Australians in IPL 2009 May 28, 2009

Gilchrist turns back the years

There weren't too many Australians around in the IPL this year, but they still made their presence felt in no uncertain terms, with Adam Gilchrist leading the way

There weren't too many Australians around in the IPL this year, but they still made their presence felt in no uncertain terms. One of them, Matthew Hayden, finished as the highest run-getter, but the one who took away all the honours was his long-time opening partner in ODIs, Adam Gilchrist. As a leader, he inspired a bunch of players who were basement dwellers last season to aim for, and reach, the summit. And as a batsman, he led from the front again, forming a superb opening partnership with Herschelle Gibbs and getting the Deccan Chargers off to excellent starts more often than not.

Gilchrist finished as the second-highest run-getter in the IPL, falling just five short of 500. He scored three half-centuries, but his high point came in a high-pressure, knockout game, against the team which was the favourite to win the tournament. There were two centuries in the IPL, but for many, the best innings was Gilchrist's 85 in the semi-final against Delhi, a knock which made a potentially tricky chase a mere formality. Among batsmen who scored more than 100 runs, only Dwayne Smith finished with a strike rate higher than Gilchrist's 152.30.

Looking at his stats against each opponent, it's clear he saved his best for Delhi Daredevils, averaging more than 52 at a strike rate of almost 13 runs per over. Against the other teams his aggregate was less than 100, but against each of them his strike rate was superb.

Adam Gilchrist in the IPL
Opposition Runs Balls Dismissals Average Runs per over
Delhi Daredevils 157 73 3 52.33 12.90
Royal Challengers Bangalore 86 66 3 28.66 7.81
Mumbai Indians 60 49 2 30.00 7.34
Kolkata Knight Riders 56 42 2 28.00 8.00
Rajasthan Royals 49 46 2 24.50 6.39
Chennai Super Kings 44 20 2 22.00 13.20
Kings XI Punjab 43 29 2 21.50 8.89

Like most batsmen in the IPL, though, Gilchrist was less comfortable against spin than he was against pace (though Virender Sehwag, who gave away 23 runs in an over to him in the semis, might disagree with that assessment). Anil Kumble showed the way to nail him in the final, taking the new ball and dismissing him in the first over, while Amit Mishra, Yusuf Pathan, Suresh Raina and Ramesh Powar were some of the other spinners who dismissed him. Overall, Gilchrist averaged almost 46 against pace, scoring at more than ten an over. Against spin, though, he was far less destructive, averaging only 16, at a rate of slightly more than seven per over.

Gilchrist against pace and spin in the IPL
  Runs Balls Wickets Average Run rate
Pace 366 216 8 45.75 10.16
Spin 129 109 8 16.12 7.10

Among the bowlers who bowled more than ten balls to him, Kumble was easily the most effective, conceding only 18 from 22 balls, and dismissing him in the final. Yusuf Pathan was pretty tidy as well, but the same can't be said of Delhi's two left-arm fast bowlers: both Dirk Nannes, who was taken apart by Gilchrist in the semi-final, and Ashish Nehra suffered at his hands, going at more than 14 runs per over. Irfan Pathan, Mashrafe Mortaza and L Balaji went at more than two runs per ball as well.

Gilchrist versus each bowler in the IPL (Qual: 10 balls)
Bowler Runs Balls Dismissals Average Run rate
Anil Kumble 18 22 1 18.00 4.90
Lasith Malinga 20 19 0 - 6.31
Yusuf Pathan 17 18 1 17.00 5.66
Dirk Nannes 39 16 1 39.00 14.62
Tillakaratne Dilshan 13 15 0 - 5.20
Ashish Nehra 39 14 0 - 16.71
Praveen Kumar 18 12 0 - 9.00
Brett Lee 11 12 0 - 5.50
L Balaji 27 11 0 - 14.72
Mashrafe Mortaza 23 11 0 - 12.54
Irfan Pathan 26 11 0 - 14.18
Ishant Sharma 10 11 0 - 5.45
Amit Mishra 17 10 1 17.00 10.20

Thanks largely to Gilchrist and Hayden, their teams were also on top of the chart in terms of opening partnerships. The numbers for them are very similar - an average stand in the early 30s and a run rate of slightly more than nine per over. None of the other teams managed either of these feats. The run rates for these two teams, especially, was significantly more than the others: Delhi, the next best side only managed a run rate of 7.53.

Tea-wise opening partnerships in the IPL
Team Innings Runs Average Runs per over
Chennai Super Kings 14 475 33.93 9.02
Deccan Chargers 16 527 32.94 9.03
Delhi Daredevils 14 369 26.36 7.53
Rajasthan Royals 13 286 22.00 6.89
Kings XI Punjab 14 305 21.79 7.09
Kolkata Knight Riders 13 263 20.23 6.86
Mumbai Indians 13 247 19.00 6.83
Royal Challengers Bangalore 16 240 15.00 5.95

Australians contribution in IPL 2009

The 18 Australians who played in the IPL scored about 17% of the total runs that came off the bat, at an average that was better than the overall tournament average. It helped that apart from Hayden and Gilchrist, they also had Brad Hodge, who scored 365 in 12 innings at an average of more than 40, and Andrew Symonds, whose late entry added plenty of weight to a shaky Deccan middle order.

Australian contribution with the bat in the IPL
  Runs Balls Dismissals Average Runs per over
Australians 2564 1990 89 28.80 7.73
Overall 15,344 13,158 697 22.01 7.00

The bowling, despite Nannes and Sharne Warne, took less than 10% of the total wickets taken by bowlers, while their average was slightly higher than the overall tournament average.

Australian contribution with the ball in the IPL
  Balls Runs conceded Wickets Average Econ rate
Australians 1348 1641 60 27.35 7.30
Overall 13,085 15,944 621 25.67 7.31

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo