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SuperStats

Luck Index - Why you shouldn't give Dinesh Karthik a second chance

Pant dropped the RCB finisher on 5, a mistake that cost his team 26 runs, and eventually the game too

Dinesh Karthik has taken his finishing game up a notch this IPL season. He has hit 32 boundaries in 94 balls so far - that's one boundary every 2.94 balls, the best for a batter who has faced at least 50 balls in any season. In the last four overs this season, Karthik has scored 136 runs off 57 balls at a strike rate of 238.6.
Giving a second chance to a player who is in such sparkling form is bad news for the fielding team, and Delhi Capitals found that out the hard way at Wankhede Stadium. With Royal Challengers Bangalore on 100 for 5, and Karthik on 5 off 9, Rishabh Pant made a mess of a caught behind chance off Kuldeep Yadav. This led to Karthik making a mess of the Capitals' bowling attack, scoring 51 off the last 18 balls he faced. What would have happened, though, had Pant taken that chance?
According to ESPNcricinfo's Luck Index, Royal Challengers would have finished on 163, and not 189, had that catch been taken, which means the mistake cost Capitals 26 runs. This number is determined by a complex algorithm that calculates the runs that would have been scored by the other batters off the extra balls that Karthik faced.
In this case, Karthik scored 61 off the 24 balls he faced after he was dropped. According to the algorithm, the others - that includes Shahbaz Ahmed, who was unbeaten at the end, and the rest who didn't bat - would have scored 35 off those 24 deliveries.
Pant got a life of his own as well. Wanindu Hasaranga dropped a tough catch with the batter on 2 off 3 balls. Luck Index calculated that this drop cost Royal Challengers 14 runs. The fact that it wasn't more was down to Virat Kohli pulling off a fine one-handed catch to dismiss Pant for 34 off 17 and pretty much seal the game.
In his post-match interview, Karthik spoke about the immense hard work he has put in leading up to this IPL season. He may as well have said: "The harder I work, the luckier I get."