Rashid Khan : Adelaide’s Best Reasonable Option of Last Resort

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Rashid Khan of the Strikers bats during the Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and the Adelaide Strikers at Optus Stadium on December 26, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti - CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)
When Rashid Khan played his first innings for Adelaide in which he actually faced a ball, he was a model of efficiency. His six runs off two balls meant that the only ball he wasted was the one he got out on. It wasn’t quite within the parameters of how cricket understands “six and out”, but it’s the closest professional equivalent. He was the last reasonable option of resort before Adelaide had to start using the specialist bowlers to see out the innings.

Rashid Khan and The Stats Table

The following table shows the relevant data for every innings started by a batter in the last five overs of an Adelaide Strikers innings since Rashid Khan joined the club:

Player
No. of Innings
Runs
Balls
Strike Rate
Alex Carey
1
25
10
250
Rashid Khan
7
57
27
211.11
Jono Dean
1
12
6
200
Colin Ingram
3
33
21
157.14
Jake Lehmann
7
41
28
146.43
Michael Neser
5
19
13
146.13
Cameron Valente
1
17
13
130.77
Jonathan Wells
4
20
18
111.11
Billy Stanlake
2
4
6
66.67
Peter Siddle
2
3
6
50
Ben Laughlin
2
3
11
27.27
Breaking It Down
Since Khan joined the Strikers, only Alex Carey has a better batting strike rate when starting an innings in the last five overs for that franchise, and he’s only had to do it once in that time. Jono Dean, the only other player to have a strike rate of at least two runs a ball within the aforementioned parameters, has the exact same sample size problem. Khan is the only player out of the trio who strikes at two runs a ball when starting in the 16th over or later who has had to do so over multiple innings. He has a strike rate of 211.11 over seven innings when batting exclusively in that period of the match. This, meanwhile, isn’t skewed by one innings; three innings out of the seven have been at a strike rate of 200 or more (here, here and here).
After Carey, Khan and Dean, Colin Ingram is the next Adelaide batsman in terms of strike rate in that time. However, while the sample size problem is lessened, at least by comparison with Dean and Carey, it isn’t removed. Ingram, like those two, is a top-order batsman who has started the majority of his innings in the first fifteen overs of the innings. He has only come out in the last five overs of the innings in the past two seasons on three occasions, for a strike rate of 157.14. Jonathan Wells has had one more chance in that situation than Ingram, but his strike rate is much lower (111.11). Michael Neser’s strike rate is closer to Ingram than Wells at 146.13, but what all three have in common is that they only have the one innings in which they had a strike rate of two runs a ball or better. In addition to that, Wells and Neser only managed to maintain that strike rate over the shortest periods of time – one and two balls respectively.
Jake Lehmann is the only player other than Khan who has done it on three occasions. His strike rate of 146.43 over his seven innings, however, is almost identical to Neser’s. That isn’t quite the end of all the batsmen in this situation, but it might as well be: no one is asking Peter Siddle, Ben Laughlin and Billy Stanlake to anything other than survive and get off strike on the infrequent occasions that they are required in the last five overs of the innings. For anyone who is interested, they have all batted twice in the scenario, with Stanlake’s strike rate of 66.67 making him the relative power hitter out of the trio compared to Siddle’s strike rate of 50 and Laughlin’s strike rate of 27.27.

Why This Matters Now

But now to the most recent addition to the list of people to bat in front of Rashid Khan in the death overs of a T20 innings. Cameron Valente was the batter who came out to bat when Michael Neser fell with four balls to come in the sixteenth over against the Sydney Sixers. It was not a surprise. In this BBL and the last BBL, a batter of his standard or higher has always come out to bat before Rashid Khan for the Adelaide Strikers in such a situation. Rashid Khan is the best reasonable option, but he is still being treated as the option of last reasonable resort by Adelaide. Valente’s 17 off 13 was no surprise and no disgrace. He was still a reasonable option.
It’s just that it seemed to be another example of how Adelaide seem to be underusing their best death overs hitter.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.