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Researchers throw light on �pressure index�

By ARINDAM GUPTA
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SILCHAR, Dec 26 - Two Assam researchers, Prof Dibyojyoti Bhattacharjee and Dr Hemanta Saikia over the years are working on modelling of various cricketing issues that shall ultimately contribute to decision making in the sport. The Fielding Performance Measure and Optimum Team Selection are two of their recent innovations.

However, yet another area of analysis in which the researcher duo has applied mathematical modelling has been the pressure index which is specific to the second innings of any limited over cricket match.

Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Prof Dibyojyoti Bhattacharjee, who is also the Head of the Department of Statistics at Assam University Silchar, revealed certain vital points on how the pressure index becomes effective in shorter version of the game.

�The team batting second in limited overs cricket has a fixed target which is to be attained in specific number of overs without losing all their batting resources. Combining the initial required run rate at the beginning of the innings, current required run rate at any point of the innings and number of wickets remaining we derived an index that can quantify the pressure the team batting second is undergoing at any point of that innings. We call it the pressure index,� claimed Prof Bhattacharjee.

Explaining the phenomenon, Prof Bhattacharjee said that the pressure index starts at 1 at the beginning of the innings and comes down to 0, if the team batting second wins.� If we plot the values of pressure index after every ball what we get is the pressure curve. The pressure graph will tell us the strategy how a team batting second approached the target and how they recovered after losing important wickets. The pressure curve will also disclose the strategy that the different teams take during their journey to victory while chasing targets,� he added saying that this shall help the opponents to make counter strategies, which will make limited over cricket matches more interesting.

Asked about the practical implementation of the models, Prof Bhattacharjee responded saying that as researchers they are developing several mathematical models for decision making in cricket which would help the team management a great deal. �Most of our works are available in public domain either for free or are priced. The end users of cricket shall reap the benefits of our models. Besides working on such models driven by our passion, we are kept busy with academic activities. Hence, we neither get the time nor we in a position to induce them in technology driven aspects of the game. But definitely the applications of such mathematical works have by now heavily engrossed cricket. Sports and academics can go hand-in-hand.�

Replying to a question on what motivated them to choose cricket as their research beat, Prof Bhattacharjee said �the idea about quantifying the performance of cricketers and try to relate it to their salaries struck my mind in 2008 when the Indian Premiere League (IPL) had just begun. Now, to each player playing in IPL there is a salary tag associated. Suddenly, I then started to read research papers engrossing data analysis in cricket and got interested. Soon Dr Hemanta Saikia, who is presently working as assistant professor of Statistics at Kaziranga University in Jorhat joined for his PhD under my supervision, I gave him some issues related to data analysis in cricket, which ultimately became the topic of his PhD dissertation on �Data Mining in Sports.�

It may be mentioned that, the researchers have worked on Optimum Team Selection, a mathematical optimisation technique that can be applied to the process of selection of players from a host of players given the specialisation of the captain using a mathematical tool called binary integer programming for the purpose. The work was recently published in Opsearch, a journal on Operation Research from Springer, the famous publisher of scientific researches throughout the world. Also, both Prof Bhattacharjee and Dr Saikia have invented a formula for measuring fielding performance and developed software for measuring fielding performance called Fieldometer with the help of some students from the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Allahabad. The formula was sought by the ICC. However, after evaluation, the ICC expressed its inability to include it for ranking, as there is no dedicated statistician for ball by ball data entry for each international cricket match.

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Researchers throw light on �pressure index�

SILCHAR, Dec 26 - Two Assam researchers, Prof Dibyojyoti Bhattacharjee and Dr Hemanta Saikia over the years are working on modelling of various cricketing issues that shall ultimately contribute to decision making in the sport. The Fielding Performance Measure and Optimum Team Selection are two of their recent innovations.

However, yet another area of analysis in which the researcher duo has applied mathematical modelling has been the pressure index which is specific to the second innings of any limited over cricket match.

Speaking to The Assam Tribune, Prof Dibyojyoti Bhattacharjee, who is also the Head of the Department of Statistics at Assam University Silchar, revealed certain vital points on how the pressure index becomes effective in shorter version of the game.

�The team batting second in limited overs cricket has a fixed target which is to be attained in specific number of overs without losing all their batting resources. Combining the initial required run rate at the beginning of the innings, current required run rate at any point of the innings and number of wickets remaining we derived an index that can quantify the pressure the team batting second is undergoing at any point of that innings. We call it the pressure index,� claimed Prof Bhattacharjee.

Explaining the phenomenon, Prof Bhattacharjee said that the pressure index starts at 1 at the beginning of the innings and comes down to 0, if the team batting second wins.� If we plot the values of pressure index after every ball what we get is the pressure curve. The pressure graph will tell us the strategy how a team batting second approached the target and how they recovered after losing important wickets. The pressure curve will also disclose the strategy that the different teams take during their journey to victory while chasing targets,� he added saying that this shall help the opponents to make counter strategies, which will make limited over cricket matches more interesting.

Asked about the practical implementation of the models, Prof Bhattacharjee responded saying that as researchers they are developing several mathematical models for decision making in cricket which would help the team management a great deal. �Most of our works are available in public domain either for free or are priced. The end users of cricket shall reap the benefits of our models. Besides working on such models driven by our passion, we are kept busy with academic activities. Hence, we neither get the time nor we in a position to induce them in technology driven aspects of the game. But definitely the applications of such mathematical works have by now heavily engrossed cricket. Sports and academics can go hand-in-hand.�

Replying to a question on what motivated them to choose cricket as their research beat, Prof Bhattacharjee said �the idea about quantifying the performance of cricketers and try to relate it to their salaries struck my mind in 2008 when the Indian Premiere League (IPL) had just begun. Now, to each player playing in IPL there is a salary tag associated. Suddenly, I then started to read research papers engrossing data analysis in cricket and got interested. Soon Dr Hemanta Saikia, who is presently working as assistant professor of Statistics at Kaziranga University in Jorhat joined for his PhD under my supervision, I gave him some issues related to data analysis in cricket, which ultimately became the topic of his PhD dissertation on �Data Mining in Sports.�

It may be mentioned that, the researchers have worked on Optimum Team Selection, a mathematical optimisation technique that can be applied to the process of selection of players from a host of players given the specialisation of the captain using a mathematical tool called binary integer programming for the purpose. The work was recently published in Opsearch, a journal on Operation Research from Springer, the famous publisher of scientific researches throughout the world. Also, both Prof Bhattacharjee and Dr Saikia have invented a formula for measuring fielding performance and developed software for measuring fielding performance called Fieldometer with the help of some students from the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Allahabad. The formula was sought by the ICC. However, after evaluation, the ICC expressed its inability to include it for ranking, as there is no dedicated statistician for ball by ball data entry for each international cricket match.