Lalit Modi and Navjot Singh Sidhu may call them innovations but statistics prove that the mid-innings stoppage enforced by the organisers is having a devastating effect on IPL matches. The strategy breaks are really killing the rhythm of the game is proved by the fact that they have sent packing the largest number of victims in IPL II and can easily lay claim to the purple cap.
Here are some figures that strengthen the concerns expressed by the likes of Sachin Tendulkar that the strategy breaks are not helping the game flow.
In the 18 matches played in IPL II till Tuesday, strategy breaks have claimed 21 victims with batsmen, a number of them well set, getting out within minutes of the break at the end of the 10th over.
These 21 instances have occurred between the 11th and 13th overs – but most importantly, 13 of them happened in the 11th over with a number of batsmen getting out in the first 4-5 balls on resumption of action. The impact is accentuated by the fact that out of total 18 matches played till Tuesday, two have been abandoned without a ball being bowled while two other did not last till the 10th over after which the break is imposed. Five batsmen – Sachin Tendulkar and Shikhar Dhawan of Mumbai Indians, Brad Hodge of Kolkata Knight Riders, M S Dhoni of Chennai Super Kings and Virat Kohli of Royal Challengers Bangalore – have twice been victims to the mid-innings-break-blues.
Among others who have lost their wicket soon after the strategy break are Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja and Shane Warne of Rajasthan Royals; Sourav Ganguly and Aakash Chopra of KKR; Parthiv Patel and Matthew Hayden of Chennai Super Kings; Yuvraj Singh of Kings XI Punjab and Kevin Pietersen, Rahul Dravid and Ross Taylor of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
What is also important in these instances is that Patel and Hayden got out on the first and second ball of the 11th over of their match against RCB after they had put in a 106-run opening stand. Though CSK won the match despite the twin-blows, Mumbai Indians fell short by just 12 runs chasing a stiff target set by Deccan Charges as Tendulkar got out for 36 while trying to resurrect the innings with J P Duminy (47). The Mumbai Indians were not helped in the least by the fact that Dhawan too was back in the pavilion soon — in the 13th over, further undermining their chances.
Same has been the case in most of the matches with set batsmen either falling prey to the strategy-break-blues and hampering the flow of runs or those trying to rescue the innings falling prey to the break and further undermining their teams chances.