AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarian.

Blog Posts by AR Hemant

  • Top moments from the final

    Highlights of the title clash in Melbourne.

    Highlights of the title clash in Melbourne.

  • The Most Amazing Thing About Elliott’s Six

    It may have been a tribute to AB de Villiers.

    I’ve replayed the video clip of Grant Elliott’s match-winning six over and over, and I can’t get over how incredible that shot was. (Here's the clip.)

    Dale Steyn served him a length ball, albeit a fast one, cutting away. I couldn’t see the field setting for the delivery. But the line (and Elliott's shot) suggested there may have been three men back on the off-side, leaving just one guy manning the on-side.

    It was stupendous for Elliott to fetch it from outside the off-stump, swing it across the line and send it so far back wide of long-on. To do it all under immense pressure, and against the world’s best pace bowler, makes it even more unbelievable.

    But that’s not the only reason why the shot was great. In the clip, look how Elliott sets himself up: he shuffles his back-foot deep into the crease, clears his left leg and opens up the whole arc between midwicket and long-on.

    Which is exactly how AB de Villiers sets himself up during the slog overs. And you'll see AB playing this shot

    Read More »from The Most Amazing Thing About Elliott’s Six
  • It’s The Bloody Rain Rule Again

    Here's the aspect of the Duckworth & Lewis Method that cost South Africa today's semifinal.

    The missed run-outs, the dropped catch, New Zealand’s miscues that landed in vacant regions... all these little things added up and led to South Africa’s spectacular exit from the World Cup today. Messrs Duckworth and Lewis played their part, too.

    South Africa had positioned themselves brilliantly for a final assault against New Zealand today. They had scored 15, 5 and 12 runs off the first three overs of the batting Powerplay when rain halted play.

    When play resumed, the innings was shortened to 43 overs with no further Powerplay overs. And there lay exposed the inherent unfairness of the D/L laws regarding Powerplay.

    I quote from a list of FAQs on the rain-rule:

    17. Does the D/L method take account of the various rules on fielding restrictions, eg PowerPlay overs?

    If any allowance were made for the different scoring abilities for overs with fielding restrictions, then the identities of the different types of overs would have to be input into the target calculation, and this would be

    Read More »from It’s The Bloody Rain Rule Again
  • Dear Bangladesh Cricket Fans...

     

    Dear Bangladesh fans,

    I heard you guys are very, very upset about Rohit Sharma being given not out during yesterday's quarterfinal.

     

     

    You're even having a go at Shikhar Dhawan when there's no evidence yet for his catch being illegal.

     

     

    Some of you are rationalising the situation with misguided understanding of cricket's laws.

     

     

    You're sometimes blaming the umpire...

     

     

     ...

    Read More »from Dear Bangladesh Cricket Fans...
  • Steyn’s Super Saiyan Scream

    A pumped-up Steyn’s animated celebration lit up the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    The momentThe moment

    One often wants to get a sense of what great players are feeling ahead of a big game like the one today between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

    Are they pumped up, ready to give their best? Or are they nervous, full of doubt, setting themselves up for failure? Their thoughts manifest themselves in different ways and rub off on other players.

    During the 1999 Birmingham semi-final, Australia’s morale was sagging. Then came Shane Warne’s impassioned shouts of ‘Come on!’ Like a shot of adrenaline to the heart, they famously revived Australia.

    Conversely, look at what Jacques Kallis’ dismissal did to South Africa in the 2011 quarterfinal. The tournament favourites were cruising when Kallis was brilliantly caught in the deep. The wicket spooked the team and led to another one of their famed respiratory attacks.

    Power level: 1,000,000.Power level: 1,000,000.Which is why it was refreshing to see Dale Steyn’s pressing urgency to set South Africa’s record right. He was ready. He was pumped up. If he were in the army, you’d give him his rifle

    Read More »from Steyn’s Super Saiyan Scream
  • What Happens When You Apply DRS To Real Life

    Watch this funny film about one of cricket's peculiarities.

