Champions League 2013 Impact Index Preview

For the first time in the history of Champions League, 3 of the 4 IPL teams in the competition are favourites to reach the semi-finals. That is, if they play to potential (which is a point all people responding to predictive analysis seem to overlook). The small sample size of matches (as opposed to IPL) also makes any kind of predictive forecast somewhat superfluous.

But we’ll still stick our necks out a bit and say that Trinidad & Tobago is our favourite because a) they have the highest impact bowling side – which our past analysis suggests enables that team to almost always reach the final and b) they will probably be hungrier than Chennai Super Kings- the only side slightly higher impact than them (there is quite a gap between them and the next 2 sides). But T&T’s bowling will be up against better batting line-ups here, though in conditions that will still suit them. It is T&T’s batting line-up (led by Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo) that will have to stand up and be counted.

It should make for an interesting tournament. In terms of quality of cricket played, this is certainly the best T20 tournament in the world; it’s a pity more people don’t tune in. Its unimaginative marketing cannot be let off the hook here.

Here are the teams adorning the main stage of the tournament and their respective strengths and weaknesses through the Impact Index prism.

Teams Overall Batting Bowling SDs Runs Tally Impact Strike Rate Impact Pressure Impact Partnership Building Impact Chasing Impact Wickets Impact Economy Impact Failure Rate (in%)
Chennai Super Kings 2.16 1.76 1.39 17 1.61 0.04 0.09 0.11 0.06 1.25 0.18 33.59
Trinidad & Tobago 2.12 1.62 2.2 15 1.51 0.06 0.1 0.11 0.09 1.47 0.57 31.59
Mumbai Indians 1.99 1.64 1.39 9 1.66 0.12 0.09 0.11 0.06 1.23 0.21 34.78
Rajasthan Royals 1.81 1.54 1.49 4 1.7 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.08 1.38 0.24 37.28
Lions 1.8 1.64 1.37 6 1.57 0.02 0.09 0.1 0.07 1.3 0.33 35
Otago Volts 1.79 1.4 1.29 7 1.47 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.05 1.22 0.15 36.23
Brisbane Heat 1.78 0.94 1.21 5 1.03 -0.01 0.05 0.06 0.02 1.03 0.13 37.2
Sunrisers Hyderabad 1.72 1.35 1.31 4 1.51 0.02 0.09 0.1 0.05 1.13 0.18 36.34
Titans 1.63 1.41 1.36 6 1.42 0.02 0.08 0.1 0.06 1.27 0.22 39.01
Perth Scorchers 1.59 1.24 0.94 1 1.43 -0.04 0.1 0.1 0.05 0.84 0.24 32.63

SOME OBSERVATIONS

1. Favourite teams for Semi-finals:

Chennai Super Kings (Team Impact 2.16)
Trinidad & Tobago (2.12)
Mumbai Indians (1.99)
Rajasthan Royals (1.81)

2. Dark Horse: Lions & Otago Volts
Lions have the 2nd-highest Batting Impact unit in this tournament and have a decent bowling attack to support them. They have two decent spinners in Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir and they could be much more effective on Indian surfaces compared to back home. The form of Quinton de Kock (who is their highest impact batsman) is very crucial for them as he has struggled in sub-continent conditions in the recent past. Chris Morris deciding to play for Chennai Super Kings doesn’t help their cause either.

Otago Volts with their last victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad are now on a 13-match unbeaten run which is the second-best winning streak in the history of T20 cricket for any team and with every passing match, they are looking a better unit. However with Brendon McCullum hitting his top gear in the tournament so early, there may be a fear of him peaking too early and he is crucial to his side’s campaign in this trophy. Their side is filled with bits and pieces all-rounders and offers a nice cushion when it comes to the playing XI for their team management. James Neesham is a 22-year-old all-rounder worth looking out for; he is an able all-rounder and was also the highest impact player in Otago Volts’ successful cup campaign in the HRV Cup this year.

3. Team with propensity to score most runs: Rajasthan Royals
Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane have the highest Runs Tally Impact in the team.

4. Team with a weakness in run-making: Brisbane Heat
Barring Joe Burns, Chris Lynn and James Hopes (to a certain extent) their run-scoring ability is very poor.

5. Most attacking batting unit: Mumbai Indians
Akshar Patel (just 9 matches), Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith are their highest Strike Rate Impact batsmen. Except for Tendulkar none of their top-order batsman has a negative strike rate.

6. Most sluggish batting unit: Perth Scorchers
Except for Hilton Cartwright (who has played only 3 matches) none of their batsman has a high Strike Rate Impact . They will sorely miss the services of Herschelle Gibbs, Shaun Marsh and Michael Hussey in this regard.

7. Teams with ability to absorb maximum pressure while batting: Trinidad & Tobago and Perth Scorchers
Yannick Ottley, Nicolas Pooran, Jason Mohammed and Darren Bravo all have very high Pressure Impact . For Perth Scorchers, Cartwright, Simon Katich, Marcus North and Adam Voges have a very high Pressure Impact .

8. Strongest chasing team: Trinidad & Tobago
Evin Lewis, Ottley, Darren Bravo, Adrian Barath have a very high Chasing Impact . They have, of course, been helped by a very strong bowling line-up, that usually limits their targets.

9. Team most susceptible in a chase: Brisbane Heat
None of their batsmen have a high Chasing Impact . Their best chaser in the Big Bash League was Luke Pomersbach who is not taking part in this tournament. This team seems doomed when it comes to chases.

10. Highest wicket-taking team: Trinidad & Tobago
The best bowling unit in the tournament also has the highest wicket-taking propensity. Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul lead their team charts in this particular parameter. Emrit also has the highest wicket-taking propensity amongst all the bowlers in this tournament.

11. Team with a wicket-taking problem: Perth Scorchers
They have a very new-look bowling unit that is still unproven. Their most experienced bowler is Brad Hogg and apart from him none of the other bowlers have shown enough wicket-taking abilities (Behrendorff and Mennie can be potential wicket-taking bowlers but are very inexperienced as of now). They will also dearly miss the services of Alfonso Thomas who was their 3rd highest impact bowler in the Big Bash League this year.

12. Most economical bowling unit: Trinidad & Tobago
Along with them being the highest wicket-taking bowling unit in the tournament their bowling attack is also the most economical- a deadly combo. Out of the 6 highest Economy Impact bowlers in the tournament, 3 are from Trinidad & Tobago (Badree, Narine and Emrit).Ravi Rampaul, who is making a comeback from injury in this tournament also has a very high Economy Impact and was the 4th-highest Economy Impact bowler in the last edition of the Indian Premier League.

13. Most uneconomical bowling unit: Brisbane Heat
Apart from Nathan Hauritz and Alister McDermott the rest of their bowling line-up is very weak when it comes to Economy Impact . Maybe they can use more of Chris Lynn as a bowling option (he is a part-timer for them but has a high Economy Impact ).

14. Most mercurial side/s (high failure rates): Titans
Most number of players with high failure rates.

15. Most imbalanced side: Trinidad & Tobago (bowling far stronger than batting)
Even though they are one of the favourites in this tournament, their batting needs to supplement their exceptionally strong bowling attack for them to be serious contenders.

16. Most number of big-match performers in a side: Chennai Super Kings
The strongest side of the tournament also unsurprisingly has the most number of big-match performers in their side. Their big-match skills may come in handy during the latter stages of the tournament.

 

 

Soham Sarkhel
Jaideep Varma