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Unravelling the Hidden Gems: Decoding Added Value Ratings (AVR)

Cricket professionals, as well as casual observers, are well aware that not all T20 cricket innings or bowling spells are created equal. Judging the quality of a performance solely based on end-of-innings bowling analyses or a batter’s score and strike rate often fails to capture the complete picture. Let’s explore the concept of Added Value Ratings (AVR) to shed light on this intriguing aspect of the game.

Picture this: a seemingly underwhelming T20 innings of 34 runs off 30 balls. With a strike rate of 113, it falls well below the average in most competitions. Occupying a significant portion of the team’s resources and having only 34 runs to show for it doesn’t inspire confidence at first glance.

Take, for instance, James Vince’s innings of 34 (30) against Kent at Canterbury in 2021 (check out the scorecard here: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/vitality-blast-2021-1250122/kent-vs-hampshire-south-group-1250236/full-scorecard). Vince was opening the innings chasing down 176. Vince doesnโ€™t have any match-up weaknesses, at the time he struck at least 138 v all bowler type. Hampshire went on to lose that game and the Vinceโ€™s innings surely played a significant part in that defeat.

Now, let’s compare this with George Garton’s innings of 34 (30) against Essex a year earlier (find the scorecard here: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/vitality-blast-2020-1207645/essex-vs-sussex-south-group-1207786/full-scorecard). Garton joined the innings when his team was struggling at 59/5 in the 8th over, chasing 136 for victory at Chelmsford. He skilfully guided his team to victory, even confronting 10 balls from the in-form Simon Harmer, a matchup he had historically struggled with.

At the end of the year, when analysts, coaches, and fans review their players’ stats, both these innings would seem equally valuable. Each player would have contributed 30 runs to their final tally, based on the season-long run count. However, the disparity in their value to the team becomes a concern for those involved in selecting, contracting, and releasing cricketers. Standard statistics can lead to overvaluing certain players while undervaluing others.

This is precisely the issue we have set out to address with our innovative Added Value Ratings (AVR) system. By leveraging our extensive database and collaborating with data scientists, we can assign an expected run value to every ball bowled in a T20 match. This value takes into account various factors, including the state of the game, the over being played (powerplay or death overs, known for higher run rates), the venue, and the individual batters and bowlers involved.

Let’s consider a scenario: Jos Buttler facing Jasprit Bumrah in the 5th over of an IPL match at the Wankhede Stadium. The score stands at 50/0 at the end of the 4th over. The expected score for that delivery would be lower if the score were 12/3, if it were the 8th over, if Buttler had just come to bat, or if they were playing at Ahmedabad, known for slower run rates. All these variables intertwine to provide an expected value for that particular delivery.

Suppose the expected value for the delivery in question is 1.7. If Jos Buttler scores a boundary, he would contribute +2.3 to his AVR, while a dot ball would result in a deduction of -1.7. The same principle applies to Jasprit Bumrah. As we aggregate the contributions of every delivery throughout an innings, a season, a year, or even a player’s career, we gain insight into how much better or worse a player has performed relative to expectations.

Returning to our initial example, Garton’s innings had an AVR of +12.42, while Vince’s innings registered a lower AVR of -7.95. At Intelligent Cricket, we firmly believe that AVR provides the most valid measure of player performance. That’s why many of our products incorporate AVR in some capacity or another.

By delving deeper into the intricacies of cricket performances through Added Value Ratings, we unearth the hidden gems that traditional statistics might overlook. With AVR, the true worth of a player’s contribution to a team’s success becomes clearer, enabling astute decision-making in player selection, contract negotiations, and player releases. Embrace the power of AVR and elevate your understanding of the game to new heights with Intelligent Cricket.