Impact of all-rounders in One-Day Internationals

Shahid Afridi’s all-round show against the West Indies in the first ODI was indeed the greatest performance in an ODI by a substantial distance © AFP

Shahid Afridi pulled off one of the greatest ODI performances on July 14, 2013. Abhishek Mukherjee checks the cricketers who have had the highest single impacts in particular ODIs.

Thanks to its intensity and quality of cricket, the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge managed to take the attention of the Pakistan-West Indies ODI series, which meant that Shahid Afridi’s amazing comeback to international cricket got more or less overlooked by the cricket fraternity.

Afridi came out to bat with the score on 47 for 5 in 20.1 overs and left with the score on 167 in 39 overs. This meant that he had a 120-run partnership with Misbah-ul-Haq in 113 balls; he himself scored 76 off 55 balls in the partnership. Misbah, too, played a crucial innings of 52 and Pakistan managed to reach 224 for 9.

Later in the match, Afridi picked up 7 for 12 in 9 overs. These are the second-best figures in the history of ODIs after Chaminda Vaas’s 8 for 17. Afridi dominated the match to such an extent West Indies scored only 22 more than Afridi and took only 2 wickets more than him. In the process he also became the first cricketer ever to achieve the 7,000 run-350 wicket double in ODIs.

This made me think: How do we measure the contributions of all-rounders in particular matches? These are not absolute performances (like the 100 run-five wicket doubles by Viv Richards and Paul Collingwood) but the entire impact on the match. The criterion I decided to consider were:

– How many runs he had scored with respect to the match? In other words, the ratio of his runs and the match runs.
– How fast he had scored his runs with respect to the match? In other words, the ratio of his batting strike rate and the match batting strike rate.
– How many wickets he had taken with respect to the match? In other words, the ratio of his wickets and the match wickets.
– How tightly he had bowled with respect to the match? In other words, the ratio of his economy rate and the match economy rate (of course, this has to be reversed, since for economy rates, a lower number indicates a better performance).

Of course, one could not consider all performances. For example, if a batsman scored 120 out of 200 in the match and bowled a spell of 1-0-2-1 he will get an unfair advantage; the same will happen to a bowler who has taken a five-for and has scored, say, a 10-ball 17.

To put a criterion I put two restrictions. A player had to satisfy at least one to qualify for the analysis:

– He needed to have scored a hundred and have taken 4 wickets, or
– He needed to have scored a fifty and have taken 5 wickets.

Of course, Richards and Collingwood had qualified for both. But there are actually 24 others whose performances need to be judged against them. Gary Gilmour’s performance in the 1975 World Cup semi-final or misses out (and so does Murali Kartik’s against Australia at Mumbai in 2007-08) — but we need to draw a line somewhere. Let us have a look at the entire list first:

Table 1: Players satisfying at least one of the two conditions mentioned above, in chronological order.

Player Opponent Ground Date RS BF SR BB RC WT E
V Richards NZ Dunedin 3/18/87 119 139 85.6 60 41 5 4.10
K Srikkanth NZ Visakhapatnam 10/12/88 70 87 80.5 42 27 5 3.86
M Waugh WI MCG 12/15/92 57 70 81.4 36 24 5 4.00
N Astle Pak Mohali 5/9/97 117 132 88.6 48 43 4 5.38
L Klusener SL Lahore 6/11/97 54 41 131.7 60 49 6 4.90
S Tendulkar Aus Dhaka 10/28/98 141 128 110.2 55 38 4 4.15
S Ganguly SL Nagpur 3/22/99 130 160 81.3 24 21 4 5.25
A Razzaq Ind Hobart 1/21/00 70 52 134.6 60 48 5 4.80
G Hick Zim Harare 2/20/00 80 95 84.2 60 33 5 3.30
S Afridi Eng Lahore 10/27/00 61 69 88.4 60 40 5 4.00
S Ganguly Zim Kanpur 11/12/00 71 68 104.4 60 34 5 3.40
R Irani Ind The Oval 7/9/02 53 55 96.4 42 26 5 3.71
S Styris WI Queen’s Park Oval 12/6/02 63 72 87.5 42 25 6 3.57
S Jayasuriya Aus SCG 1/9/03 122 105 116.2 60 39 4 3.90
F Kloppenburg Nam Bloemfontein 3/3/03 121 142 85.2 60 42 4 4.20
C Gayle Aus St George’s 6/1/03 60 68 88.2 60 46 5 4.60
C Gayle Zim Harare 11/30/03 112 75 149.3 60 24 4 2.40
S Malik HK Colombo SSC 7/18/04 118 110 107.3 54 19 4 2.11
P Collingwood Ban Trent Bridge 6/21/05 112 86 130.2 60 31 6 3.10
S Dhaniram Ber King City 6/29/08 79 86 91.9 60 32 5 3.20
Yuvraj Singh Eng Indore 11/17/08 118 122 96.7 60 28 4 2.80
Yuvraj Singh Ire Bangalore 3/6/11 50 75 66.7 60 31 5 3.10
T Dilshan Zim Pallekele 10/3/11 144 131 109.9 18 4 4 1.33
S Afridi SL Sharjah 11/20/11 75 65 115.4 56 35 5 3.75
S Afridi WI Providence 7/14/13 76 55 138.2 54 12 7 1.33

