Stats: What Glenn Maxwell said is right, but there is a story for Indian batsmen beyond that
Glenn Maxwell made an allegation that Indian batsmen are milestone driven as they eat up balls in pursuit of the personal milestone. Coming under criticism, he also explained with facts on last Wednesday. India lost the series and Rohit Sharma’s two hundreds, Virat Kohli’s two hundreds, and Shikhar Dhawan’s one hundred went in vain. According to Maxwell, Indian batsmen are driven by personal glory, they don’t care about the team. But in the 5th ODI David Warner too took 17 balls to reach is hundred from Ninety while Mithcell Marsh struggled to get one run to complete his hundred in the same match.
But, this is not the first time Australian cricketers have accused Indian batsmen of being milestone driven. Matthew Hayden also made the same allegation in India’s 2003-2004 Australia tour. They are right. But they are biased as they did not consider things after a hundred.
In cricket, every batsman takes a certain amount of time as per the strategy of team and conditions to settles down and then starts rotating the strike after that and then again settles down in the so-called nervous nineties.
As per the stats, Pakistan and West Indies are more notorious than Indian batsmen while batting in nervous nineties. Indian batsmen are not far behind even Australian batsmen. The observation of Hayden in 2004 and Maxwell in 2016 was just a part of the bigger process. There are some batsmen who bat aggressively till they enter in 80+ and there a few who slow down in the 90s. Meanwhile, there are a few batsmen who accelerate their strike rate in the nineties. At the same time, there are batsmen who open their hand after scoring a hundred. Look at the table one which shows strike of batsmen from across the countries when they bat in the 90s.
We also have to consider that batsmen from different countries also behave differently when they reach the 90s.
Here, table 2 compares different Indian batsmen on their scoring behaviour.
The man who Maxwell targeted was Rohit Sharma, who scored hundred in the first two matches but India lost both of the first two matches. The same story follows for Sachin Tendulkar. The data also showed that Sachin Tendulkar slowed down when he reached the 90s. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, on the other hand, speed up their scoring significantly when they hit their 90s.
But, the man who came under attack should be compared with other batsmen of different countries. Look at table 3.
What Maxwell failed to see is that every batsman has a different approach to the game. They march according to their plan. Some intend to play big shots after scoring a hundred. For example, Rohit Sharma’s batting helped India a lot in the first two matches to post big scores. But Indian bowlers and a long tail failed to exploit Sharma’s brilliance. For that, you can’t blame the batsman or can term them selfish.
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