Remember averages and strike-rates?
Let’s take a look at some of the meat and potatoes stats for England’s 4-1 one-day series win over Australia.
Steve Smith ate balls
The Australian captain ate up 148 deliveries over the course of the series and yet paid his team back with just 102 runs.
Steve Smith is a greedy ball-eater and not at all generous to his team-mates in his approach to run-scoring.
This is the danger when a one-day batsman’s defence is too reliable – he can actually fall back on it.
Australia took wickets
England had just three bowlers who averaged less than Chris Woakes’ 39. Adil Rashid averaged 29.90, Liam Plunkett averaged 30.00 and Tom Curran averaged 7.50.
In contrast, six Aussies averaged less than Woakes, and of those, five averaged less than 30.
Moral of the story: up until the tenth and final one, wickets have little intrinsic value in one-day cricket.
Plenty of batting to come
Steve Smith says that England’s habit of absolutely caning it until they run out of batsmen is risky – but it’s less risky than for most teams because of how they pick their side.
England’s batsmen are more disposable and each of their wickets is therefore less valuable to the opposition. With big biffer Liam Plunkett – a man with three first-class hundreds to his name – at number 10, the top order can afford to chance their arm that bit more.
The benefit of the approach (quicker run-scoring throughout the innings) is generally greater than the cost (greater likelihood of losing wickets) in large part because of the point made in the previous section.
Chris Woakes averaged 170
And scored 117 runs per 100 balls.
Chris Woakes bats at eight.
England won the run-outs 4-1
The same as the series score. Coincidence?
(It’s quite possible we just added this up wrong, because life’s too short for double-checking.)
Moeen Ali was economical, Adil Rashid was expensive (but took 10 wickets)
Different bowlers who go about things in different ways. It’s good for a captain to be able to call on both.