Muralidharan fared way better than Shane Warne in "value of wickets".
The 'real value' of wickets: can anyone match McGrath?
And which was the most valuable wicket in Test history? Find out in this
Anantha Narayanan | June 20, 2022
A few months earlier I made an exhaustive analysis of the Real Value of
Test runs. Here is the companion article: the Real Value of Test wickets.
Despite the nomenclature, the Real Value of Runs is really the Real
Value of Innings, since the innings is the basic measuring unit. There
is no sensible way to measure the Real Value of individual runs. A run
is a run, and it is not correct to say that a winning hit for runs has
much more value than previous runs in that innings.
The bowling is cheese to the batting chalk. Each ball bowled is a
harmless one - maybe a dot ball or a few runs being conceded - unless it
results in a dismissal. That dismissal could be that of Don Bradman on 0
or Bhagwath Chandrasekhar on 22, it could be a second-ball dismissal of
a top batter or a late-order wicket in a collapsing innings. Hence, it
is essential that we determine the Real Value of a wicket using various
related factors. We must treat the bowler's spell as a collection of
balls delivered, runs conceded and wickets taken - unlike an innings by
a batter that is evaluated in its entirety.
There is another angle here. A bowler may bowl upwards of 200 balls in
an innings, and only a few (at most ten) of these are successful,
resulting in the capture of a wicket. What about the other deliveries?
The bowler has bowled at top batters, bowled to a plan, kept one end
under control, and helped their team in different ways. That means that
there are several other factors involved, such as the bowling average
for the innings, the quality of batting, the match status, the result.
The wicket could have been taken in Hamilton in 2002 (Runs per Wicket
14.1) or in Hamilton in 2004 (RpW 53.0). It could have been in a narrow
win or in a dead draw. These wide-footprint values cannot be directly
assigned to specific wickets but to the complete bowling effort in the
innings (hereafter referred to as "Innspell"), and then we go down to
the individual wickets.
The bowling exercise is thus substantially more complicated than the
batting exercise. I may not provide explanations in full here, and the
readers must assume that due care has been taken while building the
methodology wherever details are missing.
My Bowler Performance analysis - Red Cherry 25 or RC25 - took the
Bowling Innspell as the base unit and worked on that, while here I take
the wicket as the base point. There may be many similarities between the
two, but the premise is fundamentally different. Let us now move onward
to the overall methodology.
At match level (max 25 pts)
Pitch Quality Index for Match-half or Match, as appropriate
Wickets taken in low-PQI situations (bowler-friendly pitches) are valued
lower than wickets taken on batter-friendly pitches. Using historical
data will not work in this regard; Hamilton and Headingley are two
venues, among many, that have had wild swings in pitch behaviour within
a short period of time.
The opposition Batting Strength
Bowling against a team with a high Batting Strength index is far more
difficult than bowling to a team whose highest batting average is, say,
Location/Result/Relative Team Strengths
I do not believe that winning is everything; however, winning should be
rewarded. Similarly, drawing a match should get more credit than losing
one. And bowlers win matches. Doing well away (winning or drawing)
should be rewarded too. Three results, three locations and five
strength-comparison indices lead to a complex matrix, and determine the
points to be allotted to the team's bowlers.
The Match Status at the start of the match is neutral, tweaked only by
the Relative Team Strengths. Then, at the beginning of the second
innings, the Match Status is wholly dependent on how many runs the team
bowling second has behind them. The third innings presents more
possibilities: the lead/deficit inherited and the sort of fourth-innings
target to aim for play a significant part in determining the Status. In
the fourth innings, bowling teams have defended anywhere between one run
and 835 runs. Using the match-to-date RpW, the difficulty of the chasing
task is calculated and Status points allotted. The points for each
innings are determined after an analysis of all these conditions. The
total is allotted to the bowlers in proportion to the wickets they took
(80%) and the overs they bowled (20%). This is to give some recognition
to those who bowled long spells, while keeping in mind the importance of