Op ed: England, Dernbach are dire, Kohli is not

Bangladesh

As the dust settles on the World T20 it is time to look at what can be learnt from the event. As ever, it has been full of important life and cricketing lessons.

As the dust settles on the World T20 it is time to look at what can be learnt from the event. As ever, it has been full of important life and cricketing lessons.

<b>Winning all your group games is a bad idea</b>

If there is one thing that we know for sure, it is winning all of your group games is a bad idea. Cruising through your group without being pushed means that you are not prepared for stiffer Tests to come. India walked into the final, their first since they won the inaugural World T20 back in 2007. This left them untested. Dhoni had hardly had a bat, the spinners had never been put under pressure, the seamers hadn't been in a clutch spot. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had been pushed close a couple of times, they even lost to England. It doesn't get lower than that.

<b>The women's T20 should be a separate event</b>

For the fourth time the Women's World T20 took place at the same time as the men's tournament. It has got to the point where the two should be separated. While having the women's game being given the kudos of being played on the same day as the men's game, it has begun to do more harm than good. Fantastic performances in the group games get no more than a passing mention, and then it is more often than not done with the men's game as a frame of reference. In Bangladesh the women's teams didn't even get on TV until the semi finals. The time has come for all the women's ICC events to be their own 'product'.

<b>Virat Kohli will be an all time great</b>

As 2014 has unfolded it has been increasingly clear that it will not be long before Virat Kohli looks down on the rest of the world's international batsmen from a pedestal. In this tournament he was performing at a level that only the greatest of players every really achieve. He passed 50 four times in six innings. He averaged over 100 and scored his runs at a strike rate of 130. He scored almost 100 runs more than any other player in the tournament. This is just the most recent of a series of remarkable performances. His star continues to rise.

<b>Duckworth-Lewis doesn't really work</b>

Duckworth-Lewis and T20 cricket have a more troubled relationship than Russia and the Ukraine. It doesn't really work. The algorithms are all about available resources, or at least that we are told. The difficulty is that a wicket is worth a lot less in a T20 match than it is in 40 or 50 over games. This has resulted in a few ropey totals being set in rain affected matches. However it is here to stay, because as Winston Churchill once said, 'Duckworth Lewis is the worst system there is, apart from all of the others.'

<b>England are at a low ebb</b>

Despite the protestations of England's Chairman of the Board, the team is at the lowest of ebbs. They entered this tournament expected to lose all of their games, apart from the one against Holland. As it was they managed to beat Sri Lanka thanks to one of the best T20 innings you will ever see. They then followed that up with an abject display against the Dutch where they were all out for 88. This is as bad as it gets.

<b>Associates shouldn't have to qualify twice</b>

There was a qualifying tournament for this World T20. Associate nations met and the top six made it through to play in Bangladesh. When they got there they had to qualify again. We were told that this was for the good of cricket. It wasn't, it was to guarantee TV revenue. The ICC said that one of the reasons that they were reducing the World Cup to a ten team event was because they would expand the World T20. This isn't expansion, it is tokenism. If growth of the game is an actual ambition of the governing body they need to unlock the doors, not just open them a crack so the odd team can sneak through.

<b>Bangladesh need to improve</b>

Of all the teams that played in this tournament, Bangladesh were the most disappointing. Some successes in home series had led you to believe that this could be the time that they began to justify their full member status. While the Zimbabweans didn't even make the main draw with the administrative obstacles they face, this isn't all that surprising. With the funding in place and the amount of cricket they play, Bangladesh should be brushing aside associates and running full members close. In this tournament they lost to Hong Kong as they scraped through to the main draw. They then lost all of the remaining games. Shakib-al-Hasan is the only real ray of light, but he keeps telling fans that they shouldn't expect their team to win.

<b>Everyone loves an underdog</b>

All the way back to when David beat Goliath against the odds sport has loved the little guy. In this tournament the Netherlands made it through to the main draw thanks to the most remarkable run chase in the history of T20 internationals. They needed to chase down Ireland's total of 189 in less than 14.2 overs to go through. They actually managed it with three balls to spare. They were embarrassed by the Sri Lankans when they set the lowest ever T20 international score of 39. From that point on they pushed every team they played close, including beating England. They added a huge amount to this tournament, the ICC and many others tried to keep them out.

<b>Statistics are like a lamppost</b>

During this event we saw stat-idiocy taken to a whole new level. A series of stats were put up on the screen. They fell into two categories. The first was that if your best players did well you won most of your games. The second was that if your best players did badly you lost most of your games. This in itself was exciting enough to discover, but we were then treated to weak and strong zones. This fantastic insight told us that batsmen liked width and struggled against a good line. Our understanding is increased.

<b>Jade Dernbach is a record breaker</b>

It has long been known that Jade Dernbach has the worst economy rate of any bowler to put down 1000 deliveries in ODI cricket. After this tournament he now has the worst economy rate of any player that has bowled 100 overs in T20 internationals. That level of sustained ineptness is impressive, both from Dernbach and the England selectors. Perhaps they should let him play in Tests so he can complete the set.

<b>Bowlers can win you T20 matches</b>

It has long been said that match winners in T20 cricket are batsmen. They can have an impact on 20 overs, a bowler can only be relied upon for his four. Simple maths tells you that batsmen are the important factor. In this tournament we saw a number of stunning bowling performances, not least from Rangana Herath who took five wickets for three runs against New Zealand to record the second best economy rate in T20 international history. Herath was awesome, but Steyn was even better. At the death he decided that the opposition would not win and stopped them scoring through his strength of will. T20 is not the batsman's game that it once was.

<b>Peter Miller</b>

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