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Twenty20 World Championship: Key performers (Part II)

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Fat chance. Apparently, when the Aussies say ‘fun’, they mean smashing the hell out of every opponent in sight. The stats paint a picture that is, by most yardsticks, alarming. The marauding Aussies will start out as favourites. However, the hope that the Englishmen and the Kiwis, with their experience and familiarity with the format, will put a halt to the juggernaut is possibly more than just a fool’s hope.

 

 
Batting

Australia

Top Australian Batsmen in the domestic Twenty20 circuit (Minimum qualification: five innings)

 

 

 

HS

 

Ave

 

SR

 

100

 

50

Brad Hodge

 

Aus

106

46.58

142.36

1

11

Cameron White

 

Aus

141*

49.82

165.75

2

5

Andrew Symonds

 

Aus

112

47.33

201.41

1

4

Phil Jaques

 

Aus

92

31.13

131.63

0

6

David Hussey

 

Aus

86

28.34

139.11

0

4

 
A look at the table here breaks down for us the exact areas where Australia dominate. This, incidentally, translates to pretty much every area. Two figures stand out straightaway – Cameron White’s incredible innings of 141 (who, incidentally, stakes his claim in the Australian Test and ODI side as a Bowler) and Andrew Symonds’ strike rate of 201.41. Not surprisingly, this is the highest strike amongst all Twenty20 batsmen around the world with a reasonable number of games under their belts.

The fact that is mildly disturbing is that these two aren’t Australia’s best Twenty20 batsmen – Brad Hodge is, with a better overall record across all three parameters, and 11 fifties to boot. Between them, the top Australian batsmen have 30 fifties and 4 hundreds.

 

 
England

 

 Top English Batsmen in the domestic Twenty20 circuit (Minimum qualification: five innings)

 

 

 

HS

 

Ave

 

SR

 

100

 

50

Darren Maddy

 

Eng

111

33.63

134.52

1

10

Mal Loye

 

Eng

100

32.92

141.48

1

5

Owais Shah

 

Eng

79

35

145.53

0

6

Marcus Trescothick

 

Eng

76

39.5

147.38

0

4

Vikram Solanki

 

Eng

92

31.52

142.28

0

4

 

 
The list of the best players from England is possibly the most refined of them all, considering they have played the most games and therefore, there is maximum data to go by.

 Once again, several new/ forgotten names make their way into the list. England ODI rejects Solanki and Owais Shah are at the top of the pack who have revelled in this format after giving lukewarm returns from their Tests and ODI’s.

Given the number of matches they have played, English batsmen have relatively fewer towers of individual brilliance, but what will aid them is their relative consistency. It will be difficult to find other teams with four of their top five batsmen with their strike rates in the 140’s.

 
New Zealand
 

Top New Zealand Batsmen in the domestic Twenty20 circuit (Minimum qualification: five innings)  

 

 

 

HS

 

Ave

 

SR

 

100

 

50

Scott Styris

 

NZ

73*

28.26

141.34

0

5

Chris Harris

 

NZ

100

96.66

153.43

1

1

Stephen Fleming

 

NZ

64*

23.59

125.2

0

5

Jamie How

 

NZ

74*

43.57

141.86

0

3

Brendon McCullum

 

NZ

63

29.5

175

0

2

 
Scott Styris had an excellent World Cup, and given the stats, it looks like he will be the key dealmaker in determining New Zealand’s fortunes in the Twenty20 Championship. His consistency across all formats and variants of the game is a reflection of his evolution from a bits-and-pieces player to one of the names that will hold its own niche in New Zealand’s cricket history.

 A sign of how seriously the Kiwi International cricketers take their 20-over game is almost complete domination of the top batsmen’s list by their Test and ODI players. Also good to see is Chris Harris back, with what a bradmanesque average of 96.66, maintained over nine innings.

 

 
Bowling

 

 Australia

Top Australian Bowlers in the domestic Twenty20 circuit (Minimum qualification: avg 3 overs per game, minimum five games played)

 

 

 

Wkts

 

Ave

 

Econ

 

SR

Shaun Tait

 

Aus

9

12.88

6.69

11.55

Ashley Noffke

 

Aus

14

14.35

6.89

12.5

Ben Hilfenhaus

 

Aus

8

13.5

6.35

12.75

Brad Hogg

 

Aus

21

15.09

7.57

11.95

Shane Harwood

 

Aus

12

15.25

6.69

13.66

 
The consistency shown by the Englishmen with the bat is matched by the Australians with the ball. Four out of their five top bowlers have their economy rates between 6 and 7 and anything under 7 is very good for a Twenty20 game.

Unlike the general trend amongst other countries, Australia has more new names in their top bowlers list. A possible explanation for this is that their international bowling line up consists primarily of Glenn Mc’Grath, Lee and Shane Warne in Tests. Mc’Grath and Warne were nearing the ends of their careers and would have had barely enough fuel to run through the packed International schedule. Lee and Bracken haven’t played enough 20-over games to give any clear indication how they are likely to do in this format.

 

 
England

Top English Bowlers in the domestic Twenty20 circuit (Minimum qualification: avg 3 overs per game, minimum five games played)

 

 

 

Wkts

 

Ave

 

Econ

 

SR

Paul Collingwood

 

Eng

9

13.66

8.2

10

Stuart Broad

 

Eng

18

15

5.86

15.33

Dimitri Mascarenhas

 

Eng

30

18.33

7.44

14.76

Chris Tremlett

 

Eng

19

19.68

7.05

16.73

Ryan Sidebottom

 

Eng

20

20.5

6.81

18.05

 
Interestingly, three out of the top five English domestic Twenty20 bowlers are in England’s current Test squad playing against England, with two of them making it to the playing eleven. This either reflects the versatility of English cricket’s top bowlers, or, closer to the truth, it shows that their top bowlers are out injured and they really are playing the tests with a second string bowling line up.

 The truth, of course, is somewhere in between. England have an interesting mix of skill sets distributed between their bowlers. Collingwood has an excellent strike rate with a wicket every 10 balls, Broad has a fantastic economy rate of under 6 while Mascarenhas has a good 30 wicket haul.

 However, this combination of strengths is accompanied by a polarization of their weaknesses. For eg, Collingwood is very expensive with an economy of 8.2. How England do will depend on which of these two sides turn up at the game.

 

 
New Zealand

Top New Zealand Bowlers in the domestic Twenty20 circuit (Minimum qualification: avg 3 overs per game, minimum five games played)

 

 

 

Wkts

 

Ave

 

Econ

 

SR

Nathan McCullum

 

NZ

12

14.33

6.45

13.33

Jeetan Patel

 

NZ

9

16.77

6.2

16.22

Andre Adams

 

NZ

27

18.55

7.59

14.66

Chris Harris

 

NZ

10

21

6.56

19.2

Paul Hitchcock

 

NZ

13

22.07

6.86

19.3

 
A look the New Zealand’s top Twenty20 bowlers adds more weight to the theory that slow bowlers and dibbly-dobbly swing bowlers do better at keeping marauding batsmen in check.

While kid brother Brandon smashes it around the park at a strike rate of 180, Nathan does the exact opposite – keeps the likes of his brother in check with an economy rate of under 6.5, and a wicket every 13 balls with his slow off breaks. Chris Harris makes it to the top bowlers list as well, a throwback to the days when he bolstered New Zealand’s efforts with both, bat and ball, in International cricket. Wouldn't be too bad to see a repeat of that this September.

 

Click here to read Part I of this article 



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