Batting strike-rates in T20 history

By Jatin Thakkar and Soham Sarkhel

The concept of measuring the strike rate of a batsman relative to the average strike rates in every match that he plays in is an idea pioneered at Impact Index. This number, between 0 and 5, taken across a career, provides the clearest picture of the impact a batsman had on account of his strike rate.

So, even in case of a slow, turning track where the average strike rate of all the batsmen is somewhere between 80 and 90, a batsman with a strike rate of around 110-120 is bound to get a high strike rate Impact. This system makes sure that the performance of a batsman under trying circumstances is well accounted for and also gives a true reading of the batsman’s capabilities.

Here are the batsmen with the highest Strike Rate IMPACT numbers in the history of T20 International matches (minimum 15 matches).

1. KP Pietersen (Strike Rate IMPACT 0.36, 38 matches)
2. SR Watson (0.34, 26)
3. Shahid Afridi (0.24, 44)
4. Yuvraj Singh (0.21, 23)
5. V Sehwag (0.20, 15)

A comprehensive list which perhaps contains the most dominating and attacking batsmen present in today’s modern format of the game. All the top 5 batsmen have a reputation of turning opposition’s bowling attack to pulp and as the list shows they have done it in a regular and an effective manner throughout their career. The exclusion of Chris Gayle from this list may come as a shock to many but his best T20 performances have generally come in the domestic format rather than the international ones.

The Five Highest Impact Strike Rate Performances in T20 International history

1) TM Dilshan 96 off 57 v West Indies in London, 2009 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.82

The background settings for this match couldn’t have been bigger than this. It was the semifinals of the ICC T20 World Cup, 2009 in London and Sri Lanka were facing a rampant West Indian team who had already dispatched Australia, India and England from the tournament. However Dilshan had different ideas when he came onto bat. He drove, swept and hooked his way to a dominating innings (with 12 fours and 2 sixes) and carried his bat through the innings. In the other 63 balls the rest of the Sri Lankan batsmen faced they scored only 62 runs which again goes on to show Dilshan’s superiority in this particular match. The entire West Indian team in reply managed only 5 more runs that of Dilshan’s personal best and in turn secured Sri Lanka’s passage to the finals.

2) CL White 85 off 49 v Sri Lanka in Barbados, IPL 2010 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.68

In this ICC T20 World Cup 2010 group fixture in Bridgetown, Australia got off to a shaky start and after 4.4 overs were reeling at 30-4. In stepped Cameron White at a moment when his personal international career was at stake. The nerves however showed at the other end of the strip as White hammered 85 runs off the 49 balls he faced and gave Australia a competitive total of 168 runs. In reply Sri Lanka floundered and managed only 87 runs. 63% of the runs scored by White came through boundaries which also included six towering sixes.

3) Kamran Akmal 64 off 33 v Australia in Melbourne, 2010 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.41

Chasing a paltry 128 against Australia, Pakistan were reduced to 5-1 in 2 overs when Kamran Akmal came in to bat. Even though he was going nuts from one end wickets kept falling from the other and soon Pakistan were reduced to 59-4 in 9 overs. However Akmal went on to smack a bowling attack including the likes of Nannes, Tait, Johnson and Watson and scored 64 runs off 33 balls before falling to Tait with Pakistan still requiring a further 30 runs off 35 balls. Unfortunately for Akmal the rest of the batting line up collapsed again and handed Australia a two run win. In his knock of 64 runs, 63 % of his runs came in fours. This percentage is even more overwhelming considering MCG’s reputation of having big boundaries. Excluding Akmal’s strike rate of 194, none of the top 8 Pakistani batsmen managed to reach a strike rate of even 100.

4) E Chigumbura 34 off 19 v West Indies in Port of Spain, 2010 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.24

The most unexpected player on this list, Chigumbura had a reputation of hitting it big in Zimbabwean domestic cricket and this was one performance where he actually transferred his abilities to the international arena. Even though he scored only 34 runs from the 19 deliveries that he faced, the innings was a special one considering Zimbabwe were 51-5 off 14 overs when he came and gave them a score of 105 runs to defend. In reply West Indies could manage only 79 runs in their 20 overs on a track which was spinning beyond measure. Chigumbura’s strike rate of 179 is even more awe-inspiring given that the next highest strike rate (80) was well below half his.

5) DA Warner 89 off 43 v South Africa in Melbourne, 2009 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.03

David Warner making his international debut in this particular match lived up to his hype smacking a whirlwind 89 runs off 43 balls against a South African bowling attack consisting of the likes of Ntini, Steyn, Morkel and Kallis. His importance in this particular match can be judged by the fact that after Warner’s exit Australia lost 6 wickets for only 42 runs in their last 6 overs. He also single handedly scored almost half (49%) of the team’s entire total. Also his hard hitting talent was on display as he cracked 72% of his total runs in boundaries. Australia eventually won the match with 52 runs to spare.

