Showing posts with label IPL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IPL. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

IPL - a Bad Habit

There have been lots of positive and negative reviews on and about people involved in IPL. Be it the cricketing angle of the cannibalization of the longer forms of the game or the excessive physical demands on the players or the razzmatazz of the owners, promoters, cheerleaders or the rigmarole of the moronic commentators or the power fight between the commissioners and the ministers, IPL has got too much variations of below-par stuff.

Just like a bowler specializing in not-having-a-speciality, IPL which provides good quality of nothing still manages to garner eyeballs and mindspace. Nonetheless, I feel IPL is like smoking; just like the inability of the smokers to get rid of smoking even if they want to, I find it hard to let IPL go from the real estate of my mind. I hate watching/following IPL in any form of media but I am ending up following it in all.

IPL is a very bad habit.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Can Sachin help Dhoni?

With all the help from the rain-gods, Chennai are one step closer to the semifinal spot. The rains went in their favour in the match against Kolkata and Kolkata suffered again against Delhi where Delhi also had to share the pain.

With Delhi at 13 and Chennai at 14 points and Delhi having 1 match and Chennai having 2 matches, the probability should favour Chennai. With one game against Rajasthan, I do not fancy Chennai to win. The other match is against Deccan Chargers which no one can predict. If one of Gilly, Afridi fires the match is gone. All these can be put to rest if Mumbai can defeat Delhi. If that happens, Delhi would be stuck at 13 and Chennai can qualify irrespective of what happens in its own matches.

So my dream line-up for the IPL semifinals might not happen. In all likelihood it is going to be Rajasthan, Punjab, Mumbai and Chennai.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

IPL Semifinal Line-up

This is my dream line-up for Semifinals
1. Rajasthan Royals
2. Kings XI Punjab
3. Mumbai Indians
4. Delhi Daredevils

I sincerely hope Chennai Super Kings do not make it to the semis. I think their position right now in the table is more of luck than talent. I can recall at least 2 matches where the opponents gave the match away than Chennai winning it (one against Bangalore and the other against Mumbai). Any team that can lose like this, that too to Bangalore Royal Challengers should voluntarily exit from the race to the semis. With the rain threat looming large on the Kolkata-Delhi match, Chennai's luck may still help them get to semifinals.

The actual IPL semifinal line-up is
1. Rajasthan Royals v/s Delhi Daredevils; May 30; 2000 hrs local time
2. Kings XI Punjab v/s Chennai Super Kings; May 31; 2000 hrs local time

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Laxman betrayed us!

Had Very very sappai Laxman been there, Chennai Super Kings would have won. Because of his absence, this happened.

It is to be accepted beyond the slightest of doubts that Hayden and Hussey have left a big hole, not only in the Super Kings' top order, but also in the confidence of the team as a whole. It was not that both these lefty aussies fired together, in fact Hayden was hardly closer to his usual. The batting order minus these two seems extremely brittle, where a bowler can run through the side. The problem is exacerbated with the weird logic of the best batsmen coming lower down the order. In the matches against Deccan Chargers and Rajasthan Royals, Dhoni came at No.6 and in the previous match against Delhi Daredevils, Raina came at No.6. In the shortened format, the best batsmen should be the ones to deal with the bowlers as early as possible. And, we are not playing in Manchester or Lord's where the new ball will talk.

Luckily for the Super Kings, the bottom 4 teams are struggling even more and they are still retaining their position needed to qualify for the semi-finals. But I expect a close fight among Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knightriders and Deccan Chargers for the 4th place for the semis. With the arrival of Akhtar, Kolkata looks a formidable bowling attack with Gul and Ishant to augment. But I am not quite sure about their batting though. Deccan Chargers are filled with players who can turn the match single-handedly: Gibbs, Gilchrist, Afridi and Styris. Rohit Sharma and RP Singh are also decent performers in the line-up.

