Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Steyn Number 1, But Are the Ratings Fair?

3 days ago I asked you "How Good is Dale Steyn?"

Last evening the ICC answered that question when they released the latest international cricketer ratings after the conclusion of the West Indies - Sri Lanka test match.

Dale Steyn is the new number 1 in the test bowler ratings and he jointly leads the table with Muttiah Muralitharan; both having a rating of 897.

Steyn took only 22 matches to reach the top of the ratings, which I reckon is one of the fastest if the not the fastest time to number 1. Please share any facts and figures of bowlers who have gotten to the top of the rankings faster than Steyn.

I believe that the ICC Player Rankings uses the best ratings system around to rank players. Better than ESPN, Samsung, and all the other useless ones that have come up. But even the ICC Rankings seem to function absurdly at times.

Kumar Sangakkara's disappointing performance in the tests against the Windies pushed him down from the number 1 spot to 4 in the batsmen's ratings. Fair enough, that understandable.

But what I find absurd is that Micheal Hussey, without having played a test match for 3 months, is suddenly number 1. Is that right only because Sangakkara slipped down?

How can a player become number 1 without playing a test? Is it fair for someone to be number 1 only because others have not done well enough?

Make your pitch on this post...

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20 Pitched:

  1. David Barry said...

    Is it fair for someone to be number 1 only because others have not done well enough?
    I think so....

  2. David Barry said...

    I haven't done a thorough search, but checking some likely candidates for fast tracks to #1 bowler:

    Botham: 11 Tests
    SF Barnes: 14 Tests
    Grimmett: 15 Tests
    Andy Roberts: 18 Tests

  3. Q said...

    Oh well that makes Steyn one of the fastest.

    But David to be number 1 I feel one needs to do better than the rest not wait in line for others to underperform.

  4. David Barry said...

    But Hussey is doing better than the rest. He's averaging over 78.

    You agree that it's fair for Sangakkara to go down the rankings because he did poorly. If someone goes down, others have to go up.

  5. Q said...

    Yes what you say makes sense but I just feel its not right that Hussey has been sitting at number 2 for 4 months waiting for Sangakkara to underperform before he can take the number 1 spot.

    Hussey does average 78 but he has been averaging that and more than that since he's been playing. Still he never made it to number 1till now. If you look at the last 10 test innings both Hussey and Sanga have done similarly, actually Sanga has scored more..

  6. David Barry said...

    Here's a thought experiment. Suppose that Australia plays England one week, Sri Lanka plays England the next week, then Australia, then Sri Lanka, etc.

    Hussey and Sangakkara each make 100 runs every time they bat. This has been going on for a number of Tests. The ICC ratings have them tied at #1.

    Then in one Test, Sangakkara makes a pair. In the ratings released after that match, surely Sangakkara would drop below Hussey, even though Hussey hadn't batted that week.

  7. Q said...

    That way it seems right, but waiting in line for 3 months? I dont know..

    Sanga played his last test before the Windies series on 18th Dec. He was number 1 in the ratings.

    After that Hussey played 4 tests against India and apart from the 145* didnt do much else. He ended the series at number 2 in the ratings.

    Sanga plays 2 tests after that scoring 50,21,14,and 10 drops down to 4.

    Kallis scores a 100 against india and moved from 4 to 2.

    Hussey doesnt play an moves from 2 to 1.

    Ponting doesnt play and stays at 3.

    It would have made more sense had Kallis moved to 1.

    Its not Hussey's fault that he hasnt played during this period but his number 1 rank would mean a lot more had he gotten there after a match winning 100 or a huge innings.

  8. David Barry said...

    But see, I don't think that there's a difference between not playing for a week and not playing for three months.

    Anyway, I can't believe that I've made what must be a dozen comments on three different blogs on player ratings. I don't really care about them....

  9. Straight Point said...

    what if the player remain at or share same position and top spot remain blank...

    like if for say srt is top ranked player let him remain or share the spot until he actually plays...

    like Q have said sangakara drops to 4 is perfectly ok...but the player who has not played for 3 months remains at the same spot and the player who is 'performing/playing' moves up the ladder...

  10. Q said...

    Thats a good point SP. But I dont know how they can fit that into their rating system.

    David, which other blogs are discussing the ratings?

  11. Jrod said...

    Don't argue with Db over Hussey, I've tried before. It's like telling Q the IPL is crap, it gets you no where.

  12. David Barry said...

    Arjwiz has had a couple of threads on it, and J Peeling's blog had an entry on them, but I was a bit late in commenting and there wasn't actually a thread, just my comment.

    And there was a post (by Nazhar, I think) here a few weeks ago.

  13. Q said...

    Hahaha as u say Uncle J :-)

    I have nothing against Hussey though.. only the ratings system.

    Yeah Nazhar had a post here some time back, he actually said he would come up with ways of improving the system. Let me remind him about that.

  14. nestaquin said...

    The curious thing about the rankings, which I mistrust, is that if Australia had to pick one, and one only, batsman to represent it wouldn't be Hussey. It would be either Hayden or Ponting. On current form more likely the big Queenslander.


  15. David Barry said...

    if Australia had to pick one, and one only, batsman to represent it wouldn't be Hussey.
    Heresy! I think you need to revise the lessons here.

  16. Q said...

    I agree Nesta. In the fantasy games, my first pick is always Hayden followed by Ponting. Hussey is an after thought.

    David, I love this one:

    # Mike Hussey can divide by zero.

  17. miriam said...

    In fantasy games (in which I accept I have not always been successful) I always pick Hayden over Hussey but that's because Hayden opens and in a limited overs game you're more likely to get points from him. Aren't you? I might be wrong even about that.

    # The last digit of pi is Mike Hussey. He is the end of all things.

  18. David Barry said...

    Hayden opens and in a limited overs game you're more likely to get points from him. Aren't you?
    I don't really know much about the intracacies of fantasy cricket, but openers do tend to score more runs than others, yes. Overall run totals since 2000:

    1,2: 70532 (well, openers combined are twice this number)
    3: 68710
    4: 67759
    5: 58246
    6: 45629
    7: 32647
    8: 21917
    9: 13652
    10: 7738
    11: 2987

  19. Q said...

    Yeah you're right abt that Miriam, I tend to choose all openers from teams rather than middle order bats for ODI fantasy games.

    But I just though of it again - If I had to pick an Aussie batsman in my side - I'd go for Hayden.

  20. arjwiz said...

    Yes, I have no real respect for the ICC ratings. They are better than most, but still not good enough for the official ratings in a worldwide sport.

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