    N. Srinivasan and Sachin Tendulkar may not agree, but the Decision Review System could have some massive benefits when applied to situations outside cricket. You could instantly find out who is stinking up the room. You could know immediately if you're been robbed. And it could help you score with the opposite sex.

    So -- if you had two challenges per day, how would you spend them?

     

  • Why A Good Misbah Performance Is Bad For Pakistan

    And why Misbah is not to blame.

    (Note—all stats are from October 30, 2012 to March 1, 2015, the period in which the current ODI rules have been in force.)

    ALSO READ: The Hardest Batsmen To Dismiss At The World Cup

     



    Yesterday, we had a look at hardest batsmen to dismiss at the World Cup. Kane Williamson and Hashim Amla led that list that also included an anomaly: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

    The anomaly is not that Misbah can bat for long durations. It is that, unlike other cases, Misbah's batting long typically don't help the team win.

    This needs to be viewed in two contexts. One: Pakistan’s overall stats in this period are poor. That’s a function of consistently underpar team performance. Since October 30, 2012, they have played 56 ODIs, won just 24 and lost 30.

    Two – Misbah, who figures in 52 of those games, has constantly battled the pressure of wickets falling at the other end. This puts him on the defensive and leads to the consumption of a large number of deliveries. In that sense, he’s merely the product

    Read More »from Why A Good Misbah Performance Is Bad For Pakistan
  • This Is The Toughest Batsman To Dismiss At The World Cup

    A look at ODI batsmen who occupy the crease the longest.

    Indulge me for a bit, for this article looks at a rarely-discussed aspect of cricket statistics: average balls faced, and how crease occupation contributes to team’s success—or, in one case, failure.

    At the World Cup in particular, crease occupation and saving wickets for the end overs is proving a winning strategy. Hence, it is vital for key batsmen for any team to get a start and see off the shine.

    But first, here’s the criteria for this study.

     

    • All stats are from March 1, 2015 to October 30, 2012, the day the new ODI rules for fielding restrictions, two new balls and batting Powerplay kicked in.
    • This list rates batsman by how long they last at the crease, which is a function of number of balls faced. Average Balls Faced (AB) = (Total Balls Faced) / (Innings Played).
    • Average Runs Scored (AR) = (AB) X (Strike Rate). So, if a batsman averages 50 balls per innings at a strike rate of 80, his AR is 40. This completely negates the value provided by not outs.
    • We look at batsmen
    Read More »from This Is The Toughest Batsman To Dismiss At The World Cup
  • The Greatest Rant Against Cricket, Ever

    Cricket haters, this one's for you.

    The World Cup is a particularly traumatic time for those who hate cricket. India’s favourite sporting stars dominate public discourse. Everything else—even matters of national importance—takes a backseat.

    Which is why, in this 1994 Hindi film Tejasvini, the male lead played by Deepak Malhotra lets loose a rant for the ages, touching upon everything from corruption to inflation, and how everyone only cares about Kapil Dev's score while the country is going to pieces.

    Watch:

    As Bill Watterson said, "Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?"

    Read More »from The Greatest Rant Against Cricket, Ever
  • The One Stat That Doesn’t Flatter AB de Villiers

    And it has to do with BMT -- big match temperament.

    By now, you would have received the run-down of AB de Villiers’ ODI records. Fastest hundred, fastest 150, most sixes in an innings, etcetera, etcetera. The purity of AB’s striking has made him deadly effective in the finishing stages of an innings.

    AB now has 942 runs in World Cup games at 58.87 per pop collected at an impressive strike rate of 112.

    And yet, there’s one stat which fails him: his performance against the big teams. In fact, this pairs perfectly with the larger narrative of South Africa underperforming in big World Cup matches.



    AB has four World Cup hundreds, three against the West Indies, one against the Netherlands. But take away his performances against the weaker teams—West Indies, Scotland, Ireland, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Zimbabwe—and what do we have then?

    He has 291 runs in 10 innings against Australia, India, Sri Lanka, England, New Zealand, in which his World Cup average halves to 29.

    This includes failures in key games: the 2007 semifinal and the 2011

    Read More »from The One Stat That Doesn’t Flatter AB de Villiers

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