Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Anderson's Ashes?

England have retained the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years.

In our regular Ashes analysis, we like to discuss how each player contributes to a single game.  Now, we thought it would be interesting to see how each player has contributed to the entire series.

So which English player did the most to help retain the Ashes?
And which Australian player did the most to give his own team a chance of a series victory?

First of all, here is the story of the 2010-2011 Ashes series so far.  For the whole series so far, the graph shows the probability that England would go on to win / lose / or tie the series:


Here is our WPA analysis of the how much each English player contributed to help retain the Ashes.  The number shows how each player over the course of the series improved the probability that England would go on to retain the Ashes.

            Eng retain Ashes
Anderson         18.1%
Tremlett         16.8%
Cook             16.1%
Bresnan           6.8%
Bell              5.6%
Trott             4.2%
Pietersen         0.8%
Finn             -0.7%
Strauss          -3.1%
Prior            -6.2%
Swann            -6.7%
Broad            -8.8%
Collingwood      -9.1%

And here our WPA analysis of the how much each Australian player contributed over the course of the series.  The number shows how each player increased the probability that Australia would go on to win the Ashes.

             Aus win Ashes
Hussey           15.7%
Siddle            8.9%
Haddin            7.2%
Johnson           3.0%
Harris            2.1%
Watson            0.6%
Bollinger        -1.3%
North            -4.3%
Smith            -4.5%
Katich           -5.8%
Doherty          -9.0%
Hughes           -9.8%
Hilfenhaus      -12.2%
Clarke          -15.5%
Ponting         -19.0%

James Anderson was the hero of the series: he improved England's chances of retaining the Ashes by 18.1%.  Chris Tremlett and Alistair Cook were not far behind, with contributions of 16.8% and 16.1%, respectively, towards England's Ashes success.

Amongst the Australians, Michael Hussey stands out as the man who did most to put his team in a position to win the Ashes back from England.  He was personally responsible for 15.7% of a series win for Australia.

Ricky Ponting has been the most disappointing player in the series so far.  He barely contributed any runs with the bat, and so he increased England's chances of retaining the Ashes by 19.0%.

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