Steve Smith betters Test batting average during Ashes tour

Australia's Steve Smith plays a shot on day 4 of the fourth Ashes Test against England in Manchester on September 7, 2019.  

With 671 runs in five innings in the ongoing Ashes Tour, Australia’s Steve Smith has made a cracking return to Test cricket.

The tour in England is Smith’s first Test Series after the 12-month ban following the ball-tampering incident in South Africa. By raising his average to close to 65, higher than other batsmen in Test history, except Don Bradman, Smith has established himself as the best among his peers.

The chart plots the average against the runs scored in Tests of active and retired batsmen, who have played in at least 30 innings and scored 1000 runs.


The visualisation shows Smith’s superiority -- India’s Virat Kohli, who has the best average after Smith, is 10 average runs behind the Aussie.

The graph below shows the progression of Smith’s Test rankings. He had a small but brief fall in rankings after his ban but recovered to occupy the top spot following his Ashes blitz.

image/svg+xml 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Ranking

The below visualisation shows the Z-scores of Test averages of players who have played at least 30 innings and scored 1000 runs. A Z-score is a measure of how many standard deviations away from the mean score is a player’s batting average. The higher the Z-score, the more impressive the player.

image/svg+xml Don Bradman Steve Smith Sachin Kohli Anil Kumble Waqar Younis Adam Voges Z-scores 100 75 50 25 0

Using the mean and standard deviations of the batting averages of all the 533 players, the Z-scores were calculated using the formula: batting average of a player minus mean / standard deviation.

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Printable version | Jul 19, 2021 8:47:18 AM |

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