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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

IPL 2019: Why this year has been different for bowlers from last 5 editions

IPL 2019 has been kinder to bowlers. The average number of runs scored per 120 balls has fallen from an all-time high of 173 in the 2018 edition to 168 in this edition.

cricket Updated: Apr 27, 2019 08:15 IST
Karthik Shashidhar
Karthik Shashidhar
Rajasthan Royals cricketer Stuart Binny looks towards the wickets after he was bowled out by Delhi Capitals bowler Kagiso Rabada during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on April 22, 2019.
Rajasthan Royals cricketer Stuart Binny looks towards the wickets after he was bowled out by Delhi Capitals bowler Kagiso Rabada during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on April 22, 2019.(AFP)
         

Bengaluru It’s not all about hitting sixes out of the park, or bats being wielded as deadly weapons against hapless bowlers. This season, the scoring rates in the IPL have actually fallen compared to last year.

After a steady but steep climb in scoring from the 2013 season till 2018, this edition has been kinder to bowlers. The average number of runs scored per 120 balls has fallen from an all-time high of 173 in the 2018 edition to 168 in this edition.

The data also suggests that wickets have become more precious; the number of wickets lost per 120 balls has fallen drastically from 6.25 to 5.74 — an all time low.

The lower scoring rate is primarily a function of a drying up of runs in Chennai and Delhi. In Chennai, which only hosted one game last season because of the Cauvery water protests, an all-time low of 140 runs have been scored on average in an innings this season.

Delhi, which was a 180 wicket for the last two seasons, has turned into a sub-160 wicket this season. Scoring has dropped at Bengaluru too.

This is somewhat balanced by more runs being scored at Hyderabad, the venue for the final, as well as Mumbai and Kolkata.

The Eden Gardens has been a 170 wicket for the last 5 seasons, but has suddenly become a 190 wicket; Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium is back to being a 180 wicket after seeing far fewer runs in the last few seasons.

On the wickets front, most venues have seen a drastic drop; it is harder for bowlers to get wickets this season than in 2018 at all venues except Delhi. If you are a bowler, you don’t want to be at Kolkata, which has seen the most precipitous fall in wicket-taking.

Are batsmen taking fewer risks? Or have bowlers become less penetrative and more defensive?

That’s the question.

First Published: Apr 27, 2019 08:15 IST

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