Analysis of England v West Indies T20, 16/9/17

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Last night in Durham, the West Indies repeated their World T20 final triumph over England with a 21 run victory at Chester-Le-Street.  Given data, several areas of the match - largely featuring England - were entirely predictable and it's worth digging deeper into these with additional analysis.


The troubles of Eoin Morgan


It's fair to suggest that batting data is not Morgan's biggest fan.  Our article here ranked the England captain as the 39th best England-qualified batsman over the last three years in T20, and it is beyond comprehension as to why he continues to be a regular starter in the England T20 team.  Two runs in seven balls last night further failed to strengthen his case.

Morgan's supporters may point to his captaincy as being a major positive, but it is difficult to give this argument much credence either when you assess the following data from matches that he's captained in during 2017:-


Team

Opponent

Result

Runs Scored

Balls Faced






Middlesex

Gloucestershire

Tie

0

4

Middlesex

Hampshire

Lost by 6 Wickets

22

14

Middlesex

Sussex

Won by 2 Runs

10

6

Middlesex 

Essex

Lost by 9 Runs

37

26

Middlesex

Gloucestershire

Won by 61 Runs

0

2

Middlesex

Glamorgan

Lost by 7 Wickets

1

2

England

India

Won by 7 Wickets

51

38

England

India

Lost by 5 Runs

17

23

England

India

Lost by 75 Runs

40

21

England

South Africa

Won by 9 Wickets

DNB

DNB

England

South Africa

Lost by 3 Runs

6

4

England

West Indies

Lost by 21 Runs

2

7



Teams that Morgan has captained this year have won just four times from 12 matches, with one tie.  Seven times were Morgan's teams defeated.  While this is admittedly a fairly small sample size, it is further evidence - along with the fact that he isn't a captain for any of his overseas T20 franchises - that he is not a captaincy genius.  

Eoin Morgan's T20 batting numbers in 2017 don't make for pleasant reading...


Morgan's batting record in T20s this year can be described as mediocre at best - 804 runs in 36 completed innings (average 22.33), facing 676 balls (strike rate 118.93) with 95 boundaries (14.05% of balls faced).  It's extremely difficult to make a case for those numbers justifying his place in the England team.


England's middle-order will struggle to chase big scores


Last night's line-up saw the omission of Dawid Malan, despite a superb 78 in his last T20i, with Jonny Bairstow being preferred.  

In isolation, this move is utterly bizarre, with Malan recording a marginally worse T20 expected average but a significantly better strike rate, and Bairstow's inclusion added to a pedestrian middle-order.  

The pre-match expectation was that Root, Morgan and Bairstow would bat 3/4/5, although Jos Buttler eventually did come in at five with Bairstow dropping down to six.  Only Root can boast a T20 expected strike rate in excess of the mean - and not by a great deal - and having three mediocre strike rate players expected to bat the majority of overs will naturally make it difficult to either post big scores or chase big targets.

Dawid Malan should have been included in the England team...


Given this, Malan needed to be included, and it is further evidence of the muddled thinking by the England hierachy that his Test woes appear to have affected his T20 selection.  Bairstow's selection was seemingly justified on his 50 over form, but there is a strong argument that T20 is a unique format, and 'form' in other formats should not influence T20 selection.

Data would make a strong case for both Morgan and Bairstow to be nowhere near England's best T20 team, with the likes of Adam Lyth, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Sam Northeast and James Vince being much better candidates.  All score in excess of mean strike rates, with good averages and above-average boundary hitting percentages.


Rashid and Jordan batting further examples of England's muddled thinking


When I saw the England team line-up last night, with Rashid scheduled to bat at 7, I couldn't believe that this was correct.

Prior to last night, the Yorkshire spinner has a T20 Blast expected average of 16.02 and expected strike rate of 114.79, hitting just 9.63% of balls for boundaries in the last three years.

Quite how a player with this data is expected to contribute value to a chase of 177 is utterly beyond me, particularly when he came in with England needing 59 from 35 balls.  He simply wasn't the man for the job at this point.

Adil Rashid has hit less than 10% of deliveries for boundaries...


This decision was made even more incredible by the fact that England had three high-value strike rate players left to bat - David Willey, Liam Plunkett and Tom Curran.  All three have hit over 15% of deliveries for boundaries in the last three years, with Willey in excess of 20%.  Willey at seven should have been a no-brainer.

Furthermore, although the match was virtually lost by this point, picking Jordan at ten over Curran was a further ridiculous decision.  Jordan has a T20 Blast expected strike rate of 106.55, with Curran much higher at 133.71.  Jordan has hit just 11.50% of deliveries for boundaries over the last three years.  There cannot be a case for batting Jordan over Curran.

These batting order mistakes remind me of Delhi Daredevils' incredible decision to bat Angelo Mathews over Chris Morris in this year's IPL when a high strike rate was required.  Usage of data helps solve these issues, and it is evident that teams have much to do to improve their expected value.


Williams keeps taking wickets


On the back of another superb CPL, Kesrick Williams took another three wickets in the England innings last night, recording figures of 3-35 in four overs despite going for 16 in his first over.

Williams has a propensity to be a little expensive, but his wicket-taking expectation in four-over spells is virtually unparalleled and he's becoming a huge asset for this West Indies team.

In this death bowler dossier that I prepared for a T20 Blast team prior to the 2017 season, Williams was the redacted 'player 17' and his numbers have further improved since the writing of this.

I'll be writing a piece in the next few days which looks at FOC (four over contribution) of bowlers around the world, and Williams ranks very highly on this metric.  


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