An IPL of two halves
IPL 2014 has been played in two parts: the first was in bowler-friendly conditions in the UAE, when batsmen struggled to post big scores and bowlers enjoyed the upper hand in what's usually a batsman-dominated game; since the tournament returned to India, though, regular service has resumed, with teams posting bigger totals, and the ball disappearing for sixes far more often. The bowlers probably aren't enjoying the Indian leg so much, but the batsmen - and the crowds - aren't complaining.
The stats for the two legs of the tournament show the difference quite clearly. In the UAE, the average run rate in 20 matches was 7.55; there were two totals of more than 200, but both of them came in the same game - the third of the tournament, between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. However, in 40 innings, there were only 12 totals of 160 or more, as bowlers - especially the faster ones - enjoyed the conditions there. There were 173 sixes in 20 games, at an average of one every 27 balls, while batsmen were dismissed without scoring 26 times.
Since May 2, though, the numbers have turned quite dramatically in favour of batsmen. The average run rate has increased by almost a run, and much of that has been because of the big hits: the rate of hitting sixes has gone up from one every 27 balls to one every 18, an increase of 33%. The number of zeroes, meanwhile, has almost halved. In 42 innings, there have been 23 totals of 160 or more, including four 200-plus scores. The dot-ball percentage has barely changed - it was 39% in the UAE, and 38% in India - but what's caused the run rates to increase is the number of boundaries the batsmen have managed off the other deliveries. In fact, the Indian leg of the tournament has seen a run rate of 8.43 after 21 games, which is the highest of any IPL tournament; the next-best is 8.30, in the inaugural edition, in 2008.
|Matches||Average||Run rate||50s||0s||4s/ 6s||Balls per 4/6|
|In the UAE||20||24.69||7.55||29||26||464/ 173||9.97/ 26.75|
|In India||21||29.55||8.43||34||15||568/ 275||8.55/ 17.66|
The team stats show that most sides have scored more runs, at a faster rate, in India, but those who've managed better results are the ones who've controlled the runs they've conceded. The team whose fortunes have changed the most is Mumbai Indians: the batting average has gone up from 18.33 runs per wicket to 33.95, while the run rate has increased from 6.60 to 8.33; at the same time, their bowlers have kept the runs in check, relatively - the economy rate has only gone up from 7.54 to 8.09. The result has been three wins in five games in India, after they had lost all five in the UAE.
Mumbai's batsmen have also found the Indian grounds much more favourable for six-hitting: they've smacked 35 in five games, 20 more than they had in five matches in the UAE. Even that difference doesn't compare with the corresponding stats for Royal Challengers Bangalore, though: in the UAE most of their batsmen were struggling for form, which resulted in only 16 sixes from five games; in India, though, Yuvraj Singh has finally found form, and AB de Villiers has been outstanding too. The result has been 52 sixes in five matches in India. That hasn't helped Royal Challengers win more matches, though, because their bowlers have also been that much more profligate in India, going at 9.11 per over, compared to 6.62 in the UAE.
Chennai Super Kings have been the most consistent side over the two legs so far, with an identical 4-1 record. Their bowlers have been more expensive in India too - the economy rate has gone up from 7.51 in the UAE to 8.53 in India - but the batting run rate has increased too. Apart from Mumbai, Kolkata Knight Riders are the other side whose batting average has increased significantly, from 21.14 to 33.04, thanks to Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa regaining form.