PLEASE NOTE: RS: Run Scored, BF: Balls Faced, SR: Strike Rate, BB: Balls Bowled, RC: Runs Conceded, WT: Wickets taken, E: Economy

Now, how to combine them? Let us check out what the match aggregates were like and do some calculations. Ideally we should have put everything in the same table but it would go awry on most browsers. Hence the next best way:

Table 2: Match aggregates for performances mentioned above

Player Match aggregates
All-rounder Opponent Ground Date MR MB MW M SR M Econ
V Richards NZ Dunedin 3/18/87 379 553 19 68.5 4.11
K Srikkanth NZ Visakhapatnam 10/12/88 393 578 15 68.0 4.08
M Waugh WI MCG 12/15/92 392 600 18 65.3 3.92
N Astle Pak Mohali 5/9/97 548 600 16 91.3 5.48
L Klusener SL Lahore 6/11/97 556 600 18 92.7 5.56
S Tendulkar Aus Dhaka 10/28/98 570 589 18 96.8 5.81
S Ganguly SL Nagpur 3/22/99 494 528 14 93.6 5.61
A Razzaq Ind Hobart 1/21/00 492 581 17 84.7 5.08
G Hick Zim Harare 2/20/00 411 581 17 70.7 4.24
S Afridi Eng Lahore 10/27/00 425 566 11 75.1 4.51
S Ganguly Zim Kanpur 11/12/00 331 424 12 78.1 4.68
R Irani Ind The Oval 7/9/02 394 367 18 107.4 6.44
S Styris WI Queen’s Park Oval 12/6/02 414 452 14 91.6 5.50
S Jayasuriya Aus SCG 1/9/03 607 597 15 101.7 6.10
F Kloppenburg Nam Bloemfontein 3/3/03 564 581 14 97.1 5.82
C Gayle Aus St George’s 6/1/03 496 561 9 88.4 5.30
C Gayle Zim Harare 11/30/03 393 441 12 89.1 5.35
S Malik HK Colombo SSC 7/18/04 508 565 15 89.9 5.39
P Collingwood Ban Trent Bridge 6/21/05 614 572 14 107.3 6.44
S Dhaniram Ber King City 6/29/08 385 573 18 67.2 4.03
Yuvraj Singh Eng Indore 11/17/08 530 582 19 91.1 5.46
Yuvraj Singh Ire Bangalore 3/6/11 417 587 15 71.0 4.26
T Dilshan Zim Pallekele 10/3/11 515 534 16 96.4 5.79
S Afridi SL Sharjah 11/20/11 374 569 20 65.7 3.94
S Afridi WI Providence 7/14/13    332    546     19     60.8 3.65

PLEASE NOTE: MR: Match Runs; MB: Match balls; MW: Match Wickets; M SR: Match Strike Rate; M Econ: Match Economy

Now we have enough data to combine the two tables and use the parameters mentioned above to rate the performances. Ideally we should combine the four performances as well.

Let us try to multiply them and obtain a combined value. I had thought of multiplying the four. The numbers may not look comparable: the proportion of runs and wickets will always have a value less than one; on the other hand there is a significant probability that the batting strike rate and bowling economy rate ratios compared to the match can be greater than one.

