Cape Cobras v Impi at Paarl, MiWAY T20 Challenge

I have a lot of free time all of a sudden. I am winding down at the old job, waiting to start the new one – and on top of that school is out for two weeks.

And so I thought for sure I would be able to write a great deal for the blog, but I have been coming up empty.

A very real case of writer’s block.

This morning I was reading about the World T20 qualifiers over in Dubai next month, and then I read Test Match Sofa’s latest post and was reminded that England won the last incarnation of the tournament (2010) and that Kevin Pietersen was Player of the Tournament.

And so, I need to eat my words from yesterday: as that makes two global competitions where KP was magnificent: the 2007 World Cup and the 2010 World Twenty20.

Consider those words eaten.

And now I have World T20s on the brain.  And I find myself looking forward just a little to the 2012 version this year in Sri Lanka.

And then I thought: why not just do a post similar to yesterday’s, but only for the World Twenty20s instead.

Bingo!

First: a little history: the first Twenty20 World Cup was in 2007. The tournament was held in South Africa, and won by India.

The second tournament was in 2009: England hosted, Pakistan won.

The most recent was in 2010 (moved up a year, I am guessing, to make room for the 50-over cup). The West Indies were the hosts, and as mentioned, England won.

Cricinfo, as usual, has some great photos of England’s big day.

Over those three tournaments, the players with the best scoring averages (minimum 10 innings) are as follows:

Player Country Innings Avg
RG Sharma India 10 60.6
MEK Hussey Australia 11 47
JH Kallis South Africa 10 45.44
KP Pietersen England 15 79
CH Gayle West Indies 11 44.2
DPMD Jayawardene Sri Lanka 18 41
Shoaib Malik Pakistan 14 33.9
TM Dilshan Sri Lanka 17 32.35
AD Mathews Sri Lanka 11 32.33
Misbah-ul-Haq Pakistan 17 30.66

And the top ten batsmen in ALL International T20s are as follows (minimum 20 innings):

Player Country Innings Avg
Misbah-ul-Haq Pakistan 31 37.94
KP Pietersen England 33 36.68
MJ Guptill New Zealand 27 35.81
MEK Hussey Australia 20 35.15
BB McCullum New Zealand 47 34.66
CH Gayle West Indies 20 32.47
TM Dilshan Sri Lanka 34 31.92
DPMD Jayawardene Sri Lanka 35 31.76
JP Duminy South Africa 33 31.76
GC Smith South Africa 33 31.67

Six players made both lists this time: Hussey, KP, Gayle, Jayawardene, Dilshan, and Mishbah.

Sri Lanka, interestingly enough, had two players make both lists, and had a third make the World Cup list only, but has only advanced to a final once in the three tournaments.

This bodes well for their chances this year, at home, however.

Now, none of the players that appear on both lists above also appeared on two lists in yesterday’s post on the ODIs.

But that is probably because those posts were based on the full history of ODIs – from 1971 until the present day.  While Twenty20s of course have only been around since 2005.

And so I pulled similar numbers for ODIs between 2005 and 2012.

The top ten batsmen for ODIs in the two World Cups (10 innings minimum)

Player Country Innings Avg
MJ Clarke Australia 15 83.62
ML Hayden Australia 10 73.22
Yuvraj Singh India 11 71.14
SR Watson Australia 12 62.14
DPMD Jayawardene Sri Lanka 18 56.8
JH Kallis South Africa 16 54.61
KC Sangakkara Sri Lanka 19 54.33
SB Styris New Zealand 15 53.41
RT Ponting Australia 15 53.21
AB de Villiers South Africa 15 51.78

The top ten batsmen overall, between 2005 and 2012, 50 innings minimum:

Player Country Innings Avg
HM Amla South Africa 53 56.35
MS Dhoni India 177 52.1
ML Hayden Australia 51 51.91
S Chanderpaul West Indies 96 50.43
MEK Hussey Australia 141 50.35
AB de Villiers South Africa 116 49.03
V Kohli India 77 45.95
JH Kallis South Africa 104 45.82
MJ Clarke Australia 151 45.15
SR Tendulkar India 114 44.8

Four players made both lists: Hayden, Clarke, Kallis, and de Villiers.

And still no one player stands out.  Not one was brilliant both in the long term and in the short term, in the two one-day formats, from 2005 through 2012.

The conclusion: there are a lot of world class one-day cricketers actively playing right now – and we are blessed to all be around to see them.

And maybe that’s why Twenty20 is so popular, because there are so many cricketers worth watching.

And maybe that’s why we have so many domestic t20 tournaments that feature international players: because there are enough players to go around.

And maybe that’s why we have seen a resurgence in ODIs as of late.

And maybe that’s why Test cricket has been sliding.

Or maybe not.

I am just free associating here.

Until next time.

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