Number of false shots in India’s second innings shows cricket’s wonderful incomprehensibility

Cricket is often a game that defies rational analysis, and such a trait was again on display during the third day of England’s third Test match with India at Headingley. It appeared that, after a tortuous first innings, India had learnt some lessons as they batted far more serenely in the opening stages of the second.

However, looking at the stats, it seems they in fact just had some more luck on their side. In the opening 30 overs of India’s first innings, their batters played 47 false shots and lost five wickets, that being 9.4 false shots per wicket. In the second, the first 30 overs brought 50 false shots for just one wicket.

Looking back on India’s capitulation for 78, they edged almost every good delivery, of which there was an abundance as England reached top gear. They showed the centrality of good fortune in the longest format in the second, as Rohit Sharma and Che Pujara combined such with their defensive techniques to give India a sliver of hope in saving this game.