I have been admonished by a friend for the number of cricket-related posts on this blog during the last few weeks. Well, there will doubtless be fewer of them in the period immediately ahead, but there are certain things a person just has to do.
And then this, by Gavyn Davies, has some interesting statistical details:
[C]old figures indicate that the series was virtually a dead heat.There's more.
The number of runs scored per wicket lost summarises the performance of a team fairly accurately in a cricket series, and usually predicts the winner. In the 2005 Ashes, England scored 31.84 runs per wicket, while Australia scored 31.57. These figures are so close that the series result could not be predicted based on the fundamental cricketing performance of the two teams. It might have gone either way, depending on who held their nerve at the critical moments. Statisticians would not have predicted that Shane Warne would drop that decisive slip catch from Kevin Pietersen on Monday, but he grassed it anyway.
So the series was a statistical dead heat, but it is a vast improvement on the previous eight Ashes series. During these walkovers, England averaged 26.85 runs per wicket, compared with Australia's 42.09.