Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mapping Test Match Progress - I The Ashes 2006-07 Tests at Brisbane and Adelaide

I developed a very simple (not simplistic) method of mapping the progress of a cricket match some time ago. I used it to map One Day games, like this one in the Malaysian triangular series, and have used the principle development which makes this method possible in my Test and ODI ratings.

I write runs and wickets in terms of points. The run average for a Test match is the total runs scored divided by the total wickets fallen. 10 runs make 1 point, therefore 1 wicket is the run average divided by 10. A test match is said to progress with the fall of each wicket. The total points scored by each team is calculated at the fall of each wicket. This is essentially the state of the test match at that point in the test match.

The graphs reveal the extent of Australian dominance at Brisbane. They also reveal that England were in a similarly strong position early in the Australian first innings at Adelaide.

Several important conclusions can be drawn from graphs like these. Conclusions about competitiveness, conclusions about the story of the match. All the twists and turns become apparent. Below is a graph of a closely contest test match consisting of 4 completed innings, the lowest of which was 238 and the highest 286. The final result was a 12 run win for Pakistan.

Competitiveness can be visually assessed by determining the number of times the lines of each team cross. Surges, partnerships, batting collapses, trends etc. can also be visually assessed. In the Chennai Match, the two surges are Afridi's century and Tendulkar's century, both of which threatened to break the deadlock, before the spectacular collapse at the end (revealed in the graph as well), sealed Indias fate. All in all, this seems to be a robust method, which i have used in my ratings as well as here.



  1. That's really cool - but im a bit confused.

    So at any point in the game (i.e. a wicket) Both teams have certain points.

    Lets say the first wicket falls at 100. Thus at the first point the team that bats has a score of 10.

    What is the bowling team's score at that point?

  2. Thanks for your comment....

    The graph is developed after the game. So you know the runs/wicket average for the game. If it is say 35 runs/wicket, then at the fall of the first wicket, if the score is 1/100, then the batting side would have 10 points while the fielding side has 3.5 points.

  3. So the bowling sides points always increase in constant amounts?

    and in the calculation for the bowling points, the bowling side gets more points per wicket when they bowl out fewer people?

    if a team A bowls out a side for 500 and team B gets only 5 wickets but gives away the same runs.
    A has 50 runs/wicket
    B has 100 runs/wicket

    But B gets more points?

    Thanks for the prompt reply!

  4. No no.... i think you misunderstood.

    The runs/wicket for the match is calculated as total runs/total wickets for the whole match - the sum total runs and wickets by both teams. That becomes the control value.

    So, if for example, in the Adelaide Match, the runs/wicket was 45.4, and if the 1st English wicket fell at 32, then at 1/32, you would have

    England 3.2
    Australia 4.5

    At 551/5, you would have

    England 55.1
    Australia 22.5

    The Data points are the fall of wickets.