Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I'm not saying this to be provocative — lord knows I lay my bait without any such disclaimer — but the reason why WPM evokes such a visceral reaction from TJB is purely because of its deployment in Warne Vs Murali debates. Obviously, there's a completely unrelated factor (general quality of opposition) which artificially widens the gap but instead of just recognising that people say it's useless in general. This also comes up when we're talking about Miller's bowling. Yeah, WPM depends a lot on context but it's pretty telling how Philander managed only 3.5 overall despite a legendary start to his career. Or that Lillee managed 5 wickets each game despite shattering his spine in half. No one argues a WPM of 4.6 makes one a better bowler than someone with 4.4. People also brush off Hadlee picking up 5 each game as irrelevant with muh less competition excuses but it's a testament to his supreme fitness and godlike persistence. It's even more incredible considering he played something like 85% of the matches NZ played in his career. Compare that with Fat Vern's road activated glass knees. Rant over. Richard Hadlee was a god.You recognize the need to apply common sense to stats, even the most basic one, averages. (Which could be rephrased, more objectively, but potentially more problematically, as the need to apply multiple statistical filters).
You regard a measure like WPM/I as essentially invalid. It is objectively as good a measure of contribution as exists, and if filtered, whether by common sense or statisically (which admittedly is complicated) will give a great idea of quality.
Do you really believe it is impossible to filter this down in this way for this stat specifically? We spend most of our time in ATG threads deconstructing stats in bizarrely, nerdy, complicated ways. Why is this any different? If we are engaging in pendantry like average in X place in X timeframe, surely we should be engaging in something more important like this?