In the press conference following India’s loss to England in the 2nd T20 in Guwahati, Indian stand-in skipper Smriti Mandhana said:
“[A] major difference between other teams and our team is running between the wickets.”
Do the stats bear this out?
Looking at T20 cricket only, we can calculate Boundary and Non-Boundary Strike Rates for the “Big 4” teams over the past two years.
|Team||Runs||Balls||4s||6s||Boundary SR||Non-Boundary SR|
The numbers show that although India’s Non-Boundary Strike Rate is the lowest of the Big 4, at 61 runs per 100 balls, it is only just less than Australia’s at 62, whilst England have the best Non-Boundary Strike Rate at 67.
On the other side of the coin, India’s Boundary Strike Rate is the best of the Big 4 – basically, they hit a lot of 6s, giving them a Boundary Strike Rate of 432, just ahead of New Zealand’s 429. Conversely, England’s Boundary Strike Rate is the lowest of the Big 4, at 419 – they don’t hit so many 6s!
Overall we can see that whilst these differences aren’t huge, they are at their biggest when you compare India and England. England are seeing the benefits of the back-breaking fitness regime introduced by Mark Robinson 3 years ago, running like badgers between the wickets; whilst India have a more… shall we say… laid back attitude!
(A cynic might note at this point, that England might also be starting to see the drawbacks of their back-breaking fitness regime – it is literally breaking their backs, with no less than 3 players from the contracted squad currently out with stress fractures of the lower back!)
So perhaps what Smriti should have said is:
“[A] major difference between England and our team is running between the wickets.”
But overall though, she is right – this is an area India need to be working on – they’ve already got the hitting – add the running and they could be the world-beaters they long to be.