Hampshire Cricket History

It’s Not Working
May 29, 2018, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Among the analyses of England’s dreadful display, is a piece by Simon Hughes on the BBC site where he reports that since 2014 England have given debuts to 14 batsmen who between them have averaged just 26.

The best of them (therefore boosting the average) is Hameed, who since his injury cannot score a run, next comes Ballance who apparently ruined his chances of a comeback by failing to be selected in the winter, then Buttler and Robson. There are four men below Vince in 10th place; Lyth, Westley, Duckett and Jennings who’s now returning.

I’d suggest those figures tell us much about the current quality, structure and scheduling of the county championship

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Here’s more from Hughes:

“Cook, England’s all-time leading run-scorer, has compiled 104 fifties and 61 hundreds in first-class cricket, an impressive conversion rate of 59%. However, of his top-order colleagues in the first Test, Mark Stoneman’s conversion rate is 42%, Dawid Malan 41%, Jonny Bairstow 40% and Ben Stokes 44%. Even Joe Root’s, England’s best batsman, is only at 40%.”

James Vince’s 21 first-class 100s give him a conversion rate of 38%. That’s not as high as his peers above, but interestingly at Hampshire only two ‘occasional’ amateurs RM Poore (53%) & CB Fry (48%) are higher. Mead & Robin Smith follow Vince with 37%. I assume the reason the current England players have higher figures is that they play on covered pitches in four-day matches – and maybe county bowling doesn’t compare with the past? Barry Richards has a conversion rate of just under 30% – he probably got bored around 65!

Comment by pompeypop

Unless I’m going mad which is perfectly possible as I’m still recovering from the Kent defeat. The conversion rate calculation seems wrong to me. If cook has passed fifty on 165 occasions and gone on to a hundred 61 times, then his conversion rate is just below 37%.

Comment by Tigger MIles

You’re right – of course! Why else would you be our Super Statto? Well spotted. It’s an easy mistake to make when you first start looking at conversion stats and incidentally I’m more confident of my Hampshire figures for Vince etc. What Hughes failed to do was to add together Cook’s 100s & 50s and then divide that total into his 61 centuries. He treated them as two separate figures. So Cook actually has a first-class conversion rate of 36.97 which is worse than Vince’s! Pick that man immediately. I’ll check the others today and let you know – perhaps they’re all rubbish. Cheers Tigger

Comment by pompeypop

The conversion rate for James Vince is correct at 38% but robin Smith’s is only 31% with 131 fifties and 61 hundreds. Poore’s is actually 47.8 with 12 fifties and 11 hundreds.

Comment by Tigger MIles

I’d better check my stats but apologies for being less than clear. My 37% for Robin Smith is only for Hampshire (which is correct). Last night I was converting an old table for the county only, but got ahead of myself with Vince and did all his first-class. Ditto for Poore who for Hampshire has a rate of 52.6.

I’ll pursue this a bit later, under Tigger’s watchful eye – my figures for Fry and Richards should also be right just for Hampshire. For the county alone, Vince is on exactly 40%.

Comment by pompeypop

Just looking at those with 15 or more test centuries the top two are

Bradman, no surprise, 69%


Kohli 57%

Six others over 50%:

Walcott, Azharuddin, Clarke, Hayden, Younis Khan, M Vaughan (highest Englishman, above Hammond, Strauss, Sutcliffe, Voldemort, Compton, Cowdrey 37%).

Amla comes 27th, 42%, just below Sangakkara (and Warner and Sehwag, of the see ball hit ball merchants).

Sobers 46%.

(Barry was 50% in four games)

Comment by Jeremy

Just to throw a spanner into the maths…
What happens to not-out scores between 50 and 100? They can’t really count as ‘failure to convert’, can they?
(I don’t really need to know the figures, just thinking…).

Comment by Dave Pople

Stop thinking immediately Pople! This is about facts not ideas. (Tell the truth, I’ve never thought of it, and it’s a very good point – but I ain’t doing the counting)).

