Deep Backward Point

Blog against the machine.

Tag: odi

The Pattern of Indian ODI Chases in 2011

As I watched India (barely) successfully chase 225 with 3 wickets to spare against West Indies on Saturday, it seemed that a pattern had emerged. This match resembled many Indian chases in recent times, where it would appear the batting line-up failed, but it would still be a successful chase because they bat so deep.

So I went over their recent record in seven consecutive successful chases since the World Cup began:

  1. India v. Ireland (World Cup): Ireland scored 207 batting first. India’s chase seemed to falter, wickets fell regularly (100 for 4), but runs kept coming as India won with 4 overs and 5 wickets to spare. (scoreboard)
  2. India v. the Netherlands (World Cup): The Netherlands scored 189 batting first. India’s chase again seemed to falter, wickets fell regularly (139 for 5), but they won by 5 wickets with 13.3. overs to spare. (scoreboard)
  3. India v. Australia (World Cup): In the quarter-finals, Australia scored 260 batting first. India’s lost wickets regularly (167 for 5), but kept the scoring rate up and ultimately chased it down with 5 wickets and 3 overs to spare. (scoreboard)
  4. India v. Sri Lanka (World Cup): In the finals, Sri Lanka scored 274 batting first. India lost their openers cheaply, but kept the scoring rate up to win by 6 wickets with 10 balls to spare. (scoreboard)
  5. India v. West Indies, 1st ODI: West Indies score 214 batting first. India lose wickets regularly, but bat deep to chase it down with 4 wickets and 3 overs to spare. (scoreboard)
  6. India v. West Indies, 2nd ODI: This one doesn’t fit the mold. West Indies score 240, and in a rain-shortened match, Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel make it look easy, winning with 7 wickets to spare. (scoreboard)
  7. India v. West Indies, 3rd ODI: Chasing 225, India lose wickets in a heap (92 for 6), but Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and some late hitting by Praveen Kumar rescue them. India wins by 3 wickets with 3.4 overs to spare. (scoreboard)
A few obvious notes to make:
  • None of these chases would have been possible without great bowling upfront to restrict the opposition.
  • India bats very, very deep.
  • The key seems to be that even as wickets fell, the scoring rate didn’t drop in these games. The asking rate was never too imposing for the new batsmen.
  • This style of chasing seems inspired by T20. Many short quick innings, instead of a couple of long, deliberate ones.
  • I started the list after the South Africa series. India chased poorly against South Africa.

The B Team Goes to the West Indies

Kartikeya is disappointed in the Indian seniors for choosing not to play the ODI series in West Indies:

I hope the West Indies teach India a lesson in the upcoming ODI games. I understand the need for rest, but to choose the IPL over International Cricket is unconscionable, especially when playing for India is high paying employment.

I empathize. But I also find it interesting that while the rest of the world frets over the health of Test cricket, the top Indian players choose to ignore meaningless ODI series.

The History of One Day Cricket: Part I

The One Day International has changed dramatically in its 40 years of existence. Here is part one of my analysis of the game:

Highest Score per team, per year

We’ve come a long way since the ’70s. It used to be a 60-over innings and teams barely got a couple of hundred runs. In 1977, no team made more than 250 in their allotted 60 overs. Every year since 2004, the top eight teams have had a 300+ score every year. We’ve come a long way, baby.

Take a look at how Jayasuriya and company changed the game in 1996. It’s an outlier, so different from the years around it and wouldn’t be surpassed until the batting powerplay was instituted in 2006.

Highest Score of World Cup 2011: 375 by India against Bangladesh

High Scores in One Day History

High Scores in One Day History (click for larger version)

Runs per over per team, per year

We’ve gone from a par average of 4 to a par average of 5.5. In 1994, every team had a yearly run rate of 5 and under. By 2010, every team was over 5. In fact, South Africa finished 2010 at 6 runs per over for the year.

Top 8 Teams Run Rate at World Cup 2011: 5.38

Run Rate by Year in One Day History

Run Rate by Year in One Day History (click for larger version)

Runs per wicket per team, per year

Now here’s something that hasn’t changed much as the game has changed. Even though teams are scoring at a (much) faster pace, the runs per wicket has been largely steady. Barring some outliers (West Indies in the early days, Australia in the last 10 years), the average has barely increased from the upper 20’s to the low 30’s.

In both this chart and the runs per over, Sri Lanka’s progress between say 1983 and 1996 has been the most dramatic. On this chart, Sri Lanka goes from about 18 in 1984 to 38 in 1997. Of note: Australia crossed 50 runs per wicket in 2001.

Also, look how the mighty have fallen. West Indies dominates every chart here for the first decade and then drops off the map. Finally, the era of Aussie dominance ended in 2008- the orange dot on all three charts falls from the top that year.

World Cup 2011: Matches Among Top 8 Teams:
Side Batting First: 29.58 Runs per Wicket
Side Batting Second: 31.61 Runs per Wicket
Overall: 30.49

Average per wicket per year in One Day History

Average per wicket per year in One Day History (click for larger version)

In the next installment, I will present three charts on how the balance of power in one day internationals has changed over 40 years.


  • Only the top eight teams (no Zimbabwe, no Bangladesh) have been considered.
  • The runs per over are for the entire year, with each dot representing a different team.
  • The runs per wicket are for the entire year, with each dot representing a different team.
  • The highest score is the highest score for a particular team in that year.
  • The color code for each country is consistent across all charts.
  • Statistics until the end of 2010 are reflected in the charts.