Samuels, Mendis lead the way
The analysis looked at every batting and bowling performance in Twenty20 internationals, with each one getting a score. As in the IPL analysis, there's extra emphasis on the scoring rates and economy rates, given the constraints of the number of deliveries available in this format. The performances were compared against the match stats, which means batsmen were rewarded for scoring quickly in a low-scoring game, while bowlers got more points for a tidy spell in a high-scoring match than in a low-scoring one. For batting performances, the innings were compared against the average scores at each batting position - that gave a deserved push to significant innings lower down the order, given that many of them were in high-pressure situations in which quick runs were required with few balls remaining.
Marlon Samuels, the Man of the Match in the World Twenty20 final, and Ajantha Mendis, the highest wicket-taker in the tournament, have emerged the best batsman and bowler according to ESPNcricinfo's analysis of individual performances in the World Twenty20 2012. Samuels, who has been consistent across all formats in the last year, extended his run through the tournament and ended it as West Indies' highest run-getter (third overall). Mendis, who had struggled with injuries in the last few months, started the tournament with an extraordinary performance against Zimbabwe and ended it with 4 for 12 in the final against West Indies. The study also ranked Brendon McCullum's superb 123 against Bangladesh as the best batting display and Mendis' six-wicket haul against Zimbabwe as the best bowling performance.
McCullum became the first batsman to score two centuries in Twenty20 internationals when he smashed the Bangladesh attack in New Zealand's opening game. In a game where the other batsmen managed to score at just over a run a ball, McCullum's strike rate of 212.06 stood out. Samuels rescued West Indies in the final after they were struggling at 14 for 2 at the end of the Powerplay. His effort is ranked high not just because of the strike rate (139.28) in a low-scoring game but also because the runs came against a high-quality Sri Lankan attack in a crunch game. Luke Wright figures twice in the top ten for his knocks of 76 against New Zealand and 99 against Afghanistan. Two other stand-out performances (both in defeats) in the top ten include Eoin Morgan's 71 against West Indies and Faf du Plessis' 65 against India in the final Super Eights game. Watson, the Player of the Tournament, did not make it to the top ten but ended with two performances in the top 15. It is interesting to note that apart from the West Indies (three in top ten), no batsman from the other three semi-finalists features in the top ten.
|Brendon McCullum||New Zealand||Bangladesh||123||58||73.07|
|Marlon Samuels||West Indies||Sri Lanka||78||56||61.73|
|Luke Wright||England||New Zealand||76||43||53.96|
|Shakib Al Hasan||Bangladesh||Pakistan||84||54||52.77|
|Eoin Morgan||England||West Indies||71||36||50.56|
|Chris Gayle||West Indies||Australia||75||41||48.18|
|Faf du Plessis||South Africa||India||65||38||44.50|
|Johnson Charles||West Indies||England||84||56||43.80|
Mendis' 6 for 8 is certainly not a surprise at the top. Although the performance did not come against a higher-ranked team, the economy rate (2.00) and strike rate (4.00) are phenomenal. Mendis figures in second position too for his 4 for 12 against West Indies in the final. His wickets included those of the dangerous Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, who had both combined to put the game beyond Australia in the semi-final. Harbhajan Singh's four-wicket haul against England was one of the few bright spots for India in an otherwise disappointing tournament. Two West Indian bowlers slot in at four and five. Ravi Rampaul bowled an aggressive spell in the semi-final against Australia and finished with figures of 3 for 16 that included the wickets of Cameron White and David Hussey. Sunil Narine conceded just nine runs off his 3.4 overs in the final and dismissed Mahela Jayawardene before returning to halt Sri Lanka's fightback by picking up the wicket of Nuwan Kulasekara. Lasith Malinga, who went for 54 runs off his four overs in the final, had a below-par tournament by his standards. However, his performance against England (5 for 31), which is ranked ninth, stood out because all five of his wickets were those of top-seven batsmen.
|Ajantha Mendis||Sri Lanka||Zimbabwe||6||8||58.62|
|Ajantha Mendis||Sri Lanka||West Indies||4||12||56.67|
|Ravi Rampaul||West Indies||Australia||3||16||50.59|
|Sunil Narine||West Indies||Sri Lanka||3||9||49.24|
|Xavier Doherty||Australia||South Africa||3||20||47.44|
|Steve Finn||England||New Zealand||3||16||47.00|
|Ajantha Mendis||Sri Lanka||West Indies||2||12||45.70|
|Lasith Malinga||Sri Lanka||England||5||31||44.50|
Samuels scored three half-centuries in the tournament and ended with 230 runs. None of his knocks, however, was as crucial as his stunning performance in the final which lifted West Indies from a hopeless 32 for 2 at the end of ten overs to a competitive 137 at the end of 20 overs. Gayle, who comes in second, hit the most sixes in the tournament (16). In the semi-final against Australia, he played a highly responsible knock batting through the 20 overs pushing West Indies to a huge total of 205. Watson was in exceptional form early in the tournament, winning four consecutive Man-of-the-Match awards. He ended the tournament as the top run-scorer (249 runs) but came up short in the last two matches against Pakistan and West Indies. McCullum, the highest run-getter In Twenty20 internationals comes in fourth ahead of Virat Kohli, who was India's best batsman by a distance. The top ten is rounded off by Michael Hussey, who was dismissed only twice in five innings in the tournament while scoring 155 runs.
With 15 wickets at an average of 9.80 and economy rate of 6.12, Mendis ended the tournament as the best bowler. Narine, who came in second, had an even better economy rate (5.63) than Mendis but did not pick up wickets with the same regularity. Samuel Badree, who is third, played a vital role for West Indies in the latter stages of the tournament ending with a healthy economy rate of 5.56. Fifth-placed Watson's all-round skills were on display throughout the tournament as he finished with 11 wickets at an average of 16.00. Raza Hasan, Pakistan's left-arm spinner, maintained an exceptional economy rate of just 4.93 despite operating during the Powerplay overs. The top-ten list is completed by Saeed Ajmal, the leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 internationals, and Dale Steyn, who had the best economy rate (4.82) among all bowlers who bowled 15 or more overs in the tournament.
For the performance analysis of Twenty20 internationals, click here.
Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo