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Pale Roarer

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Joined June 2020

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Cricket and Chess are my favourite games. For me, no other game comes close to either.

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The fact that Renato also basically calls him a ‘modern age VT’ as you put it Micko is a huge compliment to the Waughlock.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

G’day Micko.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Let’s try it a different way …

3rd innings deficit. You make runs, you remove the deficit and then get in front. You then get bowled out, you have not lost yet.

4th innings. You reach the target, you win, you get bowled out before reaching the target, you lose. If you are chasing the target, runs scored benefit your team and harm your opposition. Balls you don’t score off don’t benefit your goal of winning, but they also don’t benefit your opposition in winning if it didn’t dismiss one of your team’s batsmen.

4th innings target out of reach. You don’t chase the target and get bowled out, you also lose. You don’t chase the target, but don’t get bowled out, you draw. Recording runs in the scorebook in this situation exerts no influence whatsoever on the eventual result of the match.

Each ball that doesn’t dismiss you exerts a lot of influence in you drawing. Each ball that dismisses you or any of your team mates exerts influence in your opposition winning.

Runs recorded in the scorebook in this particular situation neither benefits you in your goal of drawing nor harms your opposition in their goal of winning. It is not club cricket where there are bonus points in two day matches for scoring runs and taking wickets in a team’s second innings in a game destined to fizzle out to a mundane lifeless draw without an outright.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Dave,
how do runs recorded in the scorebook in a 4th innings non-run chase increase your chance of holding on for a draw? You are the one with the weird concept – I can’t believe you can’t grasp that the only thing that has meaning in such a situation is the balls faced. Do you not grasp the difference with a 3rd innings as I explained it?
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Whatever other percentage of people that also inexplicably fail to grasp doesn’t detract in any way from this very simple, obvious concept that I have explained.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Here are some signs of limited padding:

1. Low average in bore best draws, the type of games that see 1400 runs scored over five full days for less than 20 wickets falling.
2. Low average against weak teams.
3. Limited number of big scores in 3rd innings declarations with few wickets down, such as 3 for 250.
4. Limited big scores in mammoth team totals batting first, even when the team wins.
5. A decent number of hundreds, most in wins, a minute number in losses, and a very low highest score.
6. A high average against strong teams.
7. A high number of big scores in low team totals against strong teams.

Remind you of anyone? This is why we need to get right away from this overall poker machine average. Your admiring appraisal of Ian Chappell was fine until you mentioned his average.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

No problem if you like Ian Chappell, a lot of people do. He finished a couple of years before I started watching, but I understand why people rate him highly. I saw Greg in the twilight of his career.

You would be amazed how much padding Bradman has. Doesn’t mean he didn’t score match winning runs. However, there are also many runs that were extremely superfluous to his team’s needs – such as at least half of his 270 in Melbourne 1936, just one example.

I don’t recognise Bradman as unquestionably the greatest, though obviously he is right up there.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Then you think totally wrong. A batsman that comes in at the 3rd innings and makes 30 not out when everyone knows the team already has far more than they need, does not impact on their team winning one little bit, but that’s 30 p-ss easy runs to their run tally with no dismissal recorded. That is an example of average padding.
What history have I rewritten exactly?

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

I’m not saying you can’t pick Kallis incidentally … and if I disagree I don’t plan to debate … I just want to see if you can justify your choice without even once mentioning their average. 😊

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

I believe you don’t worry. But it makes me scratch my head even harder regarding that part of your comment.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Maybe Kallis and Stokes might be a good one … 😂 😂 😂 😂

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

I’ll set you a challenge though: pick any two players other than Mark and Steve Waugh and tell me why you rate one higher than the other, but without even once referencing their average. Are you up for it? 😊

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

And what explains you calling me a lunatic as well as sunshine? I thought you were a sound bloke, even if not particularly knowledgeable about certain aspects of cricket.

And why the stereotyping of teachers? Are you still living in the 1960s or 70s when you went to school?

