By Jaideep Varma and Jatin Thakkar
After two consecutive whitewashes in different formats (bizarrely by both teams), the third series at last provided an even contest between the two sides, complete with thrilling decider. And some of the biggest players in both sides had their say.
Here is an overview of the series through the Impact Index lens.
KP Pietersen is the world’s highest impact T20 batsman, bar none. Both in T20 internationals and in domestic tournaments, no one has had a greater impact with the bat than he has in the format’s history (whatever little of it there may be).
It was therefore fitting that he took charge of this series – he was easily its highest impact batsman, and player. His series-defining performance in the deciding match (62 off 52, IMPACT 6.40) was the highest-impact batting performance in that game as well as the entire series. As also befits his status as the batsman with the lowest rate of failure (failing to register an IMPACT of even 1 in a match) in T20 cricket, he did not fail even once in the series and was rightly awarded both the Player of the Match as well as the Player of the Series awards at the end of the 3rd game.
Jonny Bairstow was the second-highest impact batsman in the series from both sides (85 runs, only once out, IMPACT 2.28) – his high point being the unbeaten 60 in the second game that eventually won the match comfortably for England.
Misbah-ul-Haq was the only batsman besides Pietersen to have a 0% failure rate in the series. He was also the highest-impact batsman for his team in the series…the only Pakistani batsman to have a Series IMPACT of over 2. In fact, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik and Awais Zia were the only batsmen from both sides in the entire series who absorbed pressure successfully. Or, more accurately, needed to.
GP Swann was the highest-impact bowler in the series. Swann had the highest Economy IMPACT (ability to bowl tight) in the series. Swann was also the only bowler to have had Pressure Building IMPACT (ability to build pressure on batsmen with quick wickets) largely due to his effort in the first T20I where he reduced Pakistan from 65-2 to 73-5 at the end of the 10th over. This performance (3 for 13 in 4 overs, IMPACT 6.49) also turned out to be the highest-impact bowling performance in the series.
Although Saeed Ajmal’s performance in the deciding game of the series (4 for 23 in 4 overs, IMPACT 5.19) earned him a Big Match IMPACT, he was the second-highest impact bowler in the series after Swann and the highest for Pakistan. While Swann had a 0% failure rate, Saeed Ajmal failed to cross a Bowling IMPACT of 1 in the first game.
Alongside Swann, SCJ Broad and JW Dernbach also had a 0% failure rate in the series for England. None of the bowlers from Pakistan could manage the same.
Shahid Afridi was the only player to have had an all-round impact in the series (both Batting and Bowling IMPACT over 1) besides wicketkeeper-batsman C Kieswetter. However, Shahid Afridi also managed to register a negative Strike Rate IMPACT in the series while batting as he barely managed to cross 1 on the Batting IMPACT. Not a common occurrence at all with him, of course.
Overall in the series, England had a Team IMPACT of 2.19 in the series as compared to Pakistan’s 1.80. The comfortable victory England had in the second match widening their IMPACT gap but it is fair to say, given the margin of 5 runs in the deciding match, this was a close series. Finally.
For more information, please go to www.impactindexcricket.com
By Jaideep Varma and Jatin Thakkar