There’s only a month left before the 2022 T20 World Cup gets underway in Australia and India are pondering over some issues. In their last series before the marquee event, they will look to minimize it as much as possible.
They can’t get a better team than South Africa, to test it out. South Africa haven’t lost a single bilateral series in India. In the three bilateral series they have played, South Africa have won one and drawn two. Here are a few tactical plots for players from both teams:
Rabada vs Indian batters
Across the globe, Kagiso Rabada has found success against the best batters. Against most of the Indian batters as well, he has an upper hand in all T20s. The list even includes Virat Kohli.
In all T20s, Rabada has dismissed Kohli four times in 10 innings and the batter averages only 9.8. Against a bowler whom Kohli has faced 30+ balls, only against Jacques Kallis (4 dismissals) he averages less (7.3). His balls/dismissal ratio of 8.8 against Rabada is also his second worst against a bowler. Sandeep Sharma (7 dismissals) has dismissed Kohli every 8.4 balls.
However, he is not the worst hit batsmen. Dinesh Karthik has an average of 5.3 with four dismissals against Rabada. Neither Suryakumar Yadav (18.3) nor KL Rahul (14) average over 20 against the Protean.
Among the lot, Rohit Sharma has the best numbers. In 10 innings, Rabada has the better of Rohit twice, but the Indian skipper has a healthy average of 35 and strike rate of 129.6.
Full length – “prohibitory zone” for pacers against Miller in overs 16-20
It has been a year of rejoicing for David Miller in T20s. He has scored over 1000 runs this year, which is the second-most after 2014 (1135). He has scored those runs at an average of 46.7 and a strike rate of 143.7. In terms of strike rate, this is the best year for him. Only in 2010 (54.4) and 2012 (48.2) he averaged better.
In 2022, Miller has a strike rate of 179.6 and has scored 501 runs in the last five overs. Miller and Tim David (682) are the only two batters to score over 500 runs in this phase. He has been the most lethal when the pacers have bowled on fuller length.
Generally, batters are comfortable when pacers bowl it full, but Miller is on top of all these batters. Miller has a strike rate of 270.8 against pacers when they have bowled this length. Among batters who have faced 30+ balls of fuller length delivery in the last five overs, no batter has a better strike rate than Miller.
De Kock vs Chahal and Ashwin
Quinton de Kock has a great record against India as well as in India. In all T20s, he has an average of 34.1, strike rate of 136.3 and has scored over 2500 runs in India. But, there are two Indian bowlers in the current set up who have troubled de Kock.
In T20s, Yuzvendra Chahal has been de Kock’s kryptonite. In nine innings, Chahal has dismissed de Kock six times and the batter averages only 9. In T20s, no other bowler has dismissed de Kock more times than Chahal.
That is not it, even against the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, de Kock has had his troubles, but not to the extent against Chahal. In 10 innings, de Kock has averaged 21 with four dismissals in 10 innings. He has a strike rate of 112 in those 10 innings against Ashwin.
Bowling it wide outside off against de Kock
Post the 2022 edition of IPL, de Kock has developed a weakness in all T20s. Most of his dismissals have come whenever the bowlers have bowled wide outside off. Five of his 12 dismissals have come from this line.
It's not only about dismissals, his strike rate has also taken a hit. In the aforementioned time, de Kock has scored at a strike rate of 106 when bowled wide outside off. However, when bowled on the off-stump channel (4th – 6th stump) he has a strike rate of 123 and 135.3 when bowled on stumps or bodyline.
Especially against the spinners, his struggles are of greater intensity. He has scored runs at a strike rate of 69.6 when bowled wide outside off and 141.2 when bowled around the off stump. Adding further, on the same line against off-spinners, he has scored at a strike rate of 37.5.
Harshal pulling the length a bit too much
So far in his T20I career, Harshal Patel has blown hot and cold. In his first four series, Harshal bagged 18 wickets at an economy of 8.1. However, in his last three series, he has picked up six wickets at an economy of 10.7. More importantly, in a phase in which he tends to excel, Harshal has erred a bit, and there has been a pattern.
In the first four series, that is 12 innings, Harshal had bowled 30.3 percent of the balls on good length and conceded at 5.3 runs per over. However, when bowled full (25.7 percent), he conceded 13.9 runs/over and 10.9 when bowled back of a length or short (20.2 percent).
But, in the process of pulling his length, Harshal is caught in between. In his last three series, that is seven matches, he has bowled 21.7 percent on fuller length, conceding 12 runs/over. When bowled on back of a length or short, which is 36.7 percent, he has 11.2 runs/over. However, he has failed to execute the length that gave him success. In the last seven matches, Harshal has bowled only 13.3 percent of his deliveries on a length. In just that minimal percentage, he has conceded at an economy of 2.3. With slower one being his primary weapon, Harshal’s lengths have to be much more precise.
Is slog sweep the new way to score against Chahal?
Chahal is a canny bowler. But, in recent times, batters have found a way to score runs against him.
From January till the end of the IPL 2022, Chahal had picked up 31 wickets at an economy of 7.6. In this time frame, Chahal had an economy of 5.8 when he bowled on the stumps. One of the reasons for his low economy was, batters had scored only 10.6 percent of runs through slog sweep. The right handers especially, had scored only 6.3 percent of runs through the slog sweep.
Post the IPL, Chahal’s numbers when he has attacked the stumps has been completely different. In the 34.2 percent of the deliveries, Chahal has conceded at an economy of 8.0 from this line. The incline in the economy is because of the rise in runs through slog sweep. In this time, batters have scored 18.1 percent of runs through this shot, which is the most productive shot against Chahal. The right handers have scored 20.6 percent of runs through this shot.