ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Is Bangalore the best pitch to bat on?

A look at the stats at each venue in IPL 2013: where have the batsmen piled up the runs, and where have quick bowlers thrived the most?

S Rajesh

May 3, 2013

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Chris Gayle launches to the boundary, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors, IPL, Bangalore, April 23, 2013
Despite Chris Gayle's big hitting, the run rate in Bangalore is only fourth among all venues in the IPL this season © BCCI

One of the features of IPL 2013 so far has been the quality of the pitches. The surfaces have been varied, from the slow ones in Hyderabad to the seamer-friendly ones in Jaipur, but most of them have been pretty fair to both teams over the period of an entire match, which is one of the reasons for the number of close games there have been in the tournament so far. Want to know which ground has seen the most sixes, the highest run rates and the highest averages? Read on to find out.

The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore has generally provided the most batsman-friendly conditions in the IPL this year, but the overall run rate here is only the fourth-highest. While the 263 scored by Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors significantly boosted the overall scoring rate at the ground, there have also been low scores here: Rajasthan Royals were bowled out for 117, while Warriors were so deflated by Chris Gayle's pulverisation that they responded with 133.

The venue with the highest run rate in the tournament so far is the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, where teams have scored at 8.58 runs per over in four matches. The home team has batted first here every time, and scored at least 170, with their highest being 209 against Delhi Daredevils. The team chasing has lost every time, but in two of those chases they have scored at least 165 too. That's also the venue with the highest average of sixes per match - 14.25, compared to 12.33 in Bangalore.

The MA Chidambaram Stadium has been the most equitable, in terms of distribution of matches won by the teams batting first and chasing - each has won three times (though it would have been different had RP Singh not bowled that last-ball no-ball). The highest total at the ground is Super Kings' 200 against Knight Riders, while on eight occasions teams have scored 160 or more.

On the other hand, the surfaces in Hyderabad, Pune and Delhi have generally been difficult for run-scoring. The Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad, has been the toughest for scoring, with an average run rate of 6.41: the highest score here by a team batting first this season is 130. Similarly the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune has seen plenty of low scores too, with only one 150-plus total in four attempts by the team batting first. The venue has also witnessed the lowest score by a team batting first in this tournament - the home team scored 99 for 9 against Kings XI Punjab.

Of the 42 results achieved till May 1 (excluding the two games which went into the Super Over), 19 have been won by the team batting first, and 23 by the side chasing. As mentioned earlier, the Wankhede Stadium is the only one that has favoured the team batting first, while Kolkata has the most skewed results in favour of the side chasing.

Venue-wise stats from IPL 2013
Venue Matches Average Run-rate 100s/ 50s 4s/ 6s Won batting 1st Won chasing
Mumbai 4 26.40 8.58 0/ 7 119/ 57 4 0
Chennai 6 29.67 8.30 1/ 11 175/ 59 3 3
Mohali 3 27.37 8.18 0/ 6 98/ 20 1 2
Bangalore 6 27.72 8.10 1/ 7 175/ 74 2 3
Raipur 2 30.84 7.52 0/ 2 57/ 17 1 1
Jaipur 5 21.57 7.37 0/ 5 144/ 30 2 3
Kolkata 5 23.47 7.30 0/ 4 130/ 42 1 4
Delhi 5 23.27 7.19 0/ 7 128/ 30 2 3
Pune 4 20.61 6.73 0/ 3 94/ 23 2 2
Hyderabad 4 19.21 6.41 0/ 1 82/ 15 1 2

The vagaries of the pitches and conditions have also had a bearing on the kind of bowlers who have succeeded at different venues. The pitch that has most consistently aided seam and swing bowling this season has been the one at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Rajasthan Royals, the home team, have regularly played with a pace-centric attack to exploit the pace and bounce available on the surface. Of the 59 wickets that have fallen to bowlers here, pace- or medium-pace bowlers have accounted for 51, a percentage of 86.44, at a superb average of 21.90. The only other regular venue where pace has accounted for more than 80% of the wickets is Bangalore, where 52 out of 62 have gone to the quicker bowlers, though they've also leaked more than eight per over.

At most of the other venues spin has contributed a fair share of wickets. At the Eden Gardens, for instance, the slow pitch has given spinners plenty of opportunities, and they have taken 25 wickets - almost as many as the pace bowlers - at an economy rate of 6.89. Similarly, in Chennai too spinners have enjoyed success at an excellent economy rate, though their percentage of wickets taken isn't quite as high.

At six of the ten venues, spinners have conceded less than seven runs to the over, which suggests that most of the pitches in the IPL have been slightly slow, and lack of pace on the ball has been a good option to control the runs. The only venue where spinners have a poorer economy rate than the faster bowlers is in Mohali, and even there the difference is marginal. In Jaipur too the difference in economy rates is negligible, while in Hyderabad the spinners have been at their most miserly, going at less than six per over.

Pace-spin stats at each venue in IPL 2013
Venue Pace-wkts Average Econ rate Spin-wkts Average Econ rate
Jaipur 51 21.90 7.16 8 33.12 7.13
Chennai 45 32.68 8.79 18 26.83 6.70
Bangalore 52 27.86 8.06 10 40.40 7.62
Mumbai 31 32.32 8.56 15 22.73 7.93
Delhi 41 24.24 7.53 12 29.58 6.01
Hyderabad 31 19.93 6.45 17 21.05 5.96
Kolkata 29 28.37 7.20 25 22.56 6.89
Pune 27 28.07 6.89 16 15.12 6.05
Mohali 24 26.91 7.97 9 32.11 8.02
Raipur 16 29.25 7.80 2 55.00 6.16

Overall this year, spinners have outperformed seamers both in terms of average and economy rate, though they have taken fewer wickets. The difference in average is negligible, but spinners have been far more economical, giving away almost one run fewer per over than the quicker bowlers.

Pace and spin in IPL 2013
  Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate
Pace 347 26.93 7.70 20.9
Spin 132 25.84 6.82 22.7

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Comments: 5 
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Posted by Andrew on (May 6, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

Hyderabad ... has had the services of Dale Steyn and hence the low average there for pace wickets ... It has been a shock that besides the 263 game the Bangalore ground has not been the most productive ... Mumbai was surprising at number 1 ... but then it has not been a chasers track like Bangalore ...

Posted by Dummy4 on (May 5, 2013, 15:49 GMT)

Bangalore is a wonderful pitch and assist both seamers and spinners

Posted by Jason on (May 5, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

As always a beautifully presented set of stats to pore over and over... really surprised about Wankhede though as the Mumbai rate cannot be attributed to their top 3... Sharma & Pollard have helped it rise (as have the opposition). Chennai & Bangalore are no real surprise however the above stats require the batsman to up the rate and they both have the big guns in abundance. Hyderabad is no real shock at the foot of the table... their batting has been pretty poor (every time I've watched them I expect huge things but they fail to deliver - home or away) BUT their bowling attack has kept them in the running. Will be interesting to see how things stand at the end of the league matches. I think it'll be Chennai this year to win...

Posted by Vijay on (May 3, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

A really good pitch is one that incorporates the features of the pitches in Bangalore and Mohali. It has something for the pacers and the batsmen can start scoring freely as soon as they are well set. Indian pitches will invariably assist the spinners as the match progresses. Therefore, such a pitch would result in the best quality of cricket.

Posted by suresh kumar on (May 3, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

boundary lines should be extended to near 80metres in all ipl grounds to encourage bowlers to pitch the ball up. I dont like chinnasamy stadium where leading edges gone to sixes and fours. Bowlers always punished there. One thing that i noticed this ipl in chennai is, the pitch has been improved from slower and lower side to more sporting one. In the past, batting first won more often, now every high scoring match ends with nail biting finish.

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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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