English T20 Batsmen


England's recent T20 matches have, on the whole, gone reasonably well - a World T20 final over defeat in the final to the West Indies was better than expectations, whilst a facile victory over a grossly weakened Sri Lanka side was, on the contrary, predictable.

In these matches, England have played with generally a similar batting line-up, with the following players regulars in the squad as options for positions in the batting order:-

Eoin Morgan (captain)
Jason Roy
Jos Buttler
James Vince
Jonny Bairstow
Joe Root
Ben Stokes
Moeen Ali
Alex Hales

Whilst England have done relatively well in T20 internationals, there really shouldn't be any excuse for a team not to try and better themselves, and in top sport, marginal gains are critical for overall success.  Given the close nature of the final defeat to the West Indies, maybe even as little as one team change could have given England the trophy...

In total, there are 41 England qualified batsmen who have scored 700+ runs in T20 matches around the world from 2014-2016 (upto and including 10th August 2016 - yesterday), and these players are sorted into impact on their team using their adjusted average (for innings difficulty) and adjusted strike rate (the same), which is then compared to the T20 mean average and strike rate, as explained in this article:-

(England batsmen in the below list are highlighted in red)

Player

Adjusted Average

Adjusted SR

Ave Diff

SR Diff

Mean Diff







SA Northeast

29.95

146.39

1.20

1.09

1.14

JC Buttler

29.85

144.70

1.19

1.08

1.13

LJ Wright

31.19

134.88

1.24

1.00

1.12

JJ Roy

29.60

141.67

1.18

1.05

1.12

RS Bopara

32.02

124.94

1.28

0.93

1.10

IA Cockbain

31.90

121.85

1.27

0.91

1.09

KP Pietersen

30.64

127.04

1.22

0.94

1.08

T Westley

31.04

123.51

1.24

0.92

1.08

JM Vince

30.62

122.33

1.22

0.91

1.07

DJ Malan

30.55

120.80

1.22

0.90

1.06

MH Wessels

29.03

125.35

1.16

0.93

1.05

KR Brown

30.56

116.35

1.22

0.87

1.04

JM Bairstow

29.37

121.27

1.17

0.90

1.04

RA Whiteley

24.54

145.18

0.98

1.08

1.03

IR Bell

27.76

120.35

1.11

0.89

1.00

J Allenby

27.77

119.43

1.11

0.89

1.00

AJ Blake

25.64

130.08

1.02

0.97

1.00

V Chopra

27.82

109.94

1.11

0.82

0.96

WJ Durston

23.88

129.52

0.95

0.96

0.96

AD Hales

23.66

130.25

0.94

0.97

0.96

EJG Morgan

25.24

119.98

1.01

0.89

0.95

ML Pettini

24.99

120.65

1.00

0.90

0.95

DKH Mitchell

25.60

115.75

1.02

0.86

0.94

MA Carberry

25.55

115.58

1.02

0.86

0.94

SR Patel

25.08

116.41

1.00

0.87

0.93

JJ Cobb

24.14

119.26

0.96

0.89

0.92

BM Duckett

24.22

117.96

0.97

0.88

0.92

CD Nash

23.18

123.14

0.92

0.92

0.92

DJ Willey

20.25

138.60

0.81

1.03

0.92

DJ Bell-Drummond

22.98

121.31

0.92

0.90

0.91

MJ Lumb

22.05

122.99

0.88

0.91

0.90

T Kohler-Cadmore

20.84

127.55

0.83

0.95

0.89

PD Trego

19.28

127.25

0.77

0.95

0.86

AZ Lees

21.26

112.07

0.85

0.83

0.84

JL Denly

19.24

122.86

0.77

0.91

0.84

DI Stevens

16.04

135.40

0.64

1.01

0.82

MD Stoneman

18.44

117.54

0.74

0.87

0.80

LJ Evans

18.50

116.06

0.74

0.86

0.80

P Mustard

19.84

105.84

0.79

0.79

0.79

SW Billings

15.68

123.85

0.63

0.92

0.77


The results are quite incredible with the best T20 player based on expectation averages - Sam Northeast - never having been picked by England.  The Test expectation data here also impacted favourably on the Kent captain.

