England finally make runs

Netherlands still can't run

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The last dying breathes of Ben Stokes’ knees

We need to do the maths on this. A while back Stokes said he only had so many overs left in his knees. But that is not just a bowling thing. Knee injuries can end batters’ careers too. Not the running, though clearly, that is a part of it. But when your knees go, your bat path usually takes a hit too. So, as most loan sharks will tell you, your knees are important.

So let us balance that out with the Champions Trophy. If England make that trophy, it is worth 500,000 USD according to an article by Matt Roller. He was obviously talking about the Netherlands, but I was wondering, what are Stokes’ knees worth to England?

500K is nice, they will take that. Their sponsors would prefer them in the Champions Trophy as well. And the bad press would also best be avoided. Plus you can’t get as many new fans without your team in the major tournaments. So overall you could make a good argument that Stokes’ knees are worth draining to get them there.

But the opposite argument to that is once they couldn’t make the semis, it might have made more sense to put him on literal ice. Get the operation done now. Make sure he is able to play a couple more years of Tests, and the next T20 World Cup.

Either way, he made runs today. And weirdly, because he did, the England batting finally made sense. Because this is what it was supposed to be able to do, in a way India, Australia and South Africa can’t, fail, and still make 300.

Malan’s form drop

Dawid Malan seems to annoy a lot of people. And in T20 cricket, I think I would be one of those. But we have the format confusion going on again because what Malan does in ODI cricket is fantastic. Averaging over 50 and striking at around run a ball.

Clearly, he is not a perfect batter, but he is one of those players who has worked out the code of white ball batting.

But I did find all of this funny, he has been England’s best batter in this World Cup. And even within that he has dropped his overall average.

One thing I want to talk about here is form. Because Malan has maintained his, but in the warm-ups, Liam Livingstone looked even better than him. And his is stuck in a public toilet S bend. Moeen Ali basically gave them nothing. Buttler is the worst. Bairstow, a non-issue since smashing the first boundary. Brook and Root have been okay, but nothing near what they could be. That is a lot of batting talent to be mediocre or shithouse.

Netherlands bad runs

So the Netherlands had another run out in this World Cup, shall we see the final count?

They have ten run-outs. In comparison, South Africa have none. It is a very high amount compared to other teams.

Especially when you look at the fact they are running at 2% of their wickets to it. T20 sides usually have around 5% runouts. ODI is less from memory. So this is mad. But I wanted to know two things, how bad it was, and if this was a thing before. Because on commentary, Ravi Shastri was talking about how playing inside Indian stadiums is louder. And the Dutch aren’t used to big crowds.

That seemed plausible, but is it true?

So between the last two editions the Netherlands have the third most run-outs, but are way behind Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. But obviously, this doesn’t account for how often you play. Or how often you run. So what I did was look at how many run runs (non-boundaries) each team had and then divide that by their run-outs.

The Netherlands are not being run out because of how loud Indian fans are, they are bad at running between the wickets. They are a hustling team, who probably push very hard for every small advantage, but they are trying to overcome their average batting lineup by stealing runs. Instead, they are making their batting worse.

Worth noticing England here too. Just like their ability to almost stop bowling no balls, they are incredible at not being run out. Whereas Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, are also really bad. I do think there is a trend though, the teams better at striking boundaries don’t push as hard between the wickets as the strike-rotating sides because they can catch up.

None of this helps the Dutch though. And while they are usually bad, they have taken that weakness and sliced it open this World Cup. meaning that somehow they are being run out for every 76 run runs they make.

That is off-the-charts bad. They would have been better standing in their crease.

Netherlands’ bad openings

It is another Netherlands match, and so I regret to inform you that we have to talk about the openers again. I will not even mention anyone by name, because it feels unfair at this point.

The Netherlands are averaging basically nothing from the opening spot. It is void, they could send out a smoke and a pancake and get the same results. Being that their regular openers did so much to get them here, I feel bad for how this has gone.

But not so bad that I won’t also show this. The Netherlands are also batting slow when failing. This isn’t some slog until we die pact. They are trying to stay in, and they aren’t.