Jasprit Bumrah was strangely off-colour in the first match of the season: against the Chennai Super Kings, he leaked 43 from four overs, and was the most expensive bowler of the match. As expected, though, it didn't take him long to find his mojo. Against the Kolkata Knight Riders, he was back at his best, and ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats reveals just good he was.
According to the Smart numbers, Bumrah's 2 for 32 was the most impactful performance of the match. It fetched him 113.5 impact points, marginally ahead of Rohit Sharma's 111.1. Rohit won the Man-of-the-Match Award, but Smart Stats gave the award to Bumrah. This is because of the algorithm looks at not just the raw numbers, but the context under which the performances happened.
There were four bowlers who bowled their full quota of overs at a better economy rate - Sunil Narine, Trent Boult, James Pattinson and Rahul Chahar - and three of them took two wickets as well, so why are Bumrah's impact numbers so high? Here's why.
Of the 24 balls he bowled, 15 were to Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik, four of the Knight Riders' most dangerous batsmen. In those 15 balls, Bumrah conceded only three runs, which is incredibly low considering the quality of the batsmen he was bowling to. Smart Stats takes into account, among other things, the quality of the batsman a bowler bowls to, and calculates the pressure on the batsman and bowler for each ball of an innings. These 15 balls should have fetched far more runs for the Knight Riders, but Bumrah's skill kept the runs down to three, which fetched him high impact points.
In his last over he went for 27, but those runs didn't matter a lot, for by then the result had already been decided. Since the match was already a sealed deal for the Mumbai Indians, the 27 runs at that stage didn't negatively affect Bumrah's overall impact much. According to the algorithm, the Smart Runs he conceded was 24.8; the fact that it was significantly lower than the 32 runs he actually conceded indicates he did extremely well when the pressure was higher.
Sharma's 80 off 54 was a top effort too: his Smart Runs tally was 89.5, which means his innings was actually worth more than the runs he scored, taking into account the context. The third place in the overall impact ranking went to Shivam Mavi, who returned identical figures to Bumrah, 2 for 32. Mavi's two wickets were those of top batsmen - Quinton de Kock and Sharma - and de Kock was dismissed very early, which is why Mavi's Smart Wickets tally, which measures the actual worth of a wicket, was 2.91. Bumrah got two top batsmen out too, but his real value in the match was the way he choked the runs when the pressure was high. For that, he was the Smart Stats Player of the Match.