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Lucky Batsman (Richard may like this)


International Debutant
Here is some research from zscore

Relying on Luck, More or Less

Some batsmen seem luckier than others. Luck is not an easy quantity to measure, but one way to get an indication of it is to look at dropped catches. It is possible, for the last few years anyway, to answer the question, which batsmen have benefited the most from dropped catches?

Taking the period from January 2004 to the end of the Ashes series, the batsmen dropped most times were

MP Vaughan 12 times (1395 runs)
MJ Clarke 11 (1004 runs)
V Sehwag 11 (1685 runs)
JA Rudolph 10 (1080 runs)
ML Hayden 10 (1648 runs)

Michael Vaughan leads the way, but newcomer Michael Clarke finished fast, being dropped 11 times in 26 innings. (Clarke did not often make great use of his chances, and only twice added more than 50 runs after being dropped.) At the other extreme, three batsmen were dropped only once in this period, the most successful being Daniel Vettori who scored 606 runs.

It is probably more interesting to look at the effect of these dropped catches on runs scored, and averages. Some misses are much more expensive than others: KC Sangakkara was dropped on 0 in his innings of 270 against Zimbabwe. Over a whole career, one might expect these to even out for most batsmen, but in a 20-month period, some batsmen definitely benefit more. If you recalculate averages assuming that every dropped catch had been taken, the averages most heavily affected are

V Sehwag 28.3 runs lost (70.2 Average would have been 41.9)
SR Tendulkar 24.9 runs lost (78.0 Average would have been 53.1)
KP Pietersen 21.0 runs lost (52.6 Average would have been 31.6)
RWT Key 20.8 runs lost (44.3 Average would have been 23.5)
RR Sarwan 19.7 runs lost (47.3 Average would have been 27.6)

The luckiest Australian was Darren Lehmann, who would have lost 17 runs off his average if all the chances he gave had been taken.

Sehwag leads thanks to chances he gave during his biggest innings: dropped at 68 on the way to 309, at 43 in an innings of 201, and at 15 in an innings of 173. Sehwag gained 679 runs in total thanks to missed chances, ahead of Sarwan (551), Sangakkara (506), Vaughan (488) and Justin Langer (487).

At the other end of the scale, Habibul Bashar of Bangladesh gained only 9 runs in all. He was dropped three times, but each time was dismissed very quickly thereafter.

Another way of looking at changed averages is in terms of ratio: who would have lost the greatest chunk of their average, in percentage terms, if all chances had been taken?

WW Hinds 48% 39.9 Average would have been 20.6
RWT Key 47% 44.3 Average would have been 23.5
Mohammad Ashraful 43% 28.2 Average would have been 16.0
DS Lehmann 42% 40.2 Average would have been 23.2
Shahid Afridi 42% 41.8 Average would have been 24.3

Statistical note: minimum 400 runs scored between Jan 2004 and Sep 2005. Results should be considered indicative only: the definition of a missed chance is sometimes subjective. Results depend on detailed report, which may not be absolutely complete for some Tests.


International Debutant
Backs up my opinion on Sehwag.. But I also think he earns quite a bit of luck by really going hard at the ball and being dificult to catch.

Slow Love™

International Captain
zscore used to post occasionally at the ABC cricket forum. IMO, his blog is a must, and all cricket fans should have it bookmarked.

archie mac

International Coach
I remember Zscore from the old abc forum, and he briefly joined us on the new one. A great Stats man. Would be good if we could entice him to post here.


Whatever it takes!!!
it is perhaps good for analysis, but to use it instead of the current averages rule (Which is what I believe Richard suggested) would have been wrong, BIG TIME.

Deja moo

International Captain
Its still arbitrary. Theres no objective definition of what constitutes a dropped catch.


State Captain
Is there not a bit of double or even treble counting going on with Vaughan's total?

And Clarke was dropped 3 or 4 times in his last innings!


Cricket, Lovely Cricket
The thing is the a ball which comes right to a the hands of a fielder and a ball for which a fielder has to stretch himself may both be considered chances.

Agressive batsmen, because of the way they play, offer more chances technically but because of the power used while hitting the shots, they are not out to the chances the offer as much as the orthodox batsmen.

So if any one feels the more agressive batsmen, because they offer more chances, are lucky and should average lesser than they do, its not really true.


Hall of Fame Member
While the solitary post I have made on this subject so far (on another thread) is all I have to say on the subject I may humbly add a bit here.

If we do want to look at the chances offered statistically and revisit the players stats, we must desist from merely lopping off the runs scored after the dropped chance and actually add the number of dropped chances to the number of innings played.

This has the advantage of not penalising players who score three hundred runs after being dropped and doing no damage to those like Habibul Basher who score Zilch after being dropped.

It really is a life, another life, another innings you could say, that the batsman is being given and thats how it should be treated (IF AT ALL) rather than ignoring a major part of his career.


Cricketer Of The Year
Interesting stat there on Daniel Vettori...he definately is batting quite well then.


International Regular
Pietersen will be on that list soon enough.

Its as the old saying goes... "you make your own luck!"


International Debutant
I always thought that Stephen Flemming was a lucky batsman. But once he gets past the 25 mark or somewhere round there he doesnt seem to give to many more chances