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Stats Corner: Antigua the only venue with 100-plus Strike Rate through offside in this anti-runs T20 World Cup

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Ace commentator Ian Bishop best summed up the batting’ pandemonium in the T20 World Cup.

“People were talking about, ‘make bigger grounds,’ ‘put something on the ball for it to swing.’ Put something in the pitch, and you’ll see a different side of batters. That is my point,” Bishop said during New Zealand’s capitulation against the West Indies on Thursday.

The ongoing World Cup, the ninth edition of the tournament, is by far the poorest for the batters in the Powerplay, with the bowlers savouring an economy just a shade over 6.

Interestingly, the Powerplay batting strike rates have never ascended to the same level as the inaugural 2007 World Cup where runs came at a 124.03 strike rate. The current edition has seen runs at a lowly 103.68 strike rate in the phase — the corresponding IPL 2024 strike rate was 150.58!

The world’s best batters have succumbed to devastation on the spicy and unpredictable pitches of the Americas. The Nassau County International Stadium in New York, the most notorious of them all, was a nightmare for every team that came up on its hastily placed drop-in pitches. Virat Kohli heads out to Florida and the Super 8s in the West Indies with scores of 1, 4 and 0 against his name. Powerhouses Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and Suryakumar Yadav scrambled for new plans to find runs. And Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan could not have gone any slower.

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Overall Mat Runs HS Ave SR 50 0 4s 6s
West Indies 13 2926 80 17.01 109.3 10 31 234 123
In USA 12 2676 94* 17.26 98.16 11 26 191 101

Stats as of June 13, 2024 after Match 25

Pace – the occasional deficiency and the sudden amplitude of it – has separated the New York venue from the rest. It was a staggering 82 wickets out of 97 (84.5 percent) in New York that went to pacers. In second-placed Guyana, it was 40 off 67 (59.7 percent).

82 of the 97 wickets fallen in New York were against pace bowlers. (AP) 82 of the 97 wickets fallen in New York were against pace bowlers. (AP)

Things were reasonably better in the Caribbean where Australia made the most of their early sighters at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, the venue of the final in two weeks. 26 matches into the tournament, the Aussies seem the most settled batting unit. The only 200-plus score thus far was witnessed in a crucial Group B encounter between Australia and England in Bridgetown. Australia trumped the defending champions by 36 runs after putting up 201, with no batter scoring more than 40. They proceeded to wallop Namibia in a massive nine-wicket win in North Sound, Antigua, within the Powerplay.

With three wins in as many games, South Africa and India will aim to catch up with Australia and put up a better batting show during the Super 8s, away from the New York minefields. While the Nassau County pitch was lamented for its lack of preparedness and dangerous bounce, run-scoring was made arduous by the relatively larger square boundaries and sluggish outfield.

In eight matches in New York, only 55 percent of runs (lowest) were scored square of the wicket on either side, while it shot up to 66 per cent in Barbados (highest). Due to host India’s potential semifinal, Guyana becomes significant as another venue where batters have endured a grind, with spinners dominating the charts with 27 scalps.

Venue % runs square of the wicket Leg-side Bat SR Off-side Bat SR
Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York 55% 115.1 69.1
Providence Stadium, Guyana 60% 111 82.4
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados 66% 145.8 95.9
Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas 67% 144.7 98.1
Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad 60% 157.3 78.5
Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua 65% 144.8 113.7

Stats as of June 13, 2024 after Match 25

India’s Super 8 challenge

Even as India and South Africa have dominated the Powerplay bowling charts, the discourse may change once the varying Caribbean pitches factor in. India is likely to face Afghanistan in their Super 8 opener in Bridgetown. Spinners (17 wickets at a 7.27 economy) have had a favourable run there, and the Afghans will fancy their chances against Rohit Sharma’s side.

India will then face the second-ranked side in Group D (Bangladesh/Netherlands/Nepal) in Antigua, where run-scoring was spread out evenly across two games. It is the only venue that currently possesses a 100-plus strike rate for runs scored through the off-side, indicating the tournament’s depressed states of run-scoring.

Matches Wickets Economy SR
Pace
Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York 8 82 5.45 17.2
Providence Stadium, Guyana 5 40 6.37 13.5
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados 5 37 7.54 15.9
Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas 3 31 7.23 19.7
Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad 1 13 6.96 15
Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua 2 13 7.66 16
Spin
Providence Stadium, Guyana 5 27 5.57 17.1
Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados 5 17 7.27 24.7
Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York 8 15 6.22 24.5
Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas 3 14 8.01 21.7
Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua 2 7 8.19 18
Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad 1 5 7.16 14.4

Stats as of June 13, 2024 after Match 25

The Men in Blue will have their first major test in the final Super 8 contest against Australia at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, Gros Islet. While the venue has yet to host a game, Mitchell Marsh’s men will gain familiarity with the conditions from their final group-stage game against Scotland at the venue. West Indies and South Africa, the other confirmed teams in the Super 8s, will shuttle between Gros Islet, Bridgetown and North Sound for their three matches.

While pace made its presence felt in the initial round, the Caribbean test will be that of spin and deteriorating pitches. Low-scoring skirmishes of a different kind could be the norm and the team best equipped to tackle the tweakers could come out on top.





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