All-round Symonds proves to be the MVP
The Deccan Chargers started IPL 2009 with four consecutive victories, two more than what they managed in 2008. But things went downhill after that with the Chargers suffering a hat-trick of losses before they beat the Mumbai Indians. With six matches left in the league phase, Andrew Symonds joined the Chargers, boosting the team in all departments.
Despite winning only two of their last six league matches, the Chargers went on to lift their maiden title. Symonds came to the rescue in the final against the Royal Challengers Bangalore with a 21-ball 33 and the wickets of Ross Taylor and Virat Kohli in the 15th over when the required rate was well under eight per over.
His all-round show in the final was valued at 127.09 impact points, the highest for the Chargers as per ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats. Even in the semi-final against a star-studded Delhi Daredevils, Symonds gave away only 20 runs in three overs and dismissed Virender Sehwag. Symonds earned 541.59 impact points through the tournament and was ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats MVP for securing 67.7 points per game.
Symonds scored 249 runs at a strike rate of 150 in the eight matches he played. With the ball, he struck seven times and had an economy rate of 6.66. On four occasions he had an economy rate of under six. Matthew Hayden, the orange cap winner, is second on our MVP list. He scored 572 runs from only 12 matches, earning a total impact score of 743.93 and a per-match impact of 62.52.
Another player from the Chennai Super Kings, Suresh Raina, occupies third place with an average of 55.61 points per game. Raina scored 434 runs and claimed seven wickets to have a total impact score of 772.97 points, the highest for any player in IPL 2009. Two members from the title-winning team, Adam Gilchrist and Dwayne Smith complete the top five for the tournament.
Smith, like Symonds, played only eight matches but had several impactful knocks. He had four scores of 35 or more, all of them coming at a strike rate of over 145. In one of the games, he conceded only 25 runs in four overs while bowling to the likes of Sehwag, AB de Villiers and Dinesh Karthik. The entry of Symonds ruined Smith's chances of making it to the XI as Herschelle Gibbs and Ryan Harris took up the other two overseas spots.
Gilchrist's surge in Smart Runs
The top five run-getters of IPL 2009 retain their position when it comes to the Smart Runs leaderboard for the season, though the difference between the runs and Smart Runs varies. Hayden, who was consistent throughout the tournament, ended up as the only player to breach the 500-run mark. In terms of Smart Runs, though, two batters breached the 600 mark. Hayden's Smart Runs tally of 663.36 was 91 more than his actual 572 runs.
The gap for Gilchrist was 113 runs - 495 actual runs versus 608.13 Smart Runs, thanks to his exploits at the top. His strike rate in the tournament read 152.30, the highest among players to have faced at least 150 balls. Gilchrist, the actual Player of the Tournament, often wrested the advantage in the powerplay with his aggression: he scored 382 runs during this phase, more than 100 clear of the next best, while striking at 165.36.
Indian bowlers dominate Smart Wickets leaderboard RP Singh won the purple cap for his 23 wickets, two more than Anil Kumble who took a four-for in the final. Singh was also the topper in terms of Smart Wickets, but the gap between them was much narrower. Kumble's bowling effort in the final was worth a six-wicket haul as per Smart Stats, which gave him a slender lead over Singh before the Royal Challengers' chase but Singh eventually overtook Kumble. The seamer's 23 wickets were worth 25.78 Smart Wickets and his 11 powerplay wickets were the joint-most by any player in the tournament.
Kumble picked up 16 wickets of the top six batters. He bowled effectively in all three phases, providing the breakthroughs alongside an excellent economy rate of a run a ball. This helped Kumble in attaining the highest bowling impact (623.49) and the highest bowling rating (38.97) of the tournament as per Smart Stats. While only two players took 20 or more wickets in the tournament, Smart Stats adjusts it to five players with 20-plus Smart Wickets including four Indians.
Pragyan Ojha, whose 16 out of 18 wickets were of the top six batters, earned 23.79 Smart Wickets. Ashish Nehra, who had nine wickets of opening batters in his 19 tournament scalps, finished with 23.18 Smart Wickets. The 15 wickets of Dirk Nannes were worth 20.82 Smart Wickets as 14 of his actual wickets were of top-order batters, with eight of them coming in the powerplays.