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The best batsman in Twenty20 cricket

Chris Gayle has scored 2591 runs in this format in the last 17 months, at an average of 57 and a strike rate of 170. No other batsman comes close

S Rajesh

May 25, 2012

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

There was no stopping Chris Gayle at the Kotla, Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2012, Delhi
Chris Gayle launches into one of his 59 sixes in IPL 2012 © AFP
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Numbers Game : Last week's column: A tale of two wicketkeepers
Players/Officials: Chris Gayle
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Teams: West Indies

No one doubts Chris Gayle's ability to hit the cricket ball long and hard - he has done it repeatedly in both Tests and ODIs, in all sorts of climes and conditions. Yet even his staunchest supporter will probably be amazed by the kind of numbers he has racked up in 20-over cricket. The very nature of the format demands that batsmen take risks all the time, and in doing so attempt low-percentage shots and get out. An average of 30 is considered acceptable in this version, at a strike rate of around 125.

Not for Gayle, though. The spat with the West Indies board has been terrible news for the international team, but it has given Gayle ample time to play 20-over cricket for various sides, in various conditions, all over the world. (The list reads as follows: Barisal Burners, Sydney Thunder, Matabeleland Tuskers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Western Australia, Kolkata Knight Riders, Stanford Superstars, Jamaica and PCA Masters XI.) It has given him the opportunity to hone his skills, and work out his best strokes and scoring areas. The result has been awesome - Gayle is, quite simply, the best batsman in the world in 20-over cricket; no one even comes close.

The IPL was only the latest example of what he is capable of achieving in this format - his tally of 733 was easily the highest in this edition of the tournament - and also the highest in any edition - while his 59 sixes are as many as the sum of the next three batsmen put together. His IPL performance took his tally of Twenty20 runs for 2012 past 1000, the second successive year he has achieved this. (In fact, his T20 averages in 2011 and 2012 are exactly the same - 57.57.)

Chris Gayle's Twenty20 record (including T20 internationals)
Period Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s 4s/ 6s
Overall 105 3970 43.62 155.93 8/ 26 315/ 281
2012 23 1094 57.57 164.26 3/ 8 69/ 91
2011 31 1497 57.57 174.67 4/ 10 112/ 116
Before 2011 51 1379 29.97 134.79 1/ 8 134/ 74

Gayle's record in the last 17 months has been especially formidable - it has helped that during this period he has played a couple of tournaments that have featured less than top-class cricket, but largely, Gayle's stats reflect that he has worked out the format perfectly, and figured out what works best for him. In IPL 2012, for example, he usually gave himself a couple of overs to settle in - scoring only 52 from 61 balls during this period - before shifting to a higher gear in the rest of the Powerplay overs (167 runs off 118). He then took a breather in the seventh over after the Powerplay mayhem (15 off 23) before really turning it on: from the tenth over onwards, his scoring rate was 12.43 per over (429 off 207). Despite scoring at such a frenetic pace, he was dismissed just seven times during this period.

Gayle's pattern of scoring in IPL 2012
Overs Balls faced Runs scored Dismissals Run rate 4s/ 6s
1 and 2 61 52 0 5.11 4/ 3
3 to 6 118 167 4 8.49 17/ 11
7 to 9 70 85 1 7.29 3/ 5
10 onwards 207 429 7 12.43 22/ 40

And then there was the manner in which he scored his runs: unlike other batsmen, who tried the scoop, paddle, switch hit, reverse sweep, and all other sorts of unconventional strokes, Gayle largely stuck to conventional shots, mostly presenting the full face of the bat to the ball, and scoring most of his runs in the arc between cover and mid-on: 493 of his 733 runs, and 54 of his 59 sixes, came in that region. On the other hand, he scored only 44 runs in the third-man and fine-leg areas.

In the last seven Twenty20 series that he has played, Gayle has been remarkably consistent: he has averaged more than 58 in four, and more than 42 in two more. In all of them he has achieved a strike rate of 150 or more. In the one series in which he averaged less than 40 - 36.40 in the 2010-11 Big Bash in Australia - he compensated by scoring at a strike rate of 193.61.

