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Meaningless and stupid cricket statistics

Starfighter

Hall of Fame Member
I alluded to this in one of the Australia-India threads last night. In cricket there are certain figures that people love to use to prove how good or bad a player is that, if you think about it, don't really prove or tell you anything.

My least favourite is the old 'player x only averages y if you take out his hundreds' chestnut, generally used to make a player look bad. The problem is that a player's average is reflective of all their scores and is higher because of their bigger ones, though some will be more consistent than others. You may as well take out all the innings where they scored runs to 'prove' that they average zero. It's a stupid stat. Bradman was good because he was able to reel off those big innings at an unprecedented rate. His failures in between aren't relevant.

The one I noted last night is for the opposite, it's 'player x averages y in wins' which is supposed to prove that they're good. Now, of course there will be some variability over this sort of thing, players enjoy better series than others, there's surrounding team strength and opposition strength, conditions and so on. But it doesn't take much thinking to realise that when players perform, teams win, and hence team wins will tend to be associated with good performances. And in the example discussed (Bumrah), where India have done more winning overseas, yeah, bringing in a better player will help you win more often. The more better players, the more winning.

Someone mentioned the specific example of the oft cited stat of Dhoni's average in successful chases. Think about it for a moment. He's a lower order batsman, usually one of the last recognised. Big victories by nine or ten wickets aren't that common, so lo and behold he will often be involved in chases. Aside from him being probably more likely to finish unbeaten in a successful chase rather than perishing in a failed one, it's pretty reasonable to assume that a good innings from him will greatly improve India's chances of winning, same as any other batsman in any other team.

Overall these averages and whatever that are dredged up and often used to provide a 'deep insight' as to why a certain player is good or bad don't really tell us anything. All they do is show that good performances win matches, or that bad performances are well... bad. Things we don't need numbers to know. They're just drivel.
 

Line and Length

International Regular
You can use stats (and comments about Dukes and clouds) all you like to put down Anderson, but the fact remains he has taken more wickers than any other pace bowler in the game's history. That's one stat that's irrefutable.
 

Red

The artist formerly known as Monk
Batting averages in middle order (5,6,7) players in ODIs
 

Red

The artist formerly known as Monk
RPI of top order (1,2.3) of players in ODIs
Dunno. Reckon it’s as valid as averages in ODIs when comparing top order bats. You could use either metric for top order bats and get a similar picture
 

TheJediBrah

Hall of Fame Member
You can use stats (and comments about Dukes and clouds) all you like to put down Anderson, but the fact remains he has taken more wickers than any other pace bowler in the game's history. That's one stat that's irrefutable.
You can use stats (and comments about career average) all you like to put down Gilchrist, but the fact remains he has made more runs in WC finals than any other batsman (I think?). That's one stat that's irrefutable.
Batting averages in middle order (5,6,7) players in ODIs
lol here we go

"nOt OuTs BoOsT aVeRaGeS" v 73.0 coming up
 

Line and Length

International Regular
Yeah but without mentioning the fact he's played in a time where England get to play a crazy amount of tests that undisputed fact is misleading
There are many variables that contribute to a factual statistic. Most followers are aware of those variables but, when all factors are considered and analysed, a fact remains a fact.
 

Starfighter

Hall of Fame Member
There are many variables that contribute to a factual statistic. Most followers are aware of those variables but, when all factors are considered and analysed, a fact remains a fact.
Yeah, we can consider those variables without having this weird need to defend English players at all costs. It remains as much a fact that longevity doesn't mean he's better on the field than other bowlers nor does it alter his markedly worse away record. It's not a reflection of other players' ability that they didn't get the opportunities.
 

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