An ordered response model of test cricket performance
The paper analyses the prediction of test cricket outcomes using an ordered response model. The results, based on data over the period 1994 to 1999, suggest that the ordered categorized production outcome of test cricket (win, draw, loss) can be explained by simple measures of the batting and bowling labour inputs. For example, across all countries the model correctly predicts 71% of test cricket outcomes. Further, it is found that losses are correctly predicted most often at 81% of the sample but that the model faces its biggest challenge predicting test match draws— only getting 57% of these cases correct. Also analysed are the circumstances in which the model produces incorrect predictions and it is found that the most common events are unsuccessful last innings runs chases; successful last innings runs chases and rain-affected matches. An analysis of failed model predictions in terms of country factors suggests that (relative to all other countries) Pakistan has a higher tendency to be involved in such matches, whereas Sri Lanka has a higher tendency to be involved in matches that are 'predictable'. A 'style' analysis using this model suggests that five test cricket styles are evident. Style I is that of 'Bowling and Batting Performance' and describes Pakistan, the West Indies and (perhaps to a lesser extent) Zimbabwe. Style II is that of 'Batting Performance' and describes England, New Zealand and (perhaps to a lesser extent) India. Style III is 'Bowling Performance' and describes Australia. Style IV is 'Bowling Performance/Batting Strike Rate' and describes South Africa. Finally, Style V is 'Bowling Performance and Strike Rate' and describes Sri Lanka. Finally, the model is used to analyse which country can claim to be the world champions of test cricket over the sample period. In an initial analysis based on average performance over this period, South Africa has the best claim. However, in a 'heavyweight title' contest between South Africa and Australia, Australia has the superior claim.