Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: July 12 2012
England extended their winning run in ODI cricket to 10 matches with the 4-0 series win over Australia. The home side were impressive in both batting and bowling departments but unusually were poor in the field. Cricket-Stats has recorded exclusive fielding statistics for this series and they are broken down here to identify the areas where England can look to improve.
The first table is the headline fielding statistics from the series. These are catches, diving stops, run out chances and direct hits of the stumps.
|Catches||Diving Stops||Run Outs||Direct Hits|
|55.17% (16 of 29)||34.48% (10 of 29)||50.00% (4 of 8)||20.00% (4 of 20)|
The most glaring area of weakness in England's fielding performance in the series is their catching. When wicket keeper catches are removed from the overall figures (Kieswetter caught 10 of 12 chances with a success rate of 83.33%) the outfield catching success rate falls to a remarkably low 35.29% (6 of 17).
In many series this kind of profligacy would be severely punished by the opposition but rather surprisingly Australia were statistically worse in terms of catches. Their overall catch percentage was 46.15% (6 of 13) although their outfield performance, 50.00% (5 of 10), was better but still poor by any standard.
England will also be disappointed with their overall fielding display with the quality of their diving stops and throws at the stumps being below the high standards they set themselves. The world benchmark for diving stops over the last year is around 47% (In the matches Cricket-Stats has monitored) meaning England were more than 12% short of this benchmark.
This image is a wagon wheel of where England have had catching chances in this series. Two things stand out from this image.
The first is that England have had an extremely poor series in the slip/gully region taking none of the chances offered to these positions. Further examination of the statistics shows that England dropped 2 catches in the slips and one at gully. Considering England's slip and gully fielders included James Anderson and Graeme Swann, who are considered to be exceptional fielders, it is a huge surprise that all the chances in this region were dropped.
The second fact this image highlights is that England were poor catching outside the 30 yard circle. They had 8 chances in deep fielding positions and only took 3 of those opportunities. This is a 37.5% success rate in an area of the field where the catch success rate is generally higher given the fact that catches in the deep are usually easier that those in the slips or close fielding positions.
Ultimately, if England are to continue their recent ODI successes they will need to return to the standards of fielding that they have reached in recent years. They will aim to prove that this series was an aberration and that the South Africa ODI series will see a return to form in the field.