Cricket is a numbers game. Statisticians are constantly trying to dissect the mysteries of the game through numbers. Averages, strike rates, leads, record breaking partnerships, run rates, all of them are tools for measuring the great intangibles in cricket. Who is winning? Who is losing? What will happen next?
In that spirit, a new series has been created for Lines on Grass. At the end of every test series, the key statistics of the series will be tabulated and published here. Vital Statistics, as it will be called, will seek to paint a complete picture of the numbers that mattered across a test series. Some series will be incredibly one-sided, others very even. By showing a complete set of numbers, other bloggers and cricket fans will have access to a resource which will settle arguments and either confound or confirm conventional wisdom.
There will be five categories in each post. Matches and rankings will look at the outcome of the series and the context in which it took place, to give an overview for the rest of the categories. Batting will look at both the team performance and the key performers, as will bowling. Partnerships will show which team could rely most on their openers and tailenders for runs, as well as measuring which teams were most able to make totals in pairs. The theory behind this category is that partnerships are the building blocks of any team score, without steady partnerships, teams collapse in chaos. The final category will measure the results after the first innings, as it is the best way of determining which team was in front heading into the end stages of a match.
The first post in the series will be up later today, and will tell the story of India’s demolition of Australia. Tomorrow, when England’s tour of New Zealand is concluded, I will post the stats from that series. During the IPL I will post retrospectives of Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh and West Indies vs Zimbabwe. I hope you enjoy reading them.