They call Rohit Sharma ‘Nohit’ – the meaning of big numbers

That nickname seems a tad unfair, no? The guy’s just made his second one-day international double hundred.

In 50 overs, that demands a phenomenal scoring rate, but it’s interesting to note that Rohit Sharma played himself in. Here’s the breakdown of his innings:

  • 50 off 72 balls
  • 100 off 100 balls
  • 150 off 125 balls
  • 200 off 151 balls
  • 250 off 166 balls
  • 264 off 173 balls

After 20 overs of the innings, he was on 41. Remember that, because one-day tactical analysis is often reductive. People look at the final scorecard and assume it was sixes from the off, but that’s rarely the case.

It’s also easy to see this as proof of run inflation, but headline stories always elbow the broader picture aside. You’ll remember Rohit’s 264 because it seems significant, whereas you’ll already have forgotten the recent Pakistan v Australia one-day series where the highest total in three fixtures was 255-8.

Modern one-day totals vary so much that different matches are almost like different sports. The ability to cash in when the going’s good is a different sort of skill to working up a competitive total when conditions favour bowlers.

Is it a lesser skill? Of course not. The value of one or the other will vary depending on the conditions on the day.

What all of this means for England’s World Cup chances

In a relatively low scoring one-day game, England are actually all right. If they get organised, we think they’ll at least give most sides a run for their money. What they can’t do – and we don’t see this changing any time soon – is win a flat track runfest. It’s just completely beyond their ken.

Rohit Sharma has played on high scoring pitches before. He’s got experience of that. He knows what to do and he’s got confidence in how he goes about things. He doesn’t fret when he’s got 41 after 20 overs because he knows he can catch up. A theoretical English batsman with exactly the same ability won’t see those situations anywhere near as frequently. If he finds himself playing in a match where runs are flowing, it’ll all be new to him. That brings a degree of uncertainty which doesn’t do a right lot of good when you’re trying to muller 400.

Moral of the story

A run doesn’t have a set value. It derives it from the match in which it is scored. Modern one-day cricket isn’t always about making 350 plus scores – but it does sometimes demand this.

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23 Appeals

  1. Nice numbers. It’s only a matter of time before someone scores 300 in an ODI. Then we should just agree that the point has been proven and call it a day.

  2. It *is* a lesser skill. I know the tendency of any analysis is to stay away from absolutes, but hitting 200+ in a meaningless ODI against tired bowlers who don’t give a crap and serve up full tosses and half volleys and fielders who cannot catch if you paid them is absolutely, categorically, a lesser skill than scoring a hundred on a green top against some fierce fast bowling in a world cup match. The usual argument is “well, he still had to do that, and not many can”. That is true, and I don’t take anything away from Rohit. And I also agree either sort of inning can have similar import in a series, but on the scale of skill, they lie quite apart.

    On another note, remember how many decades ago the 4 minute mile was considered impossible, and how after one guy did it, many followed? That seems to be the general tendency in sport. It is still impressive, no denying that.

    • The thing is, DC, it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s a lesser skill. We can debate it until we’re blue in the face but this kind of batting is a good way to win a World Cup and make lots of money.

    • King Cricket

      November 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Perhaps when we put ‘lesser’ we should more accurately have put ‘less relevant’.

  3. Rohit Sharma was nicknamed Nohit because he was inexplicably denied a go at test matches.

    The nickname should have lapsed when its reason evaporated.

  4. we call him.the hitman..

  5. Aim or thrash

    (Also mohair trash and armor his hat, but they seem less relevant.)

  6. Another freakish stat:
    When Tendulkar hit 200* vs South Africa, India won by 153 runs.
    When Sehwag surpassed that knock with 219 vs West Indies, India won by 153 runs.

    Today’s winning margin, stats fans? 153 runs!

  7. …and let’s not get started with triangular numbers and sums of factorials – we have people around here who might make a hell of a mess in sheer excitement…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/153_(number)

    • Mmm, lovely

      It is the smallest number which can be expressed as the sum of the cubes of its digits.

      Oh yeh

      The sum of the aliquot divisors of 153 is the square of the sum of the digits of 153.

      Yeh, baby

      Both 153 and its reverse are divisible by the sum of their own digits.

      Yes, yes, yes

      The product of the aliquot divisors of 153 contains the sum of all the divisors of 153 juxtaposed with the square root of the sum of its aliquot divisors shown as a two digit number.

      Yesssssssss

      On adding the number 153 to its reverse, 504 is obtained, whose square is the smallest square which can be expressed as the product of two different non-square numbers which are the reverse of one another.

      Oh, sorry about that.

    • King Cricket

      November 14, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Did you just speculate wildly?

  8. Ultimztely, it’s just T20 batting at a certain point. Just because he’s worse at it than, say, Chris Gayle or Shakib Al Hasan, it doesn’t make his feat impressive.

    • * Ultimately…..

    • Hmm, I get you didn’t watch the innings. He actually played proper shots, I didn’t see any slogs across the line or stuff like that. Call him a flat track bully, but he’s no slogger.

    • Funny how two people can see the same thing so differently. I saw lots of wild slogs, some of which went straight up in the air and were dropped. Still, bloody spectacular knock.

    • I haven’t seen it, so I can’t say one way or the other.

    • Best just speculate wildly instead.

      My phone’s autocorrect suggested a rather more interesting word than ‘speculate’ but I don’t think the innings was exciting in the right way to justify it.

      Though I haven’t seen it either so who knows?

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