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Friday, July 15, 2005

Tests Per Player Ratio over the last 5 years...

Is there any other team in the test-playing nations that is more injury-hit than the NewZealanders? The answer is a resounding NO. They are in fact the most hit by injuries. That is the general feeling of the cricketing public. Let us see the stats over the last 5 years and the number of players who have turned out for the top countries are:
  • Australia : 29 played 59 matches -> Average of 22 matches by an individual
  • SAF : 39 played 61 matches -> Average of 17
  • England : 52 played 64 matches -> Average of 14
  • India : 45 played 52 matches -> Average of 13
  • NZ : 38 players played 43 matches -> Average of 13
  • Sri Lanka : 44 played 47 matches -> Average of 12
  • Pakistan : 52 played 42 matches -> Average of 9

The ICC Test Ranking for matches (reflects all Test Matches played since 1st August 2001) is as follows:
1 Australia 132
2 England 111
3 India 107
4 Pakistan 100
5 Sri Lanka 100
6 South Africa 100
7 New Zealand 97

There is a reflection of the stability of the teams composition on their performance. Australia has managed to stay so far ahead of the others with an average of almost 22 matches per individual. SAF has been also quite consistent but their performance doesnt seem to be visible in their rankings (They are actually joint-4th with Pakistan and Sri Lanka). England and India also have a higher rating and thats reflected in their 2nd and 3rd positions at the table. NZ has a high average but their position is way below the others.

So, coming back to my earlier point about NZ missing people due to injuries, it is seen that even though there is a spate of injuries that hit the country, the number of people all the time seem to be less. This means that there is a group of players identified by the country to play and people seem to be rotated within this group (even though not on purpose). I am no way suggesting that teams with more averages are less injury-prone - it is just that I feel that these countries with higher averages take care of their people in such a way that they are injury-free and they also give chances to the BEST alone. That ensures that the number of players playing for them remain consistent throughout and ensures stability within a team.

But, as mentioned in my other article, one shouldnt be complacent. There should be always room for improvement and planning for the future. One should consider having a strong core of team members in their playing XI even while including new players to plan for the future.
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