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

There are three dead rubbers I make exceptions for in the 40 years I have been watching cricket though: 5th test v England 1986-87, 5th test v West Indies Antigua 1991 and 3rd test v India Bangalore 1998. All were massive watershed victories for Australian cricket at the time.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

I totally agree with those five you listed and Mark Waugh scores highly on all five of those criteria.
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I’m well aware that Mark Waugh was human and therefore fallible, everyone is in every field of life. I just don’t understand why it always has to be referenced with Mark, when it never is with other players like Lara, Tendulkar or even his brother Steve.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

In relation your ‘a)’, a correlation between time batted and the number of times you hit the ball into gaps and run up and down the pitch does not give any numerical meaning to the runs recorded in the book when you are not chasing the target in a 4th innings.

In relation to your ‘b)’, play some shots by all means if that works for you, but recording runs in the book against your name in a 4th innings when not chasing a target does not give them numerical value.

In relation to your ‘c)’ Absolute cod’s wallop – the 115 Mark Waugh scored on the last day in Adelaide against South Africa in early 1998 did not contribute one little bit to securing a draw – only the 305 balls that didn’t get him out had any numerical value. Once the tail was reached there was immense value in him stroking the ball into the gap off the last ball of an over and the batsman running to opposition ends, but the value there is restricted to him retaining the strike for the next over and not exposing the tailender, the single recorded in the scorebook is numerically meaningless.

These innings should be treated as 0 not out, rather than 0 out and there needs to be a completely separate statistical annex to account for batsmen’s success or otherwise in absorbing potential wicket taking deliveries in such situations.

Batting for a draw in the 3rd innings of a match is of course a different beast – here the runs you score have value until you wipe off a deficit and then get far enough in front that the opposition won’t have enough time to chase down any target set if and when they happen to bowl you out. But once you are far enough in front to be safe from such a scenario, all further runs have zero meaning numerically.

Two good examples are Allan Border’s 100 not out in POS 1984 and Mark Waugh’s 113 not out in Durban 1994. In Border’s case the runs had genuine match saving value until his score was in the 80-85 range, in Mark’s case the 65-70 range. At the Oval in 2005 on the final day, England had already saved the match not too long after KP reached his century.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

The completely unwarranted assumption that people make is that all the different levels of runs – from absolutely priceless to completely meaningless – even themselves out over every player’s career. This is not the case. Someone like Mark Waugh has far less padding to his average than most other top level batsmen, including his brother.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

They are the kind of conditions where tailenders who fancy themselves with the bat are chomping at the bit to get out there.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

What a load of cod’s wallop. You really think that in conditions that a team can make 4 for 653, with the bowling attack so weak, that Healy, and the tail we had in 1993 could not be good for a certain amount of runs? Not to mention the actual surplus runs beyond the innings margin.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

True.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Not sure Dave …

Hey, you haven’t answered my question from yesterday: can you explain why, when not chasing a target in the 4th innings, but merely trying to bat out time for a draw, that it would actually make a difference whether you are 7 for 227, 7 for 127 or 7 for a mere 27 when time is called on the final day?

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Read 209 not 109 in first paragraph.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Whatever you do or say, nothing changes the fact that Mark averaged a seemingly ordinary 35 in 108 of his 109 test innings when facing no authentic pressure.

Whatever you do or say, nothing changes the fact that when facing pressure ranging from mild to extreme in 98 of his 209 test innins, he averaged 47 – I can actually do something to raise that to 49, and that is actually include the numerically meaningless runs off his bat in his immortal match and series saving innings against South Africa in Adelaide early 1998.

Nothing you do or say can change his average in situations of mild pressure rising to 38.

Nothing you do or say can change his average when facing genuine standard pressure rising to 47.

Nothing you do or say can change his average when facing extreme, excruciating pressure rising to 51 – this would rise a few runs more, if I included those numerically meaningless 115 runs in that aforementioned immortal unconquered innings against the Saffies.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Rosie,

What I find most disappointing in any discussion on Mark Waugh is the number of people who refuse to give him his due kudos as a great player without having to finish off with a ‘but’ and point out perceived short comings, come unflattering stereotypes – this is something that other great batsmen don’t have to cop, but for some reason Mark is considered automatic fair game.

