How to calculate a bowler’s strike rate in cricket?

A bowler’s role in a cricket team is to dismiss the batter by taking wickets and by restricting the run scoring rate of the batting side. In order to do so, they home their bowling abilities by delivering at a high pace or spinning the ball, or varying their speed, line, and length, to be as effective as possible.

Bowling strike rate, along with bowling average and economy is one of the three primary statistics that reflect a bowler’s skill level. While economy infers the ability of the bowler to restrict runs, strike rate is a reflection of how soon a bowler is able to pick up wicket. A bowling average on the other hand states how expensive in terms of the number of runs conceded can a bowler be for every wicket he or she takes.

Bowling strike rate is calculated by dividing the number of balls the bowler bowled with the number of wickets taken by them. The lower the strike rate, the more effective is the bowler. A bowler who takes 2 wickets out of the 10 balls they bowled is said to have a strike rate of 5.

The career bowling strike rate of a bowler depicts how soon the bowler is likely to pick a wicket. A bowling strike rate of 17.48. means that a bowler is likely to pick up a wicket after bowling 17-18 balls. Statistics for the best bowling strike rate are calculated by setting a threshold on the minimum number of balls that a bowler should have bowled depending on the format. In test cricket, this threshold is 2000 balls.

Based on this, England’s George Lohmann, who played till 1896 is considered to have the best bowling strike rate (34.19) in test cricket. Among modern cricketers, Shane Bond holds the record for the best strike rate (38.75). As of 2024, out of the active players, Kagiso Rabada’s bowling strike rate of 39.23 is regarded as the best.

In One Day Internationals, the threshold is 1000 balls. Based on this, Australia’s Ryan Harris holds the record for the best bowling strike rate of 23.43. Among active players as of May 2024, Sri Lanka’s Dilshan Madhushanka has the best strike rate at 25.31.

The threshold for T20 internationals decreases to 500 balls. Since associate nations of the International Cricket Council who play less frequently are also included for this statistics, the results can be partial. Out of the full member nations, India’s Kuldeep Yadav holds the current record for the best T20 bowling strike rate of 12.54. This is also the existing record as of May 2024.

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