Thursday, 6 January 2011

**4th Day** The Ashes 2010-2011: 5th Test at Sydney

England versus Australia
3rd-7th January 2011

Who has made the biggest contribution so far to a possible win?
Who has made the biggest contribution to a possible loss?

Provisional WPA numbers after the fourth day at Sydney (showing how each player has changed the probability that his team wins / loses / draws):

            Aus win     Aus lose     draw
Watson       -4.3%        3.1%        1.3%
Hughes       -2.7%        6.5%       -3.8%
Khawaja      -3.4%        8.3%       -5.0%
Clarke       -6.0%       11.6%       -5.6%
Hussey       -2.3%        4.1%       -1.8%
Haddin       -6.0%        9.9%       -4.0%
Smith        -4.2%        6.1%       -1.8%
Johnson      10.5%       -6.8%       -3.6%
Siddle      -12.3%       12.3%        0.1%
Hilfenhaus   -7.7%        3.2%        4.6%
Beer         -5.7%        3.2%        2.5%

            Eng win     Eng lose     draw
Strauss       5.3%       -3.6%       -1.7%
Cook         24.4%      -29.6%        5.4%
Trott        -7.9%        9.7%       -1.9%
Pietersen    -0.7%        1.4%       -0.7%
Collingwood   8.3%       -2.4%       -6.0%
Bell          6.0%       -9.8%        4.0%
Prior         5.9%       -2.3%       -3.5%
Anderson     16.1%       -7.4%       -8.7%
Bresnan       8.8%       -1.0%       -7.8%
Swann        -2.1%       -1.4%        3.4%
Tremlett    -12.2%        4.1%        8.1%
run outs      7.4%        0.0%       -7.4% 

Alistair Cook has been England's most valuable player so far in this game.  His first innings score of 189 means he has personally contributed 24.4% of a win to England, and erased any Australian hopes of a victory.

Among the Australians, Peter Siddle is most culpable for putting his team in a losing position, having contributed 12.3% of a loss so far.  He leaked 111 runs to England in their first innings, and his only wicket was that of the nightwatchman - and you don't get credited with much WPA for that.

Captain Michael Clarke must also share the blame for putting Australia in a losing position.  His first innings score of 4 runs caused a significant swing in favour of England, and his second innings score of 41 came too late to have any significant impact on the state of the game.  His contribution to his country now stands at 11.6% of a loss.

James Anderson and Tim Bresnan both performed well on the fourth day of the Test.  They took early wickets at a time when a draw was still a possibility, and so they each contributed a small positive change in win probability to England (7.5% and 6.3%, respectively, in the second innings).  Interestingly, Chris Tremlett contributed a small negative change in win probability to England on the fourth day (-4.9% in the second innings). He took his two wickets much later in the day when a draw was no longer likely.  His negative WPA reflects his failure to take wickets earlier in the innings when wickets were more crucial.

Here is the graph of the game so far:

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