Monday, February 25, 2013

Cricket Tormentors

Every once in a while I do a deep dive into some aspect of cricketing stats and this afternoon, indulged in one such session. Was watching highlights from India's first Test against Australia (which we are on the verge of winning by an innings) when I heard the soft, mellow voice of this new commentator - V. V. S. Laxman. It's difficult not to connect Laxman and Australia and go back to Sydney, Kolkata or Delhi and his complete dominance over what was arguably the greatest Test side in history. This made me do some research on such "Tormentors", both with the bat and ball, individuals who have reserved their special performances against particular nations.

You can find all the details in the spreadsheet here.

The 4 tabs are for Batting & Bowling, Tests & ODIs. In each of the tab you will find the player who has scored the highest number of runs or taken the highest number of wickets against each Test playing nation. Also, there are 2 tables in each sheet, the batting one is filtered by "players who have scored at least 1000 runs against the opponent, and sorted by batting average" while the bowling one is "players who have taken at least 50 wickets against the opponent and sorted by bowling average".

Here's what it looks like.
Batting (Tests)

The ones standing out are obviously Sir. Donald Bradman with 5000+ runs against England, at an average of ~90 and 19 centuries. Another remarkable nemesis is Sangakkara for Pakistan, against whom he seems to score runs at a Bradman-esque average of 89 with 9 centuries and 2320 runs from only 16 Tests.

Batting (ODIs)

Sachin Tendulkar's sheer dominance is clear in the ODIs sheet as he has scored the highest number of runs against 5 of the 10 countries - Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka & Zimbabwe! While there's no doubt about his greatness as a Test batsman, he pretty much owned and changed the 50 over format. With Sachin gone the game has lost its favourite son.

Now coming to the bowling side of things, here's what the Test stats look like.

(Bowling Tests)

In Test bowling it's a close call between Shane Warne & Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of persistent bullies against England, New Zealand and South Africa and India, Bangladesh & Zimbabwe respectively. What stood out was the filtered results for Test bowling had almost entirely fast bowlers and looks quite different from this chart.

Finally, coming to bowling in ODIs, here's the chart:

In ODIs Wasim Akram gives Muttiah some tough competition, while Waqar Younis has magical figures against New Zealand with 79 wickets at an average of a measly 15.84 runs!

Go ahead, play around with the charts and share your thoughts in the comments.