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An IPL of two halves

The bowlers, especially the quicker ones, enjoyed the first leg in the UAE. During the India leg, though, the balance has shifted in favour of the batsmen

S Rajesh

May 16, 2014

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

AB de Villiers has scored at a strike rate of 197 in the Indian leg, with 19 sixes off 123 balls; in the UAE he had a strike rate of 96, and hit one six off 76 balls © BCCI

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.

An IPL of two halves
  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.

Teams in the two legs of IPL 2014
  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.

Comparing batsmen stats in the UAE and India
  In the UAE In India
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate Innings Runs Average Strike rate
Karun Nair 2 9 4.50 52.94 6 212 42.40 134.17
Wriddhiman Saha 3 18 6.00 94.73 4 145 48.33 146.46
Yusuf Pathan 4 18 6.00 94.73 3 61 30.50 141.86
Gautam Gambhir 5 46 9.20 74.19 5 206 51.50 129.55
Faf du Plessis 4 51 12.75 98.07 3 121 40.33 137.50
Corey Anderson 5 73 14.60 91.25 4 77 25.67 163.82
AB de Villiers 4 73 24.33 96.05 5 242 60.50 196.74
Rohit Sharma 5 84 16.80 110.52 5 182 60.67 130.93
Shikhar Dhawan 5 85 17.00 114.86 5 130 26.00 116.07
Dinesh Karthik 5 94 18.80 117.50 6 142 23.67 124.56
Robin Uthappa 5 97 19.40 108.98 5 285 57.00 139.70
Suresh Raina 5 99 19.80 119.27 5 134 33.50 144.08
Yuvraj Singh 5 121 30.25 116.34 5 174 43.50 167.30
Ambati Rayudu 5 133 26.60 104.72 5 177 35.40 136.15

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.

Pace stats, in the UAE and in India
  Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate
In the UAE 156 23.32 7.35 19.0
In India 132 33.10 8.59 23.1
Spin stats, in the UAE and in India
  Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate
In the UAE 63 32.17 7.42 26.0
In India 76 29.61 7.60 23.3

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.

Comparing bowler stats in the UAE and in India
  in the UAE in India
Bowler Overs Wickets Average Econ rate Overs Wickets Average Econ rate
Sandeep Sharma 11.0 7 8.85 5.63 19.1 7 26.85 9.80
Varun Aaron 14.5 8 10.50 5.66 14.5 4 37.50 10.11
Ishwar Pandey 15.0 3 29.33 5.86 16.0 1 139.00 8.68
Rishi Dhawan 13.2 4 20.50 6.15 14.0 5 24.00 8.57
Kane Richardson 15.0 6 16.00 6.40 12.0 3 36.67 9.16
Dale Steyn 20.0 6 21.33 6.40 20.0 4 42.50 8.50
Mitchell Starc 20.0 7 18.71 6.55 19.0 6 25.33 8.00
Mohit Sharma 15.5 8 13.25 6.69 19.0 10 16.80 8.84
Ashok Dinda 17.0 2 59.00 6.94 10.0 2 57.00 11.40
Mitchell Johnson 19.2 7 20.42 7.39 19.0 3 52.67 8.31
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

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Posted by csowmi7 on (May 17, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

@Ruchit Khushu Yes Dravid may been slightly below average in South Africa but his record in England is phenomenal. The true test of a batsman is scoring runs in foreign conditions. He has scored 6 centuries in England 1 century in South Africa and a double century in Australia. Thats 8 centuries. Compare this to a Ricky Ponting who has scored one century in India one in Sri Lanka and 2 against Pakistan in the sub continent. Thats 4 centuries. Lets look at Lara. Hes got 3 centuries in Sri Lanka 2 in pakistan and no centuries in the flat tracks of India. Kallis is slightly better than the 2 with 8 centuries in the subcontinent but even he has never scored a century in Sri Lanka and his record is pretty poor there. This shows that amongst contemporary batsman Dravid has done well in alien conditions.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2014, 11:48 GMT)

@csowmi7 ,

Don't get started on Dravid. Even he failed in Australia except for that one series in which both his arch nemesis McGrath and Warne were missing (2003-04). Had they been there he wouldn't have scored the piles he scored most liekly. Else he has had an ordinary record in the other 3 tours.. He wasn't all that exceptional in RSA either !! A very good batsman overall and great one from Indian perspective no doubt but not what you described him exactly.

