Why the teams finished where they did
With this IPL season nearing its end, here's a look at what cost the teams a playoff berth, and what worked for those that made it. This piece analyses overall performance with bat and ball, and also identifies the individual performers that stood out for each team. To this end, the first-innings totals have been classified as 'above-par' and 'below-par'. The average first-innings score during the league stage was 157, so totals of 157 or more have been classified as 'above-par' and scores below 157 have been classified as 'below-par'.
Batsmen scoring at an average equal to, or more than, the average (25.47) of all top-order batsmen (Nos. 1 to 7) in the tournament and scoring at a strike rate equal to, or more than, the average strike rate (121.95) of all top-order batsmen in the tournament make their way to the 'top batsmen' list. Bowlers with an economy equal to, or less than, the average economy (7.52) in the league stage and and wickets at a strike rate equal to or less than the average strike rate (21.4) made the 'top bowlers' list. A minimum of eight innings is taken as a criterion to filter out the batsmen and bowlers who weren't regulars in their teams.
|Batting first||Fielding first|
|Scores => 157||Scores < 157||Runs conc => 157||Runs conc < 157|
|Teams||Top batsmen||Top bowlers|
*: Shane Watson included in both top batsmen and bowlers
Both batsmen and bowlers let the team down. Daredevils hit an average-or-higher score only once in the seven games they batted first in. On the other hand, their bowlers conceded a first-innings score of 157 or more in eight out of nine matches. Of these matches, their batsmen failed to chase successfully on all but one occasion - when they chased down 162 against Mumbai. Unfortunately for Daredevils, there were no rearguard actions from their bowlers either. Daredevils lost all the six matches defending below-par totals. None of their bowlers figure in the list of top-performers. Only Ben Rohrer, who played eight games, and David Warner managed to perform above the tournament average for batsmen.
Warriors managed to score above par five out of seven times in the first innings. However, their bowlers could not defend two of these totals. Where it went completely wrong for them was in their chases - their batsmen chased successfully only once in nine attempts. In four of these nine matches, Warriors were chasing below-average scores, but they managed to win only one. Only Aaron Finch performed above par for them, scoring 456 runs at a strike rate of 135.7 in the tournament. None of their bowlers figure in the list of above-par performances.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI, similar to their previous campaigns, won just enough games to end up in the middle of the table. Their batsmen disappointed, scoring below average first-innings scores in five out of eight matches, but they nearly made up by chasing down a couple of high scores - thanks to their best batsman of the season, David Miller. The bowlers conceded above par first-innings scores in five out of eight games and also did not make up for the batsmen's poor performance, failing to defend some low scores. Not surprisingly, Miller was the top batsman from their side. None of their bowlers were above par.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders batsmen put up above-par runs in only two of the seven matches they batted first in. They were also one of three teams that failed to chase down a single above-par target. Their bowlers conceded four above-par totals in away matches, which proved too much for Knight Riders' batsmen to chase, considering their slow strike rates. Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan were the batsmen to perform above par. Gautam Gambhir was not one of their top batsmen, notwithstanding his four half centuries: his strike rate was much lower than the season average. They were clearly a better bowling unit, with three of their bowlers - Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis and Sachitra Senanayake - performing above par.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Their batsman posted eight above-average scores - most for a team this season - out of the 11 times they batted first. However, their bowlers managed to defend only four of these totals. After Sunrisers, Royal Challengers had the worst success rate in defending above-par targets this season. With Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the side, they were one of the best batting units of the season. Moises Henriques also figured as one of the top batsmen. Their bowling, though, derailed their campaign. Ravi Rampaul, who missed six games, was their best bowler. Vinay Kumar, notwithstanding his 23 wickets, was not one of the top performers, because of his high economy rate of 8.19.
All ten of Sunrisers' wins in the league phase involved below-par scores. Their bowlers managed to restrict the opposition in six of the eight occasions they bowled first. Sunrisers won all those six matches. Sunrisers' bowlers also managed to defend four of the five below-par scores put up by their batsmen. Their batsman scored above average in only three of the eight innings in which they batted first. However, to their credit, Sunrisers batsmen managed to successfully finish all six low-scoring games set up by their bowlers. Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma were the top bowlers for Sunrisers. Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy, who both played only nine games, were their top batsmen.
The fact that Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane were not among their four best batsmen says a lot about their batting strength. Royals also had the best allrounder - Shane Watson - who figured among the top batsmen and top bowlers this season. Royals were good at chasing, seven of their ten wins came batting second. Not all the credit for their success goes to their batsmen, though: out of the nine targets set by the opposition, six were below-par scores. Watson, Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson were their top batsmen. James Faulkner and Watson were the top bowlers.
Mumbai posted above-par scores seven out of the ten times they batted first in the tournament. And their bowlers ensured that their team won six of those seven games - sharp contrast to Royal Challengers, who suffered because of their weak bowling attack. Mumbai's batsmen also managed to chase two of the four above-par totals conceded by their bowlers. A favour returned by their bowlers, who defended a couple of low scores. Mumbai had four bowlers - Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga and Pragyan Ojha - among the top performers for the tournament. Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik and Keiron Pollard were their top batsmen.
Chennai Super Kings
Super Kings' batsmen were consistent in high-scoring matches. They won nine out of 12 such games, six batting first and three while chasing. Their batsmen failed to post an above-par total in only one of the seven matches in which they batted first. Their bowlers also did their bit by restricting the opposition to below-par scores on three occasions. Needless to say, with Super Kings, their fielding also played a significant role in restricting the opposition. Four of their batsmen - Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, and Ravindra Jadeja - figured among the top batsmen of the tournament. Mohit Sharma and R Ashwin were among the top bowlers.
Shiva Jayaraman is sub-editor stats at ESPNcricinfo