GRADING T20 ALL-ROUNDERS


Previous articles have looked at grading T20 batsmen and bowlers, using adjusted averages for situational difficulty, which were compared to the mean batting and bowling data for the format.

Working out how to grade all-rounders is a little trickier - is an all-rounder who is a reasonable bowler but a mediocre batsman good enough to actually play without being a negative expectation selection, for example?  Or is a batsman who is good enough to play in the top order, but bowls a bit (e.g. JP Duminy, Keiron Pollard, Marlon Samuels) actually costing their team with their poor bowling?

I took a look at Wikipedia to see if there was any form of classification for all-rounders, and it gave the following description:-

"An all-rounder is a cricketer who regularly performs well at both batting and bowling. Although all bowlers must bat and quite a few batsmen do bowl occasionally, most players are skilled in only one of the two disciplines and are considered specialists.

There is no precise qualification for a player to be considered an all-rounder and use of the term tends to be subjective. The generally accepted criterion is that a "genuine all-rounder" is someone whose batting or bowling skills, considered alone, would be good enough to win him a place in the team."

I feel this is a pretty accurate assessment of the situation, and therefore I searched my player database for players who have scored over 300 runs and bowled over 40 overs in domestic and international T20 from 2014 to current (17/8/16). 

This search yielded 73 players, and of these, 47 players were good enough to either be at least an 'average' batsman or bowler - or in the cases of Ashar Zaidi, Mahmadullah, Ravi Bopara, Andre Russell, Chris Morris and Moises Henriques, both.  Therefore, 26 players who are clearly deemed good enough by their team(s) to play a significant amount of T20 matches were neither good enough to get in the team as either a batsman or a bowler...

The table below shows the top all-rounders in domestic and international T20, sorted by the combined mean batting and bowling differentials.  You can see an explanation/formulas of this here.  

>300 Runs, >40 Overs

Overall Batting Differential

Overall Bowling Differential

Combined Batting/Bowling Differential





Ashar Zaidi

1.15

1.17

1.16

Mahmudullah

1.09

1.21

1.15

JP Duminy

1.38

0.90

1.14

RS Bopara

1.10

1.10

1.10

AD Russell

1.11

1.08

1.10

MP Stoinis

0.87

1.32

1.09

KJ O’Brien

0.89

1.29

1.09

CH Morris

1.12

1.05

1.08

SJ Croft

0.98

1.13

1.06

MC Henriques

1.02

1.09

1.05

R Clarke

0.80

1.27

1.04

BAC Howell

0.77

1.30

1.03

AD Mathews

1.05

1.01

1.03

LA Dawson

0.81

1.24

1.03

KA Pollard

1.20

0.84

1.02

JA Morkel

0.97

1.06

1.02

Shoaib Malik

1.13

0.91

1.02

MN Samuels

1.29

0.74

1.01

JW Hastings

0.92

1.10

1.01

SR Patel

0.93

1.08

1.01

Shakib Al Hasan

0.92

1.09

1.01

DJ Willey

0.92

1.09

1.00


Quite surprisingly, the Essex all-rounder Ashar Zaidi was top of the list, and with an adjusted batting average of 32.33, and adjusted strike rate of 137.17 he'd be good enough to get into a team as a batsman alone.  His bowling, with an adjusted economy rate of 6.42, is also good enough to earn him a place on merit alone.

England qualified players featured in this list, with Ravi Bopara, mentioned here as being unfairly jettisoned by the England selectors being the highest rated all-rounder.  Steven Croft, Rikki Clarke (who also was highly rated as a bowler alone here), Benny Howell (also mentioned as a top T20 bowler alone), Liam Dawson, Samit Patel and David Willey were also included.  

Ravi Bopara was the highest-rated English all-rounder...

Of these players, Dawson is in and around the squad, making his debut in the last T20 international against Sri Lanka, whilst Willey is a regular, although data would indicate that his batting talents are not utilised well by his country.

So - we have three players here who feature very highly on the list who have never been selected for England, yet - as we will see below - two players who do get picked for England are in the worst T20 all-rounders list:- 

>300 Runs, >40 Overs

Overall Batting Differential

Overall Bowling Differential

Combined Batting/Bowling Differential





AL Hughes

0.65

0.78

0.72

RE van der Merwe

0.79

0.80

0.79

BA Stokes

0.83

0.77

0.80

FK Cowdrey

0.68

0.96

0.82

L Gregory

0.78

0.88

0.83

J Botha

0.77

0.90

0.83

Mohammad Hafeez

0.77

0.94

0.85

DJG Sammy

0.93

0.80

0.87

JDS Neesham

0.83

0.91

0.87

J Clark

0.79

0.95

0.87

GD Elliott

0.82

0.95

0.89

DT Christian

0.94

0.84

0.89

BL D’Oliveira

0.91

0.87

0.89

SJ Mullaney

0.75

1.03

0.89

JEC Franklin

0.72

1.06

0.89

TM Dilshan

0.96

0.83

0.89

CJ Jordan

0.81

0.98

0.90

NTLC Perera

0.89

0.91

0.90

Sohail Tanvir

0.86

0.94

0.90

GG Wagg

0.79

1.01

0.90


England all-rounders Ben Stokes (3rd worst) and Chris Jordan (17th worst) made the list of the worst qualifying all-rounders in the time period 1/1/14 to 17/8/16, and there were an abundance of T20 Blast players in the list, as well as serial franchise players Johan Botha, Darren Sammy, Dan Christian, Tillekaratne Dilshan and Thisara Perera.  There can be no doubt that franchises would benefit greatly from this information to make positive expectation auction decisions.