Posted by android_user on (May 16, 2014, 18:43 GMT)

I would rather prefer to see how batsmen manage to runs in UAE wickets compare to indian wickets which are always paradise for batsmen... cricket rules are more favourable to batsmen so if some bowler performing well consistently give him full marks for that... Shami disappointed me this season but bravo to Bhuvi :) he is doing so well

Posted by Smithie on (May 16, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

Stat guru would be interesting to analyse the comparative stats of overseas and Indian players with the former grouped by country. I think currently 3 of the 6 most valuable players are from Aus. Add these to the Aus coaching and backup staff in IPL there may be a counter argument to the views expressed by @cricetananand & csowmi7

Posted by Criketanand on (May 16, 2014, 13:42 GMT)

@Jordanmacmillan88 hmm pitches in Australia,England,SA,NZ greatly help fast bowler and inflate their figure , just look at all the avg bowler from these countries that is why i will always rate Akram,Younis,Kapil Dev, Imran Khan above all australian/english/SA/NZ bowlers. Hmm ponting/Hayden/langer/Adam G hmm couldnt bat on batsemn friendly Indian wickets That is why i rate them worse than Indian batsmen as well :)

Posted by csowmi7 on (May 16, 2014, 12:21 GMT)

@Jordan I think your comments on Indian batsman is unfair. Take a look at Ricky Ponting who did well in Australia England and SA but struggled in India averaging in the 20s. The fact is many players who have done well at home struggle in India. Even Lara doesnt have a good record in India. Each country is entitled to make its pitch conditions to its benefit. The mark of a great batsman is the ability to score runs everywhere. Take a look at the likes of Tendulkar and Dravid who have excellent records in all countries. Even Kohli has done wherever he has played scoring centuries in Australia SA and New Zealand. There is a reason why Dale Steyn is so highly praised. It is because he has done well in subcontinental conditions. A feat many of the recent Australian bowlers have failed to do.

Posted by ladycricfan on (May 16, 2014, 9:29 GMT)

Bengaluru has always been a batsman's paradise, scores of 180+ is the norm. But the surprise this year has been the hyderabad pitch. Have they recruited a different curator or what? It is so disappointing. SRH was so good last year with their strong bowling attack. The curator let them down this time round. You provide a flat flat wicket, ask steyn to ball and then bash him endlessly as over-rated. Mishra need to cut down his no-balls though. That no ball to Super Max cost them the last match.

Posted by   on (May 16, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

Based on his UAE stats, I think Aaron should go on the England tour. He'll get some help from the pitches, and his pace will make him a real handful there. The Indian pace attack in England (assuming both Ashwin and Sir play) should be Bhuvi Kumar, Shami and Yadav/Aaron. Every chance of taking wickets.

Posted by JasonWoodsworth on (May 16, 2014, 4:06 GMT)

Hmm, Pitches in india greatly help inflate the averages of indian batters. just look at rohit sharma ay. scored a double century in india but struggled to get pass the double digits during the saffa tour. it's also one of the main reasons why players from the subcontinent (indians, pakistanis etc) struggle so much with pace and bounce during away tours. that's why i would always pick Hayden, Ponting, Langer, Adam G, ahead of those players.

Posted by Saif_Khan90 on (May 16, 2014, 3:31 GMT)

Not surprising. Short boundaries, small stadiums and those flat pitches don't really assist the bowlers, do they!! No wonder, average scores for ODI matches in India have become so high! Bit of balance is needed if India wants to encourage fast bowling.

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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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