Is Angelo Mathews actually a terrible runner?

The recent fall of Angelo Mathews in limited cricket was dramatic. After the embarrassing start of the Asian Cup in Sri Lanka, Mathews was stripped for the first time from the captaincy, then retired from the team one day, only 10 months after the same coach and selectors asked him to lead the team . Chandika Hathurusingha and head coach Graeme Labrooy have tried publicly to explain the decision to fire him, and have landed for three interrelated reasons:

a) Mathews is not "fit for cricket", as they are not sure of the field 50 overs, then you can rely on it to bat effectively for 30 or more overs.

b) Mathews running between the particular terrains is affected by this lack of "cricket aptitude", and an unusually high number of partners has been depleted

c) As a result of the two reasons previous, the presence of Mathews in the side creates a "team dynamics" less than ideal

Hathurusingha spoke with more force on motives b) and c), stating that: "Running between the wickets is a great concern for all team at this moment … If you look at his record, he has been involved in 64 outs-outs, and 49 times the opponent has run out – it's a world record. " So, do Hathurusingha's claims pile up? Is Mathews such a poor runner that the decision of the selectors to drop it, despite being the most consistent ODI run-maker on the Sri Lankan side, is defensible?

At first glance, Hathurusingha may be in something. No batter has been involved in as many outs-outs as Mathews since his debut in 2008. In fact, nobody comes close. Mathews has participated in 65 matches throughout his career, in all formats, 35% more than the worst offender that follows him in the period, which is surprisingly AB de Villiers. Of that total, 42 of the tie-breakers involving Mathews have come in ODI.

Also note the presence of MS Dhoni at number 3 on this list, which will be relevant later in the story.

Mathews not only accumulated a large volume of escapades since its debut, but also translates into a high percentage of its alliances that eventually ran out. More than a tenth of Mathews' ODI associations have come to an end due to exhaustion. To contrast, the percentage of total abandonment in the ODI since the debut of Mathews is 6.19%.

A percentage change of 4.2% in the percentage of dropouts between Mathews associations and their average association with ODI does not seem like much, but keep in mind that waste is seen largely as a form of completely avoidable dismissal. Also, remember what Hathurusingha said about the "team dynamics" of Sri Lanka. From the perspective of a batting partner, you are approximately 60% more likely than your current society to end up in exhaustion if you are batting alongside Mathews, rather than your average ODI batter.

De Villiers is again the second worst in this statistical measure, while Shane Watson, Eoin Morgan and Martin Guptill have had the lowest percentage of their ODI alliances ending in tiebreaks in this period.

Now we can be sure that Mathews has recorded an unusually high volume and a sold-out percentage during a 10-year career, but the other point of Hathurusingha was that the escapees in which Mathews was involved overwhelmingly led to the dismissal of his partner, instead of himself. This was undoubtedly the case in the recent Asian Cup, where Mathews participated in two consecutive matches in successive games, and was largely responsible for the dismissal of his teammate on both occasions.

In general, his statistics suggest that this is a trend for Mathews. In fact, not only his participation in the dismissals of his partner is unusually high for his own period of play, but it is the highest, in terms of percentage of total playoffs, in the last 30 years. In nominal terms, Mathews has been part of an exodus from his partner 50 times, in all formats. Which means that of the escapees in which he has been involved, it is his partner who has lost his wicket 77% of the time.

Although based on the statistics seems irrefutable now that Mathews is an unusually poor runner, there are some considerations that can temper this view.

First, take a look at the previous graphic. The top 10 features hitters like Michael Bevan, Chris Harris and Dhoni, three hitters in the exact Mathews class, which I mean low-order hitters and hitters, who are resorted to in the most frenetic stage of limited innings ( the vast majority of the exhaustion implications that these players have accumulated have come in limited games), and they must also bat frequently with the tail (Hashan Tillakaratne was also a man of medium low order for most of his career, although no one would accept call it finisher).

Not only hitters like Mathews must take many more risks in trying to retain or regain the hit, usually trying to score as many as possible during the killings, they are often justified as well. in letting your partner suffer the dismissal in a situation of exhaustion. For most of his career, Mathews' wicket has been much more valuable to the team in the last quarter of limited innings, more valuable than any other Sri Lankan hitter you want to mention, whether you're taender or not. It has also run out of partners in the course of playing some of its best entries, so, although some of these statistics seem damning, they do not reflect the particular match situation that Mathews had to face. The decision to safeguard their own ground may have had a good sense of cricket on a significant number of these occasions.

Finally, we will address Hathurusingha's comment that Mathews depletion statistics are a world record. Strictly speaking, this is not true, as shown in the following graph.

In terms of pure volume, Mathews does not even break the top five of Sri Lanka in abandon participation (in all formats, last 30 years), with Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Marvan Atapattu and Kumar Sangakkara have participated in more , although during longer races. Rahul Dravid has been involved in more getaways in this period than any other hitter, but keep in mind that it does not necessarily make him a poor runner – many other hitters had a higher percentage of their associations ending up in scandals. Wasim Akram, meanwhile, had more than 12% of his associations finishing in races.

For Mathews, this means that, although he is one of the worst runners of his time, he is not a historically terrible runner. And although the statistics only support their temporary omission -particularly for the purpose of sending a message to him so that his physical state is in order- they do not conclusively suggest that he is so poor among the candidates that his place in the team should be in danger based on his career alone. A lot of great hitters have been worse than Mathews on this front, and have enjoyed longer runs.

And a temporary omission is what Hathurusingha and Labrooy are suggesting so far. Hathurusingha has already said he wants Mathews to "come back as fresh as possible." He also played an important role in the elimination of Shakib Al Hasan in 2014, once again because he felt he should send a message to the player while making changes in the culture of the team. It is likely that you are thinking in the same line with respect to Mathews.


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