Wednesday, July 24, 2024

PCA: MVP returns as Ashes takes centre stage

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Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association

Stage set for individuals to make history during much-anticipated series.

England will be hoping to make history this winter as they look forward to a landmark Ashes series Down Under, with the PCA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Rankings set to track the Three Lions’ top performers throughout the five-match series.

The Test MVP Rankings will be in play for the first time since England’s four-match series against the world’s number one-ranked side India during the summer, after which skipper Joe Root was named the Test MVP having piled on the runs against both India and New Zealand.

Reigning Test MVP Root will be looking to carry similar form into one of the biggest series of his career both as a batter and as captain, but he has proven his credentials Down Under in the past in making 378 runs at 47.3 during the 2017-18 Ashes.

The 30-year-old will be buoyed by the return of talisman Ben Stokes, who made himself available for the series having not played a professional game since July.

The all-rounder has unfinished business having missed England’s previous away Ashes tour, but has happy memories of making a brilliant 120 in just his second Test appearance at the WACA in December 2013.

Jos Buttler has been in scintillating form of late, albeit on the IT20 stage. The wicketkeeper scored 106 MVP points in six appearances during England’s T20 World Cup campaign which means he is the current leader of the cross-format Overall MVP going into the Ashes.

England’s Ashes preparations have been hampered by heavy rainfall in Queensland, but there was still time for a number of individuals to put their hands up during the three days of play that were possible across the two warm-up fixtures.

Opener pair Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns made unbeaten scores of 53 and 39 respectively before the first fixture at Redlands was abandoned after just one day’s play out of a possible three.

In the following fixture at the Ian Healy Oval, Stokes took two wickets and made an unbeaten 42 whilst there were also runs for Burns (37 not out) and wickets for James Anderson, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.

After the conclusion of the Ashes in mid-January, England’s red-ball squad will look forward to a trip to the West Indies for three Tests in March, meaning we will not know the identity of the 2021/22 Test MVP until the end of that month.

The MVP Rankings is a bespoke algorithm, designed by the PCA in conjunction with CricViz and the players to identify the best players in the game from a purely statistical standpoint.

In addition to traditional batting and bowling averages, the MVP takes into account key match-winning contributions including scoring a high proportion of your team’s runs, making runs in a low-scoring fixture and claiming top-order wickets.

There are also bonus points on offer for contributions in the field, captaining the winning side and scoring the most MVP points in any given fixture, all contributing to give the most accurate picture of the game’s best players.

The England MVP resumed ahead of the side’s 2021/22 winter schedule, meaning Test, ODI, IT20 and Overall MVPs will be named following the tour of the West Indies in March before the table is reset once more before the start of the home summer.

Find out more about the MVP Rankings and view the England tables for 2021/22.

Follow @pcaMVP on Twitter to keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news.

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