Economy rate is basically the average runs given by a bowler per over. It is considered very important for bowlers throughout all 3 formats of the game. All though it comes very easily in Test Cricket , bowlers have to struggle a bit for economy in T20 and ODI formats. Bowling economically is the first step towards bundling out a side, as if runs fail to come at a regular rate, then the batsmen will be forced to try something different and risk losing their wicket. In tests you should be able to maintain an economy of 3 or lower. In ODIs, about 5, and in T20s anything below 8.5 will be great. In the opening overs of the innings, economy comes very easily as batsmen will have trouble playing the swing, but as the innings progresses the batsmen will try to score at a quicker rate, so the ability to maintain economy then will make you an invaluable asset to any team.
Finding the economy rate of a certain bowler is very easy. This is the formula for doing so:
Economy Rate = Number of runs/Number of overs
So let’s say Dale Steyn bowled 4 overs for 31 runs.
So Dale Steyn’s economy is 7.75