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In the first six editions of the IPL, Amit Mishra had taken 95 wickets at an average of 20.25 and an economy rate of 6.93, numbers which were good enough to pronounce him among the best bowlers in the tournament. Only Lasith Malinga had taken more wickets, and among spinners only a handful had a better economy rate. Mishra had also gone for 86 sixes, second only to Piyush Chawla's 91, but it couldn't be held against him in a format where it was inevitable for a legspinner to go for a few of those. Given that he was only five wickets short of 100, it was widely expected that he would reach landmark before he'd get hit for a century of sixes.
As it's turned out, though, IPL 2014 has so far been a bit of a nightmare for Mishra. In just 19.3 overs, he has disappeared for 16 sixes, which is as many as he conceded in 62 overs last year. Against Kings XI, Mishra was hammered for seven sixes in his four overs - five by Glenn Maxwell and one each by Virender Sehwag and David Miller - which is the most sixes hit against any bowler in a single IPL match. [Mishra shares that record with Pune Warriors' Mitchell Marsh, who also went for seven sixes in a game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore during that Chris Gayle onslaught.]
A week later against Mumbai Indians, Mishra vanished for five sixes, all the hands of Keiron Pollard. The third of those was the 100th six that had been hit off his bowling in the IPL, making him the first to that not-so-flattering landmark - Chawla is still on 95. As if to celebrate that milestone, Pollard hit the next two balls for sixes as well, in an over which cost Mishra 27. Those series of sixes have meant Mishra has been hit for a six once every 7.31 balls in IPL 2014; last year a six off him was three times more scarce - once in 23 balls.
In the meantime, Mishra's wickets tally has inched ahead by just four, which means he is still one short of the 100-wicket mark, though he's still the second-highest wicket-taker in the IPL. The last time this tournament was held outside India, he had done much better, taking 14 wickets at an economy rate of 7.00 in 2009, and conceding a six every 19.46 balls.
Can he raise his game, now that the tournament has moved back to India?
|Bowler||Overs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate||4s/ 6s|
|Amit Mishra||19.3||4||50.25||10.30||6/ 16|
|Pragyan Ojha||19.0||1||167.0||8.78||10/ 8|
|Shahbaz Nadeem||20.4||5||32.60||7.88||8/ 7|
|Piyush Chawla||15.3||5||23.80||7.67||10/ 4|
|Ravindra Jadeja||18.4||10||14.30||7.66||11/ 5|
|Karn Sharma||18.0||2||68.00||7.55||12/ 5|
|Season||Overs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate||4/ 6s||Balls per 6|
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstatsFeeds: S Rajesh
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Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.