The Morris v Mathews debate
At 105 for 3, chasing 192, Sanju Samson holed out to leave Delhi Daredevils needing 87 runs off 41 balls. It seemed an excellent time to send in Chris Morris, the allrounder with a strike-rate of 238.7 this IPL season. But the management preferred Angelo Mathews, who then laboured to 31 runs off 23 balls, before getting out off the penultimate ball.
Morris, in prime hitting form, did not face a single ball, and the Daredevils slumped to their third loss in five games. Was this a wise strategy? Cold, hard numbers suggest otherwise.
|Batting average between overs 16-20||17.30||44.62|
|Strike Rate between overs 16-20||143.81||172.46|
|Balls per boundary between overs 16-20||6.69||4.6|
Daredevils have not let Morris bat higher than No. 6 in IPL 2017. As a result, he has only faced 31 deliveries, but has hit 12 of them for fours of sixes. Mathews, on Wednesday, took 20 balls to hit his first six and collected only three boundaries in total. Shreyas Iyer, at the other end, ended up facing just 12 deliveries in the last five overs.
Getting the small things right amount to a great deal in T20 cricket, and Daredevils, with respect to this issue, are struggling.
Srinath Sripath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo