England Vs. India 1st Test Review

The equation at the start of the day was simple. Time was irrelevant. It was whether England would get five wickets first or would India get 84 runs. In the end, England just piqued India to the post. I am a big fan of CricViz but my background in hedge funds automatically makes me suspicious of any black box calculations. India going from having a 92% chance of winning to 77% by the time Sam Curran was done to England ending Day 3 with a 59% chance of winning.

My main problem with CricViz is that probabilities of winning can be calculated only when there is a high degree of correlation. Cricket is anything but correlated. Can the black box factor in the issue of Broad having the flu or a cold or the talismanic presence of Ben Stokes or the decision not to use Adil Rashid so less? The confidence level of the prediction is not mentioned either. The finance world is filled with Black Swans. Cricket is filled with even more instances. My numbers show that England had the lead at the end of the first innings and by the end of the game India came within 27 points of England. Putting it simply; India was just 2% away from winning the game. With all due respect to CricViz, I do believe that this represents a more accurate reading of the game.

My numbers also show that England and India batted equally well. It is the bowling that separated the two sides. England did score more points in fielding but this does not by any way imply that England is the better side. A part of me thought yesterday that the catch that Malan took in the second innings that sparked the Indian collapse had extended his career by a test match. However, he has been unsurprisingly dropped for the second Test. As much as I like Malan; he has proved inconsistent at that position. I am surprised that he lasted this long.


Virat Kohli is clearly performed the best with the bat. It is one thing to acknowledge the feat that he carried out but to see it translated into numbers on an index is something else altogether. The one thing that strikes me about the list is the lack of batsmen. Jonny Baristow is a Wicket Keeper. Same Curran is a bowler (Yes he did extremely well with the bat and ball but it is too early to call him an All Rounder). Hardik Pandya is an All Rounder.

If the absence of batsmen is an issue then the presence of them in the worst performers is a bigger problem.

Bowlers can be forgiven for being on this list especially James Anderson. The surprise in this list are the first two names.

If bowlers are excluded then the list will look like this.


Anderson and Broad are at the bottom of the list. I am not too worried about this. They may not have got sufficient wickets but they did put sufficient pressure on the opposition.

Top Performers

Sam Curran was instrumental in helping England win but I felt that Virat Kohli should have been the man of the match. My numbers back me up on this. There are contradictory views whether the man of the match should come from the winning side or the best performer in the game. I would like to know your thoughts on this.

Test XI

Closing Thoughts

This test has been a really good one and a great advertisement for Test Cricket. Someone said that I lacked an Au Fait with County Cricket. This is something I will not contest. I am a macro analyst. Ben Stokes not being able to play is huge. He contributed 13.66% of the total points that England scored on my index. From a practical point of view, it causes a huge imbalance in the side. I would be tempted to play Buttler at 4 and include Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes. I have looked at Ollie Pope’s stats. There is a clear case of making a direct swap. Pope for Malan and Woakes for Stokes especially as Woakes can be considered better at batting.

I have no idea what the pitch is like but it may make more sense going it for the extra spinner considering the scorching weather we have been having. That being said; England’s batting looks very fragile and is even more so now that Stokes is not present. I think England will play it safe and go in for Pope and Woakes.

This Test has got around to one big hum digger. I hope this is the harbinger of things to come. As allows I welcome any thoughts and comments.

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