Friday, June 17, 2022

Arbit Stats #73: Trent Boult – Topping the Bottom

In the highly entertaining Trent Bridge Test, it was Trent Boult who got the statistic to remember. During the course of his two innings, he surpassed the great Muttiah Muralitharan as the batter with the most runs scored batting at No. 11.

This is certainly a unique record as it requires the perfect amalgamation of a lot of contrasting skills into achieving it. Some of these include:
  1. Longevity: the first test for any greatness. One certainly needs a long career to produce so many runs
  2. Competence with the ball: otherwise you will not be put in the XI, especially these days in the era of multi-dimensional cricketers.
  3. Being the worst batter of the group: If you start regularly scoring more than the fair share of runs expected from a No. 11, you may get promoted to No. 10 (or higher) and that ends your bid for this record (ask Zaheer Khan, once scored 75 at No. 11 and was then bumped up the order). And the group will be regularly changing. There is far greater churn amongst bowlers due to pitch, form, rotation and injuries.
  4. Luck: there is a fair chance the days you are in good form having hit a couple of 4s off the middle of the bat, successfully blocking others, the next over the other guy gets out and that’s it for the innings.
  5. A not so great batting order: which doesn’t score so big that the captain regularly declares the innings and the last fellows don’t even get a strike in the middle. 
Overall, a bowler with a long career, who is able to wield the bat as an instrument to collect random runs without showing any real batting skill and lots of luck. 

Just look at the names in the Top 10 – Boult, Murali, Anderson, McGrath, Walsh, Willis, Statham, Ntini, Lyon, Hazlewood.

All a perfect amalgamation of the above factors.

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