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  #1  
Old February 21, 2011, 02:28 PM
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Default If it ain't broke...don't fix it???

The batting powerplay. All teams have struggled at one time or another. Some teams are better than others. We are worst. No one comes close to us. Not even Zimbabwe.

So is there a problem? First step to cure is admission of a problem.

The last time we had a good finish to an ODI innings was over a year ago, the 2nd ODI against NZ at Dunedin. We were 91-6 after 40 overs, and we scored 92 runs in the final 10 overs to get to 183. Our study begins here.

To keep things simple, I'm not going to worry about wickets lost, because frankly the best batsmen will get out more often than not at some point in the final 10 overs/batting PP.

So the benchmark is what we ourselves have done. Not what Razzaq and Pakistan or Pathan and India can do. So here is a list of the runs scored in the final 10 overs, and the balls we played in that span + the wickets we had left at the beginning of the 41st over.

43 runs from 60 balls (6 wickets in hand) v NZ
19 runs from 34 balls (4 wickets in hand) v ENG
53 runs from 60 balls (6 wickets in hand) v ENG
49 runs from 60 balls (5 wickets in hand) v ENG
DNB v IND
only faced 2 balls v SL
53 runs from 60 balls (9 wickets in hand) v PAK
63 runs from 60 balls (6 wickets in hand) v ENG
53 runs from 60 balls (5 wickets in hand) v ENG
24 runs from 30 balls (3 wickets in hand) v ENG
51 runs from 60 balls (5 wickets in hand) v IRE
DNB v IRE
DNB v NET
57 runs from 57 balls (5 wickets in hand) v NZ
DNB
40 runs from 49 balls (5 wickets in hand) v NZ
11 runs from 26 balls (3 wickets in hand) v NZ
37 runs from 54 balls (4 wickets in hand) v ZIM
DNB v ZIM
75 runs from 60 balls (6 wickets in hand) v ZIM
DNB v ZIM
47 runs from 60 balls (6 wickets in hand) v IND

Total Runs = 675
Total Balls = 790
Strike Rate = 85.44

Using the stats from this Cricinfo article I took the average of the run rates of the other 9 teams (including ZIM) that have test status.

They score an average of 7.34 runs per over, which equates to a strike rate of 122.33

This means that the opposition scores 1.43 runs per over per run we score in the last 10 overs of ODIs (this is an aproximate statistic).

Regardless, a strike rate of 85 over the slog overs in our last 21 matches is not just poor, its terrible. We can't expect, nor do we need to be able to blast like Razzaq and Afridi at Strike Rates approaching 200. But 125-150 should be the benchmark.

We have played Naeem and/or Riyad almost exclusively at the lower order positions in this time span, and they have performed quite poorly.

In the time span of the above list (Feb 10, 2010 to present) Riyad has an average of 20, but more importantly his SR is a scarcely believable 59.34. In each innings he has batted at the 6-8 positions, and in almost all cases we have had plenty of wickets remaining at the 41st over, meaning that either Riyad, or Naeem, and likely both were still available to bat. Riyad's SR never once crossed 100, in 17 innings. He had a SR equal to 100 twice, and scored a combined 12 runs in those 2 innings. 15 out of 17 innings he's scored at less than a run a ball. He may be better suited up the order, but he certainly doesn't belong at 6-8.

Onto Naeem, one of our best fielders, and I guy in whose abilities I had blind trust until I saw him swing and miss 3 consecutive deliveries from Zaheer or Munaf.

Naeem averages only 17 and change, but 17 off say 10 balls is not a problem in the slog overs. You don't need guys to hit centuries batting way down the order. So we can't measure "failure" for Naeem or Riyad by their sub-par averages. It must be based on their strike rates. Naeem's SR is somewhat better than Riyad's at an embarassing 69.10.

Obviously, there is a problem. When Zimbabwe is several notches above a certain aspect of your game, and they're not world class in that aspect, you have a serious problem.

We have seen that 250 starts become 220 totals. 275+ starts become 240 totals, and against India we saw a 300-320 start sputter into a 283 total. 283 might not be a a crap total, but its at best decent when the opposition racks up 370. This is not a time to bask in the reputations of who piled up 370.

Who can bat at 6-8?

My answer, echoed by only a tiny group of people here is none other than Sir Ashraful, the greatest cricketing brain this side of the astroid belt.

Those who say "no", must then accept keeping Naeem and Riyad, and pretend that a SR of 88 over the past year is just fine for the slog overs. A SR which is brought down by the duo who bat at derivatives of 59 and 69 each.

If Tamim and Imrul must open, they cannot bat at 6-8. Rahim was just promoted because he doesn't fit that spot either. Shakib is too important to bat that low. Rock did just OK in the one chance he's had so far, he may not be the answer. Shuvo is just as bad as Naeem and Riyad.

