Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Vettori and the 4th innings blues

Conventional wisdom tells us that spin bowlers should struggle in the first innings of a test match, and improve as the wicket wears and crumbles. Monty Panesar showed us how this works in the Old Trafford test - with 1-101 in the first innings, and 6-37 in the third.

But one exception to this rule seems to be Dan Vettori. I can't count the number of times where he has performed well in the early stages of a match, and then gone missing once the wicket starts to take a bit of spin.

An analysis of his career seems to bear this out. Look at these figures:

Innings --- Wickets --- Average
1st --- 61 --- 41.40
2nd --- 90 --- 29.67
3rd --- 77 --- 32.58
4th --- 28 --- 38.14

The 1st innings figures are probably a reflection of New Zealand conditions. If the wicket is a green-top, then Dan probably won't get a bowl at all. If it is dead flat, then he (and all the other bowlers) get pasted.

But there is clearly a trend from innings 2 to innings 4. The longer the match goes on, the less effective he becomes.

1 comment:

Ad said...

I feel the need to stick up for DV. These stats 'prove' nothing. He bowls for a team who lack a world class seam attack; DV is the only top quality bowler in the side. By the 3rd/4th innings NZ are often staring down the barrel; you don't get to play us (England) all the time (even if it feels like it at the moment.)