After witnessing Aiden Markram’s incredible innings against India at Newlands during the New Year test, we found ourselves pondering a familiar cricket conundrum: How do you measure the true value of an innings beyond the mere sum of runs scored? We’ve all marveled at those extraordinary innings that go beyond the scoreboard, whether they are match-winning heroics, game-saving performances, or displays of sheer dominance against formidable opposition.
While it’s enjoyable to compare and debate these innings, we at Intelligent Cricket thought: What if we could quantify the quality of innings in a way that rewards players for excelling in challenging situations more than those who thrive in more favorable conditions?
Enter the concept of the ‘weighted average,’ a familiar term in cricket analytics that seeks to assign greater significance to ‘better’ runs, diminishing the impact of runs scored in situations where many others could achieve the same.
Intelligent Cricket’s Approach:
We have developed a sophisticated model precisely for this purpose. Collaborating with directors of cricket, head coaches, and analysts, we delved into the intricacies of what truly matters in a red-ball innings. Three core factors emerged as universally valued and regularly measurable: the nature of the pitch, the strength of the bowling, and the overall situation of the game while the batsman is at the crease.
Through our dedicated data team, we can meticulously adjust each score to compare its difficulty level against all others in our extensive database, creating a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by the batsmen.
Putting the Model to the Test:
To illustrate the power of our model, we conducted a Twitter poll featuring iconic innings: Stokes’ Headingley miracle, Perera’s stunning chase at Centurion, and Mendis’ monumental score against India in Pallekele. While Stokes’ innings received the most votes, it was Mendis’ innings that emerged as the most ‘weighted.’ Scoring 176, his weighted score reached an impressive 262.6, translating to a weighted-to-real ratio of 1.49. In comparison, Stokes’ ratio was 1.46, and Perera’s stood at 1.43.
However, the standout in our analysis was Aiden Markram’s innings. His 106 was weighted to an astonishing 247.3, resulting in a remarkable ratio of 2.33. In our extensive database, only James Vince’s 142 against Somerset in 2019 surpasses Markram’s feat.
Applications of the Data:
The applications of this nuanced data are vast. Whether you’re a director of cricket, a coach, or an enthusiast seeking a deeper understanding of player performance, these insights can revolutionize how we appreciate and evaluate innings.
If you’re intrigued and want to explore the potential applications of this data further, we welcome the opportunity to engage in a conversation with you. Feel free to get in touch, and let’s unravel the brilliance behind the numbers.