A change of mindset and the backing of his captains has helped Dale Steyn remain one of the most lethal bowlers in world cricket, according to a new study.
‘Strange that roughly a year ago I changed my mindset on how to go about bowling in 20/20, a more wicket taking approach with 1 or 2 new deliveries. Obviously having the backing of coaches and my captains has shown to reap rewards,’ tweeted Steyn when being alerted to the stats-based method employed by Smart Stats which indicates the effectiveness of T20 bowlers.
Most cricket observers would agree that ordinary stats do not tell the full story … the value of wickets taken in terms of the match status.
Since the turn of the year in 2019, Steyn has picked up 26 wickets in 18 innings. Not a lot on the face of it but under this method, his value of wickets rises to 31. His new wickets per match is 1.73; the best in the world in a rankings list dominated by pace.
Steyn’s value comes in taking his wickets in the Powerplay and death overs – the obvious advantage of a pace bowler versus a spinner when analysing the smart wickets method. The 36-year-old dismissed top 5 batsmen 23 times which increase his value.
Mohammad Hasnain was second with Kagiso Rabada third with countryman Imran Tahir four and Shaheen Afridi in fifth.
Tahir, Pakistan’s Umer Khan and Australia’s Adam Zampa were the spinners to make the top 15.
The Smart Wickets explained:
The quality of batsman dismissed, so dismissing a top-order batsman fetches more points than dismissing a tail-ender
The score at which a batsman was dismissed, so dismissing a batsman for a single-digit score is more rewarding than getting him out for 60
The match situation at the time of the dismissal, so dismissing a batsman when the match is in the balance is worth more than getting him out when the result of the game is all but decided.