Tag: Steve Smith (page 2 of 2)

Steve Smith the ball-eater and other stories: England’s ODI series win over Australia in old-school stats

Steve Smith fails to get stumped (via BT Sport)

Remember averages and strike-rates?

We do.

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.

The four stages of Steve Smith’s recurring metamorphosis into a batsman

Steve Smith is not a good batsman. Not always. Very rarely, in fact.

As far as we can tell, he’s generally only half-decent at the moment bat strikes ball and only very rarely before or afterwards.

Here are the four stages Smith passes through for every single delivery he faces.

Stage one – obsessive-compulsive who’s never worn cricket gear

Before taking guard, Steve Smith likes to swiftly have a fondle of every single item of protective equipment affixed to his body. It’s clear that he feels very, very uncomfortable in all of this stuff and will have trouble standing still, let alone playing sport.

Stage two – young man who has seen a line drawing in a cricket textbook

Straight legs, bat against foot. This is not so much a batting stance as a child’s parody of a batting stance.

Stage three – the wanderer

As the bowler runs in, Smith sets off towards point, his bat seemingly dragging him along. He has the air of someone who has maybe played cricket at some point, but no-one ever properly showed him how to do it.

Stage four – basically Don Bradman

The final stage sees Smith middling the ball with his big fat bat with all bodily parts correctly aligned. He wasn’t even put off by the fact that Chris Woakes was supposed to be bowling but then James Anderson actually delivered the ball.

We could have added a stage five, but our will to take screengrabs from a tiny app that’s very hard to accurately fast forward and rewind has now entirely departed.

Stage five would have shown him awkwardly flapping about after contact like a flat-footed grandma with a bad hip and oversized pads.

More on Steve Smith’s ‘idiosyncratic’ batting technique here.

Video: The Barmy Army goad Steve Smith about his use of DRS

Like most wild animals, The Barmy Army are generally best viewed from afar – ideally on television or at the very least with some sort of robust barrier between you and them.

They can also be very funny.

Australians sometimes struggle to comprehend that the same bounce that can make life difficult for visiting batsmen also means that a lot of deliveries will go over the stumps.

Steve Smith frittered his reviews away, failing to learn this lesson. When Australia next appealed for LBW, the Barmy Army did this at him.

Steve Smith named man of the series as Australia fans laud captain’s attacking approach

Steve Smith (via BT Sport)

Fans and pundits alike are agreed that Steve Smith will be the difference between the two sides in this year’s Magellan Ashes (movement rate of all ships is increased by two). He has therefore been named man of the series, even though we’re barely halfway through the first Test.

Some may feel that Smith is merely an extremely good player who put in the most recent strong performance, but there is a wider feeling that the future is known and the Poms might as well pack up now and go home for a nice Christmas with their families.

Australia fan Mitchell Frappuccino, who attended the third day in Brisbane, summed up the feelings of many when he put Smith’s clear superiority down to his innately Australian attacking mentality.

“You know you see these Pommy batsmen and they just prod and poke and leave it half the time. They’re happy to score at about three an over. It’s almost like they don’t want to win.

“But Smudge, you know, he just has this aggressive watchfulness about his play. His strike-rate was 43.25 today. That’s over 43 runs per 100 balls. I think their bowlers were just intimidated.

“That’s the way we go about our cricket over here. We play to win. If our batters can intimidate the opposition with some well-judged leaves, well that’s all part of the game isn’t it? It’s mental disintegration; bullying them with patience, restraint and a certain amount of caution.

“These Poms just don’t know how to handle it. And wait until we get to Melbourne. It’ll be even slower and lower there.”

When it was put to Frappuccino that 43.25 was pretty low as strike-rates go, he countered: “Well that’s down to the Poms’ defensive fields, isn’t it? There’s only one team playing to win here.”

For his part, Smith (quite genuinely) said that his hundred “meant everything”. This presumably means he’ll now be utterly devoid of motivation for the rest of the Magellan Ashes (movement rate of all ships is increased by two), which could prove an issue.

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