Friday, 12 February 2010

Conventional Wisdom Wisdom

In the comments to this article it is suggested that conventional wisdom says the best batsmen should be third in the order.

While baseball sabermetrics has challenged the conventional wisdom of the lineup, in cricket my haphazard studies of win expectancy suggest that in test cricket's case the conventional wisdom is absolutely spot on. The crucial wicket to defend are the second and third ones. If the first wicket goes cheaply, it's important that the second one goes for a par score. If the first two wickets go down for not-very-many, it's vital that the third wicket puts up a high score.

Once you're three down and below par, you're in real trouble.

Monday, 8 February 2010

2010 Nagpur Test, India vs South Africa #2

My model seems to have been right! I haven't actually finished fiddling with it, and now I'm not sure I will bother to get it done for this test.

However, I was looking at the scorecard after close of play, and I wondered about the difference between the standard deviations of the two sides' first innings.

Including extras, the standard deviation for the South Africans was 89.73. That for the Indians was 32.51. Does this have any meaning?

It may indicate that Nagpur's wicket is treacherous, at least for this test. If you can get in, it's possible for an exceptional batsman to put up a decent score, but otherwise you're scrabbling for runs and in danger of losing a wicket at any moment. If that's the case, it makes this is a result pitch, and future tourists should take note.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

2010 Nagpur Test, India vs South Africa (Win Expectancy)

I tuned into the play until lunch yesterday, and I managed to catch all the wicket-taking excitement.

I left off mostly talking about win expectancies. In this case, one needs to tinker with the model a little, since the situation is rather unique. Here's how significant the first wickets were.

After Prince was the victim of an umpiring mistake, South Africa had boosted their chances of winning by +.007. (There's a joke there, somewhere.)

Smith, however, 'popped out', as they say in baseball, to the wicketkeeper, and reduced the chance to 19 per cent, a loss of -15.

Kallis and Amlah set up 'shot' and hey-ho, took South Africa's chances of winning to 100 per cent. Except I don't believe that. The model has spit out a 'porky'. I'll come back and report after I've done a bit of figuring. I think I know how to handle this.

Meanwhile, readers with longer memories might like to recall this match.