It was a late June day in 2012, and the England cricket team was heading to the village of Edgbaston, for their third and final Test against India. The match was expected to be close, with England needing just one more victory to become No. 1 in the world and ensure that their cricket team would never be forgotten. The last match of that year, and the first Ashes Test of 2013, was just around the corner.
The weather in England during that time of year is typically unpredictable, and so was the weather that day. After heavy rain in the preceding days, the ground became a quagmire, and the Indian captain, Virat Kohli, had to admit that the pitch ‘was definitely not what we expected’.
The Test started at 12:00 pm, and England were immediately out in the field. After two dull days of batting, the last two wickets fell around the same time, with Joe Root finishing the match with an unbeaten century, guiding England to a famous victory and a ranking of No. 2 in the world. It was a great final to the season, and the following week the team returned to the UK with their ranking unaltered.
The Maths Behind The Decimal
To understand why this game was so significant, we need to look into the decimal place system. The decimal place system was first used in Europe during the 1800s, with many European countries such as Germany, Italy, and Spain using the decimal place system for accounting and for measuring values. In the UK, the first official use of the decimal place system was in 1917, when the National Income Calculation was first carried out and rounded to the nearest thousand pounds. It was not until the start of the 21st century that decimalization caught on in sports, with many leading sports organizations—including the IOC, FIFA, and the MLB—adopting the decimal place system in sports.
The Importance Of Base-Line Maths
This match wouldn’t have been possible without some meticulous baseline maths. In cricket, the base-line is the line that runs directly from the bowler’s arm to the batter’s head when the ball is delivered. It is a straight line that can be used to measure the effectiveness of each individual delivery, and the most basic formulas are used to determine how runs are scored. As such, we need to look into some elementary cricket maths to truly understand this game.
Firstly, let’s establish a few base-line definitions. When a bowler bowls a ball, it will have a certain amount of energy. This energy is measured in joules, and is represented by a number between 0 and 10. A number between 0 and 4 represents a no-ball, while a number between 5 and 10 represents a ‘full’ ball. Let’s now look at how runs are scored.
How Does The Toss Affect The Runs Scored?
When the ball is delivered, the batsman stands in front of the wicket and hits the ball with their bat. The batter is allowed to have a certain number of ‘running’ partners, and if they score enough runs while the ball is in play, the game ends and the batsman wins. It is quite simple, really.
As we have established, energy is measured in joules, and a joule is defined as the amount of work needed to lift a weight of one kilogram one meter. In cricket, one kilogram is usually used as the unit of weight, with each additional kilogram being represented by a 1 above it. One might initially assume that two kilograms represents a perfect delivery, and four kilograms represents a very good delivery.
What happens if a bowler bowls an under-arm delivery? In this case, the ball will travel less distance as it travels in a curve, and therefore, will have less energy. To give an example, if a right-arm bowler bowls an under-arm delivery that curves left, the batter will not only have to shift their weight to the left in order to hit the ball, but they will also have to do so while it is still in the air. As a result, this delivery will have less energy than a perfect right-arm delivery that curves right as it approaches the batsman. We can therefore state that a low-energy delivery will score fewer runs than a high-energy delivery.
What Is The Definition Of A Full Delivery?
A full delivery in cricket is defined as any delivery that arrives at the batsman’s end of the pitch, with the exception of a no-ball. Theoretically, any delivery that meets this criteria will score a full delivery, regardless of whether it was curved or straight. In practice, this is rarely the case, and only occasionally the ball will arrive at the batting end of the pitch completely straight. When this happens, even the most basic of math tests will reveal that it was an under-arm delivery and as such, will not score any runs. A complete bowling action will generally include an under-arm delivery, a straight delivery, and a delivery that is high in the air, with the exception of a special case where a right-arm bowler uses a carrom ball. The carrom ball is designed with a seam that runs from the back of the ball to the front. This seam can be hit with absolute precision and as a result, right-handed carrom ball users are able to achieve runs consistently, even if the ball is slightly curved or, in some cases, even if it is not round at all.
An under-arm delivery that curves in towards the batsman will arrive with the seam pointing away from the batsman, and therefore will not score any runs. A full delivery that curves away from the batsman will arrive with the seam pointing towards the batsman. As such, this type of delivery will score full runs, providing the curve was not too extreme. An example of a perfect, under-arm delivery would be one that curves 45 degrees in towards the batsman, with the tip of the ball’s point landing on the ground directly in front of the batsman, as illustrated below.
How Does ‘The Slot’ And ‘The Dig’ Effect The Runs Scored?
These are two terms that you will often hear in cricket, and they both relate to the way the pitch develops after a certain amount of rain. The slot is the area of the pitch that is created between the stumps when the balls are placed at the start of a Test match. The slot is not actually part of the pitch, but is instead, an area defined by the presence of two stumps and an umpire. The presence of the stumps and the umpire create a space that is generally referred to as ‘the slot’.
The slot provides a certain amount of protection to the bowling team, with the umpires often having to adjudicate on whether or not a bowler has hit the stumps, or whether or not the ball has strayed past a certain mark towards the outfield. The rain that falls during a Test match will generally settle into the slot, with much of the water draining away as quickly as it fell. As a result, the pitch will generally become soft and sluggish, offering minimal bounce to the ball.
The slot is a vital part of the game, with England losing heavily in the 2014 ball-tampering controversy, after several balls were deliberately damaged during the course of a Test match. One of the most recognizable faces in that scandal was Steve Bucknor, who had to stand in the rain for over an hour to ensure that his team did not lose, as a result of an illegal bowling action by England’s James Anderson. Without the slot, pitches would become a lot less conducive to athletic contesting and scoring, and as such, its importance should not be overlooked.
The other important factor that affects a pitch is the depth of the rough. The rough is the area of the pitch immediately in front of and around the home-wicket area that is created by the continual scraping of the turf over time by heavy wooden flooring. The rough is quite important in one-day cricket, as it enables the bowlers to ‘read’ the pitch and therefore, attack the stumps. Without this area of uncertain bounce, pitches are quite difficult to score quickly on, as the ball will simply skip merrily away from the batter.
How Does The Weather Affect The Runs Scored?
Temperature is quite an important factor in sports, and nowhere is this more visible than in cricket. As we have established, energy is measured in joules, and a joule is defined as the amount of work needed to lift a weight of one kilogram one meter. In practice, this means that when the temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or at least 20 degrees above the air temperature, the ball will travel further, and will consequently, be more effective. As a general rule of thumb, cricket balls will travel approximately ten percent further at 80 degrees than they do at 20 degrees.