Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2017, Hyderabad April 19, 2017

The Morris v Mathews debate

Despite statistics that seem to suggest otherwise, Delhi Daredevils have continued to bat Angelo Mathews above Chris Morris
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Angelo Mathews has not been the best finisher in T20 cricket © BCCI

At 105 for 3, chasing 192, Sanju Samson holed out to leave Delhi Daredevils needing 87 runs off 41 balls. It seemed an excellent time to send in Chris Morris, the allrounder with a strike-rate of 238.7 this IPL season. But the management preferred Angelo Mathews, who then laboured to 31 runs off 23 balls, before getting out off the penultimate ball.

Morris, in prime hitting form, did not face a single ball, and the Daredevils slumped to their third loss in five games. Was this a wise strategy? Cold, hard numbers suggest otherwise.

Chris Morris v Angelo Mathews in chases for IPL and T20I teams
Mathews Morris
 Innings  41 19
 Batting average  22.96 35.85
 Batting average between overs 16-20  17.30 44.62
 Strike Rate between overs 16-20  143.81 172.46
 Balls per boundary between overs 16-20  6.69 4.6

Daredevils have not let Morris bat higher than No. 6 in IPL 2017. As a result, he has only faced 31 deliveries, but has hit 12 of them for fours of sixes. Mathews, on Wednesday, took 20 balls to hit his first six and collected only three boundaries in total. Shreyas Iyer, at the other end, ended up facing just 12 deliveries in the last five overs.

Getting the small things right amount to a great deal in T20 cricket, and Daredevils, with respect to this issue, are struggling.

Srinath Sripath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bhanuma_nagadeep on April 21, 2017, 20:24 GMT

    Other questions ppl r forgetting to ask.... why drop Nadeem when he has bowled superbly for them this IPL? Jayant Yadav bowled decently in last match, but Matthews,Mishra bowls more overs than him and ends up leaking runs. Mishra has been leaking runs every game....seems to be in awful form......If DD wants to be a bowling heavy team, they cant keep a guy who is out of form....

    Iyer/Morris didnt got enough strike in last game.....Pant didnt got enough strike in RCB game....he faced very few balls after 15 overs

    seems like DD is reluctant to give more strike to their in form batsman...similarly, they are happy to bowl with out of form bowlers

  • Karthi_2K11 on April 21, 2017, 9:10 GMT

    This is another decision in a long list of perplexing ones taken by DD this season...1) Why was Morris not sent above Mathews when DD required 87 runs off 41 balls in the match against SRH ? 2) Why did they let go off I Tahir, the most successful leg-spinner with 8 wickets in the first 3rd of this IPL season's games for RPS (& with 2 PowerPlay wickets in 3 overs twice !) at an economy rate of 8.56 ? 3) Why did DD spend only 61 % of its budget to replace the 7 players let go off after IPL 2016 season (in which they had finished 3rd from bottom of the table ? 4) Why did they buy Ben Hilfenhaus to replace JPD when they already had a pace bowler packed-side (Cummins, Morris, Anderson, Brathwaite, "ZAK", & Mathews), & they lacked recognized batsmen (what with QDK, JPD, & Shreyas Iyer, who missed the 1st 2 weeks of the season due to Chickenpox) ? Rishabh Pant had to even cover for ZAK by playing despite his father's demise the same day. I think it was Manjrekar said on live TV, "go figure !"

  • Jatin. on April 21, 2017, 4:01 GMT

    Even before the player auction this year, I predicted here on Cricinfo that Delhi might again buy Angelo Mathews. If that was not atrocious, they released Tahir, (who is doing wonders for Pune after being unsold in auction) & retained Duminy (who opted out on his own, which was nothing but blessing in disguise for Delhi).

    Rahul Dravid made mockery of Team selections last year & from a very comfortable position, Delhi failed to reach play-offs because they never allowed the team & right combination to settle.

    It seems Dravid & Delhi Management have not learnt anything in last 9 editions as how IPL is to be played.

    I thought they might have learned something from their previous goof-ups but they are piling up on their previous misdemeanors.

  •   espn87895683 on April 21, 2017, 2:58 GMT

    Nothing new with DDD. They will not learn, they did the exact same thing with Duminy in earlier season. He was in ripe form, hitting six with ease but was being sent way down the order. As far as Angelo n Shreyas, they never seemed to take a risk. DDD has lost way too many matches due to their approach.

  • TheRealMvp•_• on April 21, 2017, 2:36 GMT

    "Even sl wont keep him in their t20 side " @chuul , where did you get that idea .I don't believe that mathews has ever been dropped by sl since his debut

  • cricfan75361585 on April 20, 2017, 18:50 GMT

    I would love to hear the reasoning from Dravid/Upton/Zaheer as to why they keep holding back Morris. Never seem to hear anything from them

  • shaileshwillbe on April 20, 2017, 17:14 GMT

    Poor poor innings from Mathews, not because of the runs scored.But the intent,it was clearly visible that he was playing with only 1 objective of scoring runs that will only help him.Very poor attitude was on display from him.He never tried to hit ball for 6 until last over, all the 2nd run of Iyer were also declined. I hope Delhi mgmt takes notice of it & will rest him full season because of his innings.

  • DontMessWithZohan on April 20, 2017, 16:37 GMT

    Nice to see everybody criticizing the decision but still giving respect to Dravid as a batsman and as a sportsperson he always has been. And I feel the same. He takes too much of positives. Even Zaheer Khan seems to take too much positives in every game. I am still happy that SRH won, because it is one of the teams that I am supporting. But still DD needs to fix these types of things and not lose the games that they should have won.

    And lastly, I am not liking the attitude of Chris Morris these days. He seems to be not giving any respect to run scoring batsmen of opponent team. Question to Morris: You can hit 31 in 9 balls, but can't a opposition batsman hit 2 boundaries in a row???

  • chuul on April 20, 2017, 14:18 GMT

    Big fan of Sir Dravid not only as a player but more of as a good human being he is. I am following him since his debut till his retirement from all forms of cricket. But What i could not understand is his habit of experimenting in batting orders. I still remember the champions league final when RR under his captaincy lost to MI only coz of some bizzare decisions by dravid. What is point of sending Mathews ahead of morris? I even ask what is the point of having Mathews in the Squad? He is a test player, even SL won't keep him in their T20 side, and you are holding back Morris, Corey Anderson to warm the benches? C'mon DD you have to use your cricketing brain in selecting right playing XI. Else you will end up in bottom 4 AGAIN. And pls ask your captain Zak to have some killer instincts(he can learn it from nehra or bhajji if not kohli)

  • StarHawk on April 20, 2017, 14:02 GMT

    DD XI should be: Iyer, Samson, Nair, Pant (wk), Mathews, Anderson, Morris, Nadeem, Rabada, Zaheer, Shami/Mishra.

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