Ballance Shows Glimpse of the Future – 13/01/14
England is looking to their young guns to freshen things up in Australia after the Ashes whitewash, and despite defeat in the opening ODI in Melbourne, the management will no doubt be pleased that several of the newer faces made a good impression. Gary Ballance, who carried the drinks for much of the Test series, was England’s top scorer at the MCG with 79 off 96 balls in just his second ODI. He tops the ODI FTI MVP Rankings with 11.84 points with Eoin Morgan second on 9.86 points.
Ballance has been consistent in the County FTI MVP over the past few seasons, particularly in the shorter forms. He made 426 YB40 runs in 2013, with a hundred and three fifties at a strike rate of 98 runs per 100 balls. He contributed 26.22% of Yorkshire’s competition runs and in seven innings his lowest score was 37. He had similar numbers in 2012; 469 runs from 11 innings with just two single-figure scores and one hundred and three fifties. In 2012, he was responsible for 20.84% of the team’s runs. Ballance’s County MVP rankings suggest that before the 2013 season he felt more comfortable in white-ball cricket. He was 10th in the 2012 CB40 Rankings and 174th in the LV=County Championship Rankings. Last Summer, however, saw him rise to 30th in the Championship FTI MVP by scoring 1,251 runs including five hundreds and six fifties.
Eoin Morgan is another player to have had more success against the white ball. He placed second in last Summer’s England ODI FTI MVP Rankings behind Ravi Bopara and sits second once again. Morgan played every ODI of the 2013 season (13 matches), scoring 426 runs at a rate of 91 runs per 100 balls. He contributed 15% of England’s runs, scoring one hundred and two fifties. In the absence of Kevin Pietersen, who only played four ODIs in 2013 and is being rested for this current ODI series, Morgan shoulders much of the run-scoring responsibility for the side. Whether finishing games off or upping the run-rate after a slow start as in Melbourne, Morgan can adapt his batting style to the needs of the team.
Ben Stokes is third in the ODI FTI MVP and with the eight points he accrued in Melbourne he leapfrogs Stuart Broad (resting) to top spot in the Overall Winter FTI MVP. Stokes scored a brisk 21, took a catch and 1-64 with the ball to take his points tally to 127, three ahead of Broad. Jimmy Anderson is in third with 73 points.
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