James Vince’s batting average in the second division, first division and Test cricket

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We had a first look at James Vince in Test cricket and weren’t much impressed – but we did add the proviso that we don’t ascribe much value to debut performances anyway. We’ve had a few more looks now and we’re still not particularly impressed.

We generally find people’s decisiveness about relatively new players unsavoury and hasty, so let’s just say that we’re politely awaiting an innings that will persuade us of his worth. We hope it arrives. Don’t keep us waiting too long, Jim.

So with our non-judging position established, this is nevertheless the situation as it stands. After five innings – which is very few – Vince is averaging 14 in Test cricket. More worryingly, this fits a trend where he seems to average less in higher standards of cricket.

In 2013, Vince averaged 64 in first-class cricket. Very impressive. In 2014, he averaged 61. In both of those seasons, he was playing in the second division.

In large part thanks to those 2014 performances, Hampshire were promoted. Last season Vince averaged 33 in first-class cricket.

To be fair to him, this year he’s averaging near enough 40 in the first division (although he’s only actually passed 50 the once).

Moral of the story? How about three?

  • The first and second divisions of the County Championship are different standards of cricket
  • Batting averages only tell you what’s already happened, not what’s to come
  • Yasir Shah is okay at bowling


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  1. It’s a funny business where second division runs are still counted as “first class”, when they’re clearly, by definition second class. I’m aware this will never change, and as a fan if history and tradition I’m actually okay with that.

    But maybe it’s time for cricinfo to add a filter onto stasguru by which you can filter out the runs scored against second division pastry hurlers to give a clearer picture as to whether a batsman is any good or not.

    By my reckoning, averaging 50+ in the first division for two or more consecutive years should earn you a opportunity in test cricket, and give you a decent chance of making a fist of it. Anything else is just a punt.

    1. Yeah, Cricinfo need to up their game. We’ve had to resort to Cricket Archive for season-by-season stats for this kind of thing before now.

      No-one wants to have to use Cricket Archive.

    2. Twas ever thus, though – even in the olden days of one division, some university matches counted as first class, as did some touring matches of dubious quality.

      See also the following trivia question. Who was the only Nobel prize winner to play first class cricket? Who was the only Prime Minister to?

      1. Daneel: that was a weird one, wasn’t it? Sadly most of the information about Shankar “vanished” from the internet – I assume for legal reasons. Cricinfo and some of the papers had some good pieces on this but they disappeared. Even then, I felt we never really got the full story. Would have been interesting to hear more from the man himself. Perhaps the truth will out eventually!

        Thesaurusrus: well done, shame on you! It’s a good piece of trivia though isn’t it? I always found it curious that the only PM to play First Class cricket was Scottish (mostly) and the only Nobel Prizewinner was Irish.

  2. Theresa May,
    Has so far had little to say
    On a stimulus package for English cricket
    To stop the middle order hemorrhaging wickets.

  3. James Vince,
    Did not convince;
    Which led to derision,
    For having scored the vast majority of his runs in the second division.

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