Monday, June 30, 2008


Samir Chopra asked for a stats post on "mini-orders", and here it is.

A mini-order is defined, for this post, as a block of three players at the same positions in the batting order. So, for instance, you could have Langer-Hayden-Ponting as a mini-order (with positions 1, 2, and 3). Now, I could fill up pages with the various possibilities (123, 345, 456, 567, etc.), but that seems like it might be excessive. So below I've listed the leading mini-orders by runs scored. This is, of course, a list heavily biased towards recent teams.

In the table below, the columns are the number of team innings in which the triple appeared; total runs made in those innings by the batsmen in that mini-order; their average in those innings; the number of runs made in partnerships between those three batsmen in those innings; and the average of those partnerships, adjusted for era and quality of the bowling (relative to an overall average of 31.5). The regular average and partnership average are typically close to each other. The partnership stats are not complete, since I ignore any team innings which look like they involved a retired hurt.

Note that the order is strict — Langer-Hayden-Ponting is considered separately from Hayden-Langer-Ponting. The latter only happened twice, by my count. If you ignore order, then Taylor-Slater-Boon would go into fifth place. Taylor and Slater alternated almost perfectly in which of the two faced the first ball.

pos name1 name2 name3 i runs avg p-runs adj part avg
123 JL Langer ML Hayden RT Ponting 94 15034 60.6 10352 53.8
345 RS Dravid SR Tendulkar SC Ganguly 78 11319 55.8 5624 49.5
123 CG Greenidge DL Haynes RB Richardson 84 9778 43.8 6611 41.5
123 MS Atapattu ST Jayasuriya KC Sangakkara 58 7352 46.5 4807 35.2
456 SR Tendulkar SC Ganguly VVS Laxman 54 6742 49.9 2806 53.0
345 JL Langer ME Waugh SR Waugh 51 6405 47.1 2340 34.9
123 ME Trescothick MP Vaughan MA Butcher 49 5956 44.8 4132 41.8
456 ME Waugh SR Waugh RT Ponting 43 5466 48.4 2343 54.2
456 PA de Silva A Ranatunga HP Tillakaratne 43 4688 40.1 2033 38.2
345 JH Kallis DJ Cullinan WJ Cronje 37 4412 43.7 2190 37.6
345 RR Sarwan BC Lara S Chanderpaul 35 4281 42.8 1560 40.3
123 SM Gavaskar CPS Chauhan DB Vengsarkar 35 4038 40.4 2555 41.3
456 DJ Cullinan WJ Cronje JN Rhodes 33 3999 46.0 1678 39.8
345 KC Sangakkara DPMD Jayawardene TT Samaraweera 32 3992 45.4 1464 30.7
345 HM Amla JH Kallis AG Prince 29 3951 52.0 2209 46.4
123 CG Greenidge DL Haynes IVA Richards 32 3813 42.8 2990 47.2
345 Younis Khan Inzamam-ul-Haq Yousuf Youhana 25 3772 54.7 1778 48.5
123 L Hutton C Washbrook WJ Edrich 28 3729 49.7 2407 47.8
345 AP Gurusinha PA de Silva A Ranatunga 33 3721 42.8 2081 50.1
123 GR Marsh MA Taylor DC Boon 30 3675 43.2 2779 44.3
345 Younis Khan Yousuf Youhana Inzamam-ul-Haq 21 3600 66.7 1766 77.0

The constancy of the Australian batting lineup in recent years is well-known, of course, so it's perhaps no surprise to see that the Langer-Hayden-Ponting trio has appeared in more innings in that order than any other. Even allowing for the high scoring these days, they come out easily better than Greenidge-Haynes-Richardson.

Leading mini-order at each position by adjusted average of the batsmen, qualification 10 innings:
123: Woodfull-Ponsford-Bradman, 13 innings, avg 81.7, adj avg 75.4
345: Bradman-Kippax-McCabe, 12 innings, avg 78.8, adj avg 71.7
456: Hussey-Clarke-Symonds, 16 innings, avg 64.3, adj avg 57.8
567: Clarke-Symonds-Gilchrist, 11 innings, avg 53.1, adj avg 48.6

A very Australian affair.

Very interesting DB. What interested me is the Younis-Inzi-Yousuf combo. They feature there twice with Inzi and Yousuf changing positions in the latter half of Inzi's career.

Plus other players like Sachin, Ganguly, Ponting, Waughs in there more than one with different mini-orders also shows a lot.
i am unable to extract the meaning from the statistics. May be it will take time to understand me your concept. Hope i could understand it easily
DB: Thanks very much for these. I've just blogged about your post. I find it interesting that there is only pre-70s pair in the ranking by runs for the mini-order. Of course, there are two when it comes to adjusted averages. (And yes, a very Aussie affair in the averages section!).
Interesting numbers.

Just one question: why no mention of the YK-YY-Inzi trio? Both their normal and adj. aves. were higher than anyone else's... wouldn't they be the highest at the 345 at least?

Not an Aussie whitewash after!
Good compilation, but need some non-Aussies up there as well.
IMHO, theres a need to improve the methodology for finding the adjusted avg.
Unfortunately, over the years, Australia has had the best bowling attacks. So, their batsman face below avg bowling attacks and vice versa for others. Avgs relative to overall avg of 31.5 does only half the job here.
Hence, a need to consider the bowling attacks faced. May be a similar list of bowling troikas and then a combination of the two?
DS, I surreptitiously changed what I was doing with the last list. The trios at the end are the leaders in adjusted average, not adjusted partnership average.

Abhishek, my adjusted averages are based exclusively on the bowling averages of the bowlers faced. So if Australians face weak bowling attacks, their averages are adjusted down accordingly. Details here.
On an historical note, many old sources, even original scorebooks, do not distinguish properly between #1 and #2 in the batting order. Scorers often wrote openers' names down before strike was taken. The positions whould really be treated as equivalent.
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