Thursday, 6 September, 2012

Is it fair to target Sachin Tendulkar: Analysis of over 38 batsmen in Test history?


Three times on the trot the ball has crashed into Sachin Tendulkar’s stumps and we are reminded of the similar dismissals of Rahul Dravid not too long ago. 


Sachin Tendulkar's stumps being struck by the cherry once too often – three times out of three in the New Zealand series – makes one wonder if one is hearing the death rattle of a noble career.

After all, fresh in our immediate memory are the 11 times Rahul Dravid has been bowled after turning 38 
.

 Although not many will remember the exact figure, the repeated sound of the ball finding a fissure in the wall and its way to strike timber still makes us wince. And that heart stopping clatter is being echoed innings after innings for Sachin Tendulkar.


If we take all cricketers into consideration from the very beginning of Test cricket, we find that bowled constitutes 21.49% of the total dismissals. If we consider all the innings played by those under the age of 38, this figure is 21.37%. For men over 38, this jumps to 25.65%.

Statistically, this deviation is significant – we can say that the proportion of bowled dismissals becomes considerably more after the age of 38 with 99.98% confidence.

All Batsmen

Under 38

Over 38

Total

Other dismissals
61081
1879
62960
Bowled
13054
482
13536
Total
74135
2361
76496
Percentage bowled
17.61
20.42
17.70
p-value
0.9997


If we consider only the top order batsmen, leaving out tailenders who are prone to get bowled anyway – by taking only the ones who batted at numbers 1 to 7 – the results are similar. The percentage leaps from 16.43 for the under-38 to 19.29 for over-38, which, again, is statistically significant. We can say so with 99.92% confidence.  

Batting at 1-7

Under 38

Over 38

Total

Other dismissals
44140
1393
45533
Bowled
8675
333
9008
Total
52815
1726
54541
Percentage bowled
16.43
19.29
16.52
pvalue
0.9992




However, the curious fact is that the batsmen at batting orders 1-7 have an overall average of 35.91, which shoots up to 37.80 for the 38-plus group. The reason is obviously that to bat at this level when over 38, one has to be very, very good – a Jack Hobbs, a Don Bradman or a Rahul Dravid.





If we look at a sample of individual batsmen across time who have played past 38, we find that not everyone gets bowled more often. In fact, for Hobbs, Geoff Boycott and Clive Llyod, the percentage decreases drastically. And if we consider that Bradman was bowled 44% of the times he was dismissed post-38, we do find it has little to do with quality or performance.


Overall Dismissals

Before 38

After 38

Percentage Bowled


All

Bowled

All

Bowled

All

Bowled

Overall

Before 38

After 38

J Hobbs
95
24
43
14
52
10
25.26
32.56
19.23
P Hendren
74
26
28
10
46
16
35.14
35.71
34.78
D Bradman
70
23
52
15
18
8
32.86
28.85
44.44
T Graveney
110
26
74
16
36
10
23.64
21.62
27.78
C Cowdrey
173
31
162
28
14
3
18.13
17.28
21.43
G Boycott
170
30
111
22
59
8
17.65
19.82
13.56
C Lloyd
161
27
134
24
27
3
16.77
17.91
11.11
V Richards
170
36
154
34
16
2
21.18
22.08
12.50
G Gooch
209
36
154
27
55
9
17.22
17.53
16.36
S Waugh
224
39
216
38
8
1
17.41
17.59
12.50
R Dravid
254
55
230
44
24
11
21.65
19.13
45.83
S Tendulkar
282
51
258
46
24
5
18.09
17.83
20.83

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