I should say the IPL has lived up to its expectation and it has not been a damp squib. It might be true that it has reached a plateau now in terms of viewership after the initial days which might pick up again during the knock-out stages, the interest in the match results though has not subsided.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A brief IPL Analysis

Amidst some posts and allegations that Chennai Super Kings team is devoid of local talent (and that other teams are brimming with the same!), I started collecting some statistics about the 16 IPL matches so far. Having started to collect data, I did not restrict myself to the local talent question. The variables I wanted to test (yeah, some jargon!) were: Number of locals (local means local, like Ganguly in Kolkata, unlike Murali Kartik in Kolkata), Nationality of Player of the match, Number of Lefties in the top 7 of batting order, Toss decision, Result for team winning the toss and whether the team that won had chased or defended. This entire analysis is based only on the first 16 matches of IPL and no prior T20 statistics have been incorporated.

First, the local talent part. As per the playing 11 of the teams in the 16 matches so far, 26.9% of the team composition is local. The cumulative number of locals was 95 out of 352(for 16*2*11: 16 for matches, 2 for number of teams per match, and 11 for number of players per team). So as per the average about 3 players (obviously rounded off) in each team should be proper local talent. So, it is to be accepted that teams like Rajasthan Royals and Chennal Super Kings are not meeting the cut in terms of giving opportunities to local talent pool. (For Chennai Super Kings defense: Get back Murali Kartik, Dinesh Kartik!)

Second, the nationality of the player of the matches. It may be called the Indian Premier League, but 13 out of the 16 MoM awards have gone to non-Indian players. The 3 from India are Virender Sehwag (Delhi Daredevils vs Hyderabad Deccan Chargers), Yousuf Pathan (Rajasthan Royals vs Deccan Chargers) and MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings vs Bangalore Royal Challengers). With the departure of some of the key foreign players, the count may now tilt towards the Indian players. Hey, apart from Sehwag, the so called icons (iconic players, heh!) like Yuvraj, Laxman, Dravid, Ganguly have done rather poorly so far. Tendulkar has not done anything. Hope he gets well soon.

Third, the lefties at the top of the order. The cumulative lefties count in the top 7 of batting order is 77 out of 224 (16 matches * 2 teams per match * 7 players per team), which comes close to 35% or 2.5 left handed batsmen in the top order. So, Chennai Super Kings with their 5 lefties are far above the cut. Is this the reason for their success so far?

Fourth, about whether the 20-20 format supports the defending team or the chasing team. Out of the 16 matches, an overwhelming 75% of the matches have been won by teams batting second. Of the 4 matches won defending, 3 had targets in excess of 200. In the other one, Bangalore Royal Challengers somehow managed to lose against Chennai Super Kings. As the commentators on Set Max put it, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Bottom-line, very difficult to defend if the team batting first has not put up in excess of 200 or if the chasing team is not Bangalore!

Now, for the surprise element: Toss. In spite of knowing the success rate of the chasing team (75%), in 6 out of the 16 matches alone (or 37.5%) , the toss-winning captain has elected to bat first. No wonder, the toss-winning team has won only 5 out of the 16 or 31%. Given this, there is only one team has won the toss, chose to bat and still won. Easy guess, the team is Dhoni's Super Kings and they have done it twice. I know the saying (or the now proverb!), "Statistics are like bikinis, what they reveal is suggestive, what they hide is essential". But I see a pattern in this format in India in IPL which strongly favours the chasing team and not many in the team managements seem to notice it.

The spreadsheet which I used for this analysis (yes, I am idle) is available here.

Update 1: 17th Match: My hypothesis about the fate of defending or chasing. Proved right: the defending team won - my claim was one can defend if the score is more than 200 or if the opponent is Bangalore. Delhi safely defended against "Bangalore" in spite of scoring less than 200.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Left rules

At least in the Chennai Super Kings - Punjab Kings T20 match.
5 out of the top 7 batsmen of both the teams were lefties. This has made me think whether the T20 format suits lefties more than the rights. Too lazy to analyze the composition of batsmen of other teams.

Glad that the Super Kings were better than the Kings today.