Indian Premier League Batting Analysis – UAE

Virat Kohli batting with Rishabh Pant keeping the wickets (Image source: Twitter)
Virat Kohli batting with Rishabh Pant keeping the wickets (Image source: Twitter)

With an abrupt end to the 2021 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the second leg is about to kickstart after a  captivating series between England and India. Now with the venue being shifted to the UAE, it isn’t a newfangled venue for the teams since we had a complete season in 2020 and a partial season in 2014.

With that being said, in this article I am going to do some player level performance analysis in the two seasons and with some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in hand, we will have a look at who have been the best batsman according to the three different phases of play ie: Powerplay, Middle overs and the Death overs.

Let’s dive into the world of numbers!

I have tried my best to tone down the textual content and focus more on visualizations and numbers since

“Data Visualization helps to bridge the gap between numbers and words.”

Powerplay Analysis

Powerplay is one of the most important phases in a T20 match. A good start in the powerplay will give an added advantage to the respective team as the innings progresses. It is always important for the top order batsmen to lay a solid foundation by scoring quick runs and capitalizing with the field restrictions. Here, I have analyzed the best power play batsman in all the three venues by considering the following KPIs:

Strike rate – It is the number of runs scored divided by the number of balls faced and this total is multiplied by 100.

Runs per Innings (RPI) – It is the number of runs scored by the batsman in an innings

A minimum criterion has also been considered ie: the batsman should have scored a minimum of 60 runs and faced a minimum of 3 innings in the powerplay

Powerplay analysis in Abu Dubai

So here this scatter plot gives us an idea that Ben stokes has the best stats in the powerplay followed by Devdutt Padikkal who was a very consistent player for RCB in the IPL. On the other hand, players like Shubman Gill and David Warner have considerably less strike rate and runs per innings but this could arise on the basis that their style of batting lies more towards the defensive and strike rotation approach than an attacking approach. Another interesting factor to note here is that Mayank Agarwal has a higher strike rate and lower RPI than his partner in crime KL Rahul which implies that the former goes for an attacking approach while the latter anchors from the other end.

Powerplay analysis in Dubai

Contrary to the previous venue, Shubhman Gill, David Warner, KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock have a much higher strike rate and an improved RPI. Jos Buttler has a very good record as well with a strike rate close to 160 and RPI of around 17 which provided Rajasthan a major boost in the previous season.

But on the other hand, a legend like Shane Watson went through a rough patch in his final season which affected Chennai’s batting in the powerplay

Powerplay analysis in Sharjah

Here players like Steve Smith, Sanju Samson and Wriddhman Saha have a fantastic record due to a few classic innings during the 2020 season.

Mayank Agarwal’s high stats owes mainly to his century against Rajasthan Royals in 2020 and KL Rahul’s lower strike rate is once again because of his anchoring style of play and due to this form of play, he has never been dismissed in the powerplay overs in Sharjah

Middle Overs Analysis

Middle Overs are considered to be a crucial aspect in the T20 format as the game could turn in anyone’s favour during this 9 over phase. The batting team after having undergone a strong start will generally look to keep the scoreboard ticking by rotating the strike and finding the gaps occasionally. So due to these factors, the following KPIs could us a better insight on the performance of players.

Strike rotation percentage – Tells us the numbers of runs scored by batsman by rotating the strike (1s and 3s).

Balls per Dismissal – Gives us the average number of balls faced by the batsman before getting dismissed. This could give us an insight on the longevity of the batsman or the time he has taken to stay in the crease throughout the middle over phase.

Here, the minimum criterion has also been considered ie: the batsman should have scored a minimum of 85 runs and faced a minimum of 3 innings in the middle overs

Middle Overs Analysis in Abu Dhabi

This clearly gives us an indication that Ajinkya Rahane, Kane Williamson and Ambati Rayudu are primarily middle over players who are fantastic at finding gaps and rotating strike.

On the other hand, players like Surya Kumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma and Sanju Samson have a blend of traits ie: They not only have a decent strike rotating tendency but also have substantially low Balls per boundary( 3.75 for Samson) in the middle overs.

Though Shreyas Iyer has a phenomenal strike rotation percentage, he has got out 4 times in 5 innings within the 68 balls he has played in the middle overs.

