The IPL is one of the most competitive T20 leagues around the globe; the quality of cricket, the unpredictability, the number of games going down to the wire are some of the factors in making IPL a huge success. One thing that it has in common with most other leagues in recent years is the tendency of captains to field first after winning the toss. Chasing in IPL has become the most preferred options in recent years, so much so that the last 4 years have seen more than 80% of times skippers choosing to chase.
Here we have a detailed look at who have been some of the best in the business while chasing totals in the IPL since 2017.
[Criteria- minimum 10 innings played and 100 deliveries faced while chasing in IPL since 2017]
- Parameters include Strike Rotation, Boundary Hitting, Team Contribution, Successful finishing Ability, Death Overs Impact and Consistency.
- Top 20 percentile of each parameter are categorized as Excellent. The next 4 sections of 20 percentile are classified as Good, Average, Needing Improvement and Poor respectively.
What the team does on the non-boundary balls and how they deal when boundaries are not coming easy decides the outcome to a large extent. The strike rotation impact is calculated as the number of runs scored on non-boundary balls.
- Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey have scored more than 0.8 runs per non-boundary ball.
- The likes of KL Rahul, Steven Smith, David Warner and Hardik Pandya have been quite decent with Strike Rotation score in ‘Good’ category while chasing in IPL since 2017.
- MS Dhoni, Shreyas Iyer, Rohit Sharma have been average, while the likes of Chris Gayle, Quinton de Kock, Kedar Jadhav abd Andre Russell have been poor in strike rotation, scoring less than 0.5 runs per non-boundary balls.
Boundary hitting refers to the frequency of hitting boundaries. The lower the value, the better it is.
- Sunil Narine and Andre Russell have been exceptional boundary hitters, hitting a boundary almost every 3 balls, thus making up for the low strike rotation.
- The likes of Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Steve Smith have been poor with boundary hitting, taking more than 7 balls per boundary.
Team contribution refers to how a player is contributing while chasing in terms of percentage of runs scored and percentage of balls faced.
- Russell and Narine provide excellent value till the time they stay on the crease.
- The likes of Steve Smith, David Miller, Kedar Jadhav abd Shubman Gill provide a below 90 value (below 100 is considered negative).
Death overs impact:
Death overs impact is the impact a batsman has in the last five overs of a chase, in terms of balls faced in this period per innings and the batting strike rate in this period.
- KL Rahul has been sensational at the death, proving how lethal he can be if he stays longer.
- The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Kedar Jadhav and David Warner haven’t been up to the mark in death overs and need a lot of improvement.
Consistency of a player refers to his ability to stay on the crease for long and keeping wickets intact. This aspect takes into account the balls per dismissal and batting average of a batsman.
- KL Rahul and Shubman Gill have been quite sensational in run chases, keeping their wickets intact and scoring the bulk of runs.
- MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik are the only middle order batsman among top 15 in the list, no doubt they have proved to be so dangerous while chasing and their wickets have so much value.
How often a player stays unbeaten in successful run chases (only innings where a batsman faces a minimum of 6 balls are considered) determines his successful finishing ability.
- Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja have been the designated finishers and have done their job pretty well.
- The likes of Krunal Pandya, Shubman Gill, Dwayne Bravo and Yusuf Pathan have also been good finishers.
- Openers in the list including Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul imply their ability to take the side home once set.
Overall Ranking is done based on the overall score which is a cumulative score of all the parameters.
Score of a parameter for a player = Total Players – (Rank of player/Total Players)
- KL Rahul has been the best with the bat in the second innings, having an above-par score in every index, followed by Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, AB de Villiers and Rishabh Pant.
- Shubman Gill has been quite underrated, given his excellent numbers while chasing.
- While the likes of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Andre Russell are absolute match-winners, they fall behind on certain parameters, resulting in their ranks lower than expected.
Teams choosing to field first so often has much to do with batsmen being able to cope up to the pressure better than before. Along with the likes of MS Dhoni, Kieron Pollard and AB de Villiers who are acclaimed finishers, a number of other batsmen including Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Jos Buttler have come to the fore in recent years.
One interesting fact to notice is how important the role of top-order has been while chasing totals and how often their contributions go unnoticed in tight chases. Moreover, once set the likes of Rahul, Dhawan, David Warner, Jos Buttler and Rohit Sharma tend to take their sides home. They have been very good chasers, if not finishers, for sure.