April 21, 2010

Two veterans and two young guns

From two spin partners who are now IPL adversaries to two long-time openers who’ll be pitted against each other

From two spin partners who are now IPL adversaries to two long-time openers who’ll be pitted against each other. Neither Matthew Hayden nor Adam Gilchrist have had a tournament to remember so far, but all that can change in four days as IPL 2010 reaches its climax. And while they may not have clicked so far, both are such destructive match-winners that you can write them off only at your own peril.

The most disappointing aspect of the performances of these two is the number of balls they’ve lasted per dismissal: Hayden has averaged 17 deliveries per dismissal, and Gilchrist has lasted 11.5. These are terrible numbers, and I’m hoping both last at least 30 deliveries in the semi-final, unlike the two big guns in the Mumbai-Bangalore semis – Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis both played exactly nine balls.

Gilchrist and Hayden in IPL 2010
Batsman Innings Runs Average Run rate 4s/ 6s Balls per dismissal
Matthew Hayden 14 321 22.92 8.04 34/ 15 17.1
Adam Gilchrist 14 270 19.28 10.06 29/ 15 11.5

The other head-to-head I’m looking forward to is the one between two young players who’ve been seen as the future of Indian middle-order batting for a while now. Both Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma haven’t always justified everything that’s been said or written about them, but both have been stars of the IPL. Raina has the better stats – he has scored more runs, at a better average and a slightly better strike rate, but Rohit has had the edge in the middle overs. (Raina’s way ahead in the Powerplays, with 147 runs in 93 balls to Rohit’s 14 in 27.) Both have been key fielders as well for their teams. I can’t wait to see how their personal battle pans out on Thursday. If I have to choose a winner, I’ll go with Raina.

Raina and Rohit in IPL 2010
Batsman Innings Runs Average Run rate 4s/ 6s Balls per dismissal
Suresh Raina 14 461 46.10 8.51 42/ 19 32.5
Rohit Sharma 14 402 33.50 8.23 36/ 14 24.42
Raina and Rohit in the middle overs (6.1 to 14)
Batsman Runs Dismissals Average Run rate
Suresh Raina 227 7 32.42 7.78
Rohit Sharma 225 5 45.00 8.38
Raina and Rohit in the last six overs
Batsman Runs Dismissals Average Run rate
Suresh Raina 87 1 87.00 9.15
Rohit Sharma 163 7 23.28 9.31

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter