Of balmy days in England and economy rates

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Bowlers will have their task cut out in the early part of the tournament

The weather bureaus have predicted balmy days during the World Cup in England and hence experts feel bowlers will have a tough time.

A happy rider though is that the slow bowlers will make an impact as the competition grinds into the second half.

Run glut

The first hints from England have shown that batsmen are having a jolly good time. The willow wielders of England and Pakistan have been putting the bowlers in their place, plundering 1,451 runs in two matches at the cost of 23 wickets.

However, the English weather can be fickle; a day of fine weather can be followed by a day of heavy rain. But, following last year’s bright days and a similar forecast for this year, everyone believes glorious stories will unfold under sunshine and not low-hanging clouds.

Of the 180 ODI wickets that have fallen in England post the ICC Champions Trophy of 2017, 118 have fallen to seamers and 62 to spinners. Except the odd case of Liam Plunkett, no fast bowler has made any exceptional impact, either.

The leader of the English pack in this period has been leg-spinner Adil Rashid with 26 wickets in 15 matches at 5.45 runs an over. The average economy rate (ER) of 50 bowlers who featured in ODIs in England in the last two years is 6.3 an over — 6.61 for seamers and 5.75 for spinners.

The India picture looks good. Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has an ER of 4.93, and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has 4.5 (both from three matches). The two accounted for 11 wickets in the three-match ODI series last year.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has 27 wickets (2011 to 2017) in England at 5.13. Australia’s off-spinner Nathan Lyon has a low ER 4.12, but has played only one ODI in England. Among seamers, England’s Archer has an ER of 1.5, but has also played just one match.

The highest wicket-taker post CT17 has been seamer Plunkett — 24 wickets at 5.96.

India’s pace attack has some experience of the conditions, but Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami did not feature in last year’s ODI series.

The numbers

Bumrah played five matches of CT17, took four wickets at 52.50 with an ER of 5. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has taken 18 wickets from 15 matches with an ER of 4.48 and Shami eight wickets at 19 with an ER of 4.68.

Hardik Pandya has dismal figures of five wickets from eight matches at 77.80 with an ER of 6.33.

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