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. 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.
|Opposition||Runs||Balls||Dismissals||Average||Runs per over|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||86||66||3||28.66||7.81|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||56||42||2||28.00||8.00|
|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.
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.
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.
|Team||Innings||Runs||Average||Runs per over|
|Chennai Super Kings||14||475||33.93||9.02|
|Kings XI Punjab||14||305||21.79||7.09|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||13||263||20.23||6.86|
|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.
|Runs||Balls||Dismissals||Average||Runs per over|
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.
|Balls||Runs conceded||Wickets||Average||Econ rate|
S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo