May 10, 2014

IPL 2014

Daredevils' blunt bowling

S Rajesh
Mohammed Shami hits the stumps direct to send back Rohit Sharma, Daredevils v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2014, Sharjah, April 27, 2014
Blunt weapon: Delhi Daredevils average 3.5 wickets per match  © BCCI
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The leading wicket-taker for Delhi Daredevils is Jaydev Unadkat, with six; the leading wicket-takers in the tournament are Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma, with 14. Between the table toppers and Unadkat, there are 19 other bowlers who've taken more than six wickets, which is a good indicator of how the Daredevils have struggled with the ball this season.

In eight matches in IPL 2014, Daredevils have taken 28 wickets, which is an average of 3.5 wickets per match. In five of their eight matches, they've failed to take more than three wickets: in Daredevils' first game, Royal Challengers Bangalore scored 146 for 2 in a successful run-chase; a couple of games later, Sunrisers Hyderabad scored 184 for 1 against them batting first; and since the tournament returned to India, they've had the following totals scored against them - 156 for 3 by Rajasthan Royals, 181 for 2 by Chennai Super Kings, and 161 for 2 by Kolkata Knight Riders.

In the entire tournament, Daredevils have conceded 46.28 runs per wicket for their 28 scalps; Kings XI have taken more than twice as many wickets - 57, at an average of 22.33 - while Super Kings and Royals have taken 53 each. The next-highest bowling average in the tournament is 31.96 runs per wicket, for Mumbai Indians. For Daredevils, apart from Unadkat's six wickets at 35.33, Wayne Parnell has five wickets at 31, but most of the other bowlers have struggled for wickets: Mohammad Shami's four wickets have cost 66.75 each, while Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-arm spinner, has five at an average of 44.80. Rahul Sharma, Jimmy Neesham, Laxmi Ratan Shukla and JP Duminy have combined figures of 3 for 335 from 39 overs.

Daredevils' bowling average of 46.28 isn't just the worst for any team this season; it's the worst by any team in any IPL season, and by quite a distance: the next-poorest bowling average for a team in any season is 34.43, by Deccan Chargers in 2008. And as the tables below show, they've struggled for wickets at each stage of a T20 innings - their Powerplay and middle overs bowling average is the second-worst by any team in a season, and their last-five-over average is the worst, by far.

Worst bowling averages for teams in an IPL season
Team Season Matches Wickets Average Econ rate W/ L
Delhi Daredevils 2014 8 28 46.28 8.46 2/ 6
Deccan Chargers 2008 14 67 34.43 8.72 2/ 12
Royal Challengers Bangalore 2008 14 65 33.92 8.43 4/ 10
Kolkata Knight Riders 2009 13 59 33.16 7.87 3/ 9
Kings XI Punjab 2010 14 73 32.39 8.73 3/ 10
Delhi Daredevils 2013 16 76 32.05 7.94 3/ 12
Poorest bowling averages in the first 6 overs in an IPL season
Team Season Overs Wkts Average Econ rate
Royal Challengers Bangalore 2008 84.0 12 55.08 7.86
Delhi Daredevils 2014 48.0 7 49.42 7.20
Poorest bowling ave in the middle overs (6.1 to 15) in an IPL season
Team Season Overs Wkts Average Econ rate
Mumbai Indians 2014 63.0 8 61.62 7.82
Delhi Daredevils 2014 72.0 12 46.50 7.75
Poorest bowling averages in the last 5 overs in an IPL season
Team Season Overs Wkts Average Econ rate
Delhi Daredevils 2014 33.1 9 43.55 11.81
Kolkata Knight Riders 2013 55.2 18 29.77 9.68

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S Rajesh
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.

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