Gayle in his last seven T20 series
Series Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s 4s/ 6s
IPL 2012 14 733 61.08 160.74 1/ 7 46/ 59
Bangladesh Premier League 5 288 96.00 187.01 2/ 0 19/ 26
Big Bash League (Aus, 2011-12) 7 252 42.00 150.00 1/ 2 11/ 22
Stanbic Bank 20 Series (Zimbabwe) 6 293 58.60 151.03 1/ 2 19/ 19
Champions League 2011-12 6 257 42.83 178.47 0/ 2 15/ 24
IPL 2011 12 608 67.55 183.13 2/ 3 56/ 44
Twenty20 Big Bash (Aus, 2010-11) 5 182 36.40 193.61 0/ 2 18/ 13

A comparison with other top Twenty20 batsmen during the last 17 months shows how far ahead of the others Gayle is. Not only is his average much superior to the rest, his strike rate is also the highest among batsmen who have scored 750 or more runs during this period. Gayle's eight hundreds overall in this format is the best too, three better than David Warner. Currently three batsmen have scored more Twenty20 runs than Gayle - David Hussey, Brad Hodge and Brendon McCullum - but a few more such IPL seasons and Gayle could well go past all of them.

During this period Gayle has struck 26 more sixes than fours; Kieron Pollard is the only other batsman to have scored more sixes than fours, but the difference in his case is only three. Gayle's 207 sixes means he has scored 1242 runs in sixes, out of 2591 - a percentage of 47.94.

Top ten strike rates in T20 cricket since Jan 2011 (Qual: 750 runs)
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s 4s/ 6s
Chris Gayle 54 2591 57.57 170.12 7/ 18 181/ 207
Virender Sehwag 31 1011 33.70 160.47 1/ 7 117/ 41
Richard Levi 30 804 29.77 157.95 1/ 7 75/ 48
Keiron Pollard 60 1299 31.68 152.28 0/ 8 83/ 86
Luke Wright 29 844 32.46 149.38 1/ 4 94/ 31
Ahmed Shehzad 23 870 43.50 146.95 1/ 8 96/ 32
Dwayne Smith 33 1047 40.26 142.25 1/ 8 88/ 58
Shane Watson 30 924 33.00 141.71 0/ 7 89/ 51
Azhar Mahmood 45 1300 35.13 141.30 2/ 7 136/ 39
David Warner 44 1525 40.13 140.94 4/ 9 147/ 68

And Gayle kept up that pattern of scoring in IPL 2012 too, with 354 runs in sixes, a percentage of 48.29. In fact, his sixes make a difference of one percentage point to the overall percentage of runs in sixes in IPL 2012 - in the entire tournament, 19.43% of the total runs were scored in sixes; excluding Gayle's stats, that percentage drops to 18.42.

With the World Twenty20 coming up later this year, West Indies could be a truly formidable force if Gayle, Dwayne Smith and Pollard joined forces - more so since they have Sunil Narine in their ranks too.

Highest percentage of runs in sixes by a batsman in an IPL season (Qual: 400 runs)
Batsman Innings Runs Run rate 6s % runs in 6s Balls per 6
Chris Gayle (2012) 14 733 9.64 59 48.29 7.73
Chris Gayle (2011) 12 608 10.98 44 43.42 7.55
Sanath Jayasuriya (2008) 14 514 9.98 31 36.19 9.97
Adam Gilchrist (2009) 16 495 9.13 29 35.15 11.21
Yusuf Pathan (2008) 15 435 10.74 25 34.48 9.72
Murali Vijay (2010) 15 458 9.41 26 34.06 11.23
Virender Sehwag (2008) 14 406 11.07 21 31.03 10.48
Suresh Raina (2009) 14 434 8.45 21 29.03 14.67
Rohit Sharma (2010) 12 404 8.87 19 28.22 14.37
Murali Vijay (2011) 16 434 7.68 20 27.65 16.95

