Statistics I would like to see in Cricket

One of the things I like about American sports are the various statistics they calculate to analyze the game better. Cricket is quite a complex game. I feel there are a few stats we can easily calculate to make the game and the performances more understandable.

Here are some stats I would like to be reported in cricket. Most of these are simple enough and can be calculated by having a single additional person record the game on the field.

1. Trailing 1 year averages (batting, bowling)

Answers the question: How well have you been recently playing?

Take the last 365 days, and calculate batting and bowling averages based on that. This will help find players who are playing well recently as opposed to those who had a great run 5 years ago and have been mediocre ever since.

Players I would like to see this for: Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Kane Williamson, Kumar Sangakkara

2. Runs saved (Fielding)

Answers the question: How good of a ground fielder are you?

Take the number of runs saved due to a great piece of fielding and subtract the number of runs lost due to misfields and bad throws. There would be some subjectivity involved in calculating this metric, but over time, good fielders will stand above poor ones. This will also penalize flashy fielders who misfield a lot.

Players I would like to see this for: Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers

3. Catching efficiency

This is for fielders again. It will help separate the truly great catchers from the mere mediocre ones.

Simple version: Percentage of catches held

Complex version: Percentage of catches held weighted by the difficulty level of the catch. Harder catches get more credit.

Players I would like to see this for: Shikhar Dhawan, Kieron Pollard, Jacques Kallis

4. Wicketkeeping efficiency

Similar to the Quarterback rating that NFL employs. We can incorporate catches, stumpings, byes given, drops etc. into a single number which rates each wicketkeeper. Too often, wicketkeepers are rated by how well they bat as opposed to how well they keep wickets. This will help answer that question.

Players I would like to see this for: MS Dhoni, Brad Haddin, AB De Villiers

5. Consistency rating

Batting averages help players who have a string of poor performances followed by a single huge one. How can we better measure dependability and consistency? Maybe we can use Average / Standard Deviation as S Rajesh suggests here. Maybe we can use median performance. Any other good ideas?

Players I would like to see this for: Rohit Sharma, Mitchell Johnson

6. Other…

What are some of the other stats you would like to see calculated? Maybe something around run-outs (how good was Ricky Ponting’s ability to hit the stumps) or running between the wickets (how bad was Inzamam ul-Haq)?

Finally, I feel like T20 cricket needs to have its own independent set of statistics. Strike rates and economy rates matter much more there than batting and bowling averages. And 50s and 100s also aren’t as relevant, given the lesser time people get to bat.

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