Friday, August 10, 2007

Did Bradman need 4 more?

Everyone gets it wrong. Sir Don Bradman did NOT need 4 runs to have a test batting average of 100. A recent post on cricinfo demonstrates this ignorance.
Did the Oval crowd know it was Bradman’s last innings in 1948? “That they might have, because England were bowled out for 52 and Australia were 117 for no loss when Bradman came in. So it was unlikely he was going to bat again. But I don’t think anyone in the crowd would have known he needed four more for an average of 100. Statistics weren’t that big then. Neither were they called the Invincibles on that tour. That’s all retrospective coinage.”
Now let us look at the stats to prove my point.

Don Bradman scored 6996 runs and ended up with an average of 99.94. That means 6996 runs were scored in 70 innings (runs/innings = average). On his last innings he ended up with a duck. Therefore, he had scored 6996 in 69 innings itself and the last one, the 70th did not contribute even a single run to that aggregate.

Applying our formula of run/innings, we get 6996/69 = 101.39. That's right! Don Bradman average over a 100 before his last test innings. So, we need re-phrase the term - "he needed four more for an average of 100".

The correct term would be "He needed four more to maintain his average over 100".

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