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Posted by   on (May 27, 2012, 22:57 GMT)

@ShivaKrishnagundra in the game vs decan they had to make 134 to win...gayle made 27 off 10 balls...now to me as a team sport gayle did a decent enough job and got the team to a decent enough start for the rest to build a platform...for some reason on most of the teams he play for..they are extremely dependant on him...he carries the team to the team for the most of the tournament...he fails once or twice..and the team loses..cricket is suppose to be a team sport...2013 IPL gayle needs to find a better balnce team...or RCB needs to buy better bowlers

Posted by nair_ottappalam on (May 26, 2012, 8:23 GMT)

ECB, at present there is no West Indian in the English team. Why not try Gayle who is a Windies discard?

Posted by ahmedak on (May 26, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

Ahmed Shehzad has the second best average after Gayle since Jan 2011. WOW!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (May 26, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

@smackdawg, yes gayle has made 2 triples, BUT, the SL one was against a 2nd string SL attack, and the one against SA was on a pitch so flat 11 other tons were scored, and SA resorted to using ALL XI fielders to bowl, it was a pitch the SL groundsmen would have been proud of...@Drice, nice way to maniplulate stats, to try and prove your point, both have played a similar number of games, Yet gayle only has 13 test centuries, Strauss has 20, after all Indian fans constantly tell us only the number of hundreds count when looking at a batsmans performance, but over all thier averages are pretty similar, with gayle better by .4 runs per wicket, in the end stats can be twisted to suit any opinion or view.

Posted by smackdawg on (May 26, 2012, 2:29 GMT)

@Charith99 and @AlbertEinstein. You indicated that Gayle only make runs against lesser bowlers. Please be reminded that Gayle has made two test triple centuries. Against SA and SL. Gayle has made three test 100s against SA, and three against ENG, Two against AU. Actually the only test nation Gayle has not made a test 100 against is PK and IND (and away 100s to boot). He has three ODI 100 against IND and four against PK. FACT Chris Gayle has scored 100s against every cricketing nation.

Posted by Nizam1949 on (May 26, 2012, 2:08 GMT)

Winning is a team effort, not a one-man show. Gayle dis his job to the hilt for Royal Challengers Bangalore. What did his other team mates do? Why blame Gayle? Chris Gayle single-handedly carried through RCB on more than one occasion since 2011 IPL. One can't expect him to perform to his best every day and on every single occasion; he is only human. Why couldn't his other team mates rally round him and reap the reward of his gale force?

Even the great Sachin Tendulkar is no where near Gayle in the T20 format, and in IPL which is Sachin's home turf. It is also ludicrous to say that Gayle only performed against weak bowling attack in the IPL! The same bowlers were also available for attack by all the other local and international batsmen in the IPL. Compare them to Chris Gayle in batting performance and let sanity prevail among his erring critics. Don't take away from Chris Gayle what he deserves.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 2:02 GMT)

a consistent batsman any team can depend on.

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 1:27 GMT)

Hey guys, I notice that Gayle's international T20 credentials are in question. WI don't play enough T20 to make an impact as a team much less one of its players. And now to add to that Gayle is in and out of the team. He actually played 20 matches in a time when the game was just coming to fruition. To be fair to Gayle, look at international sports. Very few men in any sport perform above par at the club and international level. In cricket the situation is just playing out as T20 is still relatively "new". Notice the stats and the column speaking to the now Gayle against several players stats, in certain series, in a number matches and over a certain time period. He really is brilliant and a genius to avoid the class act bowlers. I am sure not many, if any, of the other batsmen in the list has attempted to take on Steyn and company either. These other batsmen against the same ordinary bowlers got the same chances and match count to prove their worth. Give Gayle his due, MUCH RESPECT!!

