Australia’s test batting is under pressure. Since the ban of 3 players(David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith) involved in ball-tampering, their batting has been very poor.
It is the lower-order/tail-end batsmen that has not allowed any embarrassment of low scores ( < 100 runs).
Below is post ball-tampering analysis for Australia’s batting. In this period they played 4 test matches/8 inns(1 in SA, 2 v/Pak, and 1 v/ Ind), not winning a single test, but losing 3 and drawing one.
In below table – the role-play column has
- Sum of partnerships : Total runs involved in partnerships of all innings (in score –end score)
- Stayed at crease : Total overs involved while they were at the crease (in overs – end overs)
- of short stay at crease : Here I have used minimum of less than 3 overs as an indicator of low performance. A batsman gets dismissed inside 3 overs
- of long stay at crease – Here I have used anything more than 30 overs as an indicator. A batsmen batting for 30 plus overs
Very interestingly bowlers have(Nathan Lyon, Mitchel Starc and Pat Cummins)battled for longer period of time(along with their captain Paine).
In above table the sum of partnerships and staying at crease clearly indicates their contribution with the bat. However I feel if the top order does not perform then soon Australia will have consistent low scores in test cricket
Reason being –
- The bowlers don’t get much opportunity to bat in nets or at domestic games, hence their skills might remain same(no new batting skills learned or trained)which is basic ones. The basic skills helps lower order to defend your wicket but at same time they will find hard to rotate strike and keep the scoreboard moving – and once they find hard to keep the score ticking, then they will try to look for boundaries by playing risky shots – and if they are lucky they will find few boundaries, but not for long as we noticed in these last four test matches, ie. Tail end batsmen getting dismissed playing risky and reckless shots.
- They hardly bat in T20/ODI for longer period, usually it is last few overs where they are only trying to clear the fence.
- Lately(last 2 years) they are getting more opportunity to bat regularly in test match(but not sure whether they bat in nets when top order does not score. It means they have to stay at crease for longer period…
- Therefore they never will be your match winner or saving test matches – because they don’t know how to pace their innings, or rotate strike. Instead they block, block, and after say 30 balls or 10 overs of partnership they will try to score boundaries – which mostly results in false stroke losing their wicket. All their dismissals was to poor shot selection to ordinary ball bowled.
Conclusion – One can understand the work load bowlers have, which does not allow them to have enough batting practice. Nevertheless they should bat in nets for longer period of time as we found out that they can bat for longer period of time, which is a great contribution if one of the top batsman can partner them in building huge score.
All data updated at end of 1st Test @Adelaide.
Here is a link to previous post -http://allthatcricket.com/541-history-says-bat-long-and-deep/