By Soham Sarkhel and Jatin Thakkar
Scorecard links: 1st T20I, 2nd T20I
Following a disappointing tour of England which saw them going winless in all the three formats of the game, the West Indian team came back in the strongest manner possible and completed one of the most comprehensive whitewashes ever in a T20I series. New Zealand who were playing their first international series after a break of 4 months, looked rusty and completely listless in front of a dominant West Indian side.
Here is the series through the Impact Index prism.
The one-sided nature of this series can be understood from the fact that the 5 highest impact players were from West Indies. In comparison, the six lowest impact players of the series were from New Zealand. The one-sided encounters can be attributed to the non- availability of their seniors (Taylor, Vettori, Ryder etc.) but the fact remains that the youngsters failed to take the spots which were up for grabs and more importantly failed to give the selectors any options for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Kieron Pollard emerged as the highest impact player of the series for his unbeaten innings of 63 off 29 balls (Match IMPACT 5.30) in the first T20I at Lauderhill. However, Pollard featured only in the first T20I and was rested for the second. Chris Gayle on the other hand played both the matches and had the highest Batting IMPACT in both the West Indian innings’ and was rightly declared the player of the series.
When it comes to the batting department also, West Indies had a huge edge over their counterparts. Out of the five highest impact batsmen in the series, four belonged to West Indies (Pollard, Gayle, Bravo and Charles). For New Zealand, their highest impact batsmen in the series were Jacob Oram (who played only the 1st match) followed by Daniel Flynn (who played only the 2nd match) and Doug Bracewell (who batted at No. 10 in both the matches). The fact that Bracewell shows up so high on the batting list points to New Zealand’s misery in this series.
Overall, 17 Kiwi batsmen came to bat under pressure but not even a single one of them could absorb it successfully which was a key reason for their failure in this series. In comparison, only two West Indian batsmen came under pressure in the entire series – Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles faced pressure in the 2nd T20I (they were at 14-1) and both of them managed to absorb it successfully for their team (in fact they set up the base and shared a 72 runs partnership). This was also the only point in the series where the Kiwis came closest to having an advantage over the West Indians.
The highest impact bowler of the series was West Indies’ Sunil Narine (Bowling IMPACT 4.17). Narine’s performances in the 1st and the 2nd T20I where he took 3 for 34 (Bowling IMPACT 3.33) and 4 for 12 (Bowling IMPACT 7.20), respectively were also the highest impact bowling performances in the series. His Bowling IMPACT was 2.34 times better than the next highest impact bowler (Dwayne Bravo) in the series which again goes on to show his effectiveness in this format of the game.
Continuing his rich vein of form, Dwayne Bravo was again a standout performer for Windies. He was the only player to have an all-round impact in the series (Both Batting and Bowling IMPACT over 1). His late burst in the second T20I (35 not out off 11 balls) saw West Indies reach a match-winning total and then followed it up with figures of 2-23 to hand West Indies their first T20 series victory against New Zealand.
In comparison, New Zealand’s highest impact bowler was Nathan McCullum (1.58) followed by Kyle Mills (1.50). In the two matches combined, New Zealand bowlers managed to take only 7 West Indian wickets; McCullum picked two of them as the other bowlers continued to fail around him. The same thing can be understood by the fact that 7 New Zealand bowlers failed to register a Bowling IMPACT of even 1, in comparison West Indies had only two such bowlers.
West Indies’ dominance is the bowling department is more prominent from the fact that their Team Bowling IMPACT in the series (1.93) was 3.6 times better than that of New Zealand (0.54). Overall, the Team IMPACT for West Indies in the series was 2.35 as compared to New Zealand’s 1.16, i.e., twice than that of New Zealand.
Clearly, the New Zealanders received a pasting against a West Indian team filled with T20 specialists. For New Zealand, the path to their T20 World Cup campaign received a jolt considering the limited amount of T20Is available to them. For West Indies though, such a result coming at the backdrop of their poor English tour will be highly motivating and with such dominating players on offer, augurs well for the T20 World Championship.
For more information, please go www.impactindexcricket.com