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News

Ponting: 'Attacking batting and not defensive bowling will win this IPL'

"I think the impact player is having a big effect on the way teams are batting," the Delhi Capitals head coach says

Sunil Narine smacked seven fours and as many sixes in his 39-ball innings, Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2024, Visakhapatnam, April 3, 2024

This is the first time the overall scoring rate in an IPL season has crossed nine an over  •  AFP/Getty Images

Scoring rates have gone up as the IPL has aged. But never before has the scoring rate for a season hit nine an over. This year, after 31 games, we are going at 9.48. The highest before this was in IPL 2023, 8.99.
That 9.48 was nudged along by Rajasthan Royals matching their own record for highest successful chase in IPL history, crossing Kolkata Knight Riders' 223 for 6 off the last ball.
The three highest team totals in the history of the IPL, and four of the five highest, have come this year. The record, held from April 23, 2013, to March 27, 2024, by Royal Challengers Bengaluru (then Bangalore) when Chris Gayle hit 175 not out in 66 balls to take them to 263 for 5, has been surpassed three times this year.
Delhi Capitals have not been at the forefront of this run glut, and are down at No. 9 on the table ahead of their seventh match, against Gujarat Titans on Wednesday, and their head coach Ricky Ponting feels that "the team that's most willing to take on the bowling", rather than the best defensive side with the ball, will likely win the title. And the IPL rule of teams having an impact player to turn to has made things the way they are.
"Looks like that's where the game is going to go," Ponting said at his pre-match press conference. "Sunrisers [Hyderabad, SRH] are obviously responsible for a couple of those [big scores]. KKR got 260-odd [272 for 7] against us. I think the impact player is having a big effect on the way teams are batting. You watched the way Travis [Head] batted last night. You can't bat that way unless you've got confidence in the players underneath you and you bat deep in your batting order as well.
"Quite often, big tournaments like the IPL and the Big Bash back in Australia have been won by the best defensive bowling teams. But the way this IPL is going - and [with] the different rules in the IPL - it looks like it will be won by the team that's most willing to take on the bowling, and try and post some really big scores. I think it's potentially more attacking batting that's going to win this IPL than defensive bowling."
Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) have made a name for defending smallish totals in Lucknow, but look around and there are massive totals everywhere. The 200 mark was breached for the first time in the third game of the season, when KKR scored 208 for 7 and SRH responded with 204 for 7 at Eden Gardens. It has been breached 11 times since, with SRH's 287 for 3 against RCB the biggest total at this stage. And, if Ponting is right, SRH, or one of the other teams maximising the powerplay and sailing past 200, could well take the trophy come May 26.