Submitted by Amith Chakrapani on Sun, 08/30/2020 - 17:20

The versatility of Joshua Philippe - A statistical glance

30 Aug, 2020
The versatility of Joshua Philippe - A statistical glance
30 Aug, 2020 By Editor

Joshua Philippe had a breakthrough season in the 2019/20 Big Bash League. Opening for the Sydney Sixers in all the 16 games he played in a successful campaign which ended in the Sixers being crowned the BBL champions, Joshua Philippe was their highest run-scorer amassing 487 runs at a handy strike rate of 130. If those statistics were to point in the direction that Philippe would make for a wonderful opening batsman, there are more facets to his game than just being a dasher at the top.

It was right after Philippe led the Sixers with a match-winning 52 off only 29 balls, only being dismissed off the final ball of the rain-curtailed final, that Steve Smith, the batsman Philippe looks up to, paid him the ultimate compliment, comparing him to the best in the world. "Everyone wants to bat at the top while you've only got two fielders out," he said. "Guys that can do it down the end and can do it on a reasonably consistent basis – there's only a few around the world. You're talking the (MS) Dhonis, Jos Buttler, Hardik Pandya does it really well, Andre Russell in the IPL. There's guys like that do it consistently and those sort of players are the most sought after in this day and age,” Smith had praised.

Before he got the opportunity to cement his spot at the top of the order for the Sydney Sixers, Joshua Philippe had to earn his way up by playing the role as a finisher in his first season of the BBL in 2018/19. Batting at No.6, Philippe managed to hold his own, striking at over 150(154.5) in the 8 innings he batted as a finisher. His strike rate against the fast bowlers while playing at the No.6 slot boasts an even better look at 181.4. Of the 8 innings he played as a finisher, he remained unbeaten in 4, 2 of them while chasing, and both of them ended in wins for the Sixers.

If the statistics batting as a finisher aren’t enough to convince one of his finishing abilities, the numbers as an opener underline this trait even further. Opening the batting, Philippe has scored 7 half-centuries. On 4 of those occasions, he has carried his bat and has been dismissed off the last ball of the innings once. His team has won on all 5 occasions, 4 of them have been in run-chases.

Perhaps, with a top-heavy batting lineup studded with established stars of world cricket, Philippe may have to wait to find his turn. But, with the versatility he offers, be it shouldering the responsibility of carrying the innings, or coming in to bat towards the end and smashing the ball all over the park, Philippe presents the team management with a flexible option if the need were to arise over a 7-week IPL amidst a volatile environment. Add to that his skillset as a wicket-keeper, Josh Philippe may not have to stay on the sidelines for long.