The reality is that Australia won 72 of the 128 tests he played, lost 27 and drew 29. We could flatten this out to 25 test series consisting of 5.12 tests each for 2.88 wins, 1.08 losses and 1.16 draws. Using proper maths rules of rounding up and down, and chopping off a small remainder, we can simply this to 25 5-test series which Australia win 3-1 on average … not bad – not bad at all ….

Let’s first look at his numerical performances in the losses and then contextualise the losses where possible.

Naturally, 27 losses means 54 innings, and there was at least one not out, for 20, in Australia’s pathetic reply to the West Indies’ 149 in the 4th test in 1991.

Only 1 100+ scores in losses is not a negative at all – there is nothing to be gained by making hundreds every time your team is facing a lost cause in the 3rd or 4th innings. Hundreds need to be made before your team reaches the lost cause region, in order to keep you in the match.

What a mere 1 in 20 hundreds in tests that were lost actually does is put complete paid to the unflattering myth about how Mark “so often got out when his team needed more” – this only happened once in 20 times when he passed 100. On only two other occasions did his team need him to go significantly beyond 100 once he got there, and on both occasions he did, and he was actually the not out batsmen when the team was bowled out, and Australia won both times, and both were watershed victories overseas.

Only 8 times was Mark dismissed in the 50-99 range when Australia lost, so this also suggests he did not very often at all cost his team by throwing it away when set. Two of those 8 times were in the same match, the third and deciding test of the 2001 series in India. He scored 70 in the first innings, coming in at 2 for 67 before lunch on first day, and got the team past 200 before he was third out. His 57 was top score in the second innings where we came from 110 behind to set them enough that we only lost by 2 wickets.

He was second top scorer in the match, only behind Hayden’s double ton in first innings, and was within ten runs of India’s two top scorers in both their innings, Tendulkar and Laxman. It was actually his brother’s brain fade in the first innings after Mark had gotten them to safe ground that let India right back into that match. Also, Tendulkar narrowly, but crucially, won on points the battle with McGrath in their first innings.

In 11 of the 27 losses, Australia were in the lost cause region batting 3rd or 4th. On one of those occasions, we might have reasonably expected to draw, but lost 3 wickets in a very short stint late on the 4th day, but Mark’s wicket was not one of them. The next day, he was out after facing 38 balls, 46 fewer than the most by anyone else in the order, Paul Reiffel who faced 84. Mark equalling Reiffel’s tally would barely have gotten the team to tea time on the final day. The whole team capitulated and this was only one test after his immortal Adelaide innings where the 305 balls he faced on the final day to assure series victory was superseded by a mere 12 by all other six batsmen combined, including keeper Ian Healy.

There were only two other occasions where we should have drawn but didn’t were Kolkatta 2001, and Adelaide 1994-95. On the former occasion, Mark didn’t hang around long, but he was out lbw, so probably got a genuinely good ball, I don’t know. In the Adelaide match, the only one of the top 7 to hang around anywhere near long enough was keeper Healy, who remained not out facing 136 balls, next best among the top 6 Blewett 54 and then Mark who faced 33.

Of the 27 defeats, 4 were when the West Indies were still kings, and Mark performed outstandingly in 1991 and the first three tests in 92-93 after which we were leading 1-0. The last two tests of that latter series was the only time in his first four series against them, when they were still very formidable, that it could be said he let his team down against them. However, there was only one half ton, 51 by Langer, in the Adelaide test, and none in the first innings in Perth, Boon’s 52 in the second innings there (Perth) being irrelevant as it was a lost cause, 203 behind batting third.

Another 3 of the 27 defeats were in series won against the West Indies in 95 and 96-97 in both of which Mark made a major impact in winning the series.

Excluding the 5th test of the 1996-97 series against those same West Indies to avoid double counting, another 5 of the test losses were dead rubbers, with Australia having won the series on all occasions, and Mark having performed at key moments on all occasions. This includes your Oval 1997 test.

Another two of the losses were semi-dead rubbers in 1994-95 and 98-99 when Australia had retained the Ashes, but not yet won the series with two to play. Mark’s scores were 39 & 24 and 36 & 43. On both occasions, he took responsibility in the final test to seal the series by contributing first innings scores of 88 and 121, and on the latter occasion he was second top score in our second innings with 24 in the Sydney nail biter in 98-99.

This accounts for nearly half the 27 tests lost that he played in.

In the 1993-94 Sydney loss to the saffies, and 1999 in Bridgetown to the Windies, Mark’s failures were not a major reason at all – that is drawing an extremely long bow, which people seem to have a licence to do when Mark is the target. In both cases, Mark’s failures were one of a handful, even multitude of reasons that all added up to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

In the Sydney match, Australia should have scored at least 50 more than the 293 they did off their 141 overs in the first innings – 343 would still be a very slow less than 2.5 an over. Michael Slater taking 262 balls for 92 for goodness sake! Border chastising him from the non-striker’s end for daring to hit a boundary. Border stayed one summer too long and it cost us that series as much as anything else.

Then there was Boon and Taylor plodding along at a mere solitary run an over on the penultimate evening, and by doing so, keeping the opposition thinking they were just a couple of quick wickets away from getting back into the game. Again, a mere 2.5 per over for that period of play and Australia are 30 runs closer to victory at stumps, and more importantly, only 23 away from victory the next morning. They might have even got the extra half an hour that evening to finish it off.

Then there was the fact that in South Africa’s second innings, they had not even knocked off the 123 run deficit when their first 5 wickets were gone, and yet somehow, they managed to double their score with the tail, including rabbit Donald hanging around for a 10th wicket partnership of 36, nearly 1/3 of the ultimate victory target.

As for the Bridgetown match in 1999, again, Mark’s failures were a cog in a massive wheel. To allow the West Indies to climb up off the canvas to 329 from 6 for 98 with Lara already out was unforgivable. Then we collapsed for 146, so it wasn’t only Mark that failed. Then we had them 8 down with 60 still to get, and somehow allowed Ambrose to hang around. Then Healy dropped a straight forward chance from Lara with 9 to get, and then snared Ambrose off the same bowler, Gillespie, immediately after.

What are your 25 ways or more of rating a batsman, I would genuinely love to know?

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

No both Renato and me would uncompromisingly rank Mark Waugh in the top 10-12 Australian batsmen and both of us would also rank Stokes higher than Kallis.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

Dave, please understand that the roar will not publish more than 2000 words – I actually got away with 2300 on this occasion. So sometimes we are limited in what we can do. But these things are questions that can be asked – that is what the comments are for.

I believe most of those things on the list have been covered one way or another since the West Indies article which began this series. There may be things that haven’t but people should simply enquire inquisitively rather than make baseless accusations about bias. I’m not saying you’re part of that, I’m saying you’re not, but this applies to a lot of people.

I do not like this rating method because Mark Waugh comes out near the top in most instances, on the contrary, I like Mark Waugh because he comes in highly placed in such a rating methodology and it is this kind of rating methodology that I like for comparing batsmen rather than a meaningless poker machine average.

It is a work in progress and I am standing on the shoulders of a giant i.e., Renato, but it is mostly complete and only today I thought of an improvement, see next paragraph …

In the example of the series in South Africa in early 1997, the problem with the raw poker machine is this: if we only look at the two tests that Australia won to complete the series, then Blewett averaging 78 in three innings, compared to Steve Waugh 62 in three innings, Mark 54 in three innings and Elliott 50.7 in three innings, it appears that Blewett is miles ahead of Steve who appears to be miles ahead of Mark and Elliott in terms of impact in achieving that series win, but this is complete garbage, because Blewett’s 214 papers over the cracks of a double failure in the other test as does Steve’s 160 – only 100 were needed from each.

However, what I came up with today is that rather than just trim the excess unnecessary runs, treat the dismissal as a percentage, i.e., not 100 for 1 dismissal in each case, but rather 100 for 0.47 of a dismissal, with Steve’s capped even 100 being considered 0.63 of a dismissal.

By doing this, we have Blewett’s meaningful stats for those two all important tests as 120/2.47 for an adjusted average of 48.6, while Steve’s 128/2.63 gives an adjusted average of 48.7. Alongside Mark and Elliott’s non-adjusted 54 and 50.7 respectively, this gives a much more accurate picture of the impact that these four key batsmen had in achieving that series victory.

Capping is not only legitimate but in fact absolutely imperative when comparing batsmen

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