November 2018 - English T20 Player Analysis Dossiers

6th November, 2018.




Recently, we have received considerable interest from players and agents, as well as clubs, in preparing analysis dossiers for them in order to help them understand players strengths and weaknesses, from a statistical perspective.  If you are interested in discussing these further, please get in touch via sportsanalyticsadvantage@gmail.com.


With there being extremely high levels of competition among players for T20 franchise contracts, it also makes perfect sense for both players and their agents to invest in dossiers which they can then circulate to franchises, ahead of drafts and auctions - enabling franchises to have detailed data at hand which help them formulate recruitment decisions.


In addition, some English counties are appreciating the benefit of statistical analysis dossiers to assist them by providing an independent second opinion for players that they are interested in signing.  


With this in mind, I wanted to showcase some brief analysis dossiers on a number of T20 players around the world, across a number of upcoming articles.  This particular piece focuses on six English players who have shown a high level in recent years in the T20 Blast competition.




Player: Tom Kohler-Cadmore

Age: 24

Batting Style: Right-Hand Bat (Opening Batsman)


Current Sports Analytics Advantage Algorithm-Driven T20 Expected Data for Example T20 Leagues:


BPL Expected Average: 22.25

BPL Expected Strike-Rate: 133.08

Big Bash Expected Average: 21.49

Big Bash Expected Strike Rate:137.96


Batting Strike Rate Ability vs Pace/Spin Bowling in Major T20 Leagues (2016+): 


Strike Rate vs Pace: 151.0

Strike Rate vs Spin: 140.7


T20 General Batting Data (2016+):


Boundary %: 22.05%

Boundary Run %: 69.73%

Non-Boundary Strike Rate: 57.17

Balls Faced per Innings: 16.71



Tom Kohler-Cadmore is a 24 year-old English batsman, currently playing county cricket for Yorkshire.


After a strong 2018 season across formats, Kohler-Cadmore has been called up by the England Lions squad for their upcoming tour of UAE, and from a T20 perspective, it is clear that he is a player of high potential ability.  It is worth noting that his data at the age of 20-21 was extremely strong for a player of his age and based on our age curve analysis, marked him as a future England T20 batsman.


With strike rates in excess of 140 against both pace and spin bowling, it is evident that Kohler-Cadmore is adept at facing various bowler types, which will put him in good stead for future franchise T20 opportunities.  In addition, he boasts an elite-level 22.05% boundary percentage, which has a 67/33% split of 4/6s - a split which is very similar to the mean 4/6 split for T20 cricket.


A mean balls faced per innings percentage of 16.71 is solid, while Kohler-Cadmore's slightly below-average 57.17 non-boundary strike rate may be an area which can yield further improvement, with the obvious benefit this will have to his overall strike rate.


In the T20 Blast in England, Kohler-Cadmore has consistently averaged around 25 across the last three seasons, striking in the high 140s, and an 'average' innings will be around the 25(17) mark.  However, he does possess the potential to play high strike rate match-winning innings, as evidenced by several in the T20 Blast - 127(54) in 2016 and 73(30) in 2018.  It would be extremely unlikely for Kohler-Cadmore to play a low strike rate innings.


This data translates reasonably well for future success in franchise T20 leagues, with Kohler-Cadmore's BPL and Big Bash expected data detailed above.  While this does mark him as a batsman who is stronger from a strike rate perspective, as opposed to batting average, it's worth noting that having recently turned 24 years of age, the upside of further age-related improvement is also likely.  


The Sports Analytics Advantage age-curve analysis, which is based on the general improvement for a player role at a given age, gives him a further upside of around 6 runs (batting average) and 15 runs per 100 balls (batting strike rate) between now and his career peak.  


Summarising, Kohler-Cadmore would be a viable option for a T20 franchise team looking for a high-potential opening batsman capable of giving an above-average strike rate at the top of the order during the Powerplay and beyond, and is a player who is likely to yield further improvement.




Player: Ed Pollock

Age: 23

Batting Style: Left-Hand Bat (Opening Batsman)


Current Sports Analytics Advantage Algorithm-Driven T20 Expected Data for Example T20 Leagues:


Big Bash Expected Average: 19.73

Big Bash Expected Strike Rate: 169.01

IPL Expected Average: 19.97

IPL Expected Strike Rate: 179.80


Batting Strike Rate Ability vs Pace/Spin Bowling in Major T20 Leagues (2016+): 


Strike Rate vs Pace: 193.7

Strike Rate vs Spin: 155.7


T20 General Batting Data (2016+):


Boundary %: 28.96%

Boundary Run %: 78.28%

Non-Boundary Strike Rate: 54.98

Balls Faced per Innings: 12.91


Ed Pollock is a 23 year old opening batsman, who is currently playing predominantly white-ball cricket for Warwickshire in England.


In the T20 Blast, Pollock has been able to score at extremely high strike rates, and a breakdown of his pace and spin data shows a considerable bias towards facing pace bowling.  However, his strike-rate against spinners is still excellent, demonstrating that it is extremely difficult for opposing teams to establish a positive expectation bowling plan against him.  


Comparing Pollock's various strike rates, as well as his boundary data, to established T20 franchise opening batsmen, he looks fairly similar to the likes of Chris Lynn and D'Arcy Short, and he looks currently best suited to pace-orientated T20 leagues such as the T20 Blast, the Big Bash and the IPL.


Examining the reasons behind Pollock's high strike rate yields some further interesting information.  He's hit almost 29% of deliveries faced for boundaries, with a 57/43 split between 4s and 6s - so his boundary hitting is more six-orientated than the average T20 batsman.  A boundary run percentage of around 78% is extremely high, illustrating Pollock scores the vast majority of his runs in boundaries - as is also evidenced by his non-boundary strike rate, which is low at around 55.  If Pollock can increase this mediocre non-boundary strike rate, it may even be possible for him to increase his already stellar overall strike rate.


While Pollock's strike rates are world-class, he offers less solidity than many T20 openers, facing around 13 balls per innings - with this in mind, he has an 'average' innings of around the 23(13) mark.  Having said this, however, he has played a number of match-winning innings in his short career, including 39(14) this season - if he faces 20+ balls, he has the ability to completely change matches.


The Sports Analytics Advantage age-curve analysis, which is based on the general improvement for a player role at a given age, gives Pollock a further upside of around 6 runs (batting average) and upwards of 20 runs per 100 balls (batting strike rate) between now and his career peak.  


In summary, Pollock will offer T20 franchises an explosive option at the top of the order, and is evidently a player who can get teams off to a rapid start during the PowerPlay.  If he can reach the further upside numbers in the future, he'd be a world-class T20 performer.




Player: Alex Davies

Age: 24

Batting Style: Right-Hand Bat (Opening Batsman & Wicketkeeper)


Current Sports Analytics Advantage Algorithm-Driven T20 Expected Data for Example T20 Leagues:

BPL Expected Average: 34.76

BPL Expected Strike-Rate: 112.37

PSL Expected Average: 29.24

PSL Expected Strike-Rate: 111.38


Batting Strike Rate Ability vs Pace/Spin Bowling in Major T20 Leagues (2016+): 


Strike Rate vs Pace: 128.0

Strike Rate vs Spin: 129.5


T20 General Batting Data (2016+):


Boundary %: 16.32%

Boundary Run %: 55.14%

Non-Boundary Strike Rate: 68.41

Balls Faced per Innings: 27.19


Alex Davies is a 24 year-old wicket-keeper batsman, who recently played an influential role in Lancashire's run to the semi-finals of the 2018 T20 Blast, accumulating 534 runs at an average of 53.40.


This was Davies' breakthrough year, although he first played in the Blast in 2014, and based on his T20 data in isolation, his success was a little surprising by relatively mediocre T20 Blast numbers in recent years, as well as unspectacular T20 second XI data in 2017.  However, he has performed very well in the 50-over Royal London One-Day Cup as well for Lancashire in recent years, scoring in excess of 750 runs in 20 completed innings, at a strike rate of over 90.  This strong 50 over data adds confidence in his ability to build upon his 2018 T20 Blast performances in the future.


