Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Ben on...overtaken!

So the West Indies has leapfrogged us and gone to 7th on the table. Last time we played them, in 2006, we were 5th and leading them by well over 20 points. In fact, it was that series in 2006 that sent the Windies to their all-time low of 72 points. What has happened in the last 2 1/2 years that has led to this reversal of fortune?


Since early 2006, our rating has been knocked by two losses each to South Africa and England and one to Australia. (I also suspect we took a hit from some good older results expiring from the rating system.) A draw against Sri Lanka and two wins against Bangladesh weren't enough to bolster our ratings appreciably. (In fact, this years 1-0 win against Bangladesh actually hurt us.)

This has equated to a fall in our rating from 101 to 81.


Demonstrating just what a load of crock the whole rating system is, the West Indies have improved their rating from 72 to 81 without winning a single series. Since 2006 they have been beaten by India, Pakistan, England, South Africa and Australia and have drawn 1-1 with Sri Lanka. But inconceivably they are a better team by 9 points. I assume that the expiry of some terrible earlier series must be contributing to this shift.


However inadequate the ratings system is, I think it is fair that NZ and WI are now fighting it out for bottom place. At the conclusion of the upcoming series, the ranking table should give a fair reflection of the relative strengths of all the teams.


Damith S. said...

I also dont think too much of the system.

However, in a strange way it does reflect where all the teams are in terms of test cricket.

I think NZ should def win against WI, they are a much better team and showed some fight against Aus even though the losses were huge.

Vettori will be key again.

Ben said...


I think the rankings that are finally arrived at are a fair reflection of the relative strengths of the teams. At moment we have

South Africa
Sri Lanka
West Indies
New Zealand.

That sounds about right.

The problem I have with the ranking method is that it requires so much computation and that it unnecessarily accounts for every match in a series. This leads to several peculiarities, such as the West Indies increasing their ranking despite continually losing and New Zealand suffering because one test in Bangladesh was essentially rained off.

Another imbalance that I suspect exists, though I can't quite work out the statistics, is that some teams play big series and hence have the opportunity to pick up loads of points. For example, the last Ashes was 5-0 to Australia, a haul that is forever inaccessible to teams that play 2 or 3 tests series.

Damith S. said...

Exactly, it also does not lend for the lay man to figure out cuz there are so many things to calculate.

I have been thinking about a easier pts system for the whole test championship. Maybe Ill do a post about it soon.

And I agree that the test rankings are agreeable at the moment.