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IPL 2021: Dhawan's Transformation, The Fall of the Big Hitters & Other Takeaways From IPL 2019 & 2020

The dominance of Mumbai Indians, CSK's worst performance in the IPL, Rahul's phenomenal appetite for the big runs, the transformation of Dhawan from anchor to accumulator and the failure of the big hitters were some of the biggest takeaways from across the previous two editions of the IPL.

IPL 2021: Dhawan's Transformation, The Fall of the Big Hitters & Other Takeaways From IPL 2019 & 2020

The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets underway in Chennai from the 9th of April. Every year there are new records broken and milestones achieved in the most prestigious league in the world. There are also new trends and patterns that emerge in the IPL every season. We look at some of the biggest takeaways from the last two editions of the IPL – IPL 2019 and IPL 2020.

1. The Curse of The Toss

Winning the Toss did not give any advantage to the teams in IPL 2020. The captain winning the toss was on the losing side on as many as 35 occasions of the total 60 matches in the tournament. This win-loss ratio after winning the toss of 0.714 was much lower than the previous edition in 2019 where, in fact winning the toss was an advantage with a corresponding ratio of 1.565.

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2. The Mighty Fall of The Big Hitters

Andre Russell’s failure with the bat was one of the major reasons for KKR’s disappointing campaign in IPL 2020. He could muster a total of just 117 runs in 9 innings with a highest score of 25 in the season. Russell got an under-20 score in as many as 7 of the 9 innings in this edition. It was a stark contrast to the Russell of IPL 2019 who amassed 510 runs in 13 innings at a stunning strike rate of 204.81 including 4 fifties in what was one of the most devastating batting displays in the history of the IPL!

But the West Indian was not the only big hitter to flop in IPL 2020. Rishabh Pant had a strike rate of 113.95 in the season while Glenn Maxwell who could not hit a solitary six during the entire duration of the tournament had a strike rate of 101.88.

3. The Poor Run of the Australian Batsmen

The Australian batsmen were in fine form during IPL 2019. David Warner was the highest run-getter of the season with 692 runs at a strike rate of almost 144. Chris Lynn amassed more than 400 while Shane Watson aggregated 398. However, their form took a dip in the next season. Australia’s T20I captain Aaron Finch aggregated just 268 runs in 12 innings for RCB with just fifty. But the most striking statistic was his abysmal strike rate of 111.2 runs per hundreds balls – the lowest amongst the top 50 run-getters in the tournament.

Maxwell had a shocker of a tournament! Neither did he produce even one significant innings nor even a mini-cameo in the entire IPL 2020. He aggregated just 108 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 101.88 – the lowest for a minimum of 100 runs scored in the tournament. Steven Smith started the tournament with a bang but then tapered away. Even Warner was not at his destructive best in IPL 2020.

4. CSK’s Worst Performance in IPL History & The Dominance of Mumbai Indians

From finalists in the previous season, CSK had their worst showing in the IPL in 2020 and finished at number 7 with 6 wins and 8 losses from 14 matches. It was the only season where they did not qualify for the playoffs.

On the other hand, Mumbai Indians won two successive IPL titles to emerge as the most dominant and successful franchise in IPL history. They won their 5th IPL title in 2020. They had won the trophy in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.

5. The Transformation of Dhawan From Accumulator to Aggressor

After an indifferent and cautious start in 2019 and 2020, Shikhar Dhawan suddenly changed gears mid-way and unleashed his A-game – attacking and annihilating the opposition attack. He turned from accumulator to aggressor and scored big runs consistently at a very high strike rate playing match-winning knocks for his franchise.

From a mere 132 runs at a rate of 122.22 in the first six matches, Dhawan hammered 486 runs in his last 11 matches last season at a strike rate of 152.35 in IPL 2020. He scored at a rate of 151.01 in the latter half of the tournament in 2019 after crawling at 116.03 in the first six matches of the season.

This transformation from anchor to aggressor mid-way into both IPL 2019 and 2020 was one of the biggest stories of the last two editions of the IPL.

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6. KL Rahul – The Run Machine

KL Rahul had the highest aggregate in the last two editions of the IPL. He amassed big runs for Punjab Kings at the top of the order. He was the highest run-getter in IPL 2020 with 670 runs in 14 innings at an average of 55.83 and strike rate of 129.34. Rahul was also the second-highest scorer in IPL 2019.

7. Jasprit Bumrah – The Trump Card for Mumbai Indians

Bumrah was the leading bowler for Mumbai Indians during their two victorious campaigns in 2019 and 2020. He was the second-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2020 in the UAE with 27 wickets in just 15 matches at an average of 14.96 and strike rate of 13.3. He was also very restrictive giving away just 6.73 runs per over – exceptional given that he bowled a number of his overs in the powerplay and at the death.

Bumrah was also the leading wicket-taker for Mumbai Indians in 2019 where he returned with 19 wickets in 16 matches at a strike rate of 19.4 and economy rate of 6.63.