In Stats: Performance of the Team Batting First vs Death Bowlers

Arun Gopalakrishnan cracks down the performance of the team batting first in the India-Australia ODI series.

3 min read
Aaron Finch (L) and Rohit Sharma (R). (Photo: AP)
  • Statistician Arun Gopalakrishnan cracks down the performance of the team batting first in the four ODIs played between India and Australia.
  • Arun also takes a look at the performance of the Australian bowlers through numbers.

Though Australia got off to a flying start through the returning David Warner and Aaron Finch, the Indians pulled the reins back well in the middle overs in the 4th ODI at Canberra.

Australia were 187 in the 30th over when Warner was dismissed, but could only add a further 49 runs in the following ten overs. Where the hosts once looked set to post in excess of 350, it suddenly appeared that they would have to settle for a total around 320.

(Infograph: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)
(Infograph: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)

The situation Australia found themselves in wasn’t too different to the ones India were in at the end of 40 overs in each of the three ODIs when they batted first. A platform had been set and there were plenty of wickets in hand in each of those matches. Yet where India barely managed to post over 300, Australia on Wednesday posted 348-8.

So what did Australia do better at Canberra in comparison to what India did in the earlier three matches, or what did India do badly in comparison to Australian bowlers in the earlier three matches, that Australia ended up scoring a mountain of runs. Firstly, all hell broke loose through Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell; the two Aussie batsmen toyed with the Indian bowling lineup, yet again, scoring at strike-rates in excess of 175.

The Indian bowlers struggled yet again – and it was the quicks guilty of not doing the job in the final ten overs. Until the final ten overs of the innings, the overall economy rate of the four Indian quicks put together was 5.93, this despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceding 48 runs in his first six overs.

(Infograph: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)
(Infograph: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)

The death overs has been a perennial problem with the Indian bowling attack, and continues to be. Ishant Sharma, with 78 ODI caps under his belt, and playing his 10th year of international cricket, it appears that he still hasn’t cracked a way to keep tabs on the batsmen in that phase of play.

On Wednesday, he bowled the 43rd, 46th, 48th and 50th overs and gave away 50 runs in those four overs (in which he conceded five fours and two sixes). If a team’s bowling spearhead cannot keep a check on the run-flow, where and who does the captain, in this case MS Dhoni, look to?

Compare this to what the Australian’s did in the first three matches of the series when they had the opportunity of bowling first. The pace bowlers, several of them not half as experienced as Ishant and Co, fared much better bowling in the death overs.

(Infograph: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)
(Infograph: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)

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