Of course many factors play a role. Thunder showers at
Centurion, four seasons per day in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town’s summer heat
are known factors which have caused many an innings to collapse and give the
underdog a sporting chance. Then of course there’s sledging too. Just ask
But, the numbers actually take most of this into account. It
is based on the players’ performance in all these conditions and in the end,
then, comparing it to Michael Clark’s predictions, we just may have a prediction
with a little more meat to it.
Calculating this prediction was born from determining
Jacques Kallis’ worth as an all-rounder about a year ago. In that exercise we
took 100 hundred runs to equate a 5 wicket haul. Extending it to catches and
stumpings, we set any dismissal to be worth 20 runs. Very simple, not overly
accurate, but much better than having the Australians’ word on it.
Only test matches of 2013/2014 were taken into account.
Australia had their fill of matches while South Africa starved. And it is a
pity, because the more games played, the better the prediction. How then do the
two test teams’ measure?
What is nice about the above list, is that there’s a good
mix of batters and bowlers at the top. It is an indication that 20 runs per
dismissal is not that far off.
On average, South Africa’s squad betters Australia’s by 2
runs per player. This equates to 20 runs per innings, 40 runs per match.
Now let’s have a beer and see if these numbers have
something to them.