Finishers in T20 Cricket


As with players more suited to batting at the start of an innings, discussed in the article 'Picking T20 Batsmen to Start an Innings', it's possible to highlight players who are better suited to batting towards the end of an innings - a stage where runs are needed to be scored at a high run-rate.

With this in mind, it is generally accepted that batsmen with a high average are more valuable at the start of an innings (when a solid start is typically desired), whilst batsmen with a high strike rate are more valuable towards the end of an innings (when acceleration in the scoring is required).

Using the same data (1/1/14 to 24/7/16, minimum 700 runs) that was used in the Grading T20 Batsmen article, we can try to identify players who are well suited to batting towards the end of an innings in T20 matches.

The first way we can look at this is purely via an adjusted strike rate.  Of course, having a player who boasts a very high strike rate, batting at the end of an innings is very desirable.  

Player

Ave

Adjusted Ave

Ave Diff

SR

Adjusted SR

Shahid Afridi

17.72

17.48

0.70

162.74

165.50

AB de Villiers

40.88

40.97

1.63

163.39

162.93

AD Russell

23.73

24.01

0.96

166.16

161.53

GJ Maxwell

23.40

22.86

0.91

157.38

149.63

CH Gayle

39.90

39.75

1.59

148.91

148.11

JD Ryder

24.39

20.31

0.81

156.51

145.40

RA Whiteley

29.92

24.54

0.98

157.81

145.18

CA Lynn

33.66

33.63

1.34

143.90

145.01

JC Buttler

31.16

29.85

1.19

151.33

144.70

DA Warner

44.55

44.30

1.77

149.43

143.57

PR Stirling

24.89

22.02

0.88

152.09

141.89

DJG Sammy

18.73

18.82

0.75

139.77

141.00

TM Head

30.96

30.01

1.20

148.64

140.93

JJ Roy

31.96

27.67

1.10

150.65

140.09

DJ Willey

24.05

20.42

0.81

149.33

138.97

YK Pathan

44.81

43.91

1.75

146.12

138.81

BB McCullum

29.83

28.61

1.14

143.86

137.59

E Lewis

27.58

28.51

1.14

125.18

137.20

MJ Guptill

31.51

32.08

1.28

130.65

136.61

C Munro

24.85

23.40

0.93

140.42

136.07


The table above, sorted by adjusted strike rate, shows the 20 batsmen with the highest adjusted strike rates.  It's worth making the point that there will be plenty of other players with similar or higher strike rates not in this table, but because they hadn't scored 700 runs in the sample duration, they were not included.

Three players dominate the table with an adjusted strike rate of over 160 - Shahid Afridi, AB de Villiers and Andre Russell.  No other player in the sample managed an adjusted strike rate of over 150.   This trio are clearly players that can turn a match on its head during the latter stages of an innings.

Shahid Afridi had the highest adjusted strike rate of the sample, and is a highly dangerous batsmen late in a T20 innings...

It's also unsurprising to see the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Chris Gayle and Jos Buttler inside the top ten using this metric.  These are all batsmen (particularly Gayle and Buttler) who are capable of high scoring at a fast rate.

There are also a number of England players in this 20 - as mentioned in the article 'Picking T20 Batsmen to Start an Innings', England look like having many players who are more strike rate orientated than average orientated.  Buttler, Jason Roy and David Willey are England white-ball regulars but Ross Whiteley (7th in the table) has performed consistently in the T20 Blast, and despite the ease of run-scoring in that competition, looks to have the ability to make the step up to the national squad.  In addition to this, Willey has often batted well down the order for both England and T20 domestic teams, frequently not getting a bat at all.  Given his reasonable adjusted average (for an all-rounder) and strong adjusted strike rate, this is a real waste.

David Willey not batting late in an innings is a real waste...

