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The Stat That Is Costing Dawid Malan

CricViz analysis features in this week’s Telegraph newsletter, identifying the statistic that is costing Dawid Malan his England spot.

Dawid Malan arrived in South Africa for England’s T20 series with a T20I average of 57 and a strike rate of 156. Numbers that, Tim Wigmore notes in this week’s Telegraph newsletter, “placed him at the very apex of batsmanship in the format.” However, in an intriguing read Wigmore explains that the England management have identified more detailed statistics that count against Malan when compared to his rivals for a spot. 

“The focus on his exceptional T20 international strike rate obscures his initial sedateness. While Malan had shown that he can score at an ample rate, his approach at the start of his innings is markedly more conservative than his rivals for a berth in England’s T20 top three.”

CricViz data illustrates this point. “In all T20 cricket since the start of 2017, Roy, Buttler, Bairstow and the forgotten Alex Hales all have a strike rate of at least 136 in their first ten balls. Malan’s strike rate in his first 10 balls is only 113. This may be the statistic that explains why he is not in England’s first-choice T20 side. “

Wigmore explains that the non-selection of Malan is rooted in their approach to the Powerplay and the balance and depth of their team.

“The decision not to select Malan is rooted in how England want to approach the Powerplay. With allrounders Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali allowing them to bat deep, Malan’s consistent scoring is less valuable than in teams with shallower batting line-ups. Meanwhile a player like Roy — who is far less consistent than Malan in T20 cricket, but invariably begins at breakneck speed, injecting impetus even if he does not last beyond the fifth over — is more valuable because of England’s approach and depth of batting resources.”

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