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The West Indian fast bowler has been all aggression and fire with the new ball in T20s, but has leaked plenty of runs in the slog overs
October 12, 2012
Throughout the 2012 World Twenty20, there were two sides to Ravi Rampaul. The good side surfaced when he bowled with the new ball: he was all fire and gusto at the start of an innings, often bowling just short of a good length, at better than brisk pace, and moving the ball, mostly away from the right-handers. The intent was to take wickets, and he was successful in giving West Indies the early advantage more than once. Against England, for example, Rampaul dismissed both Craig Kieswetter and Luke Wright in his first over; he also took early wickets against Sri Lanka (in the Super Eights match) and New Zealand, besides starting Sri Lanka's slide in the final with an unplayable first ball to Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Then there was the other side to Rampaul, when he continued to bowl length deliveries at the end of an innings, and was hammered for plenty on more than one occasion. In that group game against England, after bowling a double-wicket maiden first up, he went for 15 runs in the 17th over of the innings, and 16 in the 19th, as his figures changed from 2-1-6-2 to 4-1-37-2. Then in the final, after conceding just nine runs in his first two overs, he gave away 22 in his third, the 16th of the innings, as Nuwan Kulasekara pounced on his length deliveries and gave Sri Lanka a glimmer, only if very briefly. Obviously, his captain decided against giving him a fourth over.
Overall in the tournament, Rampaul conceded 89 off 91 balls and took seven wickets in the first 14 overs of the innings (average 12.71, economy rate 5.86). In the last six overs, he gave away 100 runs in 52 balls, and took two wickets (average 50, economy rate 11.53).
|Overs||Balls||Runs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate||4s/ 6s|
|14.1 to 20||52||100||2||50.00||11.53||8/ 4|
|In the tournament||143||189||9||21.00||7.93||18/ 6|
As a new-ball bowler, Rampaul was easily among the best in the tournament. He was one of nine bowlers who bowled 15 or more overs during the first 14 overs of an innings at an economy rate of less than a run a ball. In terms of averages, he was even better - only Ajantha Mendis' average of 11 (nine wickets for 99 in 102 balls) was better than Rampaul's 12.71. With stats like these, there's no doubt that Rampaul was among the best in the tournament in the first part of an innings.
However, his stats during the last six overs of an innings were easily among the poorest. Among those who bowled at least six overs during this period, only Jade Dernbach of England had a poorer economy rate (11.72). Rampaul went at almost two runs per balls and struggled for wickets too, taking only two.
|Bowler||Balls||Runs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate||4s/ 6s|
|Jade Dernbach||44||86||3||28.67||11.72||7/ 5|
|Ravi Rampaul||52||100||2||50.00||11.53||8/ 4|
|Stuart Broad||36||69||4||17.25||11.50||7/ 3|
|Nuwan Kulasekara||36||67||3||22.33||11.16||8/ 2|
|Mitchell Starc||42||72||5||14.40||10.28||9/ 3|
|Umar Gul||66||113||3||37.67||10.27||15/ 1|
This wasn't just a feature of Rampaul's bowling in the 2012 World Twenty20; it has been so in all Twenty20 international matches he has played in. Over his entire career, his stats are much better in the first 14 overs of an innings than in the last six, when his length bowling - and the lack of a good yorker or a slower ball - has gone at 12.42 runs per over. Among those who've bowled at least 20 overs in the last six of an innings, Rampaul's economy rate is the poorest, and he has also conceded a six every ten deliveries, which is again the worst rate among these bowlers.
|Over no.||Balls||Runs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate||4s/ 6s|
|1 to 14||277||305||18||16.94||6.60||30/ 8|
|14.1 to 20||141||292||7||41.71||12.42||20/ 14|
|Bowler||Balls||Runs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate||4s/ 6s||Balls per 6|
|Ravi Rampaul||141||292||7||41.71||12.42||20/ 14||10.07|
|Nuwan Kulasekara||143||269||7||38.42||11.28||26/ 9||15.89|
|Dwayne Bravo||140||240||12||20.00||10.28||25/ 8||17.50|
|Kyle Mills||172||277||9||30.77||9.66||29/ 8||21.50|
|Tim Southee||258||414||19||21.78||9.62||36/ 16||16.13|
|Albie Morkel||148||228||8||28.50||9.24||15/ 12||12.33|
|Jacob Oram||162||240||11||21.81||8.88||20/ 9||18.00|
|Jade Dernbach||150||219||9||24.33||8.76||17/ 9||16.67|
|Stuart Broad||286||414||19||21.78||8.68||31/ 16||17.88|
And here's the list of bowlers who've done better at the death: with the same 20-over cut-off, these are the fast bowlers who have the lowest economy rates in the last six overs of Twenty20 internationals. Not only have these bowlers kept the runs in check during the slog overs, they have also capitalised on the batsmen's intent of going for quick runs by picking up plenty of wickets.
Dale Steyn and Umar Gul have been the benchmarks in these aspects. Both have economy rates of less than 7.50, and excellent averages as well. There have been a few instances when Steyn has been expensive in the slog overs, but his overall stats are superb. Gul has maintained a top-notch economy rate over many matches - he has bowled 520 balls in the last six overs in T20 internationals, second only to Saeed Ajmal's 546 - which suggests he has excellent knowledge of how to bowl during this stage of an innings. He wasn't at his best during the slog overs in the 2012 World Twenty20, though, going at more than ten an over. Lasith Malinga's overall economy rate isn't the best, but he too has taken wickets, which generally helps keeps the runs in check.
Most of these bowlers also have plenty of variations in their armoury, which has worked to their advantage. Apart from having a good yorker, most of these bowlers also vary their pace and length well. Rampaul, on the other hand, tends to repeatedly bowl length deliveries at a similar pace that are easy for batsmen to line up; a length which helps him attack batsmen and take wickets when bowling with the new ball becomes a hittable length later in the innings. A noticeable difference is also the frequency with which the top bowlers are hit for sixes in the later part of the innings: Steyn has conceded just one six in 222 balls, compared to Rampaul's 14 in 141. Gul isn't quite as frugal as Steyn, but his average of 32 balls per six conceded is much better than Rampaul's ten.
Rampaul is clearly a huge talent for West Indies, and his willingness and ability to hunt for wickets even in a format loaded in the batsmen's favour is a huge plus, but to become a complete bowler in today's age, he clearly needs to do better in the slog overs.
|Bowler||Balls||Runs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate||4s/ 6s||Balls per 6|
|Dale Steyn||222||273||16||17.06||7.37||26/ 1||222.00|
|Umar Gul||520||640||43||14.88||7.38||51/ 16||32.50|
|Shaun Tait||136||168||11||15.27||7.41||10/ 6||22.67|
|Ryan Sidebottom||170||214||13||16.46||7.55||15/ 7||24.29|
|Brett Lee||131||167||12||13.91||7.64||8/ 5||26.20|
|Morne Morkel||183||234||14||16.71||7.67||16/ 12||15.25|
|Shane Watson||217||284||19||14.94||7.85||25/ 10||21.70|
|Mitchell Johnson||139||184||7||26.28||7.94||13/ 8||17.38|
|Lasith Malinga||372||516||26||19.84||8.32||46/ 11||33.82|
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on TwitterFeeds: S Rajesh
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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