Henry, 31, made his ODI debut in 2014, before Bumrah, and long before Afridi. His average of 25.67 and economy rate of 5.15, is broadly in the vicinity of Bumrah (23.52 and 4.61) and Afridi (23.17 and 5.50).
Is he close to being among ODI seam bowling’s biggest names, then?
Has he played in two ODI World Cup finals – two more than Bumrah or Afridi have appeared in? Oh wow.
Henry is a seam bowler from New Zealand’s great 2010s and early 2020s, but feels like a New Zealand seam bowler from the 2000s. Which is to say, aww well, y’know, he runs in every ball, bungs it down on a good length, and gets the new cherry to move in the air quite a bit and, oh, maybe he’s pretty good on his day don’t you worry. Often he has been the spare broom in the closet – the seamer New Zealand reach for when the higher-profile bowlers are unavailable.
Over the last few years, however, he has won a place in the starting XI, displacing the likes of Southee, through sheer consistency of performance.
Since the 2015 World Cup, only Boult has a better ODI average among bowlers with 35 or more wickets in the opening 10 overs. In that powerplay, and roughly the last eight-and-a-bit years, Henry averages 21.13, with 59 wickets and an economy rate of 4.19.
He was less impressive when the swing disappeared, but even outside of Old Trafford, this has been the theme of his career. Since the start of the 2019 World Cup, his average through the middle overs (between the 11th, and 40th over), Henry’s average rises to 37.50.
Yes, it is spinners who are expected to take wickets during this phase, but just to put Henry’s numbers in context, his average is worse than that of uninspiring dobblies merchants such as Dasun Shanaka and Colin de Grandhomme, but also Shardul Thakur who, by the way, is crushing this category, averaging 23.21 during the middle, which perhaps helps explain his ongoing inclusion.
Even at the death, Henry has been modest. He’s had a worse economy rate than South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo, or West Indies quicks such as Sheldon Cottrell or Alzarri Joseph, whose team of course did not make this World Cup.
But in this World Cup there has been an upending. Henry has been menacing when he has bowled early, sure. But in the middle and the death – this is where he has shined. If shining isn’t exactly Henry’s vibe, then glowed.
And then against Netherlands, two of his wickets came at the death.
New Zealand, the only other team so far to go unbeaten apart from India, have plenty going for them outside of Matt Henry. But for once, it is impossible to ignore that Matt Henry has been instrumental to their advance.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf