December 6, 2013

Dwayne Bravo's ODI slump

He is the captain of the ODI team, but Bravo's stats in this format over the last couple of years are anything but impressive

When Dwayne Bravo made his international debut in 2004, the unanimous feeling was that West Indies had unearthed an allrounder of rare quality. He was genuinely skilled with both bat and ball, and his agility and unabashed enthusiasm in the field lifted West Indies at a time when they had little else going in their favour. After nine Test matches (till the end of the tour to Australia in 2005), Bravo had already scored two centuries - including an outstanding 113 in Hobart - and taken two five-fors. (Click here for his cumulative batting and bowling stats in Tests.) In ODIs, he was equally influential, taking crucial wickets and chipping in with runs in the middle order.

Almost a decade into his international career, though, the overwhelming feeling is one of a career that hasn't taken off the way it was meant to. He has been a great asset to Chennai Super Kings in the IPL - last year he was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament - but the disappointment has been in the way his international career has shaped up.

The last Test match Bravo played was in December 2010, in Sri Lanka. Since then, a combination of several factors has meant he has either not been available or not considered for selection. What's equally disappointing, though, has been the way his performances have tapered off in ODIs.

Bravo has already played 150 of them, but instead of taking on the mantle of a senior player and contributing consistently, his stats with both bat and ball have fallen away in the last two-and-a-half years. The three-match ODI series in India was the most recent example, when he was ineffective with both bat and ball, scoring 46 runs in three innings, and taking 2 for 131 in 20.2 overs over the entire series. Since the end of the 2011 World Cup, Bravo has averaged less than 22 with the bat and more than 35 with the ball, conceding almost six runs per over. He is clearly capable of much more than that.

Dwayne Bravo's ODI career
  Matches Runs Average Strike rate Wickets Average Econ rate
Till the 2011 World Cup 110 1826 24.67 82.17 132 28.93 5.25
Since the 2011 World Cup 40 715 21.66 76.71 43 35.46 5.85

West Indies' batsmen haven't done too many spectacular things in ODIs since the 2011 World Cup, but even among that lot, Bravo has been the least impressive. With a cut-off of 20 innings, the only West Indians who've averaged lower than him during this period are Kemar Roach and Sunil Narine. Kieron Pollard has always been a hit-or-miss player, but even he has managed to average more than 28, with three hundreds in 44 innings, two of those against Australia (though he has also been dismissed for single-digit scores 20 times in those 44 innings). Darren Sammy has been in the spotlight for his lack of performance - especially in Tests - but even he has done better, averaging almost 26 and scoring at faster than a run a ball. In the last two ODIs in India, he made two sizeable contributions, scoring 63 off 45 and 37 off 29, staying unbeaten on both occasions.

Overall, though, the table below is a pretty disappointing one, with only one batsman - Lendl Simmons - averaging more than 35. Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels have both averaged 33, but at strike rates of less than 70. Chris Gayle is the other big name who has punched well below his weight, averaging only 25 in his last 27 innings.

West Indies batsmen in ODIs since the 2011 World Cup (Qual: 20 innings)
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Lendl Simmons 32 1181 38.09 76.19 1/ 11
Darren Bravo 47 1363 33.24 68.80 1/ 12
Marlon Samuels 48 1389 33.07 68.18 3/ 5
Andre Russell 24 608 32.00 122.82 0/ 3
Johnson Charles 26 829 31.88 82.81 2/ 2
Kieron Pollard 44 1143 28.57 88.33 3/ 3
Darren Sammy 46 828 25.87 102.22 0/ 4
Chris Gayle 27 656 25.23 87.81 2/ 2
Dwayne Bravo 37 715 21.66 76.71 0/ 3

Bravo the bowler is the fourth-highest wicket-taker for West Indies in ODIs during this period, but his economy rate of 5.85 is the poorest. Sammy hasn't taken as many wickets as Bravo, but he has offered the team more control, going at only 4.57 per over. As an overall package in ODIs, Sammy has clearly offered more value to the team than Bravo.

Leading wicket-takers for West Indies in ODIs since the 2011 World Cup
Bowler Matches Wickets Average Econ rate
Sunil Narine 42 62 25.67 4.14
Kemar Roach 40 55 31.61 5.05
Ravi Rampaul 25 44 25.13 5.00
Dwayne Bravo 40 43 35.46 5.85
Darren Sammy 53 36 46.00 4.57
Andre Russell 31 35 33.42 5.55
Marlon Samuels 50 23 46.34 4.69
Tino Best 13 20 30.50 5.22

Out of the 127 innings Bravo has played in ODIs, 85 times he has batted at No. 5 or 6, averaging 24.46 in those innings, which is a touch above his overall batting average of 23.74. However, in these last two-and-a-half years, his average at those positions has dropped to 20.88.

Those middle-order slots are key positions in an ODI line-up, requiring batsmen to either rebuild after early wickets, or capitalise on a good start with quick runs. Either way, they need to do better than an average of 21 at a strike rate of 71. In Tests, West Indies have Shivnarine Chanderpaul at one of those positions, a veteran of 150 matches, and among the best who has ever batted at those slots. Bravo's completed 150 ODIs too, but his recent stats at these positions are nowhere near the best.

MS Dhoni has been outstanding at these slots, with an average that is better than Bravo's strike rate. However, there are others who've done much better than Bravo as well. Shakib Al Hasan is an allrounder too, who contributes vital overs with the ball, and he has been immense with the bat, averaging almost 40 at a strike rate of 42. Umar Akmal, David Hussey and Suresh Raina have all been handy at those positions, while Angelo Mathews, another allrounder, averages more than 31, with nine half-centuries from 45 innings. Bravo has only two from 29 innings at these positions. The last time he scored one batting at any position in an ODI was 18 innings ago, against Australia in Canberra earlier this year. Since then, he has been dismissed before 20 ten times in 17 innings. You'd be hard-pressed to remember that this is the same batsman who scored two centuries in his first nine Tests.

Batsmen at Nos. 5 and 6 in ODIs since the 2011 World Cup (Qual: 20 innings)
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
MS Dhoni 36 1360 75.55 94.77 1/ 11
Eoin Morgan 31 969 44.04 97.28 1/ 6
Misbah-ul-Haq 35 1080 41.53 74.22 0/ 7
Shakib Al Hasan 20 712 39.55 82.59 0/ 7
Umar Akmal 36 1117 38.51 84.49 0/ 10
David Hussey 27 833 36.21 93.28 0/ 8
Suresh Raina 50 1419 33.78 91.72 0/ 10
Mahela Jayawardene 20 616 32.42 79.68 0/ 5
Angelo Mathews 45 1072 31.52 78.99 0/ 9
Kieron Pollard 38 1053 30.97 88.56 3/ 3
Malcolm Waller 21 552 29.05 78.52 0/ 3
Faf du Plessis 21 508 28.22 93.72 0/ 3
Dwayne Bravo 29 543 20.88 71.54 0/ 2

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