Posted by Raymond74 on (May 26, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

My money is on West Indies to win the next T20 world cup. Gayle, Dwayne Bravo , , Pollard , Narine , Dwayne Smith.....Calypso Cricket at its finest !

Posted by   on (May 26, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

tut tut tut cound not have done worse.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 20:59 GMT)

Chris Gayle.....King of sixes

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

For as long as cricket remains a highly statistical sport that it is, winning tournaments will be irrelevant. For instance, who will ever remember Murali Vijay winning 3 IPLs?, for one the statistics will not show it. But Gayle's phenomenal average and strike rate will be there for all to see, which is why everyone still fears Bradman because he has an average of 99.97.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

it was no shock to me if anyone could remember chris made the first t20 wc 100 in the first time it started i thinks the record still stand for international t20 century i have heard him call a lot of name vooper,slugger,cant batand the list goes on but how many of the great batmens we have now that master all three format of games the way he does cricket is not like days gone by its more an entertainment than any things else i no i would go and watch a 50 overs where a team make 275 and the 2nd chase it or come close in one day than watch a team bat all day for 260 runs

Posted by drice on (May 25, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

@landl: lay off Chris Gayle. I don't rate him as highly as Greenidge and Haynes but your stats ignore the fact that like almost every West Indian batsman since Chanderpaul, (with recent exceptions Kirk Edwards and Darren Bravo) had ahorrible start to his career (due to the poor state of WI 1st class cricket). I'll divide his stats into before and after 2004. Pre 2004 Ave=32.75, 35 matches 2 centuries. 2004 onwards 56 matches Ave=47.08, 11 centuries. A quite decent enough player better than some of England's overhyped test players eg Andrew Strauss 96 matches Ave 41.26 over same time period.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 20:00 GMT)

Gayle's statistics and records make him stand way ahead of any other batsman in Twenty 20; comparable to Don Bradman's dominanance in test cricket.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

wow Chris Gayle you are the beater of the cricket ball, i often wonder if i can bowl to you without going for 36, i am 17 i play for my school team, and i am apart of Guyana Cricket Club (GCC) so experience i don't have much but i am a right hand fast medium, well in my age category i am fast, i still want to see if i can do what Usain Bolt did to you. You are the most Formidable batsman, with the most insurmountable records!!!

Posted by ejsiddiqui on (May 25, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

There is no doubt Gayle is way ahead of the rest but what about the team he plays. His teams too much depend on him and when he gets his teams get demoralized.

It would be interesting if we see the statistics, on the result of the team when Gayle gets out cheaply. In my opinion, most of the time his team looses when when he gets out cheaply this is what has happened with WI and his other teams including RCB.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Gayle reminds me of a WI of the past.

Posted by timtom on (May 25, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Well Gayle is playing international cricket since 12 yrs.. All the buzz created only since IPL 2011 where he played like a man possessed...Continuing the same in other T20 formats since then..Good going and the gr8 and the best T20 batsmen till now... And shud remain at that unless he carries this form to Test or ODI....

Posted by thebrownie on (May 25, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

What?? No Tendulkar in the list? This list cant be correct.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

It is a shame such a valuable player is being left out of the West indies team due to WICB egos.

Posted by Chris_P on (May 25, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

@ Diptendu Bibek Bhattacharya. Thanks for the update. Sort of confirms many things. btw, Warner only played 2 games for the Thunder & was basically unavailable throughout the BB tourney.

Posted by ShivaKrishnagundra on (May 25, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

As someone rightly said..he is definitely a nightmare for bowlers - to be precise, club bowlers...Though he is a dangerous and the most respectable batsmen all around the world he is, sorry to say, not a match winner. To justify, none of the teams he represented has won the tournament..! And against the world class bowlers, his batting comes under scanner. For instance, in the crucial match against Deccan Chargers in IPL 5, where they have to win the match to enter play-offs, Gayle started scoring 24 runs of a domestic bowler (Manpreet Gony) but could not stand against the class act of Dale Steyn... he fell for him and his team got eliminated from the league state itself. Though, he is a batsmen with calibre but if you are not a match winner, it is of no use. Even at the end of the IPL 5, he will be at the no. 1 position of highest run getter with 733 runs. Having said that, he is definitely an entertainer and will go down in record books for his skills in cricket history in 3 formats.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

