We often hear the term “Batting Average” a lot in cricket. In fact, every time a new batsman walks out to bat, you may hear the commentator mention his “Batting Average”. But, what is it about the batting average that makes it worth a mention. How does it even work? In today’s article, we take a look at the answer to this very question.
But first, what is a “Batting Average” in Cricket? Batting Average in Cricket can be defined as the average number of runs scored by a batsman before he gets dismissed every time he comes out to bat for his team.
A batting average is an average, and it can vary as the career of a batsman evolves over a period of time. Let’s look at how exactly is it calculated and what can be considered a good batting average.
How is a Batting Average Calculated?
The formula to calculate the batting average is pretty straight forward.
Number of times a batsman got out is not the same as the number of matches a batsman has played.
* Remember – Number of times a batsman got out is not the same as the number of matches a batsman has played. In order to calculate the number of times a batsman got out, we need to use the formula mentioned below.
Let’s take a look at an example –
If a Batsman A has played 300 matches for a team. However, he came out to bat only in 250 innings out of the 300 matches. In doing so, he also managed to score 10,000 runs and remained not out in 50 innings. What should his batting average be?
For the above hypothetical example, in order to calculate the batting average of Batsman A, we will first need to calculate the number of times Batsman A got out. By using the formula mentioned above, we know that the answer to this should be –
Total number of times Batsman A got out = 200
[250 (total number of innings) – 50 (innings in which he remained not out)]
The total number of runs scored by the Batsman A is 10,000.
Thus, the batting average of Batsman A should be = 10,000/ 200 = 50
Is Batting Average Important?
Some of us must be wondering, why is it even important to calculate or even mention the batting average of a batsman.
The batting average of a batsman is an important piece of statistics as it showcases the capability of the batsman. Since the number of runs scored by any batsman and the number of times he gets out is fairly independent of how his team performs, it becomes an important metric to assess the individual player’s skill as a batsman in cricket.
A batting average also acts as a metric to make an apple-to-apple comparison 2 batsmen across different teams and even across countries.
Thus, the batting average is an important statistic in order to measure the individual performance of the batsman. This metric is often considered the go-to statistic when it comes to identifying the capability of a batsman in the game of Cricket!
What is a Good Batting Average in Cricket?
On average, a batting average of 43 – 45 can be considered a good batting average.
However, this is a fairly generalised number. Moreover, batting averages have often seemed to have improved over time for batsmen. Thus, this number may not remain valid a few years from now. Do keep in mind that any batsman having an average lower than 43 may not necessarily mean that he is not a good batsman. It doesn’t undermine the capability of the player to perform well. Any player who reaches an international level has to have great skills and capability.
It is interesting to note that a batting average of about 37-38 in ODI Matches was considered good in the early 2000s. Even the mighty Sachin Tendulkar ended his career with a batting average of 44.83. While this may be considered good now, it was considered exceptional during the days he played cricket.
Furthermore, a batting average in Men’s cricket is a lot different from the batting average in Women’s cricket.
Is Batting Average the same as Strike Rate?
While strike rate is also an important statistic that showcases the individual capability of a batsman, it is NOT the same as Batting Average.
So, what is the Strike Rate of a Batsman in Cricket? The Strike Rate of a batsman in cricket is an indicator of the rate at which he scores runs. It is obtained by diving the number of total runs scored by the number of balls faced. The strike rate statistic is always shown as the number of runs scored per 100 balls faced.
The insight you get from a Strike Rate of a batsman provides you with an interesting piece of information about the batsman’s capability. It tells you how quickly does a batsman score his runs. However, it is not the same as the batting average of a batsman.
A strike rate of a batsman tells you how quickly can a batsman score. Whereas, the batting average indicates how consistently does a batsman perform.
For example –
If a batsman has scored 60 runs in 80 balls, then his strike rate can be calculated by [(60/80)*100]. In this case, his strike rate shall be = 75
This means if a batsman were to continue scoring at this rate, and would play 100 balls, he would end up scoring 75 runs.
In recent times, with the onset of T20 cricket, it has become important to identify batsmen who can score maximum number of runs within minimum number of balls he gets to play. Thus, strike rate has become an important factor while selecting a batsman especially for T20 form of cricket.
Which Batsmen have the Highest Batting Average?
Batting average various with different forms of cricket. For your convenience, we have listed the Top 15 Batting Average of Cricketers in all the three formats of Cricket Below –
TEST Matches – Top 15 Batting Averages (Minimum 20 innings)
ODI Matches – Top 15 Batting Averages (Minimum 20 innings)
T20 Matches – Top 15 Batting Averages (Minimum 20 innings)
Batting Average Lacuna: When is it not a good metric?
There are occasions when a batting average of a batsman may not completely help us understand the individual performance capability of the batsman.
For Lower Order Batsman
In ODI and T20 matches, a batsman who opens the innings for the team has the opportunity to score more runs than a batsman who comes out to bat much lower down the order. Thus, a pinch-hitting batsman ( a batsman who bats lower down the batting order), most often gets his batting average affected.
Two very interesting outliers to the aforementioned phenomenon are MS Dhoni of India and Michael Bevan from Australia. They both mostly batted in the lower order and were known as specialists in the lower batting order position. As a result of their batting strategies, they both ended up remaining Not Out much more than most other top-order batsmen in ODI Matches. This resulted in a much higher batting average for the two batsmen.
Related Questions –
How is Batting Average denoted in Cricket Statistics?
Batting average is denoted by the symbol – “Avg.” or “Ave” in the players records and statistics in cricket.
I hope through this post you will now be able to calculate the batting average every time you watch a match or even keep a record of your own batting average. I hope this post was helping in understanding the same.
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