Australia’s leading batsmen – Jess Cameron, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Alex Blackwell, Alyssa Healy and Elyse Villani- have collectively been dismissed over 400 times in limited overs internationals*. We run the numbers showing how Anya Shrubsole and the rest of England’s bowling attack will be looking to get them out in this summer’s Women’s Ashes.
As with England (and as we would expect) the most common mode of dismissal is caught. For individual players the statistically significant figures are highlighted in red.
Jess Cameron and Alyssa Healy (like England’s Heather Knight) have fairly average profiles, and are not particularly susceptible to getting out in one way any more than another.
In contrast, Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning and opener Elyse Villani get caught a lot! (Although Villani hasn’t played that many matches, her % Caught is well beyond any doubts regarding its statistical significance.)
Like England’s Sarah Taylor (who also gets caught more than average) both players like to play their shots; but their style is very different to Taylor’s. Where Taylor tries to go elegantly over the infield, Lanning and Villani are looking to smash it to – and often over – the boundary rope. Tellingly, Taylor’s boundary rate is much lower – 10% of balls faced, while Villani’s and Lanning’s are at 14% and 15% respectively.
The other side of Villani’s game is that she doesn’t get Run Out very often at all – just 4% of her dismissals; probably because… who needs to run when you are hitting it to the rope?
By contrast, Australia’s vice-captain Alex Blackwell is significantly susceptible to being Run Out. Stylistically, she is quite a careful, conservative and unflashy player, at both domestic and international level, so in a way she is the antithesis of Villani, and she just doesn’t play the kind of shots that get Villani caught.
Also, she bats at a similar position in the order to England’s Lydia Greenway, who suffers the same Run Out problem; and so part of the explanation may well be the same too – coming in later on, when the pressure is on to take all the singles that might be on offer, however tight; and more often than not batting with less experienced tail-enders.
Ellyse Perry’s stats look pretty standard at first glance, but hidden behind the numbers shown above is actually something very interesting – compared to her peers, Ellyse Perry doesn’t get out – not very often, anyway! In fact, of all the world’s leading batsmen, she has far and away the highest Not Out % – 40% of her innings ending undefeated.
The underperformance of Australia’s top batsmen was a key reason for their downfall in the 2013 Ashes series in England; it’ll be interesting to see how they fare this time around.