The Value of a Wicket

Hello, today I am going to be looking a the value of a wicket. In one daya cricket be it 20 over of 50 over you have 2 resources. The amount of balls remaining and the amount of wickets remaining. The balls remaining influences what risks the batsman takes however how much does taking a wicket reduce the score by.

To do this Im going to be using the whiteball analytics bll by ball twnety 20 dataset and crick sheets one day international.


First thing lets look at how much the final score differs depending on the number of wickets lost. For this I am only going to be looking at the first innings. As the second innings is not only limited by balls and wickets but also the number of runs the team batting in the first innings scored. Therefore I have got all the first innings scores and plotted it by number of wickets lost

Now you can clearly see how the number of wickets lost at the end of the innings has an overal negative trend on the final score. However, there is not much data for less than 3 wickets its obviously a rare occurance for a cricket innings to end without less then 2 wickets. I guess you are not taking enough risks as a batting side if you are not losing at least a couple of wickets. I can fit a linear model for this which will give an exact number for the effect of a wicket

As you can see the linear model identifies that the value of a wicket in twent20 cricket or what i can say more confidently the effect on the fianl score seems to be around 8.4 runs per wicket.

The next graph shows clearly the effect on the run rate each wicket has. The average run rate for a ball drops from around 1.4 runs per ball down to 0.93. You can also see how long it takes the run rate to recover with the run rate per ball not reaching a similar level to pre wicket until after 10 balls after. I would expect it to be shorter if the wicket was taken towards the end of the innings then at the start of the innings.

One Day Cricket

Onto one day cricket and the only difference is that the ball resource is increased from 120 balls to 300 balls. Will there be the same reduction in total run scored that is seen in twenty20

Clearly the graph shows the same trend as previously seen in twenty cricket. There is a lot of variance however the more wickets you lose this does effect your final score in the first innings. Also notice that like twenty cricket its extremely rare to end an innings in one day cricket losing less than 3 wickets.

As I did with twenty cricket I have fitted a linear model to the data for how many wickets lost and it shows the value of a wicket in one day cricket is around 21.69 runs. The median first innings score is 250 so a wicket is roughly worth 8% loss compared to the median score. In twenty20 cricket this is roughly 5% therefore a wicket possibly has a greater effect on one day cricket. This could because there’s less time in twenty 20 cricket therefore teams are able to absorb the impact of a wicket much more easily.

Overall you can see some interesting trends for the effect of taking a wicket in one day cricket. I wonder if you can build a metric which if you value every wicket as worth either 8 runs or 22 runs depending on the type game. I think that’s for another blog. Overall we have seen how. clearly. when the amount of wickets lost goes up then the end of the innings score goes down. The value of a wicket is roughly 8 runs or 22 runs depending on the game. Let me know your thoughts is that more or less then you were expecting?

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