To give Stokes' full data, he had an adjusted batting average of 16.08, an adjusted strike rate of 135.65, an adjusted bowling average of 37.65 and an adjusted bowling economy rate of 9.14.  Basically, these stats indicate that he should be a non-bowling batsman who bats at 7 or 8 in the batting order, and it would take his most optimistic supporter to suggest that he isn't extremely over-rated in this format...

Ben Stokes' data indicated that he has a lot of improving to do in T20...

There is so much else that can be done with the data.  For example, we can look at the most extreme batting and bowling all-rounders, by subtracting the bowling differential from the batting differential.  The 20 players listed below were the most batting orientated of the all-rounders:-

>300 Runs, >40 Overs

Overall Batting Differential

Overall Bowling Differential

Overall Batting-Bowling Differential





MN Samuels

1.29

0.74

0.55

JP Duminy

1.38

0.90

0.48

KA Pollard

1.20

0.84

0.36

SK Raina

1.04

0.80

0.24

Shoaib Malik

1.13

0.91

0.22

BCJ Cutting

1.01

0.81

0.20

DR Smith

1.03

0.85

0.19

GJ Maxwell

1.01

0.83

0.18

J Allenby

1.00

0.82

0.17

CR Brathwaite

1.02

0.85

0.17

CJ Anderson

1.01

0.84

0.17

Samiullah Shenwari

0.99

0.84

0.15

DJG Sammy

0.93

0.80

0.13

TM Dilshan

0.96

0.83

0.12

SR Watson

1.02

0.91

0.11

DT Christian

0.94

0.84

0.10

TT Bresnan

0.97

0.87

0.09

CH Morris

1.12

1.05

0.07

BA Stokes

0.83

0.77

0.05

BL D’Oliveira

0.91

0.87

0.05


Given the woeful bowling differentials of most of these players (Chris Morris excepted, and possibly JP Duminy, Shoaib Malik and Shane Watson), it would be quite fair to say that many of the players with low bowling differentials  should be banned from even thinking about bowling as their abilities are clearly hindering their teams - particularly those around the sub 0.85 differential area.  This would indicate that they are 15%+ worse than the average bowler...

However, most of these players (Sammy, Christian, Stokes and D'Oliveira excepted) would be good enough to get into teams as a specialist batsman.  Interestingly, Tim Bresnan has gone full circle from being a Test bowler who could bat a bit, to being a better batsman than bowler.

>300 Runs, >40 Overs

Overall Batting Differential

Overall Bowling Differential

Overall Batting-Bowling Differential





BAC Howell

0.77

1.30

-0.52

R Clarke

0.80

1.27

-0.47

MP Stoinis

0.87

1.32

-0.44

LA Dawson

0.81

1.24

-0.43

KJ O’Brien

0.89

1.29

-0.40

AR Patel

0.78

1.15

-0.37

PD Collingwood

0.77

1.12

-0.35

JEC Franklin

0.72

1.06

-0.34

RA Jadeja

0.77

1.08

-0.30

SJ Mullaney

0.75

1.03

-0.29

FK Cowdrey

0.68

0.96

-0.28

Shahid Afridi

0.83

1.05

-0.23

GG Wagg

0.79

1.01

-0.21

DI Stevens

0.82

1.01

-0.19

Azhar Mahmood

0.83

1.01

-0.18

JW Hastings

0.92

1.10

-0.18

Mohammad Nabi

0.87

1.04

-0.18

Mohammad Hafeez

0.77

0.94

-0.17

CJ Jordan

0.81

0.98

-0.17

DJ Willey

0.92

1.09

-0.17


The players above were the bowling all-rounders - all-rounders who were considerably better at bowling than batting.  Given the high bowling differentials for the most part, these players could mostly get into teams as a specialist bowler alone, but many of these (Hastings/Willey/O'Brien in the main would be the exceptions) shouldn't be seen as realistic batting options for long periods of time in an innings.

Of these players, you could also make the point that Shahid Afridi, Darren Stevens and Mohammad Nabi would also be useful as lower order quick scorers given their high adjusted strike rates, but poor averages, but they certainly shouldn't be considered as top order batsmen.

Finally, there were some players who were not nearly good enough to get into teams as either a batsman or a bowler, with mean differentials of 0.90 or below for both:-

>300 Runs, >40 Overs

Overall Batting Differential

Overall Bowling Differential




AL Hughes

0.65

0.78

RE van der Merwe

0.79

0.80

BA Stokes

0.83

0.77

L Gregory

0.78

0.88

J Botha

0.77

0.90


Of these five players, you could only really make a case for Stokes' batting strike-rate being good enough for him to warrant a place in a team as a lower-order hitter alone.  Johan Botha's economy could perhaps be a little useful for a team looking for a spinner that doesn't concede many runs, but statistically there was very little to recommend Hughes, van der Merwe or Gregory.

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