England’s one-day matches result in runs, apparently

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Here’s a freakish stat via Cricinfo’s S Rajesh: Since 2006, matches hosted in England have seen the third-highest run-rates in one-day internationals (ODIs).

It doesn’t seem right, does it? Granted there are only a handful of countries hosting ODIs, so it’s not third out of a big bunch, but England always seems to be the home of low-scoring. To learn that actually teams tend to score quite quickly here is strangely unsettling.

We have two ways of explaining this:

  1. It rains a lot. Shortened matches will tend to see faster scoring.
  2. Someone has to play against England. These teams have scored a lot of runs, even if the home team hasn’t.

Because the fourth one-day international was only the fourth time England have ever chased down a 300-plus total. All this talk of 890 being the new par rather distracts from the fact that England never really got to grips with 300.

They appear quite happy to have bypassed reasonably attacking batting and moved straight to very attacking batting though. You’d think they’d need to progress more gradually, but somehow they seem to be getting away with putting a stationary car into fifth gear and flooring it.

We suppose if you pick 10 batsmen, each of them can be that little bit more irresponsible. One-day cricket remains a strange old game.


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  1. Another possible explanation is that right-arm fast-medium bowling has been of little effectiveness in one-day cricket in recent years, and England is one of the countries wherein teams are most apt to pick right-arm fast-medium bowlers.

    A further theory is that Southampton is the easiest one-day pitch in the world to bat on, and England seem to schedule at least one match out of every series there.

    It may also be worth remembering that it was not all that long ago that England had the top-ranked one-day side in the world, and that even when that side suffered a humbling defeat against Ireland, they still scored over 300 runs.

  2. The shortened matches argument does not level with Rajesh’s other observation that the percentage of 300+ scores in England has increased dramatically.

    I think the phenomenon is mostly explained by:
    * massively reduced size of the grounds by bringing in the boundaries in recent years
    * changes to fielding restrictions in ODIs…

    …combined with the use of the Kookaburra white in one day cricket (c/w the Duke ball in tests/first class cricket).

    Further, the absence now of “squeeze until the pips squeak” bowlers such as Ian Austin and Mark Alleyn in the latter period, must explain some of the difference.

  3. The Brilliant James Taylor seems to be a nice third-gear batsman who can go into fourth if required.

  4. My little vehicle, Dumbo, is an automatic, so fifth gear doesn’t really come into it; at leats not consciously.

    You can try “flooring it from the off”, but the metaphorical first 10 overs are still more Chris Tavare than Jason Roy.

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