However, it is clear that Davies has offered Lancashire an incredibly reliable presence at the top of the order, facing an extremely high balls per innings figure this season of almost 30, and with this in mind, has an 'average' T20 innings of around 35(27).


Looking at Davies' scoring data, we can see that his boundary percentage is solid rather than spectacular, and he only scores 55% of his runs via boundaries.  In addition, he doesn't hit an abundance of sixes (around 2.5% of deliveries faced) and his boundaries scored figures have a huge bias towards fours (around an 85-15% split, in favour of fours).  However, he's a pretty decent rotator of strike, with a non-boundary strike rate of almost 70 runs per 100 balls. 


With both his high balls faced per innings figure, and strike-rotator dynamic, it looks like Davies takes fewer risks than many T20 batsmen, and offers T20 franchises a multi-skilled option as a wicket-keeper batsman who can anchor an innings at the top of the order.


In addition, further improvement is likely, as he gains further T20 experience.  Certainly, this is relevant from a strike-rate perspective in particular, with the Sports Analytics Advantage age-curve analysis, which is based on the general improvement for a player role at a given age, increasing his career peak strike rate by around 16 runs per 100 balls from current expectations.




Player: Delray Rawlins

Age: 21

Batting Style: Left-Hand Bat


Current Sports Analytics Advantage Algorithm-Driven T20 Expected Data for Example T20 Leagues:

BPL Expected Average: 24.45

BPL Expected Strike Rate: 132.77

IPL Expected Average: 23.91

IPL Expected Strike Rate: 146.22


Batting Strike Rate Ability vs Pace/Spin Bowling in Major T20 Leagues (2016+): 


Strike Rate vs Pace: 137.5

Strike Rate vs Spin: 160.8


T20 General Batting Data (2016+):


Boundary %: 17.99%

Boundary Run %: 59.11%

Non-Boundary Strike Rate: 72.81

Balls Faced per Innings: 15.44


Delray Rawlins is a just-turned 21 year old Bermudan-born batsman, and occasional left-arm spin bowler, who broke through during Sussex's run to the final of the 2018 T20 Blast in England, featuring prominently on highlight reels during his debut season.


A batting return of just over 200 runs at an average a shade over 25 from eight completed innings, at a strike rate of almost 150 would be a reasonable return for most experienced batsmen, so Rawlins recording these numbers at the age of 20 marks him out as a player of huge future potential.  Indeed, the vast majority of historical players who achieved numbers in this region at around Rawlins' age became international cricketers, while many (Alex Hales, David Miller, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Kieron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli) went on to being T20 superstars.


Sussex's faith in Rawlins at such a young age was easy to justify - he averaged almost 30 at a strike rate in excess of 130 in the second XI T20 in 2017, and considerably upped these numbers further during eight completed innings in the Second XI T20 in 2018, making his promotion to the first-team a natural consequence.


In the T20 Blast in 2018, Rawlins was a rare phenomenon among English-based batsmen in that he treated spin bowling with disdain - making him an excellent candidate to feature in the subcontinent T20 franchise leagues in the future.  He hit almost 18% of balls faced to the boundary - an above-average figure worldwide - while his non-boundary strike rate was also well above average, slightly below 73 runs per 100 balls.  In short, he looks equally skilled at hitting boundaries and rotating the strike, and these numbers should only improve as he obtains more experience.


This future improvement is evidenced by the Sports Analytics Advantage age-curve analysis, which is based on the general improvement for a player role at a given age.  This demonstrates that Rawlins' career peak expected average figures for the T20 Blast will be around the 40 (average) and 170 (strike rate) mark, which would put him in the world-class bracket in the future.


Concluding, it is anticipated that Rawlins should already be on the radar of T20 franchises around the world.  He boasts data that is already good, and while nothing is certain in life, future improvement is extremely likely.  He has the skill-set to be a future T20 superstar.




