Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some boring batting and some very exciting statistics

I woke up late this morning. Lack of food and lack of sleep (due to watching England's tour of South Africa up until the tea break) have conspired to 11AM risings of late. Anyway, I woke up and turned on the radio. Within a few minutes, Australia were in the middle of a second-innings collapse. Not unexpected. Mohammed Aamer is showing once again that if you're quick and move the ball (either off the seam or in the air), you get Australian wickets, just as Onions and Anderson did in the Ashes. He's a zippy young bloke, this Aamer. He and Umar might as well go form their own team, the rest are pretty useless.

Watson is currently in the 90s. If he gets a century opening the batting, something is seriously wrong with cricket. Actually, I already know there is. England are 386/5 overnight against South Africa. Alastair Cook has a century, the third in his last 45 innings, and the South African viewers haven't yet recovered from the comatose state they lapsed into while he batted. Worse still, Ian Bell is not-out 55. Now, cricket could only become more ill if Bell gets to a century, although it will keep intact his record of not getting a century in games where no other teammate has scored a century. But Bell's scored 5 fours and a six. How? How did they let him? Is this just a clever plot by Smith to get the England selectors to pick Ian Bell for the rest of the series?

Meanwhile, I'd like to point out some statistics. In 2009, Graeme Swann averaged 47.77 with the bat at a strike rate of 83.98. He also claimed 49 wickets at an average of 29.67. Now, that's a pretty good performance for someone who fronts a band and is the most entertaining thing on Twitter (making even the great Stephen Fry seem humourless). I'd also like to bring your attention to the fact that in a list of batsmen who have played 20 innings or more in the last 10 years (with games against minnows filtered out) away from home, AB de Villiers has the second best average, behind only the great Andy Flower. My heroes have feet of gold.

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