), and this is the higher factor by a large margin.

Here's the different averages by each position, for reference:

Full Test History (1877-Present):
Op) 35.71
01) 36.85
02) 34.56
03) 39.48
04) 40.84
05) 38.08
06) 32.61
07) 27.73
08) 21.31
09) 15.53
10) 11.57
11) 8.55
3-5) 39.49
Op/3-5) 0.904

Modern Era (1970-Pres):
Op) 35.92
01) 36.96
02) 34.88
03) 39.46
04) 41.66
05) 39.41
06) 34.11
07) 29.24
08) 21.91
09) 15.53
10) 11.40
11) 8.29
3-5) 40.18
Op/3-5) 0.894

Inter/Post Wars (1914-1969):
Op) 36.74
01) 38.49
02) 35.01
03) 41.86
04) 41.50
05) 36.21
06) 30.23
07) 24.89
08) 20.05
09) 15.89
10) 11.87
11) 8.70
3-5) 39.93
Op/3-5) 0.920

Pre World Wars (1877-1913):
Op) 28.69
01) 28.85
02) 28.53
03) 30.53
04) 27.54
05) 27.98
06) 22.55
07) 19.56
08) 18.60
09) 14.27
10) 12.62
11) 10.72
3-5) 28.70
Op/3-5) 1.000

If you look at the breakdown by eras, you'll notice that the gap between production of true middle order (I define as 3-5, but you can go with 3-4) is greatest in the modern era, but decreases in size progressively until you get to the earliest Pre World Wars eras where it's basically a negligible difference. It makes sense as well, as the absolute highest producing run-scorers of earlier eras were openers (think Hobbs, Sutcliffe). Thinking about it conceptually, if all else is equal and it's not really harder to open and bat up the order than further down then of course you'd want to put your best run scorers as high up the order as possible because it gives them the maximum ability to score the most runs possible, and minimizes the chance that they run out of batting partners.

So what changed from those early days of cricket to the modern era, with the highest run scorers of the side generally needing to be shielded from the new ball? Fast bowling technique with the new ball, developed and then exploded to become the defining feature of the game. This was really in it's infancy in the earlier eras of Test cricket for mine, and now that it's a given for any aspiring great side to be able to attack with their most skilled fast bowling resources with the first new ball to effect, it's clear to me that the most difficult specialist batting role in the side by far is that of the openers.

I mean, you don't need a ****ing in depth stats analysis for that, when we can all just ****ing watch the game and it should be clear, but it's nice to see the evolution broken down in numbers as well.

PS:
The original reason that I wanted to get this breakdown is to try and determine, in the modern game, the best spot for your best middle order bat, between the 3 or 4 positions. And assuming that that position should be where that best batsman can maximize his run-scoring potential (because why the **** wouldn't you want him to), then I think that is clearly the number 4 position in the modern game. I think it ends up being in that Goldilocks zone where you're both the vast majority of the time avoiding the first new ball ( something the number 3 will see often enough to impact his scoring ), and early enough to make their mark on the game before you've lost the majority of your best batting resources (like a bat coming in at 5 would deal with) and are not in much danger of running out of partners either. Of course, individual comfort and preferences of this best bat in the side will also effect the batting spot decision, but if in doubt I think 4 is the best spot*.

*Unless you're a Pakistani bat circa the 2000s, and senior players would want to get as far away from the possibility of facing the new ball as much as possible, (i.e. Inzamam playing 5) because the openers were utterly incompetent and would put you in that position constantly.
 

TheJediBrah

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I disagree, I think the 2nd factor is the bigger one. Plenty of players have moved up to open and done well there. I can't see opening batsmen moving to the middle order and suddenly averaging more, or vice versa. Whereas the best players in the team batting 3 or 4 is pretty widespread
 

shortpitched713

International Regular
What you're saying isn't really falsifiable, especially as there are no stats for who's "intrinsically" better independent of the stats.

So why did these most productive players shift from opening, to number 3 largely, to now number 4 or even 5 during the history of cricket? Is it just a fashion, that these highly competitive professional athletes feel compelled to follow, independent of performance implications?
 

cnerd123

likes this
What you're saying isn't really falsifiable, especially as there are no stats for who's "intrinsically" better independent of the stats.

So why did these most productive players shift from opening, to number 3 largely, to now number 4 or even 5 during the history of cricket? Is it just a fashion, that these highly competitive professional athletes feel compelled to follow, independent of performance implications?
it's cricket 101 that you want to protect your best batters from the new ball.
 

Shady Slim

Cricketer Of The Year
This is such a good question, and here's my historical reasoning as to why it should be the first factor (degree of difficulty in opening), and this is the higher factor by a large margin.

Here's the different averages by each position, for reference:

Full Test History (1877-Present):
Op) 35.71
01) 36.85
02) 34.56
03) 39.48
04) 40.84
05) 38.08
06) 32.61
07) 27.73
08) 21.31
09) 15.53
10) 11.57
11) 8.55
3-5) 39.49
Op/3-5) 0.904

Modern Era (1970-Pres):
Op) 35.92
01) 36.96
02) 34.88
03) 39.46
04) 41.66
05) 39.41
06) 34.11
07) 29.24
08) 21.91
09) 15.53
10) 11.40
11) 8.29
3-5) 40.18
Op/3-5) 0.894

Inter/Post Wars (1914-1969):
Op) 36.74
01) 38.49
02) 35.01
03) 41.86
04) 41.50
05) 36.21
06) 30.23
07) 24.89
08) 20.05
09) 15.89
10) 11.87
11) 8.70
3-5) 39.93
Op/3-5) 0.920

Pre World Wars (1877-1913):
Op) 28.69
01) 28.85
02) 28.53
03) 30.53
04) 27.54
05) 27.98
06) 22.55
07) 19.56
08) 18.60
09) 14.27
10) 12.62
11) 10.72
3-5) 28.70
Op/3-5) 1.000

If you look at the breakdown by eras, you'll notice that the gap between production of true middle order (I define as 3-5, but you can go with 3-4) is greatest in the modern era, but decreases in size progressively until you get to the earliest Pre World Wars eras where it's basically a negligible difference. It makes sense as well, as the absolute highest producing run-scorers of earlier eras were openers (think Hobbs, Sutcliffe). Thinking about it conceptually, if all else is equal and it's not really harder to open and bat up the order than further down then of course you'd want to put your best run scorers as high up the order as possible because it gives them the maximum ability to score the most runs possible, and minimizes the chance that they run out of batting partners.

So what changed from those early days of cricket to the modern era, with the highest run scorers of the side generally needing to be shielded from the new ball? Fast bowling technique with the new ball, developed and then exploded to become the defining feature of the game. This was really in it's infancy in the earlier eras of Test cricket for mine, and now that it's a given for any aspiring great side to be able to attack with their most skilled fast bowling resources with the first new ball to effect, it's clear to me that the most difficult specialist batting role in the side by far is that of the openers.

I mean, you don't need a ****ing in depth stats analysis for that, when we can all just ****ing watch the game and it should be clear, but it's nice to see the evolution broken down in numbers as well.

PS:
The original reason that I wanted to get this breakdown is to try and determine, in the modern game, the best spot for your best middle order bat, between the 3 or 4 positions. And assuming that that position should be where that best batsman can maximize his run-scoring potential (because why the **** wouldn't you want him to), then I think that is clearly the number 4 position in the modern game. I think it ends up being in that Goldilocks zone where you're both the vast majority of the time avoiding the first new ball ( something the number 3 will see often enough to impact his scoring ), and early enough to make their mark on the game before you've lost the majority of your best batting resources (like a bat coming in at 5 would deal with) and are not in much danger of running out of partners either. Of course, individual comfort and preferences of this best bat in the side will also effect the batting spot decision, but if in doubt I think 4 is the best spot*.

*Unless you're a Pakistani bat circa the 2000s, and senior players would want to get as far away from the possibility of facing the new ball as much as possible, (i.e. Inzamam playing 5) because the openers were utterly incompetent and would put you in that position constantly.
a question rather than criticism: you went with 1970 to now as the modern era - why then, and if you change 1970 to, say, 1980, or even, 2000, how much does that jank the numbers around? because i would say it's a more robust result if the 1970-2022 result is in the ballpark of the 1980/1990/2000-2022
 

Starfighter

Hall of Fame Member
a question rather than criticism: you went with 1970 to now as the modern era - why then, and if you change 1970 to, say, 1980, or even, 2000, how much does that jank the numbers around? because i would say it's a more robust result if the 1970-2022 result is in the ballpark of the 1980/1990/2000-2022
Since 2000:

1: 36.88
2: 35.64
3: 41.16
4: 42.36
5: 40.88
6: 34.68
7: 30.31
8: 22.85
9: 15.51
10: 11.41
11: 8.50

I always love how these stats disprove Chappelli's 'best batsmen should bat at 3' bull****.
 

shortpitched713

International Regular
it's cricket 101 that you want to protect your best batters from the new ball.
It wasn't necessarily so throughout all of Test cricket history (see the pre World War I stats, there's a negligible difference in openers and middle order).

And some, like TheJediBrah, still believe that it shouldn't make a difference averaging more or less, in spite of the presented data, just because some have moved from one or the other role successfully. I'd love to see his data on these players, to be fair, but it's not an open and shut case as it looks like there's some controversy and difference of opinion.
 

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