Player: Lewis Gregory

Age: 26

Batting Style: Right-Hand Bat

Bowling Style: Right-Arm Fast-Medium


Current Sports Analytics Advantage Algorithm-Driven T20 Expected Data for Example T20 Leagues:

Big Bash Expected Batting Average: 22.89

Big Bash Expected Batting Strike Rate: 154.26

Big Bash Expected Bowling Average: 35.41

Big Bash Expected Bowling Economy Rate: 9.57


Batting Strike Rate Ability vs Pace/Spin Bowling in Major T20 Leagues (2016+): 


Strike Rate vs Pace: 180.7

Strike Rate vs Spin: 116.2


T20 General Batting Data (2016+):


Boundary %: 23.02%

Boundary Run %: 63.55%

Non-Boundary Strike Rate: 77.71

Balls Faced per Innings: 12.31


T20 Batting Role Strike Rate Data (Based on stage of innings he comes in to bat), 2016:


Opening: 161.1

Powerplay (not opening): 158.7

Overs 7-10: 101.7

Overs 11-16: 192.7

Overs 17-20: 195.3


T20 Stage-Based Bowling Data (2016)+:


Overs 1-6 Economy: 9.23 

Overs 7-16 Economy: 9.76

Overs 17-20 Economy: 9.67


Lewis Gregory is a 26 year-old all-rounder, who captained Somerset to the semi-finals of the 2018 T20 Blast.  While Gregory has shown he is a talented all-rounder in recent years, his 2018 tournament was a considerable upgrade, with him hitting 328 runs with the bat, at a strike rate in excess of 200 runs per 100 balls, and taking 18 wickets at just over 30 runs per wicket.


Looking at Gregory's strike rates against pace and spin across recent years, we can see that he has an incredible ability against pace bowling, and that he has the ability to destroy this on a regular basis.  With this in mind, he'd perhaps be more relevant towards T20 teams in more pace-heavy leagues, such as the Big Bash, although if he batted in the best roles for his abilities, he'd be able to make a big contribution with the bat in any T20 franchise league around the world.


From 2016 to date, Gregory has hit over 23% of balls faced to the boundary, with around a 76/24% split towards 4s/6s, although it's worth noting that in the 2018 T20 Blast, he addressed this fairly low six-split and scored almost double the amount of sixes that he resisted in three years between 2015 and 2017.  In addition, despite his elite-level boundary scoring, he also has an elite-level non-boundary strike rate of almost 80 runs per 100 balls, indicating that he very rarely plays dot balls and keeps the scoreboard ticking, regardless of whether he scores boundaries or not.  Given these elite-level numbers for both boundary scoring and non-boundary scoring, it is not difficult to see why his 2018 T20 Blast strike-rate was in excess of 200.


Over the last few years, Gregory's role in the Somerset batting order has been mixed.  He's been used as a pinch-hitter at the top of the order (mainly in 2017) to decent effect, and his strike rate when coming in during the Powerplay (but not opening) is of a similar rate.  Where his rate falls down is when he comes in shortly after the Powerplay, with an extremely mediocre strike rate at this stage (perhaps related to that lower strike rate against spin bowling), but he's been absolutely devastating in the second half of his team's innings.  It would be fine to open Gregory, although statistically, he looks like having the potential to do more damage when coming in to bat later.  


Bowling-wise, Gregory has been a decent wicket-taker for Somerset, taking wickets every 20 balls during the last couple of seasons, although he has had a propensity to be a little on the expensive side, from an economy perspective.  Having said that, his home ground, Taunton, is a relatively high-scoring venue, as are a number of other main grounds in the T20 Blast South Group, so it is very possible that he'd be able to improve these economy figures in more bowler-friendly conditions.  His death over (17-20) economy is also quite respectable.


Concluding, Gregory offers T20 teams various options as a multi-skilled all-rounder.  In addition to his leadership experience, he is capable of batting as an opener, after an early wicket, or in the later overs of a team's batting innings, as well as being a competent bowler who has been a consistent wicket-taking threat in the T20 Blast.