However, if we look at it closely we will find out:

– We have been using the proportion of runs scored and proportion of wickets taken as the main parameters
– We are simply multiplying the parameters by batting strike rate and bowling economy rate to assign them better values
– We are then combining the two proportions by a simple multiplication.

How are these performances ranked, then? Let us multiply the 4 indices to find and multiply it by 100 to make the ‘grand index’ look like a ‘number’ than a fraction. Let us also sort the performances by descending ‘grand index’. What do we find?

Table 3: Best all-round performances in a match, sorted by ‘Grand Index’

Player Indices Grand index
All-rounder Opponent Ground Date R Index SR Index W Index Econ Index Product of four indices x 100
S Afridi WI Providence 7/14/13 0.23 2.27 0.37 2.74 52.4425
C Gayle Zim Harare 11/30/03 0.28 1.68 0.33 2.23 35.4651
T Dilshan Zim Pallekele 10/3/11 0.28 1.14 0.25 4.34 34.5779
P Collingwood Ban Trent Bridge 6/21/05 0.18 1.21 0.43 2.08 19.7053
S Malik HK Colombo SSC 7/18/04 0.23 1.19 0.27 2.56 18.8850
S Ganguly Zim Kanpur 11/12/00 0.21 1.34 0.42 1.38 16.4680
V Richards NZ Dunedin 3/18/87 0.31 1.25 0.26 1.00 10.3520
S Dhaniram Ber King City 6/29/08 0.21 1.37 0.28 1.26 9.8173
Y Singh Eng Indore 11/17/08 0.22 1.06 0.21 1.95 9.7147
S Styris WI Queen’s Park Oval 12/6/02 0.15 0.96 0.43 1.54 9.5870
S Jayasuriya Aus a SCG 1/9/03 0.20 1.14 0.27 1.56 9.5807
S Afridi SL Sharjah 11/20/11 0.20 1.76 0.25 1.05 9.2555
G Hick Zim Harare 2/20/00 0.19 1.19 0.29 1.29 8.7654
S Tendulkar Aus Dhaka 10/28/98 0.25 1.14 0.22 1.40 8.7644
S Afridi Eng Lahore 10/27/00 0.14 1.18 0.45 1.13 8.6515
C Gayle Aus St George’s 6/1/03 0.12 1.00 0.56 1.15 7.7345
F Kloppenburg Nam Bloemfontein 3/3/03 0.21 0.88 0.29 1.39 7.4617
K Srikkanth NZ Visakhapatnam 10/12/88 0.18 1.18 0.33 1.06 7.4310
A Razzaq Ind Hobart 1/21/00 0.14 1.59 0.29 1.06 7.0414
S Ganguly SL Nagpur 3/22/99 0.26 0.87 0.29 1.07 6.9817
R Irani Ind The Oval 7/9/02 0.13 0.90 0.28 1.73 5.8166
N Astle Pak Mohali 5/9/97 0.21 0.97 0.25 1.02 5.2812
L Klusener SL Lahore 6/11/97 0.10 1.42 0.33 1.13 5.2211
Yuvraj Singh Ire Bangalore 3/6/11 0.12 0.94 0.33 1.37 5.1572
M Waugh WI MCG 12/15/92 0.15 1.25 0.28 0.98 4.9335

PLEASE NOTE: R Index: Runs Index (Runs/Match Runs); SR Index: SR Index (SR/Match SR); W Index: Wickets Index (Wickets/Match Wickets); Econ Index: Economy Index (Match Economy/Economy)

Most of us have missed out on Afridi’s performance at Providence — which was the greatest all-round performance in an ODI by a substantial distance; or even if we had we did not realise its significance. I guess the intensity of the Ashes was too much in comparison.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is a cricket historian and Senior Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He generally looks upon life as a journey involving two components – cricket and literature – though not as disjoint elements. A passionate follower of the history of the sport with an insatiable appetite for trivia and anecdotes, he has also a steady love affair with the incredible assortment of numbers that cricket has to offer. He also thinks he can bowl decent leg-breaks in street cricket, and blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in. He can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42