That leaves Junaid and SN.

Junaid has the #3 position, and while I'm not totally sold on him yet, his most recent performances indicate he is has stopped taking his estradiol pills. Shahriar Nafees may be a batsman who can take over for a top order spot, as he is a more "responsible" bat. Regardless, he doesn't have the hitting capability as evidenced from the fact that he's only hit 7 sixes in his ODI career.

In the immediate future that leaves the following options:

Aftab
Alok
Shubhagoto
Sabbir
Jahirul
a few ex-U19ers

Of those, Aftab, Alok, Hom, and Sabbir have done virtually zero in domestic cricket to warrant selection. Neither has Jahirul, although he averages 30 in the limited caps he's gotten.

The ex-U19ers are certainly promising, based on what has been said about them on BC. But none of them are in the squad for the WC...they can't help us to reach teh QF stage.

The argument against Ashraful seems to be more to punish him rather than because its a step backwards. Because a step backwards it isn't. At least not statistically.

In the time frame in question Ashraful has scored his runs at an appalling SR of 51.95. However he has played primarily in the top of the order. I don't think I have to convince anyone that he doesn't belong there, although he may have had his biggest successes there in the past.

Now, common sense is a scarce commodity, and thus it should go without saying that the man who owns the fastest Bangladesh 50s in all 3 formats might be a guy you would put down the order in an ODI. Nah, why would you want a a potentially quick scorer during the batting powerplay.

But we know that common sense fades away in the face of fan anger.

In that regard, comparative numbers should do the trick.

Who between Ash, Naeem, and Riyad has a poorer strike rate when compared to the international averages at that position?

Ash as a top order bat has a SR of 51.95 vs an internationally solid figure of 85 for example.

51.95/85 = 61%

Naeem has a SR of 69.10, and the average according to S Rajesh was estimated to be 122.33 = 56%

Riyad: 59.34/122.33 = 49%

What this means is that although all 3 are much slower scorers than the international average or standard for that position/period of innings, Ashraful is the least slow. So throwing around his SR is not only meaningless, but statistically dishonest as well. Bear in mind, the benefit of the doubt is probably in favor of Naeem and Riyad because the figure of 122.33 is not a terribly high strike rate for the last 10 overs, its only 12 runs off 10 balls. Virender Sehwag and Shahid Afridi score at that pace outside of the slog overs, and guys like Razzaq, Oram, and Pathan can often go at 2 runs a ball.
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Last edited by al Furqaan; February 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM.. Reason: correction to stats
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  #2  
Old February 21, 2011, 02:31 PM
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and for those who stopped reading when the world "ashraful" was dropped early on...yes, I think ashraful will do better than anyone else we have as options for the 6-8 positions this world cup, all things considered.

a first ball duck will still be better than the 14 ball 8 that Riyad and Naeem combined for when 300 looked like a certainty in the last match, because its 1 ball wasted vs 6 balls wasted.

should ashraful waste more than 6 deliveries, this thread will be retracted. but i feel pretty safe on my bet.
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  #3  
Old February 21, 2011, 02:54 PM
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Needless to say, I agree and approve! Great work Al. Loved the line- this side of Asteroid Belt! Yes, once again, given the cards that we have been dealt with, in regard to what we have available in the squad, he ( Ash ) must be looked at as someone who must be tried at this point. I mentioned it in the other thread, though your writing skills and statistical break down obviously has more convincing power. Good stuff..

oh yeah..its broke, and time to fix it..
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:01 PM
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Completely agree with everything. Sir Ash is our only option and I too believe he will play some quick innings in the coming matches if given the opportunity. I am not talkig about a 50 or 100. A 30 off 20 balls wil do great.

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Old February 21, 2011, 03:15 PM
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I do want want any change in the aquad against Ireland, though I will take Shuvo instead of Naeem but thats it. Let us win against the Irish first than we can have another change if needed.

Great analysis Asaad bhai.
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:19 PM
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where is the like button ?
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:29 PM
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Great analysis bro! accept every part.

So, if Sir Ash doesn't get the spot in place of Nayeem/Riyad, i would like to see Shuvogoto/ Nasir/ Shabbir or even Nazmul Hossain Milon.
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:39 PM
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great anslysis ! Ash is in the 15 anyways, bring him in the IRE match.

BD has many minnow bashers, but Ash is one of the few Giant bashers on his day. IMHO BD has nothing to lose trying Ash out. If not better than anyone, he wont be the worst either.

Cheers !
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:39 PM
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According to few newspaper today(dailysun/pa/newa)....Ash is likely to come in the team for Ireland match in place of Nayeem or Riyad and will bat @ no 7/8.