Player: Benny Howell

Age: 30

Batting Style: Right-Hand Bat

Bowling Style: Right-Arm Medium


Current Sports Analytics Advantage Algorithm-Driven T20 Expected Data for Example T20 Leagues:

BPL Expected Batting Average: 18.11

BPL Expected Batting Strike Rate: 113.41 (but with considerable scope to improve - see below)

BPL Expected Bowling Average: 15.36

BPL Expected Bowling Economy Rate: 6.40


Batting Strike Rate Ability vs Pace/Spin Bowling in Major T20 Leagues (2016+): 


Strike Rate vs Pace: 132.4

Strike Rate vs Spin: 110.6


T20 General Batting Data (2016+):


Boundary %: 12.18%

Boundary Run %: 44.90%

Non-Boundary Strike Rate: 77.51

Balls Faced per Innings: 13.60


T20 Batting Role Strike Rate Data (Based on stage of innings he comes in to bat), 2016:


Powerplay (not opening): 108.0

Overs 7-10: 115.2

Overs 11-16: 135.7

Overs 17-20: 168.4


T20 Stage-Based Bowling Data (2016)+:


Overs 1-6 Economy: 7.42

Overs 7-16 Economy: 6.61

Overs 17-20 Economy: 8.00


Benny Howell is a 30 year-old all-rounder, currently playing his main cricket for Gloucestershire, in the T20 Blast, although he has also benefited from several years of franchise T20 league experience in the Bangladesh Premier League.


Batting-wise, Howell has largely batted in the middle/lower-middle order for Gloucestershire in recent years (usually positions 5-7) but analysis of his strike rates show that there is an argument that his overall batting data suffers from not being used in his best roles, and that using him in a different role could yield improvement in his overall batting numbers.


Firstly, his batting strike rate is over 20 balls per 100 better against pace bowling than spin bowling, and his batting strike rate against spin bowling is unimpressive.  In addition, his strike rates improve considerably when he comes into bat at later stages of his teams T20 innings, particularly when he comes in during overs 17-20, where he has struck at almost 170 in recent years.  


Despite this, from 2016+, he's only faced around 11% of his overall balls faced when coming into bat during the death overs, and he's faced around 56 % of his overall balls faced when coming into bat during the first half of his teams innings.  With Michael Klinger also playing an anchor role for Gloucestershire, and also having a mediocre strike rate against spin bowling, it would seem unnecessary for Howell to bat earlier in their innings, and would benefit from coming in later on - particularly given the propensity of pace bowlers to bowl at that later stage.


Given that there is an argument that the batting role that Howell has performed for Gloucestershire doesn't suit him best, there should be scope for him to considerably improve his overall batting numbers, and it's not a huge surprise that his current batting boundary percentage is very low, at just over 12%.  His non-boundary strike rate, however, is extremely high at almost 80 runs per 100 balls, and he looks very adept at keeping the scoreboard ticking.


Bowling-wise, Howell's data is elite-level and even if we completely disregarded his batting - for which he clearly also has ability - he'd be an asset to the vast majority of T20 teams worldwide.  It is extremely surprising that England have not seen fit to utilise his talents in international cricket's shortest format.


Howell's economy is excellent at all stages of opposition T20 innings, although he has tended to bowl during the middle-overs for the most part - around 85% of his overs from 2016 onwards have been during overs 7-16.  He's also shown extreme reliability, bowling an average of 3.88 overs per match during this time period - he is a bowler that almost always bowls his full quota of four overs.  Furthermore, his wicket-taking threat is demonstrated by a strike rate below 15 balls per wicket across the last three years of the T20 Blast.


As can be seen by his expected BPL batting and bowling data, Howell provides T20 franchises with an economical, wicket-taking bowler, who can add depth with his batting, and is highly recommended.




If this article has given you insight into the data that Sports Analytics Advantage can offer cricket teams around the world in formulating draft or auction plans, selection strategies or tactics, please feel free to get in touch at sportsanalyticsadvantage@gmail.com.

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