Random Analytics

Charts, Infographics & Analytics. No Spinning the Data. No Juking the Stats

Category: Cricket

Random Analytics: Shane Watson First Chance Average (to Cape Town 2013/14)

Shane Watson, who debuted for Australia back in 2005, has just returned to the Australian team for the last test at Newlands, Cape Town. He scored a quick-fire 25 in the second innings but as was reported via the ABC he had to bowl at training prior to re-admission back to the team. Some of the reasoning behind the bowling test might be his batting average (which currently stands at 36.26) but a closer look at his First Chance Average might explain more.

The First Chance Average (FCA) is something that I have recently developed for use in Test cricket and is loosely based off the Earned Run Average statistics utilised in baseball. The FCA is calculated using the score the batsman would have got if a legitimate chance had been taken by the opposing team. Legitimate chances include dropped catches and missed stumping’s (at this stage).

Let’s look at Shane Watson’s First Chance statistics.


Watson’s standard Test average is currently 36.26 after a 40 and a 25 at Newlands, South Africa) versus his FCA which sits at 27.76 (-8.49).

Special Note: My FCA calculation for Watson is out by up to 31-runs as he was dropped by Danish Kaneira on debut. Unfortunately the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ESPN and Dawn.com didn’t record his score at the time just stating that he was given a chance. I even reached out to Peter English one of the ESPN commentators who were there on the day but unfortunately he couldn’t remember.


Now a look at Watson’s First Chance Deviation (FCD) and Chances.


The FCD (in blue) is the percentile of First Chance Deviation runs against the total Test Runs scored by a batsman.

Shane Watson has currently scored 3,408 runs but would have scored 743 less if opposing teams had of taken his offered chances given him a current FCD of between 21.8 – 22.7% (if you add on a potential 31 additional runs for this first drop which no one noted). His career FCD low was recorded during the West Indies tour of Australia in 2009 (5.1 – 10.0%) and FCD career high was during the India tour of 2010 (28.5 – 30.7%)

The chances that I have been able to record are in red. Watson has had an Average Chance (AC) high of 1.0000 (one chance every innings) recorded in his first test during the Pakistan tour of Australia in 2005 and an AC low 0.1053 (one chance in almost every ten innings) recorded during the West Indies tour or Australia in 2009.

Finally a look at Shane Watson’s Test batting averages.


I think Shane Watson’s batting career can be summed up by his overall statistics if you consider him an all-rounder. His Test average is currently 36.26 as compared to Jacques Kallis who finished up with 55.37. If you look at his First Chance Average that reduces to just 27.76 with his first non-chance century being scored in Kennington in August 2013 almost eight years after he debuted (he was famously dropped for 99 (120*) against Pakistan in Melbourne for then dropped on 0 (126) against India in Mohali).


I was surprised by the traditional batting average differential between Jacques Kallis (who I consider the best all-rounder of recent times) and Shane Watson. If you consider his FCA then you would have to be concerned about his Test longevity.


Random Analytics: David Warner First Chance Average (to 24 Feb 2014)

Note: I first published this blog using the acronym Earned Run Average (ERA) and Earned Run Differential (ERD). I have subsequently amended the acronyms to First Chance Average (FCA) and First Chance Differential (FCD). See: Random Analytics: Shane Watson First Chance Average (to Cape Town 2013/14) for the detail.

David Warner’s recent form has been fantastic. Two centuries plus two half centuries in the Australian leg of the Ashes and one century plus two half centuries in the first two tests in South Africa are a good return.

However I haven’t been completely convinced that Warner is in the best of form and while discussing the subject over a beer a mate of mine suggested using a Moneyball metric to test the theory.

I could be wrong but here might be a cricket first, looking at David Warner’s Test Earned Run Average statistics (and thanks to Daryn Webster for the suggestion and Adrian Storen for the sanity check).

1 - AvgVsERA_DWarner_140226

First chart looks at Warners standard Test average (currently 42.88 after a 70 and a 66 at Port Elizabeth, South Africa) versus his Earned Run Average which sits at 34.92 (-7.96).

The Earned Run Average (ERA) is calculated using the score he would have got if a legitimate chance had been taken by the opposing team. In this case I’ve only had to consider dropped catches and missed stumping’s as legitimate chances but I could foresee a missed referral being added in the future. As an example in the 2nd Innings at Port Elizabeth, Warner was put down by Duminy in the 16th over on 36. Thus although he scored 66 for the match his Earned Runs were just 36.

2 - AvgVsERA_DWarner_Summer2013~14_140226

The next chart looks at Warners standard Test average for the Australian and South African summer series. Although Warner has had an outstanding summer with the bat his average over seven tests stands at 60.46 yet his ERA is a much lower 41.00 (-19.46).

3 - ERDevEtChances_DWarner_140224

The final chart looks at two datasets.

The first (in blue) is the Earned Run Deviation (ERD) which for Warner has increased from a career low of 8.8% at the start of summer to now hit a career high of 18.6%.

The Earned Run Deviation (ERA) is calculated 1/Total Test Runs x Earned Run Deviation. In Warner’s case he has currently scored 2,187 runs but would have scored 406 less if opposing teams had of taken his offered chances.

The second dataset (in red) are the chances that David Warner has been given.

On the positive side his twelve chances have a first chance average of 33 but a multiple chance of 38.7, thus demonstrating he doesn’t throw away his wicket early. On the negative side:

  • He has had 2/3rd (8/12) of all his chances in the last two series;
  • His Average Chances (AC) over his career was 0.27 (a chance every fourth innings). Over the recent summer this has doubled to 0.57 (a chance every second innings);
  • His summer 2013/2014 Earned Run Deviation is 32.2%.


Australia’s coach, Darren Lehmann, when asked if Warner was too reckless has recently statedThat’s just the way he is, and we’re very comfortable with that“.

Warner’s current form is excellent so any coach would be hard pressed to have to drop him.

Saying that Warner’s Earned Run Average, Earned Run Deviation and Average Chances are all moving in the wrong direction. Unless he can turn that around in the short term he might find his luck running out.


6 Mar 2014: Updated title to First Chance Average and added note plus link to Shane Watson’s FCA.