Quote:
১৯ ফেব্রুয়ারি ভারত ম্যাচের আগেও আশরাফুল ভালোভাবেই আলোচনায় ছিলেন। একটা পর্যায়ে তো এমনও শোনা গিয়েছিল, সাত নম্বরে নাঈম ইসলামের পরিবর্তে আশরাফুল থাকবেন একাদশে। শেষ পর্যন্ত সেটা না হলেও আয়ারল্যান্ড ম্যাচের দলে অন্তত এই পরিবর্তনটা নিশ্চিত। কে বাদ যাবেন—প্রশ্নে সিডন্সের চিন্তায় কাল পর্যন্ত ‘নাঈম কিংবা মাহমুদউল্লাহ’ ঘুরপাক খেলেও জানা গেছে, বাদ পড়তে যাওয়া ক্রিকেটারটির নাম নাঈম ইসলাম হওয়ার সম্ভাবনাই বেশি।
http://www.prothom-alo.com/detail/da...22/news/133088



But why is it gotto be Nayeem? if we drop nayeem we will be one bowler short coz Riyad sux completely in bowling as well as fielding . and mind you, Nayeem wasn''t given as many as chance they gave to Riyad.
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nadim 98
According to few newspaper today(dailysun/pa/newa)....Ash is likely to come in the team for Ireland match in place of Nayeem or Riyad and will bat @ no 7/8.



http://www.prothom-alo.com/detail/da...22/news/133088



But why is it gotto be Nayeem? if we drop nayeem we will be one bowler short coz Riyad sux completely in bowling as well as fielding . and mind you, Nayeem wasn''t given as many as chance they gave to Riyad.
woot woot
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:59 PM
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Mahmudullah is completely unsuited as a No.7 in ODI. In fact, he is completely unsuited to ODI. Period. He should be a Test Match number 5. Shakib won't let him. He is, in fact, our Laxman.

I would take Shuvo. Taking Ash as No.7 would inevitably start the bandwagon to restore him to his "rightful" place!

I was at Dhaka when we scored 260 against England. There was nothing wrong with Shuvo's closing overs. Ash, to my mind, lacks simple cricketing intelligence. More to the point, he lacks intelligence! There is another way on saying the same thing. It is a six letter word - starts with an "S" and ends with "d".
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Old February 21, 2011, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalpurush
I do want want any change in the aquad against Ireland, though I will take Shuvo instead of Naeem but thats it. Let us win against the Irish first than we can have another change if needed.

Great analysis Asaad bhai.
I don't want any changes either for the Ireland game. As Sohel bhai has said before, "cricket is a process". Process should matter more than short term gain. Every series is a new beginning for EVERYONE. Hence both of Riyad/Naeem should get one final go, although I should emphasize again, they've failed in aprox 20 consecutive innings now. I never agreed with Ashraful being dumped after singular trials against ZIM and PAK, it would be inconsistent to deal with anyone else in that manner.

That being said, what do we do when the WC is finished and if Ash fails in the lower middle order? Who do we bring in then?

My choice would be Jahirul. He is more or less equal with Sabbir, Alok, Aftab, and Hom in domestic record...but he has the sole advantage of having a 30+ average in ODIs. And he can deliver some big blows. If he fails, we keep on going down the list until we find someone. But at this point my guess would be that Javed Omar could do as good job as Riyad and Naeem have so far.

As far as Shahriar Nafees goes, he's a top order batsman, although he can probably open only against the minnows. As such it would be a waste of his skill to give him the slogger/finisher role. Thus he takes over for whoever out of Junaid and Rock can't last the distance. Right now, my money is on Rock being replaced, but anything can happen. Its also good in a way that SN is being kept out of a place, despite the fact that he deserves it for quite some time now. Because this will show that as apologetic he might be, turning his back on the national side (a perfectly legit professional move, btw) has consequences. He will not take his place for granted ever again.
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Old February 21, 2011, 07:28 PM
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why is the think tank so fickle these days? Riyad and Naeem do deserve one final chance - they would muck it up anyways in all likelyhood. So what happens if Ash fails, do they bring Riyad/Naeem back against WI?

and we wonder why some of our "talents" have fallen by the wayside...this is the world cup, think tank has to show more faith in the 15 they selected, just one reason being because THEY selected them to begin with!
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Old February 21, 2011, 07:32 PM
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Good to see AF bhai channeling his energy to zone in our fundamental problem. Great post.
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Old February 21, 2011, 07:41 PM
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Asaad, thoroughly enjoyed the stats and your reasoning. Its always a pleasure reading what you write.

My two cents - although i agree that the most immediate choice is Ash, the longer term solution should be a bowler who can smack the ball all around. Given that description, the only person that fits the requirement somewhat is Mash, but there's no way he's fit for that without some grooming.

