Moeen Ali is the leader of England’s One Day International PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings for the summer after a superb series with the ball helped England create history against Australia.
Led by Captain Eoin Morgan, England beat Australia 5-0 in the Royal London ODI Series, becoming the first England side to do so in any format of the game thanks to a series of outstanding individual displays.
Despite the batting heroics of the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler, it was Moeen’s guile with the ball which has taken him to the summit of the ODI Rankings with 101.24 points. Three points behind in second place is Buttler who hit arguably his best hundred in an England shirt at Emirates Old Trafford.
Moeen started off the series with a Man of the Match display at the Kia Oval, taking three for 43 from his 10 overs before scoring a valuable run-a-ball 17 to help England to a three-wicket win.
The Worcestershire all-rounder’s economical bowling was a key component to England’s performances throughout the series with the MVP formula designed to identify the match-winners and key influencers of matches.
An innovation which provides a more rigorous analysis of player performances than traditional batting and bowling averages. Points are accrued for all runs scored and wickets taken, these are then adjusted within the context of the match, taking into account strike rates, economy rates as well as when wickets are taken. In the second ODI in Cardiff Moeen took the wickets of opener D’Arcy Short and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell, two key dismissals which score favourably in the MVP formula.
Catches, run-outs and stumpings are also accounted for as well as bonus points for Captains and players who are on the victorious side.
In England’s world record-breaking performance at Trent Bridge, it was Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid who was the MVP, perhaps surprising for those not familiar with the MVP formula.
With the hosts scoring 481-6 which included big hundreds from Bairstow and Alex Hales as well as Eoin Morgan smashing 67 off 30 and setting the record for England’s quickest ever half-century in the 50-over format in 21 balls it would be expected a batsman would take the Man of the Match award.
However, Rashid took four wickets for just 47 runs from his 10 overs. He was awarded the MVP because he went at 4.7 when the match average was 8.1, he Took four wickets, dismissed a top five batsman and took a catch off his own bowling.
In a game where 720 runs were scored in 87 overs, Rashid’s remarkable performance earned him the Man of the Match and underlined the value of the formula in using data to question perceived wisdom.
England’s 481-6 broke the world record they set two years ago, and in the process, Morgan became England’s highest run scorer in ODI cricket, surpassing Ian Bell’s 5,416 in a memorable day in Nottingham which sent England to an unassailable 3-0 lead.
A six-wicket victory in Durham followed with Roy claiming the MVP thanks to his 101 with the bat chasing Australia’s 310-8. David Willey took four wickets while all the batsmen chipped in to support Roy as England won with 32 balls remaining.
Arguably the best match of the series was at Old Trafford with Buttler guiding England to a one-wicket victory and create history by beating Australia 5-0.
On his home ground, his 110* propelled him up to second in the ODI Rankings and to the top of England’s Overall Rankings when performances in Test Matches are taken into consideration.
With Sam Curran making his debut and becoming the youngest ever Englishman to take an ODI wicket, it was also a day where Moeen stabilised his position at the top of the ODI Rankings. The off-spinner took career-best figures of 4-46 which included three of the top four batsmen.
Leg-spinner Rashid sits in third place on 81 points with Bairstow (74) and Roy (69) completing the top five in the ODI standings in a series to remember.
With four IT20s next up for England, Buttler will be looking to extend his lead in the Overall Rankings.