Before a weak, England coach Trevor Bayliss created a stir commenting T20 Internationals between teams should be stopped altogether. Starting with his comment, the debate on relevance of the shortest format is still on. However, in less than two months of this year, the format has witness a sheer change towards the higher ends of score rate. This particular trend might come up as a positive or a negative upshot, which can be decided only after sensible debates, but right now, T20 stats are catching fire.
Several high profile T20Is have been played so far. Right from teams like India, South Africa, Australia, England and New Zealand, other teams like West Indies, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka involved in the format intensively. This makes almost all top teams playing the shortest format in the stretch. A special aspect of these matches in 2018 has been the heightened average run rate. It is an outstanding 8.87, which is the highest so far in any year. Also, this figure includes that of all teams combined. If only the top teams are considered, the rate will be still higher at 8.99, a clearly outstanding figure.
New Zealand batsmen like Martin Guptill and Colin Munro had excellent strike rate in the Trans-Tasman series.
For the matches involving the top eight teams, the latest figure of 2018 is followed by that of in the year 2015. In compared to 14 of this year, 16 matches were played in 2015 with a run rate of 8.54. Last year, in the same time 24 matches were player brining out an average run rate of 8.27. In the first T20 between India and South Africa, the former knocked its highest score of 203 runs against the team. Apart from this particular series, the Trans-Tasman tournament in New Zealand has been a top contributor to the overall score rate. In the series nine matches were played with an average run rate of 9.27. This is again the highest so far in T20 matches played in New Zealand.
This intensive run rate of the year so far is the result of a bolstered run rate per over. Score records indicate that run rate of 20 overs, 16 had better rates than that of both in 2017 and 2016. In six overs of this year, the average run rate is more than 10. An increase in balls-per-boundary is also witnessed. In this aspect as well, the New Zealand grounds with shorter boundaries had a good contribution. This year a boundary was marked in every 5.4 balls, while in 2016 and 2017 it was 6.3 balls.
Australia striker David Warner is a good contributor in terms of strike rate.
These figures make 2018 the best year for the shortest format of the game in terms of batting. Most of the matches have seen good competition. Against this backdrop, there is more to mull about what Bayliss said. Heightened score rates have several indications. T20 might have become more competitive, but it does not mean it have become more attractive. Run rates also might bolster because of slackened teams and their unmatched form. However, there seems to be no immediate options to work on abandoning this game. Higher run rate means, better strike and hence better excitement. There is absolutely so indication that T20I format have become something boring.
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