Friday, 21 January 2011

South Africa v India: 2nd Test at Durban


South Africa versus India
The Second Test at Durban 26th-29th December 2010
Click here to see our analysis of the first Test at Centurion

Who contributed most to put his team in a winning position?
Who did the most to lose the game for his team?

Here is our WPA analysis of the Test (showing how each player changed the probability that his team would go on to win/lose/draw):


SA win
SA lose
draw
Smith
-7.0%
7.7%
-0.8%
Petersen
-11.8%
12.6%
-0.8%
Amla
-16.2%
16.7%
-0.5%
Kallis
-26.3%
24.9%
1.4%
de Villiers
-14.9%
15.6%
-0.7%
Prince
-5.0%
5.0%
-0.1%
Boucher
-2.8%
2.9%
0.1%
Steyn
39.7%
-21.5%
-18.2%
Harris
-21.7%
19.8%
2.0%
Morkel
-0.4%
-2.8%
3.3%
Tsotsobe
26.5%
-20.5%
-6.0%









Ind win
Ind lose
draw
Sehwag
-2.1%
5.8%
-3.8%
Vijay
-12.1%
14.8%
-2.7%
Dravid
-15.2%
17.1%
-2.0%
Tendulkar
-20.0%
23.8%
-4.0%
Laxman
29.6%
-28.7%
-0.8%
Pujara
-15.2%
16.9%
-1.7%
Dhoni
-2.4%
2.1%
0.2%
Harbhajan
33.3%
-32.4%
-0.7%
Khan
14.7%
-11.6%
-3.0%
Sharma
-20.7%
20.2%
0.5%
Sreesanth
48.8%
-47.1%
-1.4%
run outs
12.1%
-11.1%
-1.0%


Our cricketwpa retrospective continues with a look at the Second Test, which started in Durban on Boxing Day. India’s inability to build long partnerships really showed on day one, as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Dale Steyn’s bowling was both tight and incessantly hostile as he picked up four key wickets; he went on to take two more on the second day, leaving him with 6 of the India top eight (he increased his team's chance of winning by 50.0% with this display in India's first innings; over the whole match his WPA was 39.7%).

Big things were expected as South Africa came in to bat only 202 runs in arrears. Fond memories of the 620/4 at Centurion were soon replaced with apprehension as they lost two quick wickets to the returning Zaheer Khan and a third with the key runout of Kallis (which was worth around 12% of a win for the Indian team). After de Villiers fell to Sreesanth, Harbhajan moved in to haunt the lower order (and Hashim Amla), with a breathtaking 4-10 in 7.2 overs, worth 24.1% of a win (over the match he earned 33.3% of a win for India).

After a brisk 32 by Sehwag, India lost 4 quick wickets (two to the promising Lonwabo Tsotsobe), and the game was critically balanced. In desperate need of adding to the 130 run lead they already had (all the time aware that losing another wicket could dent their win probability by up to 15%), they turned to VVS Laxman, who worked his way to a crucial 96 (worth 31.2% of an India win), turning the game yet again and setting South Africa a target of 302.

India were now favourites, but as Smith and Peterson put on 63 for the first wicket, the game swung in South Africa’s direction. However, Sreesanth then took three of South Africa’s top 4 to put India decisively back on top (these wickets were each worth about 20% of a win for India, which illustrates how crucial this point in the game actually was). By the time de Villiers, Boucher and Steyn had been dismissed, South Africa had slipped to 155/7 and it was pretty much game over.

South Africa’s top performer was clearly Dale Steyn, who earned 39.7% of a win for his side; he was followed by Lonwabo Tsotsobe (26.4%), whilst the rest of the South Africa side all contributed negative WPA. They were ‘led’ by Jacques Kallis, who lowered South Africa’s win probability by 26.3%, getting dismissed at important times (he only scored 27 runs in the test) and giving up 48 key runs with only a number ten’s scalp to show for it (and you don’t get much WPA for that!)...

India’s WPA leader was in fact Shanth Sreesanth, whose three big wickets (Smith, Amla and Kallis) in the second innings had a massive impact at a crucial time; he ended up earning a huge 48.8% of a win for his side. Also crucial to India’s hopes of levelling the series were Harbhajan (33.3% of a win earned), the gritty Laxman (29.6% of a win) and Zaheer Khan (14.7% of a win). Other than Laxman, none of India’s batsmen managed to add to their team’s chance of victory, so perhaps Laxman’s selection as Man of the Match was justified? But in all truth, this test was largely dominated by the ball, and the game-changing wickets taken (mostly) by Sreesanth, Steyn and Harbhajan.

Two matches down, oh how different two matches can be! This one really was a scorcher, and it left us hankering for more cricket than one could shake one’s stump at... Fortunately there wasn’t long to wait. In to the New Year, and on to Cape Town!



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