One of the major highlights of the trade window and the auction for the 2020 season of the Indian T20 League (Indian T20 League) last year was Kolkata' decision to let Chris Lynn go and acquire the services of a 21-year-old Tom Banton as his replacement.

The franchise had decided to part ways with the Australian batsman after six seasons, and it wasn’t an easy decision as Lynn had been in fine form with the bat throughout these seasons for Kolkata.

Between 2014 and 2019, Lynn scored a total of 1274 runs for Kolkata at a healthy average of 34.43, and an excellent strike-rate of 141.4. These runs included 10 scores of fifty or more, underscoring how good a batting asset he had been for the team.

In the backdrop of such fabulous numbers, the Kolkata-based franchise's decision to release Lynn might seem to be a bit harsh. However, there are other facets that we need to understand before judging the management's decision.

For example, Lynn had encountered multiple shoulder injuries in the last few years and that had taken a toll on his agility on the field. He isn't the swiftest of fielders anymore and isn't fully committed towards diving around the field in an effort to protect his shoulder.

As a result, Kolkata's fielding was usually compromised whenever Lynn was in the playing XI. Moreover, he hasn't been the same power hitter that he used to be with the bat once. His innings now is based more on taking calculated risks.

So, when Kolkata sensed the opportunity of bagging a much fitter and younger version of Lynn in England's Tom Banton, they pounced onto the opportunity. Moreover, they got him at a much cheaper price of Rs 1 crore as well.

Banton has had a sensational rise in this format of the game ever since he burst on to the scene during the Natwest T20 Blast in 2019. He was the second-highest run-getter in the tournament, with 549 runs to his name at an excellent average and strike-rate of 42.23 and 161.47 respectively.

Since then, Banton has gone on to play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League, Qalandars in the T10 League and Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, alongside making his T20 debut for England during this period as well. He has found success during each of these stints and that speaks for his talent.

On comparing his career so far with that of Lynn since 2019, we'll find that Banton has been averaging almost similar to that of Lynn but his strike-rate has been much better than that of the Australian batsman.




Tom Banton



Chris Lynn



Table: Comparing average and strike-rate of Lynn and Banton in all T20s since 2019

While Banton has scored a total of 902 runs during this period in a total of 30 innings, Lynn has amassed 1281 runs in 44 innings. A higher strike-rate than Lynn, and the fact that Banton is far younger, makes him a lot more attractive asset to invest in than the 30-year-old Lynn. However, there are other key areas of their batting that need to be analysed as well.

It would be better to dig deeper and take a look at how they stack up in terms of scoring boundaries and number of 30+ scores since 2019. We'll consider five key metrics for this purpose - Balls per Six (Bp6), Balls per four (Bp4), Ratio of Innings to 30+ scores (Inn/30+) and Boundary Ball Percentage (BBP).






Tom Banton





Chris Lynn





Table: Comparison of key batting metrics of Lynn and Banton in T20s since 2019

The breakdown above shows that both batsmen have almost identical rate of hitting sixes and innings taken for each score of 30 or more. However, Banton has been much better when it comes to hitting fours, and his overall boundary ball percentage is much higher as well.

Therefore, it’s clear that the young English batsman not only matches some of Lynn's most destructive batting abilities but he is much better than the experienced campaigner in a number of other areas as well, making it safe to say that Kolkata have spent their money quite wisely.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Asif Hassan