Francois Nel/Getty Images
The statistical data we will be relying on for this task is the ICC Player Rankings, which is explained below by the world cricket governing body:
The Reliance ICC Player Rankings are a sophisticated moving average. Players are rated on a scale of 0 to 1,000 points. If a player’s performance is improving on his past record, his points increase; if his performance is declining his points will go down.
The value of each player’s performance within a match is calculated using an algorithm, a series of calculations (all pre-programmed) based on various circumstances in the match.
All of the calculations are carried out using pre-programmed formulae, using the information published in a Test match scorecard. There is no human intervention in this calculation process, and no subjective assessment is made.
What’s really useful about the ICC Rankings is that they take into account factors like strike-rate, how many runs were scored in each match and who those runs were scored against.
This means that a player’s ability with the bat in each form of the game can be boiled down to one number for Tests, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20.
For the purposes of our rankings, we will do something else with those final numbers to try and reflect the difficulty of the different forms of the game.
Test cricket is generally regarded as the most difficult form of the game, so to try and reflect that, every player’s Test rating will be doubled to give it more weight against the others.
Further to this, a player’s ODI rating will be multiplied by 1.5, reflecting the specific difficulties that come with playing the 50-over format.
Finally, a player’s Twenty20 rating will not be adjusted at all, as this form of the game is perhaps not as mentally taxing for batsmen as the other two.
With all that said, however, there are still limitations to this manipulation of the statistics, as no system will ever be completely perfect.