Batting average: What it is & How to calculate it?

cricket batting average

From the masterful elegance of Don Bradman to the modern-day dominance of Virat Kohli, cricketing history has been shaped by players who have consistently maintained impressive batting averages. 

But what exactly does a batting average signify, and why does it matter so much?

Cricket batting average is not merely a number; it represents a batsman’s ability to perform consistently across various situations, formats, and stages of their career. 

In this blog you will learn how players strive to maintain their averages, battle through challenging times, and showcase their mettle on the biggest stages of international cricket.

Mastering the art of calculating cricket batting average is essential. Batting average is not only a key statistic, but it also provides valuable insights into a player’s consistency and effectiveness at the crease. 

What is batting average?

Batting average is a statistical measure used in cricket to determine a player’s effectiveness with the bat. It is calculated by dividing the total number of runs scored by the number of times the player has been dismissed. The resulting figure represents the average number of runs the player scores per dismissal. 

For example, if a player has scored 500 runs and has been dismissed 10 times, their batting average would be 50.

Several factors can influence a player’s batting average. One of the most significant factors is the quality of opposition. Facing strong bowling attacks can make it challenging for a batsman to score runs consistently, resulting in a lower average. 

On the other hand, weaker bowling attacks may provide more scoring opportunities and potentially inflate a player’s average.

The nature of the pitch and the playing conditions can also impact batting average. Pitches that offer more assistance to bowlers, such as seaming or spinning tracks, can make it harder for batsmen to score runs. Conversely, flat and batting-friendly pitches can lead to higher scores and potentially boost batting averages.

How is batting average calculated?

Calculating batting average is relatively straightforward. However, it is important to note that only innings where the player has been dismissed are considered in the calculation. If a player remains not out at the end of an innings, that innings is not included in the average calculation.

The formula to calculate batting average is as follows:

Batting Average = Total Runs Scored / Number of Dismissals

It’s worth mentioning that batting average is typically expressed as a decimal number rounded to two decimal places. For example, a batting average of 52.37 would indicate that the player averages 52.37 runs per dismissal.

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What is a good batting average in different formats?

The definition of a good batting average can vary depending on the format of the game. 

In Test cricket, where matches last for five days and players have ample time to build innings, a batting average above 45 is considered good. Players who consistently average above 50 are often regarded as batting legends. Some notable examples include Sir Don Bradman, who holds the record for the highest Test batting average of 99.94, and Steve Smith, who currently boasts an average of 58.61.

In One Day Internationals (ODIs), where matches are limited to 50 overs per side, a batting average above 40 is considered excellent. Again, players who average above 50 in this format are highly regarded as exceptional players. Some notable examples include Sachin Tendulkar, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, finished his ODI career with an average of 44.83 and Virat Kohli who’s current Average is around 57.

In Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), the most explosive and fast-paced format of the game, a batting average above 30 is generally considered impressive. Given the limited number of overs, batsmen are expected to score quickly, often at a high strike rate. Virat Kohli, the ex-captain of the Indian cricket team, has T20I average of over 52.74.

It’s important to note that these benchmarks for good batting averages are not set in stone. They can vary depending on factors such as the playing conditions, the quality of opposition, and the player’s role in the team. However, they provide a general guideline for assessing batting performance across different formats.

Players with best batting average in different formats

Let’s take a look at some of the players who have achieved remarkable batting averages in different formats. The following table showcases the top five batting averages in each format:

Test Cricket:

DG Bradman99.94
HC Brook62.15
Adam Voges61.87
Graeme Pollock60.97
RG Pollock60.83
Source: ESPNCricinfo

One Day Internationals (ODIs):

RN ten Doeschate67.00
Shubman Gill62.47
HE van der Dussen60.58
Babar Azam59.17
Virat Kohli57.32
Source: ESPNcricinfo

Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is):

Sami Sohail 72.50
V Kohli 52.73
Mohammad Rizwan 49.07
LA Dunbar47.07
SA Yadav 44.65
Source: ESPNcricinfo

These players serve as inspiration for aspiring batsmen and demonstrate what can be achieved through skill, determination, and consistent performances.

Note: The above numbers are updated till 7th Aug, 2023.

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Difference between batting average and strike rate

While batting average provides insights into a player’s consistency and ability to score runs, it is not the only statistical measure used in cricket. Another key metric is batting strike rate, which measures the speed at which a batsman scores runs. While batting average focuses on the number of runs scored per dismissal, strike rate looks at the number of runs scored per 100 balls faced.

Strike rate is calculated using the following formula:

Strike Rate = (Total Runs Scored / Total Balls Faced) * 100

A high strike rate indicates that a batsman scores runs quickly, while a lower strike rate suggests a more patient and defensive approach.

It’s important to note that while a high batting average is generally desirable, a high strike rate is not always necessary. The ideal balance between the two depends on the format of the game, the match situation, and the player’s role in the team. In Test cricket, for example, where the focus is on building long innings, a higher batting average is often prioritized over a high strike rate. In T20 cricket, on the other hand, where quick scoring is crucial, a higher strike rate is more valued.

Understanding the difference between batting average and strike rate allows players and fans to gain a more comprehensive view of a batsman’s overall performance.


Calculating cricket batting average is a vital skill for players and fans alike. It provides valuable insights into a player’s consistency, effectiveness, and overall performance at the crease.

Remember, batting is not just about scoring runs; it’s about building innings, making smart shot choices, and adapting to different game situations. As a cricket analyst you need to take a look into other supporting factors as well and then make a judgment.

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