The term strike rate in cricket is used often in cricket, but it can mean different things based on who we’re talking about – a batsman or a bowler. It can be a little confusing especially if you’re new to the game.
So let’s break down what this term means.
In cricket, a ‘strike rate’ shows how well batsmen and bowlers are performing. When it comes to batsmen, the strike rate gives us an idea of how many runs the batsman tends to score for every 100 balls they face. If a batsman has a high strike rate, it means they are scoring fast, being more aggressive in their approach. If the strike rate is lower, it shows the batsman is playing more carefully or conservatively.
On the other hand, for bowlers, the strike rate tells us how many balls, on average, they need to bowl to dismiss a batsman. Here, a lower strike rate is more desirable as it shows the bowler is more effective, taking fewer balls to get a batsman out.
These strike rates can be calculated for a single match or for a player’s entire career. Later on, I’ll show you how to calculate these and give you some interesting facts about the best strike rates in the history of international cricket. I’ll also answer other questions you might have.
Steps for Computing Strike Rate in Cricket
Working out a batsman’s strike rate in cricket is easy! First, take the total runs they’ve scored and divide it by how many balls they’ve faced. Then, multiply the result by 100 to find the strike rate.
Let’s use a simple example. Suppose a batsman scores 117 runs from 94 balls. You would divide 117 by 94, giving you 1.24. Then, you multiply this by 100, resulting in a strike rate of 124.47 for that match.
This process works the same for calculating a player’s career strike rate. Take the cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar, for instance. He scored 18,426 runs off 21,367 balls in his one-day international career. Dividing the runs by the balls gives 0.86, and multiplying by 100 gives a career strike rate of 86.24.
For a bowler, the strike rate calculation is also straightforward. Simply divide the total balls they’ve bowled by the number of wickets they’ve taken.
Let’s try an example. Imagine a bowler takes 3 wickets in 15 overs, which equals 90 balls. You divide 90 by 3, giving a strike rate of 30 for that match.
You can use the same process to figure out career strike rates for bowlers too. Consider Glenn McGrath’s impressive test career, for example. He took 563 wickets from 29,248 balls. By dividing the balls by the wickets, we get a career strike rate of 51.9. This means McGrath, on average, took a wicket about every 9 overs he bowled in his test career!
Who Tops the List for the Best Bowling Strike Rate in Test Cricket?
Let’s delve into the world of Test cricket and discover who are the bowlers with the best strike rates in history. To ensure a fair comparison, I’ve only considered bowlers who have retired – this is because current players’ strike rates may fluctuate until their retirement. Also, the list only includes bowlers who have delivered a minimum of 2000 balls at the Test level and have taken at least 100 wickets.
Now, let’s reveal the top five bowlers with the best strike rates in Test cricket history:
The following table is submitted in the following order; Name, Deliveries Bowled, Wickets, Bowling Strike Rate.
George Lohmann 3830 112 34.1
J.J Ferris 2302 61 37.7
Shane Bond 3372 87 38.7
Sydney Barnes 7873 189 41.6
Dale Steyn 18608 439 42.3
Who Holds the Record for the Top Batting Strike Rate in ODI Cricket?
Here are the top five cricketers with the highest batting strike rates in the history of One Day International (ODI) cricket. Keep in mind that three out of these five are still active players, so their strike rates might vary until their retirement. Also, the data is current at the time of writing. For fairness in comparison, I’ve only considered batsmen who’ve faced a minimum of 500 deliveries in ODIs.
Let’s take a look at the cricketers with the highest ODI batting strike rates:
The following table is submitted in the following order; Name, Deliveries Faced, Runs Scored, Batting Strike Rate.
Andre Russell 794 1034 130.22
Glenn Maxwell 2332 2877 123.37
Jos Buttler 3207 3843 119.83
Lionel Cann 504 590 117.06
Shahid Afridi 6892 8064 117
Comparing Bowling Average and Strike Rate in Cricket: What’s the Difference?
It’s common for people to mix up the terms ‘bowling average’ and ‘bowling strike rate’. Let’s clarify the difference between them!
A bowling average tells you the number of runs a bowler gives up for each wicket they take. Let’s say a bowler takes 2 wickets but gives away 50 runs, their bowling average would be 25. This means they have conceded 25 runs for each wicket they’ve taken.
On the other hand, the bowling strike rate, which we’ve touched upon earlier, shows the number of balls a bowler needs to bowl to take each wicket. So, that’s the key difference between the two terms.
Understanding the Distinction Between Batting Average and Strike Rate
Let’s simplify this!
A batting average in cricket tells us how many runs a batsman scores on average each time they come out to bat. For instance, if a batsman scores 50 runs in the first innings, 2 in the second, and 42 in the third, their average for these three innings would be 31.33. Simply put, batting average is all about how many runs a batsman scores, regardless of how many balls they face.
On the other hand, batting strike rate is about the speed at which a batsman scores their runs. It shows how quickly or slowly they accumulate their runs.
I trust this article has made these potentially perplexing terms clearer for you! If you’re interested in diving deeper into the captivating world of cricket. Why not read about what a super over in cricket is, next?