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Dean Wilson: There is only one number that bowlers should be concerned with at Trent Bridge

16 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Dean Wilson: There is only one number that bowlers should be concerned with at Trent Bridge

After only three games this Royal London one day series between England and New Zealand can lay claim to being the most exciting ever staged on these shores.

Whatever happens in the next two matches at Trent Bridge and Durham, the fans have been treated to an unprecedented display of hard hitting, athletic fielding and fast and skilful bowling.

Unfortunately for the bowlers though, even their very best balls are being hit or mis-hit for fours and sixes.

That is simply down to a change in attitude from the batsmen plus the size and elasticity of the bats currently used.

As a result so many records have already been broken, most of which are related to run-scoring, both the size of the totals and the speed with which players are reaching their landmarks.

Pretty much all the talk so far in the series has been about the big-hitting. The giant scores as England passed 400 for the first time. The flicks and the ramps as players score all around the wicket.

It has all been about the runs and the entertainment as if the only thing that matters is how many sixes each team can hit.

Well there is one plain statistic that has been constant throughout the three games played so far:

The side that has taken the most wickets has won the game.

You would be forgiven for forgetting that these matches even had bowlers sending the ball down to be whacked out of the ground.

At times they have appeared to be little more than walking, talking bowling machines given a run out for the pleasure of the batsmen, and yet it is their contribution that has been most telling.

Well sort of.

Of course statistics can be used to prove pretty much anything, but in this instance the point is clear. Take wickets and you significantly increase your chance of winning in one day cricket, even though runs are king.

Eoin Morgan has been keen to reinforce the idea that England’s new style of one day cricket has been about changing the mindset of the batsmen.

The same must also be said of the bowlers and the way we interpret bowling figures.

I believe the economy rates of bowlers are now largely irrelevant. Whether you go for 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 per over doesn’t really matter as long as you are taking wickets.

At the Oval every England bowler bar Joe Root conceded their worst bowling figures, which stands to reason since they coughed up more runs than ever before.

And yet in trying to chase 399 to win, they came much closer than people thought, and in fact if it wasn’t for the rain, they might well have won.

The problem was that the rain did arrive and the resulting Duckworth-Lewis calculations took into account how many wickets each side had lost at that given point, and with England losing more, they were penalised for it.

Chris Jordan went for 97 runs in his nine overs – equalling the record held by Steve Harmison, but that wasn’t a problem. The issue was with the one wicket he took.

So at Trent Bridge when the batsmen on both sides will again try to smack the ball somewhere out of the ground and down the road, the bowlers mustn’t worry a jot about conceding plenty of runs.

They just need the wickets to go with them.

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