Tom Price: Under the Radar

By Ronan Alexander

With the best strike rate in the LV= County Championship Division One this summer for bowlers with more than 20 wickets, why aren’t more people talking about Tom Price?

In what’s been a season with more lows than highs for Gloucestershire in red ball cricket, one huge positive has been the performance of Price. The 22-year-old right arm seamer has grabbed 32 wickets at an average of 20.09, whilst boasting the best strike rate in the division, taking a wicket every 36.6 balls.

Best strike rates for seam bowlers in CC D1 with >20 wickets:

  1. Tom Price 36.6
  2. Craig Overton 40.1
  3. Nathan Gilchrist 40.7
  4. Kyle Abbott 41.9
  5. Hasan Ali 44.1
  6. Mohammad Abbas 44.3

Below, we take a look at his stats in percentile rank format. There are 4 different metrics used. Average, strike rate, economy rate and maiden %. I did maiden percentage rather than total maidens as if you’ve bowled more overs then you’ve probably bowled more maidens. So, percentage of overs bowled that are maidens I thought made more sense. Anyway, you want to be ahead of the black faded line on 50% in this graph. That is the average for the competition (other seamers with >20 wickets). Price achieves this for 3 out of 4 metrics.

*stats correct as of 28/09/22*

The only one he doesn’t is economy rate. Although 3.28 looks good, most ‘elite’ seamers in Division One have an economy under 3 runs per over. However, 24.6% of overs bowled by Price are maidens. This is better than the majority, so he can keep things tight.

His average is also impressive at 20.09. Only 5 seamers have a better average than Price. These are Sam Cook, Will Williams, Mohammad Abbas, Craig Overton and Kyle Abbott.

In terms of pace, Price is what typically is effective in English conditions. His stock ball is 77-82mph and he has the ability to move the ball both ways making him difficult to play against. As you can see, he has received some high praise from his peers. None other so than the top run scorer this year.

Of his 32 wickets this year, Price’s victims include Imam Ul-Haq, Dom Sibley, Sam Hain, Adam Lyth, James Vince, Dan Lawrence, Phil Salt, Luke Wells and Dane Vilas. The Sibley dismissal shown below shows how his movement hurries the batter, leading to success with the ball.

He’s had three five wicket hauls this summer, including a staggering 8/27 against Warwickshire earlier this month. These are the best figures by any bowler in the division in 2022.

He also adds value to the team with the bat as a more than capable number nine in division one.

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In terms of the future, he still has work to do but I think he may well be creeping onto England’s radar, and if he isn’t, he should. Perhaps we don’t hear so much talk about the seamers with the limelight all on who should open the batting what to do with the spinner. With Anderson and Broad looking like they could go on for eternity, Robinson, Potts and Stokes have all head great summers too, there isn’t that big a demand for seamers. Also, either injured or recently capped include the Overton & Curran brothers, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Fisher, Jofra Archer, Olly Stone, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes. Sam Cook appears to be next in line and deservedly so, with Sam Conners in the latest Lions squad and Liam Norwell also highly thought of before injury ruled him out for much of this summer. So, there is a bit of a queue ahead of Price, but we shall soon see if he accelerates up that pecking order in the coming years with more red ball strike bowling.

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