The Statistics are in favor of this batsman but Alas! None of his team won the tournaments... Bangalore is out in 2012 IPL finishing 5th, Barishal was runners up, Thunder finished last (they have David Warner too), Matabeleland was out in semi finals, Bangalore was runners up in both CLT20 and IPL 2011 and WA could not make it to play-off in big-bash2010-11...

Posted by Chris_P on (May 25, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

Before anyone starts, this is in no way denigrating Gayle as a batsman. Figures don't lie and his ferocity with the willow is there for all to see. One thing that does concern me, and as a follower of cricket and the Sydney Thunder, is his complete lack of mentoring towards team members. He is, like it or not, the ultimate mercenary. I would be interested in how many times he was won tournaments? His strikepower was incredible with the Thunder, but they were a very young team, crying out for a mentor and were, imho, let down badly by Gayle. I could really see why the WICB have had issues and the current Windies team seem a much more cohesive unit without him there, as good as he is. He is awesome though.

Posted by onebump on (May 25, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

Sad to see not a single mention of a SL batsmen in the stats other than a 2008 entry for SJ. This shows how the overall cricket standards are dropping in SL. Attacking batting has been big in SL over the last 20 years and that is something we should pursue. Hope those who are running cricket are aware of this or are they looking up lucrative TV deals... ans saying yes sir!

Posted by satish619chandar on (May 25, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

They might be, but can you please look at the heading of the article? It is for T20 cricket and both Watto and Warner can't stand in front of Gayle!!

Posted by AlbertEinstein on (May 25, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

Great article.......and the best batsman against helpless club bowlers is.........CHRISSSSSS GAYYYYYYYLE *applaud*........I also hit plenty of sixes in the match between the boys of my street and the boys of the next street, that should have been mentioned too.

Posted by eristhee on (May 25, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

@ Emancipator007 Do you think the West Indies selector and Coach will ever see that line-up you selected. I just wish the Supporters would protest against them especially the coach as he was just an average or just par player who now tries to help or promote players with similar qualities like him. He must be thinking if He had been given more opportunity to play for West Indies he would have been better so he now looks for similar players and trying to give them more time even if it means them performing poorly when they are not suited at international level. Then again some of those players can prove me wrong by excelling. West Indies wicket keepers are a problem. My best 11 for the t20 would Gayle, Simmons, Dwayne smith, DM Bravo (D Ramdin†), Dwayne Bravo, Pollard, Russell, Sammy, Rampaul (he has at times proven me wrong), Narine, Fidel.My test and ODI would be Gayle, DM Bravo, Sarwan, Chandapaul ,Simmons (KA Edwards), DwayneBravo, D Ramdin†, Taylor, Narine, Roach, Fidel.

Posted by Romanticstud on (May 25, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

I am appalled that the West Indies Cricket team have let him go for so long ... He should have been playing against Australia and England in all forms of the game ... I remember in SA whan he got WI to 200+ and I though SA would lose that game ... Thanks to Gayle ... or Should I say Gayle Force ... Just to think that Sehwag and Co have been out-scored on turf not really accustomed to West Indies successes in the past ... and not just ... by a long way ... Ghambir was the top run-getter for the Indians ... Imagine in Chanderpaul and Gayle were in 200+ partnerships, where Gayle was the attacker and Chanderpaul the rock ... foundation ... WI would have a better chance and also if Narine was spinning the Indians out on home turf ... That makes for enthralling cricket ... with Smith and Pollard also featuring in the strike rate list ... World T20 here we come ... Hopefully they will show Aus, SA, Eng, India, Pakistan and SL a few things ...

