|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Fantasy||Mobile|
The number of batsmen from current Test nations who, in the last five years, have batted in the top seven in 25 or more ODI innings. When these 98 are ordered by strike rate, only one English player is in the top 20 - Eoin Morgan, scraping in at No. 20, with a strike rate of 90. Of the rest of the current England side, Kevin Pietersen is 43rd (SR 80), Jonathan Trott 58th (78), Ian Bell 77th and Alastair Cook 78th (both 72). When the 98 are ordered by average, again only one English player is in the top 20 - Trott, in fifth, averaging 51. Morgan is 27th (average 39), Cook 46th (35), Pietersen 50th (34) and Bell 55th (33).
Also: The position, in the list of Fastest ODI Innings Of Over 100 Since January 1, 2010, occupied by Alistair Cook's defiant but unsupported 119 off 143 balls at Lord's on Sunday. A hundred and nine ODI hundreds have been scored this decade, and only 11 of those innings have been scored at a slower rate than Cook's 83.21 - a fraction under five runs per over. Since 2000, when a batsman has scored a century at under five runs per over in the first innings of an ODI, his team has gone on to win in half of the matches. When a batsman has scored a first-innings hundred at between five and six per over, his team has been victorious in 68% of the matches; and when a player has smashed a ton at more than a run a ball, his team has defended successfully in 80% of the games. If this proves anything, it is that when an opening batsman scores an ODI hundred, it helps if his Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 hit more than two boundaries in 108 balls, and if his No. 4 doesn't crack after a few tight overs and spoon one to deep midwicket after making a good start.
Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writerFeeds: Andy Zaltzman
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Andy Zaltzman was born in obscurity in 1974. He has been a sporadically-acclaimed stand-up comedian since 1999, and has appeared regularly on BBC Radio 4. He is currently one half of TimesOnline's hit satirical podcast The Bugle, alongside John Oliver. Zaltzman's love of cricket outshone his aptitude for the game by a humiliating margin. He once scored 6 in 75 minutes in an Under-15 match, and failed to hit a six between the ages of 9 and 23. He would have been ideally suited to Tests, had not a congenital defect left him unable to play the game to anything above genuine village standard. He writes the Confectionery Stall blog on Cricinfo.