The availability of secondary source data is transforming the ways in which we can describe and analyse performance in sport. In this post I use data gathered by ESPNcricinfo for the 2013-2014 Ashes Cricket Series in Australia to discuss batting partnerships.
Whilst I have followed batting partnerships in three Ashes Series (2010-2011, 2013, 2013-2014), the present post builds upon a post about shifting batting partnership curves (Lyons, 2013). It uses ESPNcricinfo’s Partnership Graphs (2013a, 2013b, 2013c) to compile information about:
- The number of batting partners for each player.
- The number of runs scored in total in each partnership.
- The numbers of balls faced in total by each partnership.
This post is written after Australia’s victory in the Third Test at the WACA Ground in Perth.
ESPNcricinfo provide a rich variety of on-line, synchronous data for each Cricket Test Match. For this post, I have collected data from the Partnership Graph for each innings of the three Test Matches to date in the 2013-2014 Series.
Figure 1 is an example of the data used from the First Test Match played in Brisbane (ESPNcricinfo, 2013a).
Figure 1. Partnership Graph Australia’s First Innings versus England, First Test Match, Brisbane, November 2013.
Partnerships By Runs Scored
Twenty-five batsmen (N=25) have batted in the three Test Matches (N=3) played to date in the current Ashes Series. Data from ESPNcricinfo’s Partnership Graphs for each Test Match were recorded to compile Table 1. In this Table, players are ranked by the total runs scored in partnerships in which they were involved.
Players ranked by total runs scored in partnerships in which they were involved
David Warner (Australia) leads the ranking by runs scored. The top six ranked players are all from Australia. Two of England’s young players (Joe Root and Ben Stokes) rank higher than the England captain. Alistair Cook.
I have compiled these data to explore the impact specific players have had on the 2013-2014 Ashes Series. David Warner and his eighteen partners compiled 756 runs (21.27% of all runs scored by Australia in Three Tests).
Partnerships By Balls Faced
In addition to totals runs scored, I am very interested in the ability of partnerships to ‘occupy the crease’ in an innings. Table 2 ranks the twenty-five batsmen by the number of balls they and their partners faced in total during the three Test Matches in the 2013-2014 Series to date.
Players ranked by total balls faced in partnerships in which they were involved
Shifting The Curve
One of my aims in aggregating these data was to identify whether number of runs and balls faced contributed to winning performance through the shifting of the partnerships discussed in relation to the 2013 Ashes Series in England (Lyons, 2013). Figure 2 plots the partnership curves for Australia and England in the 2013-2014 Ashes Series.
Figure 2. A Comparison of the Number of Partnerships Compiled by Australia and England in Three Test Matches in the 2013-2014 Ashes Series.
The data for these curves are presented in Table 3.
A Comparison of the Number of Partnerships Compiled by Australia and England in Three Test Matches in the 2013-2014 Ashes Series
The extent to which the partnership curves for Australia and England have shifted from 2010-11, to 2013 and to 2013-2014 can be seen in Figures 3 and 4 and in Tables 4 and 5.
Figure 3 presents Australia’s changing partnership curves over three Ashes’ Series.
The data for these curves are presented in Table 4.
Total Number of Australian Batting Partnerships in Three Ashes Test Series 2010-11, 2013 and 2013-2014
For England, the curves are presented in Figure 4.
The data for these curves are presented in Table 5.
Total Number of England Batting Partnerships in Three Ashes Test Series 2010-11, 2013 and 2013-2014
Partnerships in 2013-2014 Ashes Cricket
This post set out to share an analysis of data from ESPNcricinfo’s service to cricket. These data are in the public domain and are a reliable source of data from which to conduct analysis.
The availability of Partnership Graphs for each innings of each Test Match has prompted me to explore the role partnerships play in the game of cricket. The use of longitudinal data from three Ashes Series has made it possible to identify changing patterns in partnerships for Australia and England.
From the data presented here, David Warner, Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke played an important role in transforming Australia’s batting partnership profile. It will be interesting to observe how the two young England batsmen (Joe Root and Ben Stokes) develop their ability to participate in run scoring and crease occupying partnerships.
ESPNcricinfo. (2013a). [Partnership Graphs First Test Match, Brisbane, November 2013.] [Graph]. Retrieved from http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013-14/engine/match/592397.html?view=partnership
ESPNcricinfo. (2013b). [Partnership Graphs Second Test Match, Adelaide, December 2013.] [Graph]. Retrieved from http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013-14/engine/match/592398.html?view=partnership
ESPNcricinfo. (2013c). [Partnership Graphs Third Test Match, Perth, December 2013.] [Graph]. Retrieved from http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013-14/engine/current/match/592399.html
Lyons, K. (2013, August 1). “Shiting the Curve.” [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://keithlyons.me/shifting-the-curve/