CricViz analyst Freddie Wilde examines Jamaica Tallawahs’ CPL so far.
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Jamaica’s one win in Tarouba came against the team least well-suited to exploiting their vulnerabilities while their two defeats came against the two teams most well-suited to exploiting them.
In our season preview we identified that Jamaica’s one dimensional batting would be a problem: their top order is packed with right-handed, pace power-hitters. This means they are likely to be exposed against high quality spin and particularly left-arm spinners and leg spinners.
Jamaica were fortunate to start their campaign against St Lucia Zouks who—as we also noted in our preview—only have one spinner who turns the ball away from right-handers meaning they matched-up poorly with Jamaica’s rightie-heavy team, and they left that one bowler out of their team for the Jamaica match. The Zouks also have lots of spinners but no elite spinners and this means they are unlikely to circumvent unfavourable match-ups through sheer quality.
Although Jamaica registered a fairly comfortable win against the Zouks there were troubling signs in the run-chase. With Veerasammy Permaul batting at number eight the Tallawahs have the longest tail in the competition. This was clearly evident as Andre Russell poked his way to 16 off 17 balls, nudging Jamaica across the line, in order to protect the long tail from being exposed. Having a batting order as powerful as Jamaica’s but a tail as long as Jamaica’s is like having a Ferrari but driving it at 30 mph because it has no seatbelts.
The Tallawahs sought to remedy their lack of depth for their second match – bringing in off spinner Ramaal Lewis who offers more with the bat – but he was strangely swapped back out for their third match despite matching up well with Guyana’s left-handers, leaving Sandeep Lamichhane at eight once again.
Against Trinbago Knight Riders and Guyana Amazon Warriors Jamaica’s flaws were exposed. Both Trinbago and Guyana have elite spin bowlers and they compounded Jamaica’s difficulties by each adding a left-arm spinner to their attacks to exploit the Jamaican right-handers even more. Against Trinbago they could only muster 135 from their 20 overs while against Guyana they failed to chase 118 – the lowest unsuccessful chase in CPL history. Jamaica’s issues are neatly encapsulated by their dot ball percentage against spin which is the worst in the tournament by a long way.
Against Guyana Jamaica’s power-hitter heavy batting order faced a Major League record-equalling 85 dot balls, summing up the boom or bust approach of their batsmen. On better batting surfaces it might work but on slow, low pitches and against elite spinners, it’s going to prove tough going.
So far Andre Russell has been held back until late in the innings but he’s arguably the Tallawahs best player of spin and may have start coming in earlier in order to influence the game more and protect weaker players of spin such as Carlos Brathwaite.
Freddie Wilde is a CricViz analyst, @fwildecricket.