Saturday, 12 March 2011

Keiron Pollard and the World Cup activity ratings

Last night we saw an amazing innings for Keiron Pollard. When he arrived at the wicket, West Indies were in trouble. It was 130/3 off 32 overs. Devon Smith was looking about as comfortable as a penguin in the Sahara, and Ireland had the sniff of blood.

Pollard hit 5 sixes and 8 fours, and scored 94 off 55 balls. But interestingly he scored 62 runs in boundaries, off 13 balls, meaning that off the rest of his innings, he scored 32 off 42. Even if you remove the boundaries he scored at a strike rate better than 75.

His running between wickets had an effect on Devon Smith also. When Pollard arrived at the wicket Smith had a strike rate of 72.2 During the time that they were batting together Smith scored 29 runs off 25 balls. Pollard took the pressure off Smith, and he responded by batting a lot better. (Obviously he had got his eye in also, but the change in his attitude was quite evident watching the game.)

We all know how powerful Pollard can be. We think of the big sixes that he has hit. But the subtlety that he showed last night showed us that he is capable of being much more than a big hitting circus performer.

In his whirlwind 60 against the Netherlands, there were only 18 balls that he didn't hit to the boundary, and he managed to get 16 off those. The next step for him will be to repeat this against a test playing nation.

His activity rate (runs per ball not hit for a boundary) is far above anyone in the World Cup, but there are a couple of other interesting names in the list:

NameRunsBallsRuns from boundariesActivity rate
KA Pollard 154831060.787
DPMD Jayawardene 134123580.697
V Sehwag 2541951460.667
AB de Villiers 2662471200.664
Younis Khan 128159280.658
HM Amla 169196480.658
IR Bell 193227600.624
KC Sangakkara 252281920.618
AJ Strauss 2982991360.609
IJL Trott 289369760.609
Tamim Iqbal 152158660.606
Misbah-ul-Haq 192259440.594
V Kohli 154161680.593
G Gambhir 128143520.585
RN ten Doeschate 148165620.57
T Taibu 117140440.566
BRM Taylor 140154620.561
KJ O'Brien 1641251100.535
SR Watson 141153680.533
RS Bopara 106140360.53
Shakib Al Hasan 111144400.53
TM Dilshan 2832791580.521
Umar Akmal 167193760.52
CR Ervine 113133520.504


The three players who have been near the top of a lot of the activity rate charts are Sehwag, Dilshan and Tamim Iqbal. All are in this list, although Dilshan is a lot lower down than usual.

The bottom of the list features a number of players from associate nations, but there are a couple of very good batsmen who have made it into the list also.

Sorted from lowest to highest

NameRunsBallsRuns from boundariesActivity rate
AS Hansra 142264720.282
W Barresi 99154520.333
A Bagai 102180440.343
CO Obuya 144212720.367
WTS Porterfield 106169460.38
BJ Haddin 84116440.381
MJ Guptill 1922511040.388
DM Bravo 112149580.397
TLW Cooper 140213600.404
Imrul Kayes 111149560.407
CH Gayle 119149640.41
Kamran Akmal 118169520.423
P Utseya 86150240.431
EC Joyce 136207520.433
KP Pietersen 131136800.436
DS Smith 2022531020.439
WU Tharanga 2582921440.445
SR Tendulkar 2132221260.451
GC Smith 87151200.459
PW Borren 86101440.462


Haddin has managed to feature in the bottom list for other formats also, showing that he is very reliant on hitting boundaries for his usually good strike rate. Also at the wrong end of the table is Martin Guptill. Watching Guptill he doesn't seem to have a reliable single scoring shot against spin bowlers. Accordingly the more that spin bowlers bowl against him, the lower his activity rate falls.

It wil be interesting to see if Pollard manages to keep up his extrodinary rate as the competition heats up, and also if the likes of Tendulkar, Smith and Gayle can get their rating up towards 0.5.

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