Does Becoming Captain Correlate With A Form Increase?

Michael Clarke retired recently, meaning that Steven Smith is going to become Australia’s permanent captain, the youngest since Kim Hughes.

Smith is also the best batsman in the world.

Could his form be about to get even better due to him becoming captain?

All of Australia’s captains since Ian Chappell have been batsmen: Greg Chappell, Hughes, Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Clarke, and Smith.

It got me wondering on whether your batting form increases, decreases, or stays similar after becoming captain?

Using Statsguru, I got the innings score for each batsman in their first 10 innings before becoming captain.

Player Last 10 innings as not captain
Ian Chappell (4560) 20 156 13 35 9 4 23 42 31 1
Greg Chappell (4558) 5 102 1 0 73 4 12 13 4 0
Allan Border (4174) 8 38 19 98 60 41 6 15 24 17
Mark Taylor (7924) 53 170 27 7 38 62 14 70 12 1
Steve Waugh (8192) 16 112 15 33 7 59 30 122 8 96
Ricky Ponting (7133) 53 169 50 54 0 242 31 257 47 25
Michael Clarke (4578) 14 3 14 9 80 2 20 4 13 20
Steven Smith (267192) 119 33 33 58 215 8 7 5 6 143

(For those wondering, the little number in the box next to the player is the number they have in Cricinfo’s catalouging system. For example, if you go to Michael Clarke’s page, the URL is www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/4578.html. And also, Kim Hughes wasn’t included because he seemed to be captain for a bit, then not, then a bit, then not, and it was confusing).

Next, I got their records for their first 10 innings as permanent captain (so, not including Smith’s cameo in the 2014/15 series against India, Clarke for the last Test of the 2010/11 Ashes and others.)

Player First 10 innings as captain
Ian Chappell (4560) 25 6 0 7 56 6 34 50 26 0
Greg Chappell (4558) 123 109 13 43 52 182 6 4 48 68
Allan Border (4174) 21 18 35 41 69 32 8 196 41 23
Mark Taylor (7924) 0 0 69 5 32 59 58 9 19 49
Steve Waugh (8192) 14 0 100 9 199 11 72 4 19 19
Ricky Ponting (7133) 21 28 10 27 92 20 22 45 11 12
Michael Clarke (4578) 4 41 23 60 13 6 112 151 2 11
Steven Smith (267192)

(Smith’s is blank, due to the fact that he is yet to be a permanent Test captain.)

And then, finally, calculating the increase and/or decrease:

differences

So, what can we gather?

  • Half of all batsmen increased after their captaincy began, while half decreased.
  • Seven of the eight had a noticeably difference, with only Steve Waugh’s minimal.
  • Michael Clarke and Greg Chappell both doubled their performance afterwards, in Clarke’s case tripling it.

The overall increase. however, is 34% more runs.

Steve Smith has scored 627 runs in his last ten innings. Based on this, he should score 840 in his next ten.

Watch out, New Zealand and West Indies.

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