19 February 2008

A thoroughly unfair way of getting out

Sri Lanka lost by 2 wickets today against India in Australia and suffered the worst possible luck - two of their players were run out backing up when Sangakkara straight drove and the bowler managed to get finger tips on the ball before it broke the stumps. It wasn't just any two players either - it was Jayasuriya and Jayawardene who, along with Sangakkara, are the stand out batsmen in the Sri Lankan side.

I'm a big fan of as little luck as possible when it comes to determining who wins - if the best team won every time that would suit me fine, although I know it's not how everyone feels. Can't the powers that be change the law to make the ball dead as soon as it hits the stumps, with the batting side scoring 4 runs? Let's face it - if the bowler hasn't got time to get down to the ball to stop it hitting the stumps, it's probably going for four anyway.

What are the chances that the result may have changed if that law was in place? You can see the Sri Lanka v India scorecard here.


Aussie Dave said...

I have to disagree with you Ed. I think there is room for a bit of luck in any sport. It should always be a minor part, otherwise the contest would be largely one of chance. Surely if the best team won %100 per cent of the time sport would become boring.

Just curious, do you have any ideas for a fairer way to decide who bats first in a match, rather than the toss of a coin?

Ed said...

Yes, I knew you weren't in favour of the best team always winning. I think it's important to know that it's the best team on the day that I want to win - not the best team on paper....that would get really boring, I agree.

The impact of the toss is something that I've thought about but not something that I have a solution for!

Examples of things that I'd be interested to monitor with a view to reducing the impact of the toss in deciding the winner - sideways movement (swing and spin), variation in vertical bounce, speed of outfield. I haven't thought exactly how this could be made to work though!!

If we wanted to go down into real detail we could work out an average for movement sideways and vertically for every bowler. Then the value of any run is not the same which would be great for real batting averages! If the ball's moving all over the place then a knock of 40 can be greater value than a century on a perfect deck in perfect sunshine.

One day, the luckless game of cricket could become a reality?!!!