Test Cricket

India vs NZ Special: Rating and Ranking the Pacers ahead of WTC Final

Kyle Jamieson, the best-rated pacer as we look at the rating and ranking of pacers of both the teams ahead of the India vs NZ WTC final. 

The historic World Test Championship final is just a few days away. If we observe, there are two important things to note ahead of the WTC final. First is the neutral location of Southampton for both the teams, and second is the playing conditions, which should suit more for the Pacers.

So, it is no secret that pacers would play the most important role in the WTC final. Thankfully, both the teams are filled with express pacers. While India have Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Siraj as the leading pacers, New Zealand are filled with the likes of Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, and Neil Wagner.

These 8 pacers have been on top of their game in the last few years, and have dominated the bowling charts. Even perceptively, the Pacers of both teams are ranked among the best. But, how have these pacers performed in recent times; especially last three years? Let’s find out in this article as we rate and rank the pacers ahead of the WTC final. 

Stats Wizard Methodology:

For the ease of our analysis and to make it more valid, we have considered the stats of all pacers for their performance in SWENA countries for the last three years (Jan 2018 – Present). The sub-continent pitches are generally not suited for pacers, hence including that in the analysis would be slightly unfair towards them.  

Overall, we have analyzed the bowling performances basis the bowling rating calculated from the overall aspect of the game such as wickets taken, consistency, the number of match-winning and good spells, and the relative percentage of Team wickets taken. Finally, the players are ranked basis the bowling rating, which will remove all biases and perception.  

Alright then, let’s look at the ranking and rating of top pacers of both the teams ahead of the India vs NZ WTC final.

#8: Mohammed Siraj – India 

Inns: 6 // Wkts: 13 // Avg: 29.5 // BBI: 5/73 // Rating: 7.1

Mohammed Siraj played only 6 innings in SWENA countries, but performed really well. In fact, Siraj’s performance was better than the fourth-choice pacer, Umesh Yadav, who took fewer wickets than Siraj, but played more innings than Siraj.

In the absence of Team India’s leading trio in Australia, Siraj led the bowling attack with precision. Overall, Siraj accounted for 13 wickets in 6 innings at an average of 29.5 and a decent strike rate of 62. Importantly, Siraj took a 5-wicket haul during the historic win at Gabba earlier this year.  

#7: Mohammed Shami – India 

Inns: 31 // Wkts: 61 // Avg: 27.6 // BBI: 6/56 // Rating: 7.3

Mohammed Shami has been the second-highest wicket-taker for Team India in Tests since Jan 2018. He played a total of 31 innings having accounted for 61 wickets at a decent average of 27.6. While overall, Shami’s consistency stood decent at 62.1%, Shami’s bad spells stood at a high of 37.9%; second-highest among the top 8 pacers of both teams. Shami’s economy rate also stood highest among all pacers at 3.3. Meanwhile, Shami’s strike rate was good at 50. 

#6: Ishant Sharma – India 

Inns: 25 // Wkts: 53 // Avg: 20 // BBI: 5/43 // Rating: 8.1

Ishant Sharma has been Team India’s second-best pacer in the last three years. With all the injuries, Ishant managed to play 25 innings and accounted for 53 wickets. Ishant’s consistency stood at a good 69.6% and bad spells were low at 30.4%. But what impressed the most for Ishant is his average of 20 and strike rate of 45; second-best among top 8 pacers. Ishant also accounted for three 5-wicket hauls with the best of 5/43 against the West Indies in August 2019. 

#5: Trent Boult – New Zealand 

Inns: 30 // Wkts: 72 // Avg: 25.7 // BBI: 6/30 // Rating: 8.7

I know Indian fans including me won’t like this, but the fourth-ranked Kiwi pacer has actually performed better than the other three Indian pacers. Boult maybe the fourth-ranked Kiwi pacer, but his performance is nothing short of brilliant. Overall, Trent Boult has taken 72 wickets from 30 innings since Jan 2018 at a good average of 25.7, a strike rate of 50, consistency of 67.9% and bad spells of 32%.     

#4: Jasprit Bumrah – India 

Inns: 34 // Wkts: 79 // Avg: 21.6 // BBI: 6/27 // Rating: 9.1

The second-highest wicket-taker among top 8 pacers and the best Indian pacer in the last three years, Jasprit Bumrah has been stunning ever since his debut against South Africa in Jan 2018. He has taken a total of 79 wickets from just 34 innings at a superb average of 21.6.

Bumrah accounted for five 5-wicket hauls in this period with the most famous spell of 5/7 coming against West Indies in August 2019. Bumrah’s consistency stood at a superb 71% and bad spell at just 29%; the lowest among all Indian pacers. He will go into the World Test Championship final as the leading pacer for Team India. 

#3: Neil Wagner – New Zealand 

Inns: 32 // Wkts: 79 // Avg: 23.1 // BBI: 5/44 // Rating: 9.2

The official contender of silent killer tag as Wagner doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. With the limelight always on Southee and Boult, Wagner’s performance most often gets underrated. He has taken 79 wickets from just 32 innings at a brilliant average of 23.1. What’s impressive about Wagner is his bad spells at just 23.3%; second-best among all pacers. Just shows Wagner rarely produces bad spells, and is always among the wickets.   

#2: Tim Southee – New Zealand 

Inns: 33 // Wkts: 90 // Avg: 22 // BBI: 6/43 // Rating: 9.5

While Tim Southee comes second in the overall pacers rating, he personally to me has been the best pacer among both the teams. Southee leads the bowling charts with a total of 90 wickets from 33 innings at a brilliant average of 22 and a Strike rate of 47. He has taken a total of six 5-wicket hauls in this period; the most among all pacers. Meanwhile, Southee’s consistency stands at 72.7% and bad spell at just 27.7%

#1: Kyle Jamieson – New Zealand 

Inns: 14 // Wkts: 39 // Avg: 15.2 // BBI: 6/48 // Rating: 10

Kyle Jamieson has been the best pacer in the last three years according to stats. The 6′ 8” Kiwi pacer has taken 39 wickets from just 14 innings – that’s 2.78 wickets per innings; the best among all pacers. While one can argue that most of his wickets have come at home, we should also consider the fact, he has just started his career, and in that, he has done a fabulous job.

Overall, Kyle Jamieson’s average of 15.2, the strike rate of 37, consistency of 84.6 and bad spells of 15.4% is also the best among all 8 pacers. Moreover, Jamieson managed 7 match-winning spells in the 14 innings he played. He could be the biggest threat for Team India in the WTC final. 

So, that completes the ranking and Rating of pacers of both the teams ahead of the India vs NZ WTC final. While the rating and rankings are quite visible for everyone to judge, personally, Tim Southee, Jasprit Bumrah, and Neil Wagner are the top 3 pacers for me going into the WTC final. 

Thanks for reading! Who according to you is the best pacer ahead of India vs NZ WTC final? Please email your comments to business@cricalytics.com

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