Btw, did you leave Mash out intentionally? Or was that an oversight?
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Old February 21, 2011, 07:44 PM
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If you're only considering WC, then i think Nayeem should be tried a bit more. Dont forget that he has surprise us in the past. He might need some grooming. In fact, i might be more inclined to drop Raquibul and take Ash instead for #7/8.
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Old February 21, 2011, 07:45 PM
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Even having ASH in the XI won't do any good if they still don't know how to utilize it, as in when to take it! If ASH and his partner(Shakib, Mushy or whoever it is) go back to the dressing room before the 45th over and then they decide to take the PP.....anything will hardly change!
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Old February 21, 2011, 07:49 PM
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great article.
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Old February 21, 2011, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabir

Btw, did you leave Mash out intentionally? Or was that an oversight?
i still hope mash can be our opening bowler who can give us 10 overs a game of controlled bowling. of course the big hitting is there. but i was primarily concerned with proper batsman who can play proper cricketing shots for the slogger/finisher role. mash can play proper shots, but in ODIs and in teh slog overs he's very much a "throw the bathtub at it" kinda dude, although he is a very talented and skilled hitter. also, he is not in the WC squad. but for long term, he's a good no 8. i am primarily interested in an #6, 7...although i understand that my use of Oram and Razzaq and Pathan as examples means that Mashrafee is also a perfectly legit consideration.

thanks for your praise, it means a lot.
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Old February 21, 2011, 08:16 PM
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What is Shuvo's mistake....he is an amazing bowler....dont deserve the exclusion, atleast does not deserve to be replaced by naeem and mahmudullah.... and Rock is useless, he is just a good fielder and nothing more.....
if it aint broke, dont fix it...keep the combo for NZ going plssssss
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Old February 21, 2011, 08:36 PM
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the clue to our batting would be getting a player who has muscles and train him to smash the ball. Roqibul cannot hit the ball that well, so as Mahmudullah and Naeem Islam yet they are the players who will probably be batting in the powerplay in the future matches in the world cup. Although that wont happen
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Old February 21, 2011, 09:04 PM
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I just wanted to post this. Some food for thought...

The Power Play is an enigma for ALL teams. I watched India lose 4 wickets and score just 18 runs in it recently against South Africa in one of the ODIs. And I also feel that far too much importance is put on it. Let me explain:

The mentality of a batsman in a PP is key. There are 3 fielders out on the fence, that is the only difference. It is not a slog fest. It is not 30 balls of free hits. It is simply that only 3 fielders can be on the boundary. That means more fielders are IN the ring than normal so singles become slightly tighter. Shot selection is key. Finding gaps in a more congested inner ring is harder. And that's why less skillful batsmen feel they have to go aerial. And it is THIS that creates wickets - particularly against BD when we are batting.

But 6 hard runs twos, is as good as three smashed 4's or two walloped 6s. They all add up to 12. The Mirpur ground is huge with 75-80m boundaries. That means there are twos and threes to be run all over the place when you find a gap.

I share this because the crowds in BD seem to ONLY want boundaries. They are happiest when the ball is flying into the 15th row. And yet if the batsmen try this and fail, then they are 'useless at the PP'.

So, my views are that SMART cricket is required by hitting gaps in the outfield and running hard. Boundaries will come anyway. Target areas of the ground where it's easiest to hit. Play to your strengths.

I have spent more than 8 years coaching in first-class cricket in the UK where we have powerplays all the time. This is how we try to bat. And the batsmen all know what to do and where they are trying to hit the ball - it is not blind swinging of the bat and hoping like amateurs do on a Sunday park match.

A powerplay is not a slog-a-thon. It is simply 30 balls where you have more gaps in a very large outfield. The boundary size doesn't change. It's still huge. All that changes is the mindset. Play positively. Hit your areas of strength. Manipulate the ball into holes. Run hard (you should be anyway in ODI cricket). Boundaries will come due to the fact less fielders can stop the ball outside the inner ring. Play proper cricket shots.

I would rather get 14 singles, 10 twos and 5 fours in a PP, than 9 sixes and four lost wickets trying to hit even more sixes.
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Old February 21, 2011, 09:17 PM
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agreed coach, in that case, Ashraful is actually one of our best in terms of finding gaps and working the ball around. Shakib is the best, and I believe Alok is next, followed by Ashraful and the rest.
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  #24  
Old February 21, 2011, 09:30 PM
iDumb iDumb is offline
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I think the point of this post is that.. despite having a lot of wickets (as much as 9 wickets in hand), we are still scoring below run a ball in last 10 overs.

I don't think we are complaining so much about 4s or 6s but rather the number of runs being scored. ie 40 runs vs 70 runs in last 10 overs when more than 6 wickets are in hand.

Our opening is great, our finishing not so.
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  #25  
Old February 21, 2011, 09:42 PM
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Night_wolf Night_wolf is offline
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We were struggling with openers before tamim came..our opening partnerships sucked big time back then..now its some what stable,we'll find a finisher too in the future..for now we need a temporary solution
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