Monday, 21 June 2010

Surrey's middle order issues

This is just a short one, because I don't want to go on an on about the batting lineup.  I've made it abundantly clear that I think Andrew Symonds is better suited to number five or six than number four.

But to illustrate why I think we need a big hitter like Symonds coming in slightly lower down, I thought I'd have a look at how the performances of our numbers 5, 6 and 7 in the order compare with a significant sample from other teams.

I looked at 28 games and 50 separate innings from this season's Twenty20 Cup, as well as Surrey's six matches so far where the lower order have batted.  From the 28 games not involving Surrey, although there aren't too many big scores, the average scoring rate across the lot of them is just over 120 runs per 100 balls delivered.  From Surrey's six games, the scoring rate is just 103 runs per 100 balls delivered.

The positions 5, 6 and 7 in Twenty20 are very often the difference between a gettable total and a total just out of sight.  A lower-middle order power house is a virtual must for Twenty20s (think Morgan and Wright for England, the Husseys and White for Australia, Dhoni and Morkel for Chennai), and while they are worthy cricketers in their own right, the likes of Spriegel, Walters, Batty and Schofield do no constitute a sufficiently powerful power house.

I'm not suggesting that dropping Symonds down the order is the magic bullet, but we've got such a talented (not to mention well paid!) player on our hands it seems sensible to use him in the best way possible.


Rich Abbott said...

Couldn't agree more. Alright to push him up if the openers + number 3 stick around for 10 overs or more, but he came in way too early on Sunday. Would love to see the other Roy given a go a few places above him for some upper-middle order power hitting. What do you reckon about dropping one of the spinners for him, and Hamilton-Brown bowling a bit more? He always seems to do okay, but is quite reluctant to bring himself on...

GreenJJ said...

Yeah that is an option, I've been baffled all season long at the insistence on playing two spinners. One might be a leggie and one might be an offie but in broad cricketing terms they offer basically the same thing. I think we need to bat down to seven, and then Schoey or Batty at 8. That leaves four overs to be found from Symonds and RHB, which is a bit of a gamble but not much. RHB should bowl himself more, if nothing else he'll find more rhythm. The few times I've seen him bowl this season he's got away with some very poor balls, dropping short a couple of times an over, but generally speaking he's a useful little bowler. Four bowlers and then four overs from a couple of all rounders is pretty much par for T20s, but Surrey don't seem to have subscribed to that just yet!