What is a strike rate in the sport of cricket?

A strike rate in cricket is a statistic that is calculated for both batters and bowlers. The strike rate for a batter determines the pace with which he or she scores runs whereas the bowler’s strike rate is the measure of how frequently the bowler is capable of taking wickets.

The batter’s strike rate is calculated by dividing the number of runs scored with the number of balls faced and then multiplying the result by 100. For example, if a batter has faced 25 balls and hit 50 runs, then the batter’s strike rate is 200. In test cricket, batters tend to have a low strike rate due to the slower format. The strike rate is usually between 70 to 100 for batters who specialise in One Day International cricket. In T20 cricket, the strike rate varies between 120 to 180 for most batters. Thus, faster and more boisterous the format, higher will be the strike rate of the batters.

The bowler’s strike rate is calculated by dividing the number of balls the bowler bowled with the number of wickets taken in these balls. For example, if a bowler has taken 2 wickets in 24 balls, then their strike rate is 12. Irrespective of the format, the lower the strike rate, the more skilful the bowler is. A bowler’s strike rate is lowest in T20s, followed by ODIs and then Tests.

Strike rates help in determining how aggressive a batter or a bowler is. As of November 2023, the best strike-rates of bowlers across all formats can be determined based on a high bar set for the number of wickets taken. In test cricket, among bowlers who have taken a minimum of 400 wickets, Dale Steyn has the best strike rate (42.38). In ODIs, among bowlers with a minimum of 300 wickets, Brett Lee has the best strike rate (29.43). The best strike rate for a T20 International bowler with minimum 100 wicket is that of Rashid Khan (14.41).

Up until November 2023, a similar statistic can be observed for batters. India’s Virender Sehwag holds the record for the best strike (82.23) in tests among players with a minimum of 8000 runs in the format. In ODIs, Ab de Villiers has the best strike (101.09) among players with a minimum of 900 runs. The best strike rate record (150.97) in T20s is that of Glenn Maxwell amongst batters who have scored at least 2000 runs in the format.

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