|In the UAE||In India|
|Team||W/ L||Bat ave/ RR||50s/ 6s||Bowl ave/ ER||W/ L||Bat ave/ RR||50s/ 6s||Bowl ave/ ER|
|Chennai Super Kings||4/ 1||32.40/ 8.22||6/ 33||20.25/ 7.51||4/ 1||37.50/ 8.60||4/ 31||25.87/ 8.53|
|Kings XI Punjab||5/ 0||31.51/ 8.83||5/ 32||20.27/ 7.67||3/ 2||33.00/ 9.69||5/ 40||33.76/ 9.03|
|Rajasthan Royals||3/ 2||22.73/ 7.38||4/ 20||20.84/ 7.34||4/ 2||23.96/ 7.89||4/ 41||23.69/ 7.72|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||2/ 3||21.14/ 7.52||3/ 16||22.53/ 7.24||3/ 2||33.04/ 7.90||5/ 17||28.44/ 7.91|
|Sunrisers Hyderabad||2/ 3||27.96/ 7.60||3/ 23||28.96/ 8.19||2/ 3||27.80/ 8.24||4/ 25||25.80/ 7.97|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||2/ 3||21.57/ 6.77||2/ 16||20.96/ 6.62||2/ 3||27.12/ 8.69||5/ 52||29.06/ 9.11|
|Mumbai Indians||0/ 5||18.33/ 6.60||2/ 15||35.95/ 7.54||3/ 2||33.95/ 8.33||5/ 35||30.57/ 8.09|
|Delhi Daredevils||2/ 3||26.00/ 7.46||4/ 18||38.00/ 8.25||0/ 6||24.78/ 7.85||2/ 34||48.89/ 9.21|
Among the individual batsmen, there have been quite a few who struggled for runs in the UAE, but have suddenly found their best form once the bandwagon has returned to India. Among them are Gambhir, Rohit Sharma and Uthappa. Wriddhiman Saha managed only 18 runs from three innings in the UAE, but in India he has carved out 145 in four innings at a strike rate of 146, including an incredible 26-ball 54 as Kings XI chased down 206 against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Karun Nair didn't get too many chances in the UAE, but has flourished at the top of the order in India, scoring 212 in six innings at a strike rate of 134.
Yuvraj's UAE numbers look respectable, but they were boosted by just one innings - an unbeaten 52 off 29 balls against Daredevils; apart from that he scored 69 from 75 balls in four innings. In India, though, he has been a transformed player, scoring 174 runs at a strike rate of 167. He alone has struck 17 sixes in India, which is one more than what his entire team managed in five matches in the UAE.
Some of the non-Indian batsmen who had struggled in the UAE seem to have settled in nicely in India too. de Villiers has scored at a strike rate of 197 here, and has struck 19 sixes in 123 balls; in the UAE he managed a strike rate of 96, and struck one six in 76 balls.
|In the UAE||In India|
|Batsman||Innings||Runs||Average||Strike rate||Innings||Runs||Average||Strike rate|
|Faf du Plessis||4||51||12.75||98.07||3||121||40.33||137.50|
|AB de Villiers||4||73||24.33||96.05||5||242||60.50||196.74|
Among the bowlers, the numbers for the spinners hasn't changed much, but the fast bowlers did much better in the UAE than they have done in India so far. In India they've gone at more than eight-and-a-half an over, while in the UAE their economy rate was 7.35.
|Wickets||Average||Econ rate||Strike rate|
|In the UAE||156||23.32||7.35||19.0|
|Wickets||Average||Econ rate||Strike rate|
|In the UAE||63||32.17||7.42||26.0|
Several fast bowlers - both Indian and overseas ones - put in superb performances in the UAE, when the conditions offered them bounce and seam movement, but have been pretty ordinary in India. Sandeep Sharma, the former India Under-19 bowler currently with Kings XI, took seen wickets at 8.85 and an economy rate of 5.63 in the UAE, but has gone at almost ten an over in India; Varun Aaron has bowled exactly 14.5 overs in the UAE and in India, but his UAE bowling figures were 8 for 84; in India he has figures of 4 for 150. Ashok Dinda had an economy rate of 6.94 in the UAE, but it's ballooned to 11.40 in India. The one notable exception among Indian bowlers has been Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been terrific in both countries: he took eight wickets at 15 and an economy rate of 6.15 in the UAE, and 10 wickets at 11.20 and an economy rate of 5.69 in India. Jasprit Bumrah played only one game in the UAE, but has been terrific in India, achieving an economy rate of 6.68 from 19 overs.
Bowlers much more skilled and experienced than Dinda and Aaron have struggled in Indian conditions this season. Dale Steyn took six wickets at an average of 21.33 and an economy rate of 6.40 in the UAE, but in India his average has doubled and his economy rate increased to 8.50. Similarly, Mitchell Johnson has leaked 8.31 per over, and Kane Richardson 9.16. Lasith Malinga has been an exception, achieving an economy rate of 6.10 in the UAE and 6.81 in India. He's off to England, though, for the ODI series, which means Mumbai's already wafer-thin chances will take a further beating.
Apart from a handful of pace bowlers, the rest have all struggled in India. They can at least thank the timing of the national elections, though, for ensuring that the entire tournament wasn't played in India this season.
|in the UAE||in India|
|Bowler||Overs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate||Overs||Wickets||Average||Econ rate|
|R Vinay Kumar||14.0||4||26.50||7.57||10.0||2||49.50||9.90|
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter