Luck Index - Vijay Shankar's costly miss takes away from all-round display

Though he made key contributions with bat and ball, his drop of Kieron Pollard in the 19th over turned out to be expensive

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
Vijay Shankar had a more-than-reasonable game with both bat and ball tonight: he took the key wickets of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav, finishing with excellent figures of 2 for 19 in three overs, and in difficult batting conditions, scored a 25-ball 28 that kept the Sunrisers in the game even as wickets were falling at the other end. According to ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats, based only on the batting and bowling stats, he was third in terms of impact points for the game, next only to Rahul Chahar and Jonny Bairstow. And yet, his one error in the field undid much of that good work and might have been a factor in the Sunrisers' defeat.
Off the third ball of the 19th over, with Kieron Pollard on 18 off 16 balls, Shankar dropped a straightforward chance at deep midwicket. Pollard faced only five more balls after that drop - he also got a single off that delivery - but creamed 16 runs, including consecutive sixes off the last two balls.
According to ESPNcricinfo's Luck Index, that chance cost Sunrisers nine runs. That is calculated through a complex algorithm, which takes into account the quality of the batters to follow and puts a number to the runs that the other batters would have scored off the extra deliveries that Pollard faced.
In this case, the algorithm calculates that had Pollard been dismissed, the remaining batters would have scored just eight runs off the five balls that Pollard faced after the chance. That would have given the Sunrisers a target of 142 to win, and not 151.
You could argue that the Sunrisers fell short of that target too, but then the approach of the batters would have been different - especially in the last few overs - had the Sunrisers required nine fewer runs. Shankar might have had the luxury of playing out Jasprit Bumrah instead of having to take him on, for instance.
That is in the realms of conjecture, but what is almost certain is that the let-off made the Sunrisers' target steeper. On a difficult pitch against a high-quality line-up, that target proved to be too big an ask.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats