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Follow on: to enforce or not?


Cricket Spectator
Who contributes to India's wins?

The quantitative answer to the question: who is responsible the most for India's recent Test victories? Some players' names jump out predictably, and we are reminded that others shouldn't be forgotten too quickly, for they too have had a hand in India's recent fortunes. An analytical look at those who have made the sealed the wins.

- thirdslip


Cricket Spectator
Warne and Murali - together at the top

As the leg-spinner Shane Warne joins the off-breaking Muttiah Muralitharan at the pinnacle of Test Bowling, Third Slip places a comparative lens over different elements of their records, in the process creating a statistical salute to two of the very best bowlers the game has known.

- thirdslip


Hall of Fame Member
Hmmm, it would have been interesting to see what flintoff's is, they must have had a minimum of 75 innings or something because in their 'top 25 strike rate' he should be no. 6

a massive zebra

International Vice-Captain
Good article. IMO it is obvious that Murali is better.

1) Warne has failed dismally against the best players of spin – India (29 wickets at 55.44). Murali has done far better against them (51 wickets at 32.94).

2) Murali has a better average, strike rate, economy rate, and takes more wickets per match than Warne; despite the fact that Warne has not had to play against the world's best team.

Mat O M R W Ave Best 5wi 10w SR Econ
Murali 90 5120.4 1366 11998 527 22.76 9-51 44 13 58.2 2.34
Warne 112 5248.2 1478 13425 527 25.47 8-71 27 8 59.7 2.55

3) Murali has a better record against all countries, except Pakistan.

4) Murali is far more consistent. Warne has been known to be hit around occasionally and although Murali has previously been nullified to a degree, he has never been smashed around the park.

45 7 150 1 3.33 3rd Test v Ind in Aus 1991/92 at Sydney
22 2 107 0 4.86 1st Test v SL in SL 1992 at Colombo (SSC)
30 7 122 1 4.07 1st Test v Ind in Ind 1997/98 at Chennai
42 4 147 0 3.50 2nd Test v Ind in Ind 1997/98 at Kolkata
15.5 2 70 1 4.42 3rd Test v WI in WI 1998/99 at Bridgetown
13 1 60 0 4.62 3rd Test v Ind in Aus 1999/00 at Sydney
34 3 152 1 4.47 2nd Test v Ind in Ind 2000/01 at Kolkata
30 6 108 2 3.60 3rd Test v SA in SA 2001/02 at Durban

5) Warne is part of a stronger bowling attack. If Warne was of equal ability to Murali he would take less wickets per match than Murali (because there are four good bowlers competing for wickets), but would have a lower average and strike rate (because greater pressure is put on the batsman by bowlers at the other end). Murali takes more wickets per match and has a lower average and strike rate.

6) Warne takes a lot of his wickets against the same batsman, whereas Murali takes more of a variety. A high proportion of Warne's test wickets are numbers 10 and 11 in the batting order; Murali does well against all batting positions. What’s the point in Warne taking the wickets of Nehra or Walsh game after game, if he cannot trouble Tendulkar, Dravid or Lara?

7) Although Warne has been less effective since his shoulder injury, even at his peak (1993-97) he was not as good as Murali has been this century.

Mat O M R W Ave Best 5wi 10w SR Econ
Murali 2000-2003 37 2347.3 684 4990 258 19.34 9-51 22 10 54.5 2.13
Warne 1993-97 57 2876.5 938 6457 277 23.31 8-71 11 3 62.3 2.24

8) You could take a look at their respective records in the English county championship:

Mat O M R W Ave Best 5wi 10w SR Econ
Murali 19 1049.1 322 2195 149 14.73 7-39 17 6 42.2 2.09
Warne 23 922 245 2442 103 23.70 6-34 7 - 53.7 2.64

9) One reason why Warne is rated so highly is Gatting’s reaction to the so called “ball of the century.” The shock that that ball sent through the cricketing world was immense because it was thought no one else could bowl that delivery. Actually, Warne was not the only one to bowl such a delivery in recent years, Abdul Qadir had bowled the same delivery a few years earlier, it just wasn’t highlighted at the time because it wasn't on such a big stage. Murali bowled similar balls which were every bit as good to both Sadgapan Ramesh and Mark Butcher a few years ago.

10) Murali was recently voted the best bowler ever in an objective Wisden analysis.


Against this…

1) Murali gets to play half his matches on spin friendly Sri Lankan wickets.

BUT Murali has a better record in Sri Lanka than Warne.

2) Warne has a better average and strike rate away from home than Murali.

BUT This should be the case if the two bowlers were of equal standard because greater pressure is put on the batsman by excellent Australian bowlers at the other end. Murali still takes more wickets per match and has a greater economy rate away from home.

3) Murali has taken nearly a fifth of his Test wickets against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, while Warne has played a combined total of one match against these teams.

BUT Murali still has a better record than Warne if you exclude matches against these two terrible teams. Until recently Zimbabwe were not that bad.

4) Many people think Warne is the better bowler of the two.

BUT This was largely caused by anglo-Australian bias and the fact that Warne plays for a better and more fashionable team.

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
tooextracool said:
there are times when you wish neil were around.......
Hi, TEC.

Nice to know people still think about me :cool:

And now, to get back into the old routine... I knew this thread wouldn't last long before a certain stripy animal contributed.

I'm willing to give this thread a chance (as I haven't seen a Murali-Warne in three weeks, but that's probably only because I've been away) - so let's keep it civil and structured rather than turning it into a bunch of ten-year-olds playing state/restate.

Can but hope!

Slow Love™

International Captain
That's a very nice analysis.

The factor of the bowlers tiring has become in some ways more prevalent, 'cause we're seeing more games with higher, faster scoring, where making 700 and having a team follow-on at just under 500 is more common, and in some ways it's made it a harder call for the captains. Having said that though, I still agree with you that Ganguly made the wrong call in Sydney '03.

Tom Halsey

International Coach
Yes, but he didn't see any Gingers in France, so he came home dissappointed.

Zebra, how the hell can you say Warne has failed against the best players of spin? Yes, he's not played well against India, but the article does state that the quality of batsmen dismissed is actually better for Warne.


Hall of Fame Member
Although Warne has been less effective since his shoulder injury, even at his peak (1993-97) he was not as good as Murali has been this century.
but how many of Murali's dismissals this century were with a delivery that has been deemed illegal?

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
a massive zebra said:
Thanks for not closing the thread Neil, did you have a good holiday?
It wasn't a holiday - it was work on a campsite - and it was terrible. And I missed the cricket more than I thought possible... still, West Brittany's a very nice place.

As for the doosra - not many, I don't think.


World Traveller
I will read your article later.

I have always believed that if you have a lead of 250+ you should enforce the follow on, and anything less you should bat again. Obviously this isn't set in stone as varying factors will deterime whether or not you would bowl again if you lead by 217 and how much time there is and the flatness if the wicket.


State Vice-Captain
thirdslip said:
A new perspective on batting combines different measures of a player's worth into a single index.

- thirdslip
I would say thats an absolutely brilliant analysis..
And it also re-iterates my comment about Sachin being the greatest ODI player..
I know he comes second behind Zaheer Abbass, but Zaheer played only 62 games, and it's hard to imagine he would hv been as consistent for 320 games and growing..


World Traveller
marc71178 said:
And also how long has your attack been bowling?
That too.

The deteriming factors I look for when deciding to enforce the follow on are:

- Is there back-to-back Tests?
- Length of time in the field;
- The pitch;
- Potentially any rain forcasted;
- How long to bowl out a side and get the winning runs or save for a draw; and,
- More importantly does the team mates think that it is a good idea, especially the bowlers, since they will have to be out there, and if they all say yes, then majority rules and enforce the follow on.


Cricketer Of The Year
Murali V Warne - A brilliant analysis using various different criteria by third slip.

Based on batting position of batsmen dismissed by the two, Murali has dismissed more batsmen Nos. 1, 2 and 7(than Warne) , While Warne has only dismissed more batsmen No 5,8 and 10 (than Murali), while they are on par in terms of batsmen No 3,4 ,6 ,9 and 11.

This should put paid to the suggestion that Murali dismisses more tailenders than Warne, as its very clear who has more tailenders scalps in their tally!!