Cricket, as we all know, is quite simple, yet, at the same time, it has rules that could be hard to understand. For instance, the Duck-Worth Lewis system that is in effect whenever there is a shortened game, and the need to select the winner as the full quota of overs cannot be completed is one of those things in cricket that is still hard to comprehend.
On the similar, there is yet another rule in cricket which is an essential tool to calibrate a team’s performance when it comes to multi-national tournaments, and that is the Net Run Rate which is commonly known by the acronym NRR.
We would have seen in cricket where there is a metric known as the Run Rate, which is calculated by dividing the runs scored by the number of balls being bowled. We all know that an over comprises six balls, and every ball amount to 1/6th of that over. If a team has scored 100 runs in 14 overs, the Run Rate is calculated by dividing 100 by 14 (100/14), and the result amounts to 7.14. If the team is 100 from 14.3 overs, it is calculated as 100/14.5, giving you 6.89.
This is done to assess the team’s performance in a particular match when two sides are playing, and it isn’t that complex. But what when a regional or an ICC tournament is on and multiple teams are playing in group(s), and there is a need to see who tops them? This is where the Net Run Rate rule comes into the picture.
What is NRR?
The Net Run Rate, or the NRR, is essentially a metric to differentiate one side from another in a multi-national tourney in cricket. It is calculated among the sides competing in a tournament with more than 2 countries participating. This is to get a clear picture of which side has been superior in the tournament when there are instances of 2 or more sides getting stranded with the same points.
How is NRR calculated?
The NRR of a team is calculated by dividing the overall runs scored by the team in the competition by the total number of deliveries faced in the tournament. This result should be then subtracted from the division of the total number of runs conceded by the team in the tournament to that of the total number of balls bowled.
This, however, changes a little should a team get bowled out before completing the quota of the overs. The rule states that even if a team gets bundled out well before their allotted overs, the NRR will be calculated with respect to the full quota of overs and not on the number of overs the team was dismissed.
Apart from that, it should be noted that the NRR rule will apply only in case of a completed game and not when the match is abandoned. However, NRR will be influencing the rain-truncated games, which are forced to get results based on the Duck-Worth Lewis system. Here, in this case, the team that has batted first will be accredited with a run less than the final target score set for the team batting 2 to achieve through the way of the DLS method. And the rest of the calculations will be similar.
This is a small overview of how the Net Run Rate will be calculated in a cricket tournament. In a multi-national series and ICC tournaments, the NRR plays a crucial role in deciding which team will progress to the further rounds.
Examples to understand NRR deeper
There have been many occasions where the knockout places get sealed or lost due to the Net Run Rate.
For instance, if we take the last ICC World Cup held in the year 2019, the league stage or, for that matter, the Super 10 stage went to the wire, and the 4th semi-final was confirmed as a result of NRR. New Zealand, the eventual runners-up, benefited from this NRR rate. Pakistan and New Zealand had 11 points at the end of 9 leagues, with each side winning 5. But the black caps had a superior NRR of 0.175 against Pakistan’s -0.430. As a result, New Zealand progressed to the next stage, while Pakistan had to return home.
A team conscious of the NRR from game 1 will have a smooth essay in a big tournament apart from winning it.