IPL 2020: Stats Review - Batting First Definite Advantage, Unlucky Toss, Unsung Bowling Heroes

We look back at some of the performances that stood out and trends which got strengthened this week in the UAE.

IPL 2020: Stats Review - Batting First Definite Advantage, Unlucky Toss, Unsung Bowling Heroes

A great end to the second week of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) making their big comeback statement thrashing Kings XI Punjab by 10 wickets in Dubai.

We look back at some of the performances that stood out and trends which got strengthened this week in the UAE.

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BATTING FIRST DEFINITE ADVANTAGE

Chasing has historically been statistically advantageous in the IPL. In 10 of the previous 12 seasons, the team batting second has been more successful – in other words the team chasing has won more than 50% of the matches in these 10 editions. Last season, the team batting second won 35 of the 57 matches, ie 61.4%.

This pattern is seeing a reversal this year. Of the 16 matches with an outright result (two have ended in a tie), the team batting first has won as many as 11, ie a little more than two-third of the matches (68.75%).

The skew is more in Dubai – the team batting first has won 5 of the 6 outright result matches at the venue (both the tied matches took place in Dubai). In fact, the trend was only broken by CSK with their 10-wicket win over KXIP in the last match played in Dubai. Its 3-1 to the team batting first in Sharjah. There is no advantage batting first in Abu Dhabi where there is a 3-3 balance.

TOSS DISADVANTAGE CONTINUES

Winning the toss continued to prove unlucky in week 2 of IPL 2020. The team winning the toss lost as many as 7 of the 9 matches this week – the same numbers as the opening week. This means that of the 18 matches held in the tournament thus far, the team winning the toss has ended up on the losing side in as many as 14 matches (77.78%).

Losing the toss is turning out to be a huge advantage in this year’s IPL!

THE THREE MR CONSISTENT WITH THE BAT

KL Rahul, Faf du Plessis and Devdutt Padikkal have been the three consistent run-scorers in IPL 2020. Rahul, the Kings XI captain, is the highest scorer of the tournament with 302 runs in 5 matches. His exploits include an unbeaten 132 off just 69 deliveries against RCB in Dubai – the highest score by an Indian batsman in IPL history!

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Faf du Plessis has been the pivot around which the CSK batting has revolved. 58* (44 balls), 72 (37), 43 (35), 22(19) and 87* (53) – these have been his scores in this year’s edition. While the other top-order has struggled, Du Plessis has not only scored consistently but also done so at a fair clip – as his strike rate of 150.

Devdutt Padikkal has been the story of IPL 2020 so far. The Kerala born Karnataka batsman has been the highest scorer for RCB this season with three fifties in three victories for the franchise.

THE UNSUNG HEROES – MASTER RESTRICTORS

While the wicket-takers get all the praise and the accolades, an equally important (if not more) job, especially in T20 cricket, is done by the ‘containing’ bowlers – the bowlers who keep a tight leash on the batsmen and give nothing away creating pressure on the opposition to take unwanted risks.

Rashid Khan has lived up to his reputation. He has conceded at a rate of just 5.2 per over in IPL 2020 bowling as many as 52 dot deliveries – this basically means that 43.33% of his deliveries haven’t been scored off – that is an incredible statistic for a leg-break bowler! Interestingly, Jasprit Bumrah has delivered 55 dot balls of a total of 120 but has an economy rate of 8.8.

This highlights the fact that not only has Rashid bowled a high percentage of dot balls but also not conceded too many freebies and boundary deliveries. He has the best economy rate in IPL history!

Washington Sundar has done a similar role for RCB in the middle overs. He has an economy rate of just 4.72 in the tournament.

Axar Patel was the most restrictive bowler of the match in two of the three matches he has played in IPL 2020. His efforts are even more commendable as he has bowled not only in the middle overs but also in the powerplay for the Capitals.

CLOSE CONTEST & CSK’S CHASING RUN

A third of the tournament is over but no clear favourites yet – there is no team which has emerged as superior to the others. MI is at the top of the table but have also lost a couple of matches. RCB has lost just one match but not quite looked dominant. DC seem to have the best balance so far – their top-order is firing and in Rabada, Axar and Ashwin they seem to have a potent bowling unit as well. But it has been an open IPL so far with nothing really to choose between at least 6 of the 8 teams. This close clustering should continue into the third week.

An interesting trend has emerged with CSK. They have chased in all the five matches they have played in IPL 2020 so far being successful in their opening encounter and the last match.