IPL 2016 May 30, 2016

Chahal: Royal Challengers' MVP

ESPNcricinfo looks at the best and the worst bets of the IPL 2016 based on player performance and their auction-purse costs

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Which players were the best return on investment in IPL 2016?

Yuzvendra Chahal finished as the second highest wicket-taker in this IPL behind Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Chahal took 21 wickets from 13 matches to Bhuvneshwar's 23 from 17 matches. Bhuvneshwar finished with an economy rate of 7.42, but bowled during the end overs for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Chahal, who bowled largely at M. Chinnaswamy, returned an economy of 8.15. One could argue that Chahal pulled at least as much weight for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season, as Bhuvneshwar did for Sunrisers.

However, another relevant factor is the cost incurred by the franchise to acquire a player. For roughly similar contributions from the two players, their respective franchises paid substantially different amounts: while Sunrisers had to splurge INR 4.25 crores for Bhuvneshwar in the 2014 IPL auction, Royal Challengers bagged Chahal for INR 10 lakhs. Here's a look at some of the purchases this season that worked and some that didn't.

Cricket includes a lot of variables - some quantifiable and others hardly so - which need to be factored in to put a value to a performance, with bat, ball or in the field. Since the aim is to create a rough idea of the types of purchases, only information that is available in scorecards is used.

The following match information has been used to arrive at 'Points' earned by players for each match: runs scored, strike rate, wickets taken, economy, catches taken, stumpings and run-outs effected. Players earn points for batting, bowling and fielding. Batting points are earned based on runs scored by a batsman weighted down, or up, by his strike rate relative to other batsmen in the match. Bowlers earn points based on their relative economy in a match and the quality of batsmen they dismiss. For this purpose, batsmen are classified into four categories based on their recent form. A batsman or a bowler could get negative points in a match depending on his relative strike rate or economy in that match. Fielding points are awarded for run-outs, catches and stumpings. Match contexts have not been taken into account.

An approximate amount of INR 441.8 crores was spent by franchises on building their teams this season and a total of 30285 Points were earned by players. For each point that the players earned, their franchise spent an average of INR 1.46 lakhs. A player creates value for his franchise based on the points he has earned in the season. For example, Mustafizur Rahman earned 466.11 points, thereby creating a value of INR 6.8 crores (466.11 multiplied by 1.46 lakhs) for Sunrisers. Considering the franchise spent INR 1.4 crores of their auction purse money on him, Mustafizur generated notional gains amounting to INR 5.4 crores (6.8 crores minus 1.4 crores) for Sunrisers. Virat Kohli and David Warner are the top two points-earners and hence created the highest notional values this season. Kohli created a value of INR 14.8 crores and Warner followed with INR 14.4 crores. Following them, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson and Chris Morris made up the top-five value-creators this season.

Top peformers, IPL 2016, by value created (in INR Crores)
Player Team Mats Runs SR Wkts Eco Catches/Stumpings/run-outs Points Value created
 Virat Kohli  RCB  16  973  152.03  -  -  7  1013.97  14.80
 David Warner  SRH  17  848  151.41  -  -  4  989.95  14.40
 AB de Villiers  RCB  16  687  168.79  -  -  19  826.72  12.10
 Shane Watson  RCB  16  179  133.58  20  8.58  10  648.16  9.40
 Chris Morris  DD  12  195  178.89  13  7.00  11  647.49  8.60

Sunrisers spent only INR 5.5 crores of their purse money on Warner as opposed to INR 12.5 Crores that Royal Challengers spent on Kohli. So, while Sunrisers gained INR 8.9 crores based on Warner's performance, Royal Challengers gained INR 2.3 crores. Warner's performance in this IPL and his cost of INR 5.5 crores makes him the player who created the highest notional returns for his team. Chahal follows next: his low cost of INR 10 lakhs, clubbed with high value created amounting to INR 8.4 crores makes him the second most profitable buy of the season. Andre Russell slots in at No. 3 with a cost of INR 60 lakhs and value created through performance amounting to INR 7.7 crores. Dhawal Kulkarni and Moises Henriques complete the top five players who created the highest returns for their respective franchises.

