It is incongruous to point a finger at a master batsman who had a 100 to his name, but one cannot but ask some fact-based questions © Getty Images
It is incongruous to point a finger at a master batsman who had a 100 to his name, but one cannot but ask some fact-based questions © Getty Images

 

By Vincent Sunder

 

A team that scores 300 batting first would normally have reasons to be happy with that kind of effort. India scored 338 against England at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. Content and happy at a good batting effort? No! At the risk of sounding ridiculous, one felt not enough was done by the Indian batting.

 

Let us crunch some numbers and see if one is justified in taking that line.

 

* The Indian innings had 140 dot balls (46% of the total deliveries in the innings) and 109 deliveries that resulted in singles (36%). Effectively 249 deliveries (82%) got just 109 runs. The score of 338 was thanks to 35 boundaries and seven sixes which adds up to 182 runs from just 42 deliveries.  Flashes of brilliance, but overall pedestrian?

 

*  England had 111 dot balls (37%) and in spite of just 29 boundaries (10% of total deliveries faced for 116 runs) and only 4 sixes (1% for 24 runs, but at a crucial juncture) bettered India with 134 single run deliveries and 22 deliveries of 2 runs each.

 

Looking at the overs and runs scored, India had 21 overs where they scored 4 runs or less, and accumulated just 64 runs. These included 7 bowling Powerplay overs and three batting Powerplay overs. The combined 10 Powerplay overs fetched India a measly 30 runs!  Tendulkar played 29 deliveries in the Powerplay for 12 runs, Gautam Gambhir eight deliveries for four runs, Yuvraj managed seven off 15 deliveries and Dhoni seven runs off eight balls.

 

In comparison, England had 19 overs where they scored four runs or less and accumulated 62 runs in these overs. These included five bowling Powerplay overs where they managed just 14 runs, and five batting Powerplay overs that fetched just 25 runs, totaling 10 Powerplay overs for 39 runs. This poor performance, however, is far better that what India managed.

 

The higher number of dot balls didn’t help India’s cause. England, with lesser number of dot balls and higher number of single and two run deliveries (134 and 22 respectively), scored 178 runs compared to India’s 141 runs (109 singles and 16 two’s). England were simply more industrious and effective.  

 

How Tendulkar fared

 

Reviewing Sachin Tendulkar’s innings is interesting. His innings had 57 dot balls (50%), 36 singles (31%), 7 two’s (6%), 10 fours (9%) and 5 sixes (4%).  Ten fours and five sixes fetched Tendulkar 70 runs and the other 100 balls faced by him fetched 50 runs. A glorious, brilliant hundred, or a hundred with 15 brilliant hits? Or, 13% brilliant and 87% pedestrian?  A dominant innings or 15 dominant supershots? It is incongruous to point a finger at a master batsman who had a 100 to his name, but one cannot but ask some fact-based questions.

 

Andrew Strauss, the other centurion, had 55 dot balls (48% and close to Tendulkar) but 62 singles (54%), 9 two’s (8%) and one six (1%) plus 18 fours (16%) which gave him 72 runs. Less fancied, less breathtaking with the big hits but more effective overall? Strauss simply ensured England never had a high run-rate to chase, which was at 6.70 when the last 10 overs began for England at a comfortable 272 for two.

 

Indeed 338 looked a big score, but the fact of the day was that India batted brilliantly for 42 balls and the remaining 265 deliveries had England calling the shots. England just botched a win after Strauss’s departure.

Runs scored

                            India                           England

No of Balls

% to Total

Balls

Runs Scored

No of Balls

% to Total Balls

Runs Scored

0

140

45.6%

0

111

36.88%

0

1

109

35.5%

109

134

44.52%

134

2

16

5.21%

32

22

7.31%

44

3

0

0

0

1

0.33%

3

4

35

11.40%

140

29

9.63%

116

6

7

2.28%

42

4

1.33%

24

(Vincent Sunder aspired to play Test cricket, but had to struggle to play ‘gully’ cricket! He managed a league side to title triumph in the KSCA tournaments. He was debarred from umpiring in the gully games after he once appealed vociferously for a caught-behind decision when officiating as an umpire! After two decades in the corporate sector, he became an entrepreneur with the objective of being able to see cricket matches on working days as well.  Vincent gets his ‘high’ from cricket books and cricket videos and discussing cricket)