Success lies in home advantage?
A lot, if the teams as case studies are the MI and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The top two teams on the points table have squeezed the advantage to the hilt. The MI have played five out of six games at home; the RCB four out of their six, writes Ravi Shastri.india Updated: Mar 29, 2010 23:14 IST
When the Mumbai Indians (MI) defied odds to win against the Deccan Chargers (DC) on Sunday, the hosts’ saviour, Harbhajan Singh, lingered on the field to acknowledge the applause.
I had also read with interest when Dwayne Bravo stated that Trinidad and Tobago, the MI and then the West Indies is his order of priority of teams. That the South Africans are singing the same rhyme for Bangalore and Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds are completely in sync with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the DC respectively, suggests the home connect for franchisees and players is a reality. Now, how has the home advantage helped in this season of the IPL?
A lot, if the teams as case studies are the MI and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The top two teams on the points table have squeezed the advantage to the hilt. The MI have played five out of six games at home; the RCB four out of their six.
The Rajasthan Royals (RR) have also won four games but they have played a game extra. If the corollary is correct, then the MI and the RCB must tighten their belts for away games. Mumbai have six and Bangalore five away games remaining. If at least 8 or 9 games are necessary to qualify for the semifinals, quite a bit of work still lies ahead.
But, has it all to do with home advantage? A closer scrutiny defies the notion. The Kings XI Punjab have played three and lost all of them at Mohali — that on current form they might lose even with a handicap is a different thing altogether.
The CSK and the Delhi Daredevils too have lost both their home games each played so far. The RR have yet to play a home game — if you don’t count Ahmedabad — and still they are third on the points table. The DC do not have a single game scheduled in Hyderabad yet are fourth in the list — not that it matters, for if I have my stats right, the Chargers struggled to win any home game in IPL season one.
What it implies is that good T20 teams usually have good combinations working for them. More than five or six players always pull their weight in successful teams. The West Indies isn’t an all-conquering team in world cricket at the moment, but Trinidad and Tobago were so difficult to beat in the Champions League last year. The RR too are underlining the point this season.