Jeremy (thanks) is right to impose a ‘minimum’ – after all, in Test Matches, Jennings is currently 50% with one century and one fifty; and if he’s dismissed for nought in every innings this summer and discarded for ever, he’d still be on 50%!

But who’s this Voldemort? Does Harry know?

Comment by pompeypop

I think Dave P makes a very valid point. Unless not out scores between 50 and 100 are discounted the figures are rather meaningless.

(Sorry not trying to make any extra work for anyone!).

Comment by James

I think it is a good point but I’m not sure it’s “meaningless”. Vince is in the high 30s, Gareth Berg is on 7%. Surely that’s one indication of why they generally bat where they do?

Comment by pompeypop

I quite agree that not outs between 50 and 99 should be ignored when doing calculations. However, this makes the calculation much more time consuming as you have to look at all scores. The simple calculation using just fifties and hundreds is much easier. Having said that all the individual scores since 2001 are on my website which makes it easier for current players.

Comment by Tigger MIles

Others of Hampshire interest on the list were Gordon Greenidge (35.8%, IVA Richards 34.8%), Gower 31.6%.

We’ve been pretty lucky!

One of the things our guys have been rightly criticised for is the inability to rotate the strike, keep the board ticking over. JV has also got this flak, and has a very high percentage of runs in boundaries… his test and first class % are both 63%… looking at those with most boundaries in tests the four highest are Gayle, 66%, Sehwag, 64%, H Gibbs 62%, Tres 61%. (Amla and Greenidge came in at 51%, Hayden was 54, Gower Clarke both 48). (These stats don’t go back to Bradman and Compton, though I expect someone must have got pretty good estimates for those.).

One other thing I came across on this stat trawl, thanks for insitgating it!, was Hobbs’s FC conversion rate – 42.2% (472 50+!)

And, apparently, it’s dry at Merchant Taylor’s…

Comment by Jeremy

I think Dave Pople made an interesting point about not out 50s although I suspect once you take account of them, you can’t easily produce a single statistic. However, I’ve had a quick look. This season, only Rossouw of our top six batsmen has a not out score between 50-99 (Taunton). In the past two seasons, our top regular batsmen (Vince, Adams, Dawson, Ervine & Bailey) have scored 13 centuries and 29 half-centuries, and only one of those (Dawson in the first match of 2016) was 50* – so, not one not out half century in two years plus.

Comment by pompeypop

Vince 38%. Here are the other England batsmen in first-class cricket: Cook 37%; Stokes & Stoneman 30%; Root, Malan & Bairstow 29%; Buttler 16% (four f/c centuries!). Jennings is best on 44%. Inevitably more Test appearances are likely to reduce the figure.

Comment by pompeypop

To give a very basic example of why not outs should be excluded consider the situation where Batsman A has scores of 51 and 100 and Batsman B has scores of 51 not out and 100. If the not outs are not excluded then both have a conversion rate of 50% which is totally unfair on batsman B who for whatever reason didn’t have an opportunity to convert his 51 not out to a century.

Now you could argue that over a longer period of time most batsmen will have a very small percentage of not outs compared to outs between 50 and 100 but don’t forget we are talking about batsmen whose averages are as standard calculated to a hundredth of a run.

I must admit I had always assumed the not out scores were ignored when statisticians calculated conversion rates but I might be wrong. It has been known!

Comment by James

It will be easier these days for people with the right software to filter out in that way, but most of us (including me) don’t have that, so we have to go through every match and score. Your example makes complete sense in terms of the ‘unfairness’, but single examples are always likely to be misleading – Keaton Jennings has a Test conversion rate of 50% which is very high (see above) – except it’s just one century and one fifty. I might one day do a comparison of the rates including and excluding (eg Vince) – but not today!

None of this discussion alters my initial point in this post, that the County Championship is no longer fit for purpose in terms of producing Test cricketers.

Comment by pompeypop

Ah but nothing in life is easy Dave!

As for your last point sadly I agree but at least we can look forward to the Championship being re-structured into conferences which will solve all the problems. Won’t it?

Comment by James

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