Chennai's batting woes
By Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
IPL 2012 so far has thrown up quite a few surprises. Although Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were among the top run-getters in the league prior to the start of this season, their remarkably consistent run has been a revelation. Sehwag, in particular, is in the midst of an extraordinary run that has seen him become the first player to score five consecutive half-centuries in Twenty20 matches. On the other hand, the younger Indian batsmen such as Suresh Raina and M Vijay, who were expected to dominate the scoring, have been well below par. Chennai Super Kings, in particular, have been badly affected by the poor form of their batsmen in this tournament and the return of Michael Hussey will be a huge boost to their flagging fortunes.
M Vijay, who was one of Super Kings' most valuable batsmen in the previous two editions, has been woefully out of form scoring just 31 runs in 48 balls (strike-rate 64.58) while being dismissed five times. In contrast, he made over 400 runs in the 2010 and 2011 tournaments at an excellent scoring-rate. Suresh Raina and S Badrinath have struggled too, with averages below 25. While Badrinath's average is better than his worst return in a year (19.66 in 2009), his scoring-rate of 6.30 is the lowest among all seasons. Raina, on the other hand, has managed to score at a decent clip but his average of 21.88 is well below his lowest average in the previous four seasons (31.00 in 2009). Super Kings' captain MS Dhoni too has had his issues with batting and has failed to register a single fifty-plus score so far. His average (27.66) and strike-rate (116.08) are also much lower than his corresponding numbers in the previous seasons.
|M Vijay||-||60/15.00, 5.37/0||458/38.16, 9.41/2||434/27.12, 7.68/3||31/7.75, 3.87/0|
|S Badrinath||192/32.00, 8.86/2||177/19.66, 6.47/1||356/32.36, 7.06/2||396/66.00, 7.59/5||147/24.50, 6.30/1|
|Suresh Raina||421/46.77, 8.23/3||434/31.00, 8.45/2||520/52.00, 8.57/4||438/31.28, 8.08/4||197/21.88, 8.20/0|
|MS Dhoni||414/41.40, 8.01/2||332/41.50, 7.63/2||287/31.88, 8.20/2||392/43.55, 9.52/2||166/27.66, 7.00/0|
|Virat Kohli||165/15.00, 6.30/0||246/22.36, 6.73/1||307/27.90, 8.68/1||557/46.41, 7.26/4||192/21.33, 6.19/1|
|Yusuf Pathan||435/36.25, 10.74/4||243/20.25, 7.96/1||333/33.30, 9.94/1||283/31.44, 8.44/0||48/6.85, 5.76/0|
While Super Kings are faced with a huge problem with majority of their batsmen out of form, the performances of Virat Kohli and Yusuf Pathan have also been a concern for their respective teams. Kohli has averaged just 21.33, which is his second-lowest average across the five seasons. He has also managed to score only at just over a run a ball. Pathan, who was a consistent match-winner when he played for Rajasthan Royals, has failed to have the same effect with Kolkata Knight Riders. He has only managed 48 runs this season at a disappointing strike-rate of 96.