3 Ways To Use Your Scorebook To Win More Matches This Season
Are averages starting to creak?
Everyone knows what a good average is for Test cricketers, and every club player knows what a good average is for their league. It's a simple number that is faithfully updated by the scorer every year.
And it's getting less relevant every year too. Or it certainly is if you want to do more than look good on paper. Unfortunately the game, to paraphrase Brian Clough, is played on grass.
Batsmen with a good average are not always match winners. To find out if you are performing well, you need to delve deeper. Professional baseball has known this for years. The film Moneyball was about breaking free of the tradition of stats for great success. The IPL has picked up the baseball and run even further with it: entire companies are dedicated to statistics like "pressure zones".
It's all high falutin' stuff. How do we make it simple and relevant to your level?
Try these easy stats:
- Scoring Ball% Look in the scorebook and work out what percentage of balls you score from at different points in the game and what percentage are dots (opening overs, middle lull, death). Work out what % leads to a winning score on your ground, then aim to get there. This is a really good stat for young players who tend to play and miss more, or defend without rotating the strike.
- Runs per Scoring Shot. Rather than an overall average of runs per innings, it's more revealing to find out the average number of runs scored every time you play a shot. Especially in T20 and death overs, this can reveal why your chasing is so feeble.
- Scoring Areas. This one takes some more tracking than just looking in the scorebook, but is useful for both bowling and batting. Make a note of where runs are scored by a batsman, or against a bowler. Perhaps you find that your star fast bowler tend to concede more runs square of the wicket later in his spell. He's getting tired and dropping short, so whip him off an over earlier to save his blushes.
There are a few others that also work at youth and club level without a great effort, so pick what works for you and make it a competition between players to improve their new averages.
Suddenly the guy who "plays for the red inker" is playing for his team, while everyone else is competing like mad in stats that really matter.
As Kevin Bacon might say, "no brainer".
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