Required run rate
Required run rate (required speed of performance of runs, or RRR) is a certain number of runs per over that the batting side must perform to win the match. Simply put, this is the total number of runs that the batting team needs to complete to win the match, divided by the number of remaining overs.
Required run rate is a mobile value that is determined in real time in T20 and ODI competitions. As a rule, the countdown begins in the second inning, when the batting side tries to match the opponents’ performance in the first inning and surpass them.
Performing the Required run rate is not the easiest task since batsmen are literally forced to exceed the plan by scoring the maximum possible number of runs on a limited number of opponent’s innings. As for the format of test matches, the Required run rate is used in the context of the fourth inning, when the batting side is in the catch-up position, having a limited number of overs left.
These days, the Required run rate can be quite high, as the T20 format is becoming increasingly demanding in relation to the batting side. However, if a Super Over is provided in the match, then the catching side can win the game even if the result is as close as possible to a draw (Tie).
It is worth clarifying that the Run rate as such is one of the main indicators of the effectiveness of the batting team. It is generally recognized that it directly depends on the features of the pitch, the format of the game and, of course, the level of the cricketers themselves. For example, each held over five days, test matches are characterized by a lower speed than ODI games since batsmen prefer a more cautious and balanced approach.
Nowadays, the average Run rate rarely exceeds 3.5 runs per over, while in matches of the limited overs format, it is at least 5. And, although no team has managed to score more than nine runs per over, even 7-8 is considered an excellent result since 50 overs are provided in the ODI, which means that batsmen are forced to pay increased attention to the safety of wickets.
As for T20I, the average Run rate here is 8-9 runs per over. Since this format is actually compressed, the speed of batsmen here is usually higher – some can perform up to 13-14 runs per over (the maximum Run rate is 36, but this implies a complete absence of errors and interference on the pitch, so this mark has never been reached).
The required run rate is indispensable in the format of limited overs because it allows you to compare the team’s current performance with those that should be enough to win. And here it is important to take into account that teams, as a rule, try to increase the pace closer to the final overs, so some time ago a set of Powerplays restrictions was approved, the main purpose of which is to encourage players to actively score points already at the early stages of the match.
Interestingly, in the limited overs format, the Required run rate can change to Runs required from balls remaining. Simply put, now you can often hear “18 runs for 18 balls remaining” instead of “6 for three remaining overs”, that is, the key criterion is not the over, but the ball.
In the old days, the Run rate was often used to determine the winner in a game that was interrupted due to bad weather or insufficient lighting (the so-called Average run method). However, nowadays, it is used mainly to divide the teams with the same number of wins and losses in the standings. In other cases, the Duckworth-Lewis method is used.
Another type of Run rate that is used to evaluate the effectiveness of a team in limited overs competitions is the Net run rate, which can be compared with a similar statistical method in football. It is especially useful in cases when the participants scored the same number of points since it takes into account not only the average runs per over, but also the runs that were performed against the team itself.
This is interesting: The Net run rate was first used in the 1992 Cricket World Cup.