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Old November 27, 2011, 08:45 PM
Zunaid Zunaid is offline
Join Date: January 22, 2004
Posts: 22,099
Default Of stars and dogs: A business case analysis

About a year ago, I came across an interesting analysis of ODI Batsmen on ESPNCricInfo’s blog “It figures”. The author, Anantha Narayanan, adopted a well-known business tool created by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) called a “Growth-share matrix”. This simple chart helped large corporations decide how to allocate cash among their business units. The goal was to find who the stars were and who the dogs were.

A typical BCG chart

Narayanan ‘s work was actually inspired by Arvind Iyengar who originally modeled the batsmen using a chart that used Batsman strike rate and Batting average as the two axes. Narayanan felt that since the batting average can be arrived by multiplying the strike rate and average balls per innings, SR shows up in both axes. Narayanan changed the axis variables to SR and AVG balls per innings.

He had drawn a number of charts, one of which I reproduce below:

This chart is based on using the selection criteria of all those who have scored > 6500 runs in ODIs. Do note that the author’s comments on the selection of central dividing lines to break the matrix into quadrants:
“…. is to draw the lines around the median value so that we get around half the batsman on top of the mid line of the Average balls per innings and around half the batsmen to the right of the mid line of the Strike rate line… This leads to unequal quadrants but would make analysis of the batsmen far more meaningful. Let me add that the drawing of the asymmetrical central lines is my own idea and most of the BCG charts have only centrally located divider lines. However my idea of asymmetrical dividing lines ensures a fairer distribution of players across quadrants.”
No real surprises in the chart. The pantheon of greats includes Tendulker, Lara, Mark Waugh, Saeed Anwar and Richards. Gayle, Md Yousuf, Sangakarra and Bevan were almost there (at least when the chart was created a year ago). The dashers had Jayasuriya, Gilchrist, de Silva, and Yuvraj with Sehwag almost off the chart. The stayers had the Miandad, Flower, Dravid, Chanders etc. Again, no real surprises. It seemed in tune with my intuition.

I wondered how this chart would translate to Bangladeshi Batsmen in the ODI arena. Of course, none of our stalwarts has scored 6500+ runs nor have they had the axes numbers to join the vaunted company above. I chose only those who have scored over 1000 ODI runs. I had to lower the standards and drew my horizontal divider at 35 average balls faced as opposed to the 45 in the original chart. This was a significant handicap I had to give to our batsmen.

Without much ado, here is the BCC.


Some, yes. None with the quadrant where Shakib and Tamim reside. They are truly our stars. In spite of the lack of love for JO and Imrul, look where they are. Interesting to see SN on the verge of breaking into the star category. Or perhaps, if I took out his stats against Zimbabwe, he will come down to earth. No surprises with Mashrafe and Boom Boom Aftab. But do look at where Alok and Ashraful are. Spare a thought and do excuse Shujon and Rafique - Rafique actually made it to the batsman chart and Shujon was our only all-rounder for a while. Bashar makes sense – he was never top-notch in ODIs.

I am going to expand this into Tests as well as experiment with other axes variables into an article. Your thoughts and comments are most welcome.

Last edited by Zunaid; August 22, 2012 at 08:08 PM..
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