Thursday, August 30, 2018

What do you do about a problem like Duminy?




When you properly introduce yourself to world cricket with an unbeaten half-century in a 414-run fourth-inning Test chase, and then embed yourself on world psyche with a 166-run run masterclass, the chances of you living up to the hype you would have created for yourself are understandably slim. Even with that caveat, JP Duminy's career has been rather disappointing. Historically speaking, for the last 40-odd years, the average Test cricket average has been around 31. Duminy's Test average was 32. Decidedly bang average. But that was his Test career. He has thankfully retired from that endeavour, not quite successful, but not really a failure. We have a world cup in 10 months, so we are here to talk about his ODI career.

Urbandictionary.com describes the phrase "finesse", as "meaning to make a profit off of someone by fooling them to buy something that is low quality or not real". When you look at Duminy's career average, it seems an acceptable, bordering on really good 37.84. When you look his creer average against the seven teams that qualified for the Champions Trophy this year (even ignoring the reality of Bangladesh having been pretty poor for large swathes of his career), this plummets to 29.97. Could you describe a man averaging 30 against top class opposition, having been an international for nearly 15 years, having played nearly 200 ODIs. Rarely, if ever has the phrase "finesse" been more applicable to an international athlete. Logic entails that to win a world cup, you need to beat the best teams in the world. Especially in this edition where there is only one team which could traditionally be called a minnow, Afghanistan. All the more worrying then when you take a closer look at JP's figures against top teams. How has JP failed against big sides? Let me count the ways.

In ICC competition, Duminy averages 31.29 at a strike rate of 90.32. Once again bang average, but on the face of it all just about acceptable. Scarier though, in ICC competition against the teams which competed in the 2017 Champions Trophy, i.e the top 8 teams in the world, he averages 16.73 at a strike rate of 74. But that's a bigger picture. How does it look specific to English conditions? Well, unfortunately, not much better. In English conditions, against the top 8 teams in the world, Duminy averages 22 at a 90s-esque strike rate of 71.27. Rarely if ever has a player flattered to deceive, or finessed, as well, for as long as JP Duminy. It is difficult, maybe even impossible for an athlete in the twilight of his years to properly recapture the magic from their peak years. It is in all likelihood beyond the realm of miracles to expect an athlete who never actually had the magic to 'recapture' a magic which he never even had.

1 comment:

  1. To be very honest I think jp is currently main player in the squad.

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