Middle Overs Analysis in Dubai

From this graph, we can clearly notice that Ishan Kishan, Faf Du Plessis, RG Sharma, KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu once again stand out when it comes to tackling bowlers in the middle overs.

Another fact to note is that Ishan Kishan, Rayudu and Nicholas Pooran have a blend of traits ie: they have considerably high strike rotation percent, high balls per dismissal and also very low balls per boundary (5.5, 6.85, 4.07) respectively.

Shikhar Dhawan too stands out when it comes to high strike rotation percent and low balls per boundary but a lower balls per dismissal value.

In the bottom left of the graph, Jonny Bairstow seems to be that player with a very slow value in terms of both the KPIs but this is largely due to the fact that his style of play is always an attacking. Though he tends to slow down in the middle, he regularly charges against the spinners in the middle overs and thus he has an impressive strike rate of 140.3 in the middle overs

Middle Overs Analysis in Sharjah

From this graph we can say that Virat Kohli, David Warner and KL Rahul have an impressive strike rotation rate and balls per dismissal.

But here, two names which stand out with respect to the balls per boundary are Sanju Samson and Glenn Maxwell with 4.58 and 3.09 respectively.

Death Overs Analysis

Our last stop under batting analysis is the death overs which is arguably considered the most consequential and nail-biting phase in a T20 match. Since a batsman in the death overs need to possess powerful striking capability and find regular boundaries, I have considered the following KPIs:

Balls per boundary – Average number of balls taken to score a boundary

Strike Rate – Here, the minimum criterion has also been considered ie: the batsman should have scored a minimum of 45 runs and faced a minimum of 2 innings in the death overs.

Death overs analysis in Abu Dhabi

From the above graph, we can see that Surya Kumar Yadav, Eoin Morgan, Hardik Pandya and Deepak Hooda stand out in terms of strike rate and balls per boundary.

Surya finding a place among the top strike rates may come as a pleasant surprise to many considering the fact that he has transitioned to a top/middle order batsman.

We also notice Pat Cummins’ new role as a finisher with a strike rate of close to 180 and BPB less than 4. His high-voltage knock of 66* against chennai in the first leg of this IPL would have definitely raised eyebrows and the teams would be wary of him.

Death Overs Analysis in Dubai

From the above graph, it is evident that JP Duminy, Kieron Pollard (highest run scorer in the death in dubai), AB de Villiers and Ishan Kishan stand out in the death overs with Pollard having a mind boggling strike rate of 253.84 and AB de Villiers with 248.98.

KL Rahul who is generally known to anchor the innings in the initial phases of play has a phenomenal strike rate of 228.58 in the death overs which also suggest his ability to stay longer in the crease.

Though he doesn’t stand out among the above set of players, Ravindra Jadeja has shown some immense improvement and as a finisher for CSK. With a strike rate of 180.9 and BPB of 4, he has played some pivotal knocks in the 2020 season of the IPL and his 37 runs in the final over against RCB in the 2021 season further cements the fact that he has found his niche as a finisher.

Death Overs Analysis in Sharjah

Here Jofra Archer stands out among the list of players and the main contribution to this is the 30 run over where he belted Lungi Ngidi down the ground for 4 consecutive sixes

Similarly Rahul Tripathi and Axar Patel showed their death overs expertise against Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings respectively with the latter hitting Jadeja for 3 consecutive maximums and sealing the win.

Average score in each venue

Now let us have a look at the average score in each innings but to have a more in depth analysis, we can look at this in a phase wise manner.

Let us also analyze some salient KPIs with respect to venues:

Balls per boundary (BPB) – Average number of balls taken to score a boundary.

Dot Percentage – Its is the number of dot balls bowled to the total number of balls delivered.

Percentage of runs by running between the wickets – Tells us the numbers of runs scored by running between the wickets.

This column chart gives us a better idea on how each ground has played out in terms of different factors considered. Since Sharjah is generally a much smaller ground in terms of boundary dimensions, the ability to score boundaries is much higher and we can see this clearly based on the lower value of BPB in Sharjah.

Due to the larger dimensions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Batsman need to toil harder for runs by running a lot more in between the wickets which is shown by the higher Percentage of runs by running.

This chart gives us a more detailed analysis on the aforementioned KPIs according to Phases of play. Here we can see the lower BPB and dot percentage value in Sharjah across all the three phases in comparison to the other two venues which tells us about the ease in hitting boundaries and getting runs in this ground.

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