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In Numbers | CSK Best With Ball, KKR Most Destructive at Death

As we enter the business end of the tournament, we analyze the best batting and bowling units thus far in IPL 2019. We also look at the batsmen and bowlers who have made a difference.

Nikhil Narain |April 23, 2019, 8:02 AM IST
In Numbers | CSK Best With Ball, KKR Most Destructive at Death

Two thirds of the IPL is over and there is an almighty jostle on to pick up spots in the final four. There have been thrillers galore and performances that will linger in memory. Now, as the business end of the tournament approaches, let’s have a look at the best batting and bowling units so far in the tournament. We also look at the batsmen and bowlers who have made a difference to their teams and while some of the findings are fairly intuitive there are a few surprises the numbers throw in.


CSK’s top-4 have a combined batting average of 24.17 in IPL 12 thus far – the worst amongst all the teams. Their combined strike rate at 106.95 is also the lowest. They have only registered four 50-plus scores.


Barring Faf du Plessis (average 35.6), their top-order has been poor in the tournament. Suresh Raina (average 23, strike rate 116.94), Ambati Rayudu (24, 91.42), Kedar Jadhav (20.71, 98.63) and Shane Watson (14.70, 112.21) have all had a pretty ordinary IPL thus far.

That they still are table toppers is mainly courtesy the effort of MS Dhoni batting lower down the order and their splendid bowling unit.

Dhoni has scored 314 runs in 7 innings at an average of 104.66 and strike rate of 137.11, including three fifties.

The bowlers have been the heroes for CSK this year. They have the best bowling average (21.17), bowling strike rate (17.64) and economy rate (7.20) in the edition.

Deepak Chahar has been a revelation with the ball and brilliant up front in the powerplays. Overall, he has picked 13 wickets in 10 innings at 20.15 apiece at an excellent economy rate of 6.89.

Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh have been brilliant in the middle overs for CSK and have not only controlled the flow of runs but also picked crucial opposition wickets. Tahir is the second-highest wicket-taker of IPL 2019 with 16 wickets in 10 innings at 14 apiece at a stunning economy of 5.89.

Harbhajan has picked 7 wickets in 4 innings at 11.71 apiece at an economy of 5.12.

Overall, the CSK spinners have, by far, been the best in the tournament with a combined average of 18.80, strike rate of 17.80 and economy of 6.34.

In contrast, KKR have the worst overall bowling unit in terms of average, strike rate and economy. While their pace attack has been below-par, what has been more surprising is the dismal performance of their famed spin trio.

Lockie Ferguson has picked 2 wickets in 5 innings at an average of 91.5 and strike rate of 51 while Prasidh Krishna has also bagged just 2 in as many as 9 innings at 156 apiece at a strike rate of 102.

The biggest disappointment has been the form of Kuldeep Yadav. The chinaman bowler has picked just 4 wickets in 9 matches at a poor average of 71.5 and strike rate of 49.5. He hasn’t been restrictive either going at 8.66 per over – this would also be a concern for the national team as Kuldeep has been their number one spinner and amongst the best in the world in the last 18 months.

Piyush Chawla has also not been at his best with just 6 wickets in 10 innings at 46.5 apiece.

Sunil Narine, the best of the lot, has bagged 6 wickets at an average of 36.

KKR have been so poor with the ball that the difference in their bowling and the second worst (RCB) is terms of average is 12.85 and strike rate is 7.75.



Teams have been more cautious in the powerplays in IPL 12. CSK have been the most conservative with a strike rate of 97.51 while Sunrisers the most explosive with a rate of 141.54.

But much of the action and the fate of the matches have been decided in the death overs.

strike rate

KKR have, by far been the most destructive team in the death overs (17-20) with a collective strike rate of 197.16 in the final 4 overs – courtesy largely the super-human efforts of a certain Andre Russell. The West Indian has scored 252 runs in just 95 deliveries in 8 innings at the death at a strike rate of 265.26. 88.89% of his runs have come in boundaries in this phase of play.


RCB have been the most expensive bowling unit in the death overs. Umesh has fared the worst in this phase of play and has gone for 14.07 runs per over. Siraj (10.19) and Saini (9.25) have also been very expensive.

*Stats updated till matches played on Sunday, April 22.

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