Batting averages more relevant than runs scored in a year

Newspapers in England, especially The Telegraph made a huge hype about the most runs scored by batters in 2012. The hysteria clearly hinges on the fact that Alistair Cook, KP Pietersen and Jonathan Trott are amongst the top 5.

The Ausies should rightfully be jubilant because their captain Michael Clarke scored 1595 runs in 11 games to top the list. More significantly is the fact that Clarke also tops the average runs per innings with a brilliant 106.

Cook scored his 1249 runs in 15 games at an average of 48. KP scored 1053 in 14 games at an average of 44. Trott scored 1005 in 15 games at an average of 39.

The reality of all this is that some countries seem to play more tests than others and that their batters have more opportunities to accumulate runs. The result is that players of one country can end up topping the run list but completely falls away when it comes to averages.

This is exactly the case with England who does not have one batter, yes, Alistair Cook included, in the top 12 averages.

Hashim Amla, the only Protea to pass the 1000 mark scored 1064 runs in 10 games at an average of 71. If one extrapolates Amla’s average to the same number of innings’ Cook played; i.e. 29 the Protea would come very close to 1800.

The same applies to Kallis who scored 944 runs in 9 games and 15 innings’ at an average of 67.

Given the variables in the numbers of test played by countries the number’s game becomes fairly irrelevant when it comes to most runs scored in a calendar year. For instance Cook batted 29 times and Kallis 15 – the discrepancy is quite obvious.

Even at this early stage The Telegraph and its columnists speculate that Cook could end his career with more runs and 100’s than Kallis and, dare I say, also Sachin Tendulkar. Cook is good but not that good and if he does get near 14 000 and more runs in his career he will need the tendency, that England plays 4 to 5 more tests than the other countries, to continue.

Of more relevance is the average which suggests an all different batting performance (Note: At least 3 tests):








MJ   Clarke Aus


11 1595 5 1
S   Chanderpaul WI


9 987 3 2
JP   Duminy SA


5 271 1 55
MN   Samuels WI


7 866 3 18
CA   Pujara Ind


6 654 3 26
H   Amla SA


10 1064 4 3
JH   Kallis SA


9 944 4 6
MEK   Hussey Aus


11 898 4 9
AB   de Villiers SA


10 815 2 7
Azhar   Ali Pak


6 551 3 12
LRPL   Taylor NZ


10 819 3 8
C   Gayle WI


4 318 1 29
R   Ashwin Ind


8 414 0 48
K   Sangakkara SL


10 767 2 4

11 thoughts on “Batting averages more relevant than runs scored in a year

  1. Like I just told the lads on The Telegraph, these are the facts: Kallis scored his 13 000 runs quicker that the other 3. He scored the second most tons – 44. He took 283 wickets. By the way Kallis is 37 and still regularly bowls at 148km/h.

    The question is not if he is the best cricketer ever; nobody with half a brain denies that.

    The fact that writers of The Telegraph denies that obviously indicates that they are clueless idiots; not quite dissimilar to you.

    The only question that may but should not be disputed is whether Kallis is the best batter.

    As a South African he batted mostly on the quickest wickets in the world.

    Despite that he averages 57!

  2. Hahaha, you just argue against your own point when you say to StormTrooper that Kallis must be regarded as “the best batter ever” cos he has scored lots of runs as opposed to Pollock, Sutcliffe, Headley and particularly Bradman, who all scored fewer runs but at considerably higher averages.

    Are you and KevD related ?

  3. Cricket is a game that suits stats geeks, with it being more quantifiable than most other games. Averages are very useful in gauging how good a season a batsman is having or howgood his career has been. BAD3However, old fish, when discussing how many runs a batsman is likely to score in his career then aggregate is definately more relevent than average.
    Even the daily telegraph understands this, old mutt.

  4. Yes, a 100 would have been great, and my wish for Kallis in 2013 is for him to reach 300. Well done to our boytjies and to Steyn as well. With FAF still looming it will definitely be exciting tomorrow. We waited very long for this!

  5. Hi Stormy, I wish you and family a great 2013; may all your dreams come true.

    I have quite a wish list myself and two of those, on the cricketing front, came true on the second day of the year. Dale Steyn captured his 300th wicket and Kallis passed 13 000 runs.

    I am very glad for Alviro and I believe Vernon Philander is rapidly becoming one of the best swing bowlers ever. The Kiwis batted terribly but some of them succumbed to Philander-bowling that would have cleaned up the best. Philander’s line, length and swing in both directions is breathtaking.

    After scoring a double century not so long ago and reaching 13 000 runs quicker than anyone, including Ponting, Tendulkar and Dravid, Kallis must surely now be regarded as the best batter ever. I was bitterly disappointed when he lost his wicket on 60 as another ton will take him to 45 of those

  6. Howzit Mate. Compliments 4 2013. What a start, NZ 45 all out. And what a “batter”, that man Kallis, AGAIN!!!!! Poor Captain though?????? Eish, I believe the newspapers will not be to complimentary tomorrow? Well, Petersen is heading for his 100. Lets see.
    I agree with the averages theory. It could be your year, and then the next be an abysmal year. Clarke is on a row though. Go Proteas!

  7. Bored stiff, are you not?

    “Batsmen” or “batter”; both correct.

    But I guess you know that and that you are just making conversation.

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