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Why Joe Root cannot get in England’s T20 team

CricViz analysis features in the Telegraph’s exploration of Joe Root falling behind the pecking order in England’s T20 team

CricViz have an agreement in place to provide The Telegraph newspaper in the UK with advanced data analysis and visualizations, delivered to their team of award-winning journalists via our team of analysts.

Last week, Tim Wigmore looked at Root’s T20 pedigree and how the balance of England’s top order has denied him opportunities to improve.

Wigmore looked at Joe Root’s role as an anchor in the T20 side and compared him with Babar Azam, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson and points out that “All broadly perform the same role in T20 – batting at No 3 three or occasionally No 4 and acting as anchors.” and uses CricViz’s analysis to illustrate that Root’s returns makes him the least valuable T20 player of the five. He mentions “Of the quintet in T20s since the 2016 T20 World Cup, Root fares worst on every metric. His average is the lowest, though still a very respectable 34. More concerning is his strike rate — a prosaic 7.3 an over, half a run an over shy of Williamson and Smith and a full 1.2 an over short of Kohli. Root’s issue is less that he doesn’t attack enough but that he doesn’t attack effectively enough. When he plays an attacking shot, Root scores at nine an over, according to CricViz – at least half a run less than anyone else on the list.”

Root Nerd Aug 2020 1

Wigmore further looked at the overall balance of the England’s T20 side and why Root has been left behind. He mentions “The nature of England’s T20 side means that the side do not have an obvious need for him. England’s depth of T20 batting talent is unmatched in their history. And they are really already fulfilling Root’s anchor role. Jonny Bairstow, England’s current No 3, is essentially a new-age anchor from the David Warner school: as consistent as traditional anchors, but with a greater penchant for clearing the boundary; Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan can also anchor if need be. In any case, England have less need for top-order solidity because of how bowlers like Chris Jordan, David Willey and Tom Curran can contribute with the bat.”

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