May 24, 2012

Chennai Super Kings

Home struggles for Super Kings' spinners

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
R Ashwin in his delivery stride, Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2012, Chennai, April 21, 2012
Super Kings' spinners have struggled at home this season - R Ashwin took 11 wickets in Chennai last IPL, but has managed only five so far  © AFP
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Chennai Super Kings seem to have a knack of picking up their game when they need it most. Their only two losses in big games came in the first IPL final and in the semi-final in 2009. After a large slice of luck enabled them to qualify for the play-offs this season, they produced a superb all-round performance against Mumbai Indians, who had beaten Super Kings twice in the league phase. Next up for Super Kings are Delhi Daredevils, who, in sharp contrast to Super Kings, have generally struggled to deliver in crunch games. In this season, Super Kings have failed to dominate contests in Chennai like they did in IPL 2011, when they went unbeaten at home. However, the nine-wicket win against Daredevils in their recent clash tilts the balance in favour of the defending champions.

In home matches, especially, spin has been a major trump card for Super Kings in the previous seasons. In 2011, Super Kings' spinners picked up 26 wickets at an average of 23.50 and economy rate of 6.43. Visiting spinners struggled and managed only 15 wickets at an average of 43.20 and economy rate of 7.90. The trend is quite different this time round. Visiting spinners have a far better average (24.66) than their Super Kings' counterparts, who average a high 55.60. Not only have visiting spinners picked up more wickets, they have also managed to maintain a much better economy rate (6.16) than Super Kings' spinners (7.82). The inferior performance of Super Kings' spinners is also reflected in the fact that they have a higher boundary-run percentage and lower dot-ball percentage. Daredevils' spinners though, have better numbers overall than Super Kings have managed at home (average 37.17 and economy rate 7.18).

Surprisingly, on the pace front, Super Kings have outperformed visiting teams. The average difference (difference between bowling averages of visiting teams and Super Kings) for pace bowlers is 14.23. Super Kings' pace attack, led by the in-form Ben Hilfenhaus, has an economy rate of 7.00 while visiting teams have only managed a corresponding number of 8.44. While the boundary-run percentage is approximately the same for pace bowlers from both teams, Super Kings are well ahead on the dot-ball percentage measure.

Pace v Spin for Chennai Super Kings and visiting teams in Chennai (IPL 2012)
Team Bowler type Wickets Average Economy rate Boundary run % Dot-ball %
Chennai Super Kings Pace 29 20.72 7.00 51.24 42.91
Visiting teams Pace 23 34.95 8.44 50.99 31.34
Chennai Super Kings Spin 10 55.30 7.82 47.01 32.54
Visiting teams Spin 15 24.66 6.16 38.37 40.27

M Vijay and Suresh Raina, two of the most successful batsmen in IPL 2011, have been out of form for majority of the tournament. However, the middle order for Super Kings has bailed them out of trouble on quite a few occasions including the play-off game against Mumbai Indians when they were precariously placed at 1 for 2. The stats tell a similar story. In matches played in Chennai, the top-order (1-3) batsmen for Super Kings have averaged 32.68, which is marginally ahead of the average of top-order batsmen (30.26) from visiting teams. Super Kings' middle-order (4-7) batsmen have, however, done much better than their visiting counterparts. While Super Kings' batsmen average 23.29 at a strike rate of 130.26, the corresponding numbers for visiting batsmen are 19.78 and 105.61. Super Kings have dominated the batting stats in the Powerplay overs in home matches, averaging 62.16 at a scoring rate of 7.77. While visiting teams have a higher average in the middle overs, the stats for Super Kings in the end overs are very evenly matched with those of the visiting teams.

Batting stats for Super Kings and visiting teams in Chennai this season
Team 1-3 batsmen (avg/SR) 4-7 batsmen (avg/SR) Powerplay overs (avg,RR) Middle overs (7-14)- (avg,RR) End overs (15-20) - (avg,RR)
Chennai Super Kings 32.68/121.86 23.29/130.26 62.16/7.77 29.53/6.92 17.18/8.75
Visiting teams 30.26/122.96 19.78/105.61 35.70/7.43 35.83/6.71 17.72/8.76
Overall 31.40/122.40 21.44/116.96 45.62/7.60 32.33/6.82 17.45/8.76

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by siva dubai on (May 25, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

@ Madhusudhan, "After a large slice of luck enabled them to qualify for the play-offs this season"

You must apologise for this statement. Getting 17 points is not luck and getting into playoffs with better run rate believe that, its not luck

Posted by Anuranjan Roy on (May 25, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

"Their only two losses in big games came in the first IPL final..." ??????????? I thought CSK won the first IPL final against Mumbai????

Posted by agnel on (May 25, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

well the stats dont really matter. csk has the capability to deliver in crunch situations and i think today wont be any different. i just hope they get a good start in both the innings... wishing good luck to d kings... hope they rock and reach the finals.

Posted by praveen on (May 25, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

//After a large slice of luck enabled them to qualify for the play-offs this season// Why would you call that a luck? I mean, the 17 points did not came for free. It is just that CSK set a bar for others to clear and the fact is 5 other teams did not have the ability to clear it and CSK are through. Where is luck coming here? People easily undermine the 3 back to back victories including 2 against the table toppers DD and KKR. This is not fair Mr.Madhusudhan. Had the match was scheduled in such a way that those 3 matches that they won were the last of the league no one would have complained then despite the results and points being the same.

Posted by nathan on (May 25, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

Now CSK is going to perform in spin department too having gained confidence in the last playoff. It will be a real testing time for the opponents to face the spin trio of CSK.

Posted by Srinivasacharimanirangan on (May 25, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Csk known for it's last lap burst will get past the winning post for sure...go csk go

Posted by Mahesh on (May 25, 2012, 13:08 GMT)

Dont worry guys... Today definetly Csk is going to rock... Being a Playoff Team, Csk will perform very well. Dont consider the League matches.

Posted by Sasi Kumar on (May 25, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

Come on Chennai... CSK will rock today. Good Luck Dhoni and his team mates

Posted by BADRI NARAYANAN on (May 25, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

the main reason why Ashwin has much fewer wickets this time arnd is that he is not being allowed to bowl in the first 4-5 overs.. thats when he is very dangerous and has the knack of taking wickets.. his role in this version of the IPL has been limited to controling the run flow.. and i think he has done a commendable job doing that.

Posted by Sathish on (May 25, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

Large slice of luck? What do you mean? A team has completed all its matches and was waiting for others to complete. In the end it has qualified on better run-rate. What has luck to do with this? 4 teams (DD, RCB, RR and DC) had 2 matches to play after Chennai's fixture got over. All these guys goofed up and could not qualify. Why are you blaming chennai for that? People who have cricketing brains will not call this luck. India could not qualify for this year's CB series in Australia, in spite of Virat Kohli's wonderful century. Will you say that India was unlucky in Australia, or will you say that we did not play good cricket. The answer for this by the author will determine the sort of person he is.

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