What Is Bowling Average In Cricket, And Why Does It Matter?

Cricket has two main components: batting and bowling. While batting scores are typically applauded, the success of a cricket team also depends with the ball in hand. Bowling average is a critical statistic that gauges a bowler’s ability to take wickets. Join us at SinkorSwimSports as we explore what bowling average means, and why it matters so much.

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What Is Bowling Average?

In simple terms, bowling average is a metric that indicates the number of runs a bowler concedes per wicket taken. It is calculated by dividing the total number of runs conceded by the number of wickets taken. For example, if a bowler concedes 300 runs and takes 15 wickets, their bowling average would be 20. A lower bowling average is an indication of a better performance by the bowler.

Bowling averages can be further categorized into two types – career bowling averages and series bowling averages. Career bowling average is the average of all the matches played by a bowler in their entire career, whereas series bowling average is the average of the matches played in a particular series.

Why Does Bowling Average Matter?

Bowling average is an essential metric to determine a bowler’s performance, and it’s often used as a tool to assess the player’s contribution to the team. A lower bowling average means the bowler is taking more wickets while conceding fewer runs, which implies they are more effective in their job.

Furthermore, bowling average plays a significant role in team selection, especially for big tournaments like the ICC World Cup, where a team’s performance relies heavily on the bowlers. Coaches and selectors look for bowlers with a lower bowling average and a good strike rate as they are likely to contribute more to the team’s success.

A good bowling average can also impact a bowler’s career prospects. It can pave the way for more opportunities to play for the national team, lead to better contracts in domestic leagues, and boost their reputation in the cricketing world.

What Is A Good Average Across Tests, ODIs and T20s?

Bowling average can vary significantly across different formats of cricket. In Test cricket, bowlers get more time to take wickets as the matches last for five days. This provides an opportunity for bowlers to make a significant impact on the game. Hence, a bowler’s performance is measured differently in Test cricket. They need to have a low average while maintaining a good strike rate. Bowlers who consistently perform well in Test cricket often have a career bowling average of under 30.

In One Day Internationals (ODIs), bowlers have limited overs to take wickets, and the game is faster-paced than Test cricket. Hence, the focus is more on the bowler’s economy rate (the number of runs conceded per over) and their strike rate (the average number of balls bowled per wicket). However, bowling average is still an important metric, and bowlers with an average below 30 are considered to be in the top tier.

In T20 cricket, the game is even more fast-paced, and bowlers have limited overs to make an impact. The focus here is more on the bowler’s economy rate and their ability to take wickets quickly. In this format, a bowler with a low bowling average and a good strike rate is highly valued. Bowlers with an average below 20 are considered to be in the top tier.