Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Least-worst Number 11s

Letter to The Wisden Cricketer - September 2007 - Vol 4 Number 12: pp 8-9.

Since he is always batting with someone better, the primary role of a number 11 is not to score runs but to 'hang around' as long as possible.

A convenient way of measuring this is to measure balls-faced per dismissal - dividing batting average by strike rate.

On this basis Peter Such was probably the best-of-the-worst recent England number 11s; since he faced about 31 deliveries per out.

Alan Mullally and Devon Malcolm are the worst: out after just 13 balls.

Tufnell was not so bad, managing to survive 23 balls, and giving his partner 10 more scoring opportunities.

PS. I've just noticed that England's recent first-pick nightwatchman, Matthew Hoggard, has a test match balls-faced-per-out statistic of 33: only slightly better than the legendarily-inept Peter Such.

(TWC published version is slightly edited from this).