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

"it has helped that during this period he has played a couple of tournaments that have featured less than top-class cricket"

Including IPL 2012. *badumtish*

Posted by Cric_Tic on (May 25, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

though iam frm India, i would love to see Gayle playing for WI and strengtheing the batting along with Chanderpaul. He is surely the most smartest T20 player knowing whom to hit, when to hit, and how to hit.. and thatz why he is successful. above all..a great entertainer.. !

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

He is LEgen..............wait fot it................wait for it......................dary!

Posted by jonesy2 on (May 25, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

david warner or shane watson the best t20 players in the world though when you add watto's bowling and warners fielding. plus they play the proper version of cricket aswell so they can be taken seriously

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

@Charith99 Gayle just plays smart cricket. When you score at strike rate of 170 it does not matter if you play less aggressive against the better bowlers like Morkel, Steyn and Malinga. The respect given to them allows him to go after the weaker bowlers. Perhaps if more batsman had his patience and followed his suit then they would be able to avoid hitting the good balls and punishing the bad

Posted by cracker2012 on (May 25, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

@Charith99, It takes one ball to get a man out. An whole innings to make a great batsman.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 6:45 GMT)

SIMPLY THE BEST NOT MATCH FOR CHRIS

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

@Charith99 That's why he is best. He knows whom to hit and whom not. You cant hit best bowlers for 4's and 6's everyball. You have to take calculative risk like Gayle does.

Posted by Aubm on (May 25, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

@landl47 actually in his last couple of years in test cricket he was averaging over 50 and he is in the age (28-34) when pretty much all batsmen excel at test cricket & drag their overall averages up by 5-10 runs. It's a big shame that we have missed, so far, nearly 2 years of that :(

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

There's no doubting his talent or his numbers, but how successful have his franchise teams been ??? I love watching him bat by the way !!

Posted by Charith99 on (May 25, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

Yes, Gayle is brilliant but only because he chooses the lesser bowlers to hit. His record against international attacks is not that brilliant .Even in the ipl he never went after malinga,narine,morkel or steyn.

Posted by Emancipator007 on (May 25, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

Just blown away with the average at that SR! More 6s than 4s in both 2011 and '12.I think Gayle is/has been honing and perfecting his skills away from glare in order to be the hottest T20 "property" in the market. He is the Pied Piper in all the international leagues that he plays in and deserves $1.5-2 million from EACH league promoter for sheer marketability and entertainment value. Below the radar, it escapes notice that one SEHWAG without hitting 6s regularly maintains a PHENOM SR in both T20s and ODIs; just plays the angles to get flurry of 4s.BTW,the way Azhar Mahmood has refashioned himself as an explosive T20 allrounder at 36-37 long after his last international stint is quite a story (still remember his awesome Test 100s against SA pace attacks).Meanwhile try beating this WI XI in T20 World Cup: Gayle,Smith,Bravo,Bravo,Simmons (WK),Pollard,Russel,Sammy, Roach,Fidel,Narine (9 bowling options as well!)

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

Gayle is no doubt the best in t20 and one day.....westindies selectors should really think out of the shell now and let Gayle lead his team to the path of success.

Posted by landl47 on (May 25, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

It's amazing what Gayle can do when there are no close fielders, the ball doesn't swing and he doesn't have to tire himself out fielding for a day and a half. His record in test cricket (an average of 41 with 13 centuries in 91 games) is modest and suggests that while he may hit it long and hard, he doesn't hit it often enough to be a great player in tests. A tremendous entertainer, but ultimately in the toughest form of the game just a tad short of top class. Still, those are some impressive T20 statistics.

Posted by jahbert58 on (May 25, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

Unfathomable, numbers don't lie. who wouldn't want this guy in their team! every country on the planet hello!!! i pay to watch my team (WI) perform on the internet and am not getting my monies worth. when are we gonna come to our senses and put all egos aside hello !!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (May 25, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

I would like to see the stats of international T20s rather than domestic T20s where the quality of bowling will be little poor compared to the internaltion T20s.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

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