The other approach we can use is the reverse metric that was used to find players more suited to anchoring an innings at the top of the order.  Just as a reminder, throughout the T20 Batsmen Grading Articles, the following example was used:-

Virat Kohli's adjusted average was 62.30 (very similar to his actual average of 61.51) and this was 2.49x the overall T20 time period mean of 25.06 runs per wicket.  

In addition, we could do the same for strike rate.  A mean time period strike rate of 134.50 was average for T20 matches, and Kohli's adjusted strike was 133.55, which was 0.99x the T20 mean strike rate.

Therefore, the average player would have an average mean differential of 1 (they'd score at an average of 25.06 and at 134.50 strike rate), whereas Kohli's was ((2.49+.99)/2) = 1.74, showing him to be significantly better than average, indeed, world class.

We can also use this data to work out whether a player should bat more at the start of an innings than at the end of it, by subtracting the strike rate multiplier from the average multiplier - in Kohli's case, this would be (2.49-0.99) = 1.50, which actually rounded down to 1.49 on my data.

A positive number (mean differential of average is greater than mean differential of strike rate) would indicate a player that should be batting at the start of an innings, whilst a negative number (mean differential of strike rate is greater than mean differential than average) would indicate the player is better employed as a finisher of an innings.

Player

Ave

Adjusted Ave

Ave Diff

SR

Adjusted SR

SR Diff

Ave Diff - SR Diff

Shahid Afridi

17.72

17.48

0.70

162.74

165.50

1.23

-0.53

DI Stevens

19.92

16.40

0.65

147.70

135.67

1.01

-0.35

DJG Sammy

18.73

18.82

0.75

139.77

141.00

1.05

-0.30

SW Billings

18.24

15.99

0.64

131.78

124.22

0.92

-0.29

JD Ryder

24.39

20.31

0.81

156.51

145.40

1.08

-0.27

AD Russell

23.73

24.01

0.96

166.16

161.53

1.20

-0.24

DJ Willey

24.05

20.42

0.81

149.33

138.97

1.03

-0.22

GJ Maxwell

23.40

22.86

0.91

157.38

149.63

1.11

-0.20

PR Stirling

24.89

22.02

0.88

152.09

141.89

1.05

-0.18

PD Trego

23.97

19.66

0.78

138.61

127.52

0.95

-0.16

JL Denly

23.56

19.32

0.77

133.75

123.05

0.91

-0.14

LJ Evans

23.03

18.88

0.75

127.73

117.51

0.87

-0.12

Mohammad Hafeez

16.80

17.71

0.71

108.62

111.14

0.83

-0.12

T Kohler-Cadmore

25.42

20.84

0.83

138.64

127.55

0.95

-0.12

RA Whiteley

29.92

24.54

0.98

157.81

145.18

1.08

-0.10

J Charles

22.37

22.90

0.91

126.29

136.01

1.01

-0.10

C Munro

24.85

23.40

0.93

140.42

136.07

1.01

-0.08

DT Christian

25.50

22.78

0.91

138.59

130.35

0.97

-0.06

KD Karthik

21.08

20.66

0.82

124.96

118.71

0.88

-0.06

DJ Bravo

22.64

22.92

0.91

129.28

128.47

0.96

-0.04


These players were the most 'strike rate orientated', as opposed to 'average orientated', and look to be best suited towards finishing an innings, although there were a number of examples (Joe Denly, Laurie Evans, Mohammad Hafeez and Dinesh Karthik) who were below average in both respects.

However, most of the names at the top of the list would be players well known to cricket watchers as players capable of scoring late order runs at a high strike rate, and it's also interesting again to see Whiteley feature in this list - he really does look to be a player worthy of consideration for the national team (or could even be a cheap option for a foreign franchise team with a low budget).   

It is without doubt that analysis such as this is likely to result in highlighting under-rated players such as Whiteley, as well as over-rated players.  Clearly this data is extremely valuable both in the in-play trading markets, as well as commercially to T20 teams.

If you enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to make a donation towards the upkeep of the website.  
This will also help me to prioritise the time to write further articles and previews.  


Comments