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Stat Turd explains why you should love Raina too:

Posted by farkandfunk on May 27, 2009

This might sound slightly gay….

Well screw it, so what if it does.  I have a man-crush. Yes. I ‘m going to go ahead and say it:

I heart Suresh Raina.

Raina hai mere dil mein

Raina hai mere dil mein

I am going to try to make a case of making you like him too.

This uber-talented cricketer has taken a while , but hopefully (fingers crossed) has found a role.We all know that he had it in him- the “it” factor, but it was there for all to see in this season’s IPL. The flowing offside cover strokes with the extravagant follow-through of the bat, the cheetah-like quick singles and twos, the exhuberant fielding and catching, and the general attitude make him one of my favourite current players.

Let’s get into some more nitty-gritties.Looking purely at the numbers reveals some interesting trends. For comparison’s sake – I’ve also taken Rohit Sharma’s (another exciting player) numbers, which I tend to think is a somewhat fair comparison.  I did so because:
1. Both played in teams which atleast reached the semis
2. Both are similar character players – batting all-rounders who bowl a bit
3. Both are under 23
4. Both are considered as possible future candidates for the soon-to-be-vacant Indian middle order
5. It’s my wish.

DA DATA

Batting Chart

Run Lola Run!

And their bowling:

Phull toss

Phull toss

Now, since I am so kind let’s just have a graphical look at their performance in IPL2009.

Worm da Batting

Worm da Batting

and bowling comparison:

Worm da bowling

Worm da bowling

and finally

Fielding:
Avg Dismissals per Game
Rohit Sharma
2008 – 0.62
2009 – 0.31
Suresh Raina
2008 – 0.63
2009 – 0.50

Test Results

From this, we can see a few things:
1. I suck balls  at graphs and shit
2. Raina has the better batting average, and less deviation from the average
3. Raina has the better bowling economy , and less deviation from the average
4. Rohit’s taken more wickets than Raina

Note:
1. Both dropped on their avg dismissals/game from last year
2. My guess is that this could happen because we could have had more dismissals in the form of

batsmen getting clean bowled or caught behind because of the nature of the pitches this time. The right way would be to analyse the breakdown of dismissals (number and nature) , but neither do I have the data nor the inclination immediately at hand to do that rigourous exercise.
3. Both hardly bowled much last year
4. The averages for both dropped from last year.

Ghajini and Momentum

During the course of the IPL month, the ONE thing that all the players and commentators repeatedly kept harping on like a broken tape recorder was MOMENTUM. I can understand where they’re coming from psychologically, as well as in such a league format – it helps you rack up some points. So examining the case of momentum in retrospect:

1. Chennai Super kings best run of matches were between Matches 6-10 : 5 Wins
Raina’s performance in those matches:
Batting: 98    32    32    32    13 (41.4 per game, 10 runs above his average)
Bowling: 1W    0W    1W    0W    0W (0.4 W per game)
Avg:     5.5    7    8.6    4    7  (6.42 runs per game given)

2. Deccan super chargers best run of matches were Matches 1-4 : 4 wins on the trot
Rohit’s performance :
Batting : 36    52    3    18 (27.25 runs per game, same as average)
Bowling : DNB    DNB    0W    1W (0.5 W per game in those he bowled, otherwise 0.25W per game)
Avg:      DNB    DNB    8    6  (7 runs per game)

Thus, if “momentum” is indeed that important, then:
1. We can make the case that Raina actually contributed more to his team from his core competency (eh..excuse me for using such a business term here) of batting during his team’s run than did Rohit for the deccan team
2. Bowling for both didn’t actually have that much of an effect on their teams respective winning streak (in fact, we can even make the case that Rohit didn’t bowl much at all during the streak!)

(in)CONCLUSION

Now , add everything up and making skewed conclusions, I came up with a few pearls:
1. Both are hopefully going to carry the baton forward for the Indian middle order
2. Both are better bowlers than you actually give them credit for (atleast in the mini (50) and micro-mini (20) versions of the game
3. Raina is developing a little more consistency in his game on both fronts.
4. Rohit is more of a match-winner (hat-tricks, the more useful 30+ scores)- Deccan did end up winning it all. After their 4 Wins in a row, they won matches here and there and made it when it matters most.
5. But, if you’re looking for a run,

Raina gives the team a more consistant chance of winning.

