Friday, February 08, 2013

How to Bat with the Tail - The Tendulkar Edition

Scene: It is the final game of the first class season in India. You are the greatest batsman your country has ever produced. You are batting on 109 off 164 balls when your team - the recently crowned domestic champions, lose their 7th wicket still 166 runs short of the opposition score. It is your job to try and get your team the first innings lead which is likely to be enough to win you the match. What do you do?

You face only 33 of the remaining 87 deliveries (38%), although you score 31 runs off them. Breaking it down partnership-wise, you face 28 of 66 balls (42%) for the 8th wicket, 4 of 19 (21%) for the 9th, and 1 of 2 (50%) for the 10th. You take a single off the 1st ball of the over 6 of the 11 times you are on strike to start the over, with your team losing two its last 3 wickets in those 6 overs. Also, only once in four times that you are on strike for the fifth ball of the over do you take a single so that you might face the first ball of the next over. What's worse, two of these times are when you cross over during the fall of a wicket.

I am not going to go into the reasons behind this since I don't know what goes on in the minds of people who are not me. There are still two days of cricket left in the match & although Mumbai are 144 runs behind, they can win this match should they take the 9 remaining wickets with an hour or more to go in Day 4. All I'm going to say is they didn't give themselves the best chance to get close to or surpass the total put up by Rest of India.

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