Here are the batsmen with the highest Strike Rate IMPACT numbers in the history of T20 domestic matches (minimum 15 matches).

1. CH Gayle (Strike Rate IMPACT 0.44, 64 matches)
2. Imran Nazir (0.44, 45)
3. Naved Malik (0.36, 20)
4. V Sehwag (0.34, 66)
5. SI de Saram (0.33, 31)

Unsurprisingly Chris Gayle heads the list mainly because of his batting exploits in the IPL, BBL and BPL in the last two years. Former Pakistani batsman Imran Nazir also finds himself on the list due to his power packed hitting performances in the Pakistani domestic T20 league. Virender Sehwag’s inclusion is a no brainer on this list whereas the addition of the 38 year old veteran Indika De Saram of Sri Lanka goes on to show the effectiveness of Impact Index in bringing out players who have never been heralded in such spaces before. The same applies t0 the 30-year-old Pakistani Naved Malik who has quite a reputation of hitting it big in the Pakistani domestic league.

The Five Highest Impact Strike Rate Performances in T20 domestic history

1) MK Tiwary 69 not out v Tamil Nadu in Hyderabad, 2011 - Batting IMPACT 15.22

Coming in to bat at a time when Bengal were tottering at 8-2 off 4.4 overs, Tiwary played an exceptional innings of 69 runs off just 44 balls in a match where only three batsmen managed to score in double digits. Tiwary scored 60% of the total team’s runs having faced only 36% of the total deliveries. The entire Tamil Nadu team in reply folded for 59 runs- ten runs lesser than Tiwary’s innings. Apart from Tiwary no other batsman from the entire Bengal batting line up managed to touch a strike rate of 100 which again accentuates Tiwary’s brilliance in this particular match.

2) BB McCullum 158 off 73 v Royal Challengers Bangalore  in Banglore, IPL 2008 - Strike Rate IMPACT 4.08

In an innings of unprecedented brutality McCullum tore into the RCB bowling line up and ended up with the record of the highest score by a batsman in a T20 game. It was a complete one-man show and the next highest scorer after him in the match was Ponting with 20. The entire RCB team in reply fell 76 runs short of McCullum’s individual innings.

3) YK Pathan 89 off 42 v Gujarat in Vadodara, 2010 - Strike Rate IMPACT 3.66

Chasing 129 against Gujarat, Baroda were expected to cruise to victory. However, a top order collapse ensued when Yousuf Pathan stepped in with Baroda at 2-2 after 0.4 overs. Soon the situation worsened and Baroda stuttered to 29-6 at the end of 7 overs. Pathan however took charge and finished with a match-winning knock of 89 runs off just 42 balls. He scored a whopping 69% of Baroda’s total team runs and hit 8 sixes in a match which contained only 12.  His Strike Rate IMPACT of 3.66 is also phenomenal considering there were 13 other batsmen in the match who actually got a negative strike rate impact.

4) GR Napier 152 off 58 v Sussex in Chelmsford, 2008 - Strike Rate IMPACT 3.65

In the soft and serene cricket ground of Chelmsford, carnage was unleashed by Graham Napier who played a mind boggling innings of 152 runs off just 58 balls. His innings was the record score by any batsman in a county match and missed McCullum’s world record highest individual T20 score by just 6 runs (which had occurred just 2 months ago). His innings however broke one McCullum record- one that of the highest number of sixes. Napier’s innings included 16 sixes and is still a record in the shortest format of the game. Sussex in reply fell 36 runs short of Napier’s personal best. 

5) RV Uthappa 64 off 20 v Andhra in Chennai, 2011 - Strike Rate IMPACT 3.36

Chasing a respectable score of 150 against Andhra Pradesh, Uthappa led Karnataka off to a blinder of a start with his innings of 64 runs in just 20 balls. By the time Uthappa left, Karnataka were cruising at 79-3 off just 5.4 overs. In Karnataka’s first 79 runs, Uthappa himself had scored 64 runs stamping his class as a brilliant T20 opener. Unfortunately, it seemed as if Uthappa’s innings stunned his own teammates more than the opposition - after a late order collapse, Karnataka still fell short of the mark by 37 runs. Uthappa scored 56% of Karnataka’s total runs having faced only 21% of the total deliveries in their innings. The rest of the 10 Karnataka batsmen scored only 46 runs compared to Uthappa’s 64 which just goes on to show his impact in this particular innings. Conventionally speaking his strike rate of 320 should have placed him on the top of this list however Impact Index calculates the Strike Rate Impact relative to all the batsmen’s performances in both the teams and hence Uthappa is at no.5 on this list.

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