Top ten investments, IPL 2016, IN INR Crores
Player Team Auction purse cost Points Value created Value Returns
 David Warner  Sunrisers Hyderabad  5.50  989.95  14.44  8.94
 Yuzvendra Chahal  Royal Challengers Bangalore  0.10  573.30  8.36  8.26
 Andre Russell  Kolkata Knight Riders  0.60  532.17  7.76  7.16
 Dhawal Kulkarni  Gujarat Lions  2.00  583.82  8.51  6.51
 Moises Henriques  Sunrisers Hyderabad  1.00  465.33  6.78  5.78
 Krunal Pandya  Mumbai Indians  2.00  508.36  7.41  5.41
 Mustafizur Rahman  Sunrisers Hyderabad  1.40  466.11  6.79  5.39
 Axar Patel  Kings XI Punjab  0.75  404.70  5.90  5.15
 Sandeep Sharma  Kings XI Punjab  0.85  411.52  6.00  5.15
 Dwayne Smith  Gujarat Lions  2.29  510.66  7.44  5.14

David Miller was the most unprofitable buy of the season. His 161 runs at a strike rate of 122.90, 10 catches and two run-outs could generate a value of INR 2.2 crores, a vast difference from auction purse cost of INR 12.5 crores, which meant he generated negative returns of INR 10.3 crores. MS Dhoni created value of INR 4.2 crores and ended up generating negative returns of INR 8.3 crores. Pawan Negi came at a high cost - he was the second most expensive purchase of the 2016 auction at INR 8.5 crores after Watson - but couldn't make Delhi Daredevils' XI in six of the 14 matches. Negi's one wicket, 57 runs and two catches could generate a value of only INR 56 lakhs, a negative of INR 7.9 crores for the season. Mitchell Johnson and Suresh Raina - a late surge in his form notwithstanding - make up the bottom five.

Bottom five investments, IPL 2016, IN INR Crores
Player Team Auction purse cost Points Value created Value Returns
 David Miller  Kings XI Punjab  12.50  151.52  2.21  -10.28
 MS Dhoni  Rising Pune Supergiants  12.50  288.20  4.20  -8.29
 Pawan Negi  Delhi Daredevils  8.50  38.34  0.55  -7.94
 Mitchell Johnson  Kings XI Punjab  6.50  -30.41  -0.44  -6.94
 Suresh Raina  Gujarat Lions  12.50  391.66  5.71  -6.78

A look now at what the collective performances of players did to the coffers of their franchises. Sunrisers spent approximately INR 50.94 crores, the least among all teams (After adjusting for the money saved owing to the unavailability of some of their players). The value generated by their players though was the second highest at INR 67.06 crores, making them the most profitable of the franchises with a return on investment (ROI) of 31.7%. Royal Challengers slot in at No. 2 with a ROI of 25.1%. Kolkata Knight Riders are the only other team with a positive ROI of 2.6%. Gujarat Lions earned a negative ROI of 4.0% in spite of topping in the league stage. Daredevils were the worst, with their expensive punts on players such as Negi, Mohammed Shami, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Shreyas Iyer working against them.

Teams and their ROIs
Team Player Costs (INR Cr) Value Created (INR Cr) Gains (INR Cr) ROI
 Sunrisers Hyderabad  50.93  67.06  16.12  31.7%
 Royal Challengers Bangalore  60.26  75.40  15.13  25.1%
 Kolkata Knight Riders  53.21  54.62  1.40  2.6%
 Gujarat Lions  55.65  53.42  -2.22  -4.0%
 Mumbai Indians  56.81  49.37  -7.43  -13.1%
 Kings XI Punjab  52.35  45.41  -6.93  -13.2%
 Rising Pune Supergiants  54.02  48.13  -5.88  -10.9%
 Delhi Daredevils  58.55  48.37  -10.17  -17.4%

Shiva Jayaraman is a senior sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo.com. @shiva_cricinfo