Bowling lets West Indies down again

By Soham Sarkhel and Jatin Thakkar

After the 2-0  defeat in the Test series where the West Indians had shown promising signs of a fight, they were expected to perform better with the inclusion of their IPL stars - Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard in their line-up. However, what followed was a rather spineless performance from the West Indians which resulted in yet another 2-0 series loss (a ‘whitewash’, since the 3rd ODI got abandoned) against an efficient English team. Very much like the Test series, it was their bowling which comprehensively let them down – but this time, even their batting did not do them sufficiently proud.

Here is the series through the Impact Index prism.



Observations:

Ian Bell, who made his comeback to the ODI side as the replacement for Kevin Pietersen was the highest impact player in the series (Series IMPACT 4.00) and was also rightly declared the Player of the Series. Bell was also the highest impact batsman in the series, something that even his conventional statistics confirm. His performance in the 1st ODI where he scored 126 off 117 balls (Batting IMPACT 8.11) was also the highest impact batting performance in the series.

Tim Bresnan was the highest impact bowler in the series. His performance in the 1st ODI (4-34 off 7.4 overs, Bowling IMPACT 5.00) was the highest impact bowling performance in the series. In fact, from West Indies, only Darren Sammy makes it to the list of top 5 bowlers. Except for him and Marlon Samuels, all the other West Indian bowlers failed to register a Bowling IMPACT of even 1 in the series. Given that both are actually all-rounders, this reveals that the West Indians lost the series on the bowling front rather than the batting.

Interestingly, amongst the four highest impact players in this series, two of them are from West Indies – namely Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. Gayle, who missed the first ODI due to an injury, made his comeback to the West Indian side after almost 16 months with a typical whirlwind innings. Chris Gayle (53 off 51; Batting IMPACT 3.13), Dwayne Bravo (77 off 82; 5.09) and Kieron Pollard (41 off 52; 2.76) combined well in the 2nd ODI but West Indies’ total of 238 was not enough to give England much of a fight.

Overall, four players absorbed pressure in this series – Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard in the 2nd ODI and Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott in the 1st ODI. The 100 runs partnership between Dwayne Bravo (77 off 82 balls, Pressure IMPACT 0.69) and Kieron Pollard (41 off 52 balls, Pressure IMPACT 0.69) in the 2nd ODI (they came in at 79-4 and helped West Indies reach a competitive total of 238-9) providing one of the very few bright spots in the series for West Indies.

Darren Sammy, Tim Bresnan, Sunil Narine and Graeme Swann broke partnerships (Partnership Building IMPACT) whereas Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann built pressure on the batsmen with quick wickets (Pressure Building IMPACT).

Only three players had an all-round impact in this series (both Batting and Bowling IMPACT above 1), namely- Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Marlon Samuels (though, he just about makes the cut).

While 6 players registered a Series IMPACT of less than 1 for West Indies, only Eoin Morgan registered a Series IMPACT of less than 1 for England. Also, 7 English players were amongst the 10 highest impact players in this series. It is again this inconsistency as a team which cost West Indies in the end.

England registered a Team IMPACT of 2.26 in the series as compared to West Indies’ 1.27, England’s IMPACT being 78% higher than that of West Indies. The difference mainly came from the Team Bowling IMPACT in the series – England’s was 2.10 as compared to West Indies’ 0.76.

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