The elite 160 club in T20 cricket: A metric to identify the best batters

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane gave baseball Moneyball, basing player decisions chiefly on statistics, including those the sport traditionally considered of secondary importance. As cricketing formats go shorter—and splinters from country to cities, and the demand for players surges—teams are warming up to new metrics to gauge player efficiency and effectiveness.

In a recent interview to ESPNCricinfo, Australian cricketer Michael Hussey mentioned a metric to measure the best batters in Twenty20 cricket, one he picked up from New Zealander Scott Styris during their stint with the Chennai Indian Premier League (IPL) team. The metric is the sum of a batsman’s average (a measure of runs scored per outing) and strike rate (speed of scoring). A total score above 160, while racking up a significant amount of runs, defined the batting mainstays, according to this theory.

In a format that is still nascent, only 21 players who have scored more than 700 runs in international Twenty20 have breached the 160 mark. The list is led by Aaron Finch (total score: 189), who Australia benched in the ongoing World Cup. Next comes Virat Kohli (188), who averages 19 more than anyone else. He is followed by Chris Gayle (183), who towers over everyone else in all Twenty20 matches. And AB de Villiers (155) is a notable exclusion.

The data interactive below shows how the records of this 160 club—in both international matches and all matches—break up between strike rate and average. Mouseover or tap a circle to see player details. Click on country name in the legend to isolate its players.

 

 

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