When you talk about any sport, the statistics eventually come up in the discussion if not immediately. In Cricket, statistics are very helpful and vital in judging the quality of a batter or a bowler. There’s batting average, bowling average, bowling economy, batting strike rate and so on – various parameters with which you can judge a player.
Here we are going to talk about how batting average is calculated in cricket, what it represents and plenty of other questions related to it.
The general misconception about batting average is that it is simply the runs scored by a batter divided by the number of matches or innings he or she has played. It’s a bit more than that but certainly not complicated.
So to calculate the batting average in cricket, you need a few values at hand. You’re gonna need the number of runs the player has scored, the number of innings the player has batted in and the number of times the player remained not out.
The formula to determine the batting average is the number of runs scored divided by the number of times the batter was dismissed.
And how do you calculate the number of times the batter was dismissed? Simple, by extracting the number of not outs from the number of innings played.
Lets take an example: Player A has scored 10200 runs in 325 matches but he/she has batted in 300 innings. Player A remained not out in 50 of those innings. So the batting average = 10200 / 300-50 that is 10200/250 = 40.8.
Note that every player’s batting average is mostly different from other players. The batting average of the player for every format that he or she plays is also calculated separately, be it Test cricket, first-class cricket, List A, ODIs , T20s, or T20Is.
Why is batting average in cricket important?
As we mentioned earlier, stats play a huge role in determining the quality of a player. The batting average is an important factor in showing the consistency of the batter. However, the batting average alone can not reveal the quality of a batter, with other aspects coming into play, especially in limited overs cricket.
In Test cricket, the average is the most telling statistic of a batter. Higher the number better the quality. In T20 cricket, only the combination of batting average and batting strike can give a better perspective. The scoring rate is as important as the consistency in modern cricket, more so in the shorter format.
The dynamics in fifty-over format stand somewhere between the Test and T20 format. While strike rate is important in ODIs as well, it’s not as important as it is in T20s and the average holds more value.
What is a good batting average in different formats of cricket?
Good batting average varies from format to format. What’s a good batting average in T20 cricket would be terrible in Test cricket. In other words, the value of a batter’s wicket is much higher in Test cricket compared to white-ball cricket.
Test cricket is considered the hardest form of the sport with much more challenging conditions to deal with for the batters. The longer you bat and more you score, better it is for your team in this format. A batting average of over 45 is considered good for a specialist batter in Test cricket. Anything above 50 is considered as excellent and is attained by only greats of the game if you keep a minimum cutoff. And those who average above 60 are just ridiculous.
On the other hand, in T20 cricket, you can make a massive impact in a short period of time. The definition of good average changes according to the position of the batter. For a middle order batsman, anything above 30 can be termed as a good batting average. But for the top order batters, that number increases to 35 as they get more opportunity to score.
In One-Day cricket, anything over 40 was a good batting average a decade back. But the game has evolved and batting in white-ball cricket has gotten easier. So an average of over 45 for top order batters is considered good now. There are a few players who average above 50 in the format, making them excellent.
Players with the best batting average in cricket
Sir Donald Bradman, one of if not the greatest cricketers to ever play the game, is famously known for his batting average. During his career spanning two decades, averaged 99.94 after 52 Tests with 6996 runs. There is no one in the vicinity with the highest second best, Adam Voges averaging 61.87 however he’s only scored 1485 runs. Graeme Pollock, George Headley, Herbert Sutcliffe also average over 60. Australia’s current star batter Steve Smith has bigger claim to being closest to Bradman, averaging 60 with 8161 runs to his credit.
As of this moment, there are only 10 players to average in excess of 50 in ODI cricket. The current South African batter Rassie van der Dussen holds the top position with a batting average of 69.31 but has scored only 1525 runs. Ryan ten Doeschate, the former Netherlands player occupies the second spot with 67 average, having scored 1541 runs. The current Pakistan captain Babar Azam is third on the list with 59.79 average after 92 games and 4664 runs. But Virat Kohli stands apart in this format with a huge tally of 12344 runs, the Indian superstar averages 57.68.
In T20 internationals, Kohli tops the list with an average of 52.73, having scored 4008 runs. He has done it at pretty good strike rate of 137.96, making him arguably the best T20I batter. Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan averages 48.79 and occupies the second spot. Suryakumar Yadav, who has made up for the late international entry, stands out here. He averages 44 at a strike rate of 180.97. No other player averages over 40 and strikes at more than 141 in T20I cricket.
How is batting average different from batting strike rate?
Batting average and batting strike rate are two completely different parameters in cricket. While the batting average suggests how consistent the batter is, the strike rate show how quickly the runs are scored. In other words, batting strike rate is the number of runs scored per 100 balls. The formula for batting strike rate is the number of runs scored divided by the number of balls faced into 100.
For example, Player A has scored 65 runs off 50 balls. His batting strike rate then reads 65/50 × 100 = 130.
How to calculate bowling average in cricket?
Calculating bowling average is a simpler process than that of batting average. Bowling average is basically the number of runs conceded by a bowler per wicket. That is simply diving the number of runs conceded by the number of wickets taken.
For example, Player A has taken 120 wickets in a format. He/she has conceded 3550 runs in total. So the bowling average = 3550/120 = 29.58. In Test cricket, a bowling average of around 25 for seamers is considered good.
In contrast to batting average, lower the number of bowling average better the quality of a bowler. With a minimum threshold of 150 wickets, England’s Sydney Barnes tops the list of best bowling average at 16.43. West Indies’ fearsome quicks in 1980s and 1990s, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner and Curtly Ambrose averaged just below 21, having taken more than 250 wickets each.
What is the highest batting average in Test cricket?
99.94 is the highest batting average in Test cricket, which was achieved by the late Australian great Sir Donald Bradman.
What is the highest batting average in ODI and T20I cricket?
Rassie van der Dussen holds the record for the highest batting average in ODIs at 69.31. Virat Kohli has the highest average of 52.73 in T20I cricket.
Who has the lowest batting average in Test cricket?
New Zealand’s Chris Martin was infamous for his batting and holds the unwanted record of the lowest batting average in Test cricket for anyone who has batted in 30 innings or more. After batting in 104 innings, Martin averaged only 2.37.