October 20, 2013, 12:16 pm
Numbers don’t lie, but do they always tell the whole truth? I read recently a bold article in a cricket website arguing that Test cricket is possibly in better health than ever before. The writer has compiled statistical tables that show that the percentage of matches that finish in draws has gone down dramatically from 36% in the nineties to 25% in the noughties. He pointed out that the strike rate of some contemporary bowlers like Harbhajan Singh is better than that of more illustrious predecessors like Bishan Singh Bedi or Erapalli Prasanna. The inference he draws from all this is that batsmen take more risks nowadays in cricket, keeping bowlers in the game (contrary to the myth of the balance tilting in favour of batsmen) and making Test cricket more competitive.