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Sight Screen

Friday, May 27, 2005

The quick and the dead

A day on which the Windies quicks, on a batting track, blew away Pakistan for 144 runs in under 44 overs, with Edwards returning Joel Garner-like figures of 14-1-38-5, may not be the most opportune for this effort from S Rajesh on Cricinfo -- but the larger point, of the decline of the famed Windies pace battery, is very well taken.
Though the main thrust is about the Windies quicks, found myself staring in some surprise at another statistic -- the one pertaining to India.
Check it out -- in the 1980s, India's quicks (apparently 25 of them did duty during that decade) accounted for 501 Test wickets at 34.49 (an average very close to that of England).
In the 1990s, 20 seam bowlers in 70 Tests claimed 493 wickets at 34.41, an infinitesimal improvement on the previous decade.
Into the 2000s, and 12 seam bowlers have, over 57 Tests, taken 377 wickets at an average of 39.81 -- an unwelcome upward tick of more than 5 points.
How come? Wouldn't you have thought that it is in this decade that, thanks to the likes of Zaheer, Nehra, Pathan, Balaji et al, our opening bowlers have finally come into their own and begun to do what they are supposed to -- take wickets early, and pressure the opposition?
So what accounts for the statistical quirk? Could it be that through the 2000s, India has consistently played with three seamers and just one spinner -- ergo, more overs bowled, more runs scored off them, hence a higher per-wicket average? Or is there some other, more significant reason? Your thoughts?
In passing, check the stats for Australia. South Africa is sub-30 too, in the average column, but its figures are actually deteriorating from the glory days of the 1990s, when Allan Donald, Fanie de Villiers, Brian McMillan and such were in their pomp.


  • i think largely these new talents have been taking wickets only since 2003-4 and they got trashed in the 2001 aussie tour for example....so probably by end of the 2000s you will see better figures.....another problem with these bowlers are even if they win lot of matches, they intersperse it with expensive spells in losing matches...and that makes the stats go for a nosedive

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:55  

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