My previous post below, "Butting in with Boundaries", generated some observations from readers. Soulberry asked how do openers compare with late order batsmen in terms of percentage of runs scored in boundaries, and NAzhar mentioned that number of balls taken for every 4 hit would be a telling statistic.
I've done some work on both. Considering that I concluded in the last post that it was more remarkable to have a higher percentage of runs through 4s in ODIs than in tests, I have restricted this analysis to only ODIs.
First to NAzhar's observation. Using the same database as last time (list of batsmen with most 4s in their career), I calculated how many balls each batsmen faces for every 4 he hits. This is what the top 10 looks like:
I didn't find any batsman that hits a 4 every over. Sehwag and Gilchrist do so every over and a half, while all the big 4 hitters hit one every 2 overs. Another interesting thing to note here is that all the batsmen in the above list, apart from Yuvraj, are openers. Thus, if any of these batsmen bat the full 50 overs, they will hit at least 25 boundaries.
The record for most boundaries in an ODI innings is 24, held by Jayasuriya who averages a 4 every 10 balls. In that innings he faced 104 balls for his 157 - 61.1% of runs through 4s and a 4 hit every 4.3 balls. Remarkable indeed.
Salman Butt, who led me to work all these numbers, averages 10.5 balls for every 4 he hits. That puts him next to Herchelle Gibbs on the above list. Remember he sits only behind Sehwag in terms of percentage of runs through 4s. Thats no measure of greatness, but a measure nonetheless.
As for Soulberry's enquiry, I thought it was woo much work to do. But just from observation, I can safely say that openers have a higher percentage of runs from boundaries than middle-late order batsmen. The difference ranges from 5%-10%. Fielding restrictions in the opening overs is the obvious reason for this.
Salman Butt -we want you to be known as the best left handed opener Pakistan ever had - Go live your dream and become our next Saeed Anwar.