6. I need an Excel for Dummies book.

We (or should I say BCCI) are quite fortunate to have both these players play for the Indian team.While I would love to extrapolate and synthesisze this info over their careers in the longer format of the game, it will be more fun to actually watch it play out.

These 2 guys are hopefully going to be around for a while. Enjoy the ride while it lasts. Ladies and gents , get your Raina posters and memorabilia.  And oh, please give me the pleasure of saying , “I told you so.”, when you actually fantasize and giggle about Raina in your sleep. And if you don’t believe me, here’s actual proof – some disturbing visuals of members of the current team professing their undying love for the machine.

It's a strange kinda love as Fredster looks on in jealousy

It's a strange kinda love as Fredster looks on in jealousy

Get out of my dreams, get onto my bike.

Get out of my dreams, get onto my bike.

Jiski biwi choti to uska bhi bada naam hai

Jiski biwi choti to uska bhi bada naam hai

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13 Responses to “Stat Turd explains why you should love Raina too:”

  1. Run Lola Run i like

  2. hari said

    Raina is definitely one big star of Indian cricket. I hope he works on the short-pitched ball because if he makes it into the Test team, opposition will definitely exploit his weakness.

  3. Ottayan said

    Got to agree with you. Raina is the man.

  4. Fark

    Class – they both have in plenty. Raina has been talismanic for CSK, while Rohit’s have been crucial, match turning efforts.

    Raina seems to be ahead in the pecking order but not too long ago Rohit was batting at No 4 in ODIs in Aus and had crusty old Ian Chappel raving about him.

    Raina’s bowling (pause in action, as pointed out by you elsewhere)shows a street-smartness. The way he supported Murali in defending 116 was awesome.

    Agree with Hari – needs to work on the short stuff. There is a story on how Graeme Pollock was a strong offside player, then he got his mates to work him out in the nets and over a period of time became the best in his generation. Closer home, consider how the Wall was reviled for his apparent inabilities in ODIS and now sits with 10,000 plus runs with a S/R fractionally lesser than Saurav. To cut a long story short – a committed young player will work his shortcomings out (Raina seems to be one) unless he is Utopia (who has not shelved that ridiculous paddle shot of his…)

  5. @ NakedC – thank you sir!

    @Ottayan – he DA man! get your Raina posters!

    @Hari, Late – great insights, he does have that weakness against the short ball. Let’s hope he works on that, and doesn’t get his head high up in the clouds. I have faith in him like a loyal wife, and I am confident that mera pathi parameshwar will not let me down.

    Regarding Uthappa/utopia(as Late refers to him as) /Uthappam(as thats what he is becoming)/ Ganja (what i call him for his doped and drugged out look) – he’s one of those guys who operates in a different time zone. I have a hard time believing anything other the fact that he was extremely overrated to begin with. All the adulation made sure that he got his head so deep in his arse that what we see right now as his face is what actually came back out of his mouth. I hope he loses the silly attitude and works hard. Sub-par fielder. He’ll be an O.K IPL level club player, tough to make it beyond that.

    Cheers!

  6. Absolutely absorbing analysis Fark. Loved it.

  7. sam said

    Only when he plays consistently and positively

  8. Q said

    I think Raina’s one of the most talented Indian batsman right now..

  9. choti said

    Some times this sort of thing make players life. Why it dosent happen in ours too!
    Nice reading
    Thanks

  10. I LOVE RAINA

  11. MANI said

    HOW ARE YOU RAINA , HOW IS DHONI

  12. Jim said

    The blame for India’s defeat lies solely on the lame captain – Dhoni. I dont understand why he didnt bowl Raina. Raina has proved to be a useful bowler in recent times – be it IPL or the 50 over format. Raina is a very smart bowler and deserves more credit. He is better than Pathan, Kohli and dare I say Harbhajan. Dhoni should be encouraging players like Raina looking at the future. I feel Raina is being given a raw deal given his potential.

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