As we cross the halfway stage of the IPL, much of 2016 has been predictable – Kohli, Rohit, Warner, Gambhir have been on fire – and yet there are enough surprises to keep fans on edge. Here are 5 interesting things about the IPL 2016 so far.
1) Lots of big partnerships but not many wins
Virat Kohli has been part of 4 of the top 10 partnerships, each over 100 runs. 3 of these were with AB De Villiers, including the top 2, 157 and 177 runs.
2 of these partnerships were in winning causes, 2 in losing causes, as Virat’s RCB Team have still only won 2 games so far this year.
2) Despite what some people think, wicket keepers really do matter
Even just at the hallway stage, there is a clear line between “pure wicketkeepers” and “batsmen who can keep”.
Pure keepers – such as Parthiv, MSD, Ojha – have a noticeably higher rate of dismissals per game (1.08) compared to batsmen – such as Uthappa, KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav – who have a rage of 0.66 per game.
There also seems to have been a mismatch in distribution of keepers. Delhi is playing 3 full wicketkeepers in Quinton de Kock, Sanju Samson and Sam Billings. Mumbai is playing 2 keepers in Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler; plus Rayudu who has kept before.
KKR meanwhile is playing only Uthappa, a batsman who can keep, and RCB is shuffling between Jadhav and Rahul.
3) Is it possible that the bowlers are .. getting better?
IPL 2016 has only seen 1 match so far with a combined total of 400+ runs, between RCB and SRH. This is on track versus 2015, which saw 2 matches – both between RCB and SRH – cross this total.
However, in 2014, a whopping 4 matches crossed 400, and one reached 399. It doesn’t seem like pitches have become friendlier to bowlers, so does this mean the bowlers are better this IPL?
4) Delhi’s top scorer from 2015 is on top of a special list this year
Shreyas Iyer has already registered 3 Ducks this year, in just 5 innings. In contrast, Dwayne Smith topped the list of duck-scores with 3 Ducks in 16 innings. 3 Ducks was the maximum in 2014 too, surprisingly by Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, in sharp contrast to their performances this year.
One more duck and Shreyas will be the owner of a stat he will not be proud of.
5) The Maxwell-Miller Factor has let KXIP down
It’s no surprise that Punjab sitting in last place is because their big guns haven’t fired. But just how bad have they been?
Maxwell: In all seasons, bats with a strike rate of 162.25. In 2016, has a strike rate of 135.
Miller: In all seasons, bats with a strike rate of 145.51. In 2016, he has a strike rate of 124.
To put that in perspective, for every 100 combined balls these 2 batsmen face, in 2016 they are making 24 less runs than they would have made in previous years!
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(Statistics as of 3 May, 2015 before GL v DD)