Jos Buttler and Jason Roy were around the top three, with discarded England players Luke Wright, Ravi Bopara and Kevin Pietersen near the top of the list also.  Ian Cockbain, Tom Westley and Dawid Malan (who is on the verge of the squad), as well as squad member James Vince made up the top ten.

It's difficult to understand why the selectors will not give certain players positions in the squad when the data makes a very strong case for them - perhaps it's to do with a big/small county mentality, perhaps it's to do with influence from captains/preference to have consistency with other formats, perhaps it's to do with subjective assessment (which has the issue in that it is almost always inherently biased), or perhaps it's to do with the fact that they don't have a clue what they are doing...

This last theory is more than possible given the comments in the early part of the excellent book 'Moneyball' by Michael Lewis, where Lewis stated 'There was, for starters, the tendency of everyone who actually played the game to generalize wildly from his own experience.  People always thought their own experience was typical when it wasn't.'  Going back to the subjective assessment bias I also mentioned, Lewis says 'there was bias toward what people saw with their own eyes, or thought they had seen.  The human mind played tricks on itself when it relied exclusively on what it saw'.  Finally, Lewis also mentions that Billy Beane, whom the story revolves, believed that if a scout/analyst hadn't played pro Baseball it was a 'point in his favour' as 'he hadn't learned the wrong lessons'.

This approach is, without doubt, the opposite approach that is the case in most sports teams currently.

Certainly, unless captain Eoin Morgan is an absolute tactical genius that means that he deserves his place in the team purely on captaincy ability alone, it's impossible to justify his inclusion in the team, and you'd be hard pushed also to play Alex Hales either.  Ironically, Hales' Test position seems more under threat than his T20 one, but the data makes it clear that there are many better alternatives than him in T20, but not particularly so in Tests.

There were also a few players who didn't score a total of 700 runs that were worth mentioning:-

Player

Adjusted Average

Adjusted SR

Ave Diff

SR Diff

Mean Diff







JE Root

39.62

133.95

1.58

1.00

1.29

CB Cooke

24.60

131.76

0.98

0.98

0.98

JMR Taylor

20.16

155.09

0.80

1.15

0.98

SR Hain

27.66

111.18

1.10

0.83

0.97

MM Ali

21.89

132.95

0.87

0.99

0.93

BA Stokes

16.08

135.65

0.64

1.01

0.83

GS Ballance

13.45

108.55

0.54

0.81

0.67


We can see that despite Joe Root not having scored 700 runs in the time period, with a mean differential of 1.29, he was far and away England's best available T20 batsman.  For an all-rounder, Moeen Ali's numbers were far from a disaster, but Ben Stokes looks to have a ton of work to do on his batting in the format.  It'd be fair to say that his batting looks grossly over-rated currently and is far from being in a position to justify a place in the England T20 team on his batting ability alone, although his numbers were far better than test batsman Gary Ballance.

According to the data, Joe Root was far and away England's best T20 batsmen...

Three rather unheralded names are also in the list - I haven't seen much of Chris Cooke but he doesn't even seem a regular for Glamorgan this year, which is very strange indeed given that Mark Wallace's [his competition as wicket keeper] strike rate is pretty awful.  

Jack Taylor hit a superb 80 last night in a losing cause for Gloucestershire in the Blast quarter-finals, and the 24 year all-rounder is well treated on this data.  It's quite incredible that with this data he isn't a regular in their side either (a mere 12 completed innings in 3 years) and even without considering last night's stunning innings, his strike rate was still very healthy indeed.

Finally, Sam Hain only made his Blast debut this year and the 21 year old Birmingham opener looks to have a good future in various formats.  He's going to need to boost his strike rate a fair bit, but if he can, then England honours could beckon.

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