Since the 2014 WT20, India has a W/L record of 1.727 wins for every loss in international T20s. During this period, only New Zealand (with 2.142 wins per loss) and Afghanistan with 3 wins for every loss has done better. But while the W/L numbers seem to show that India is a good T20 side, that’s not the case.
The average runs scored per innings since the 2014 WT20 has been 155/7, while India’s average score has been 164/5. Good score, but what’s interesting is that India loses 2 wickets fewer than the average side, but scores 9 more runs. This has to do with how India is as a batting unit - a strong batting unit that doesn’t score too many boundaries - India score 76 runs in boundaries, just a run above the global average of 75 runs in boundaries. But what they do well is that they score lots of runs off the balls which they do not send to the boundary. India is second only to Australia in this regard, scoring 0.69 runs per non boundary ball, while Australia score 0.72 runs and the global average is 0.63 runs.
While it can be seen that India are above average in the number of runs they score in an innings, they are the only side out of those above the average on that list whose boundary runs scored per game are fewer than 80, but their activity rate, which is non boundary runs per non boundary balls, is only second to Australia.
What this shows us is that India’s ability to score runs off non boundary balls is one of the best in the world, but their ability to score boundaries is just average. Their extra runs are mostly because of their superior running between the wickets and not for their boundary hitting ability.
Australia on the other hand average 172 runs in their 20 overs. They are the best when it comes to scoring off non-boundary balls and they on average score 87 runs in boundaries per innings, which is 3rd best in the world. They are doing things the right way but they lose 2 more wickets on average, which can be attributed to them playing a lot of all rounders which ensures they have a long batting line up.
Time for some mythbusting now. It is believed that batting has been India’s strength and that is understandable, given how they have some of the best batsmen in world cricket playing for them. But that’s not why India wins games. Although their batting scores 9 runs above average, it isn’t exactly the best in the world. It’s their bowling, which concedes 7 runs fewer and picks 2 more wickets on average, where India does a good job.
India concede boundaries at just 2 runs above the average, but what’s more impressive is that they concede far fewer runs than the average of non boundary balls. In fact, they are the only international side since the 2014 WT20 to concede less than 0.60 runs per non boundary ball which is significant in a T20 game.
Australia on the other hand concedes more runs than the average. They concede more runs in boundaries per innings and more runs per non boundary ball per innings than the average, which means their good work with the bat is undone.
These numbers show us that India is able to restrict run scoring when they are on the field, mainly by not letting the opposition batsmen rotate strike often.
Where India is the best in the world lies in the fact that while they might not score many runs, they score more than they concede - which is what matters.
India picks up wickets on the same rate as the global average, but they concede less than the average. Australia does poorly in both departments, conceding more runs and picking up fewer wickets. While India follows up their good bowling with good enough batting, Australia has to do a lot more to make up for their poor bowling.
The reason for this is that Indian batsmen are really good, which ensures they end up with 162 on the board. The lack of all rounders means that India plays with genuine bowlers, which strengthens their bowling for wicket taking and conceding fewer runs but means their batting has to be conservative, since they do not have any lower order batsmen to score runs at a quick rate.
Australia on the other hand are a side whose all rounder depth means they score runs and are more prone to losing wickets. But their lack of genuine bowlers means they concede too many runs and don’t pick up many wickets.
It will be interesting to see how the upcoming series between these two sides pans out. A side which bowls well versus a side which is looking to score as many runs as possible.