Nought to Sixty – The synthetic aesthetics of Watson and Bell

I was watching the Big Bash yesterday, which is the best T20 competition in the world (Sorry IPL).

Sydney Thunder romped to a six-wicket victory over the Hobart Hurricanes, led by 55 from Shane Watson and 44 from new recruit James Vince.

Seeing Vince do well will warm the cockles of any England fan, but it came as little surprise that, surprise surprise (stop saying surprise), he chucked it away before reaching 50.

I don’t appreciate that hashtag vulgarity, Mr Ingham.

But, and here’s the kicker, he was batting with Shane Watson, who also has his detractors for giving it all away when he’s well set for a big score.

And who’s plying his trade with the Perth Scorchers? Ian Bell. Another whose career has been plagued by “the pretty 30”.

Shane Watson made 13 at the top of the order
I refuse to make any allusions to “Elementary” in this post. (Credit: John Fulton)

I did what all cricket fans do when they watch T20 in the morning and I wondered how I could use tables to examine, once and for all, who in Test cricket has a thirty problem.

For the purpose of thoroughness, I wanted to look at who scored the most innings between 0-30, 30-60, 60-90 and so on.

0-30

Tests  Innings  Not outs  Runs  Ave.  Ducks 
CA Walsh (WI) 132 185 61 936 7.54 43
 JM Anderson (ENG) 121 166 61 978 9.31 21
SK Warne (AUS)  136 161 11 1,340 8.93 34
SR Tendulkar (IND)  138 159 10 1,687 11.32 14
M Muralitharan (ICC/SL)  133 158 56 1,005 9.85 33

FUN FACT Using innings only between 0-30, Anil Kumble has the sixth-highest run tally (1,556). The rest of the top nine have all scored over 10,000 Test runs.

30-60

Tests  Innings  Not outs  Runs  Ave.  50 
R Dravid (IND) 63 70 8 2,980 48.06 18
SR Tendulkar (IND) 66 70 7 2,978 47.26 19
AR Border (AUS) 58 66 15 2,912 57.09 20
S Chanderpaul (WI) 55 65 10 2,815 51.18 17
JH Kallis (ICC/SA) 57 63 9 2,770 51.29 20

FUN FACT Ricky Ponting registered 24 scores between 50 and 60 in Tests. Among the four men in second place with 20 is this post’s muse, Ian Bell.

60-90

Tests  Innings  Not outs  Runs  Ave.  50 
AR Border (AUS) 41 44 10 3,175 93.38 44
S Chanderpaul (WI) 41 43 14 3,172 109.37 43
SR Tendulkar (IND) 40 41 1 3,036 75.90 41
R Dravid (IND) 35 37 5 2,695 84.21 37
VVS Laxman (IND) 33 36 8 2,558 91.35 36

WAIT. STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

YOU NINNY.

This is pointless. Everyone knows that it’s going to be the same batsmen who have plundered runs all over the globe over and over again in all of these tables.

We need to change tack.

We need to find out who in their career has the highest percentage of innings where they have registered scores of between 30 and 60. Let’s do that.

Qualification Must have played 50 or more Tests and scored between 30 and 60 on more than 20 occasions. 

 Test record for innings of 30-60  Overall Test record
Innings Runs Ave. Innings  Runs  Ave.  % of innings  % of runs 
34 1,441 43.66 SR Watson (AUS) 109 3,731 35.19 31.19  38.62 
26 1,044 45.39 WW Armstrong (AUS) 84 2,863 38.68 30.95  36.47 
 45 1,958 43.51 A Ranatunga (SL)  155 5,105 35.69 29.03  38.35 
27 1,222 50.91 IJL Trott (ENG)  93 3,835 44.08 29.03  31.86 
32 1,404 54.00 AD Mathews (SL)  112 4,441 46.74 28.57  31.61 
26 1,082 49.18 VL Manjrekar (IND)  92 3,208 39.12 28.26  33.73 
26 1,168 58.40 SPD Smith (AUS)  92 4,752 60.15 28.26  24.58 
44 1,696 56.53 SM Pollock(SA) 156 3,781 32.31 28.21  44.86 
41 1,720 44.10 RB Richardson (WI)  146 5,949 44.39 28.08  28.91 

THAT’S MORE LIKE IT.

Shane Watson. Man. Myth. Muse. Merchant of thirties.

I’ve struck him plumb in front on the statistical pad, and he cannot review it.


Much-needed perspective

 The total aggregate of individual innings between 30 and 60 in Test history
Players  Tests  Innings  Runs  Ave.  50s 
1,754 2,229 13,622 578,719 48.02 3,480
 The total aggregate of individual innings in Test history
Players  Tests  Innings  Runs  Ave.  100s  50s  Ducks 
2,852 2,245 79,345 2,095,772 30.36 3,971 9,586 8,516

In other words, 17.17% of individual innings in Test history have been between 30 and 60.


Only he and Warwick Windridge Armstrong (1879-1947), AKA The Big Ship, scored between 30 and 60 in over 30% of their Test innings.

Two current Test players in the shape of Angelo Mathews and Steven Smith (not only in the shape of them, but literally them) are present in that list. And who’d have thunk Ian Jonathan Leonard Trott would make an appearance?


Must do better

James Vince has only played a handful of Tests, ODIs and T20s for England, but he has been dismissed for between 32 and 51 nine times in 20 international innings (45%).


Where’s Ian Bell?

Let’s be honest, we’re all in soporific amazement that Ian Ronald Bell (wait, Ronald?) isn’t in the top ten. Surely he’s 11th then?

IAN BELL IS 139TH IN THE LIST.

ian_bell_trent_bridge_2004
An unwarranted reputation for flakiness? (Credit: Tigerlillythe7th)

You’ve read that right, folks. IR Bell only scored between 30 and 60 in 18.54% of his Test innings.


Marvan Atapattu had the craziest career ever for a front-line batsman

We’ve featured Run-starvin’ Marvan in this organ before for the phenomenally poor start to his career as well as his propensity for scoring zero runs.

Of the 149 players eligible for the above study, he came in dead last with 15.38% of his innings consisting of between 30 and 60 runs.

However, take another study. This time, the percentage of innings in which a batsman has scored between zero and 30 in their career, with the proviso that they average 30 or more to eliminate tailenders.

Atapattu comes in second behind Wilfred Rhodes, having registered between zero and 30 in 67.95% of his Test innings.

Who came in last? Ken Barrington, who only scored between zero and 30 in 42.75% of his innings.


Special shout-outs

Basil D’Oliveira. Lindsay Hassett. Sir Conrad Hunte. Andrew Jones. Colin McDonald. Jim Parks. Shakib Al Hasan. Tamim Iqbal. Sir Everton Weekes.

These nine chaps have all registered more than a score* of scores between 30 and 60 despite not having played 50 or more Test matches, though Shakib and Tamim will almost certainly pass 50 in the coming years.

*AKA 20, AKA 5/3 of a dozen, AKA 20/13 of a baker’s dozen, AKA 20/11 of a banker’s dozen

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