IPL_Captains

Disclaimer: This article has been updated on 19th April following the departures of Lendl Simmons and Lasith Malinga from the tournament.

 

The addition of two new teams in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in place of the suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, will add spice to the tournament that commences barely a week after a hugely successful World T20 in India. It will be interesting to see how the division of players from both the suspended teams and their assimilation in the new franchises will affect their performances.

It would also be interesting to see whether the players who made a mark for their respective teams in the World T20 can replicate their performances for their franchises – same venues and conditions (though warmer) but will there be the same motivation? We saw the Australian players suffer in the last edition of the IPL after their World Cup fatigue, will the same happen to the West Indians this time around?

Mumbai Indians started as clear favourites with the strongest batting and bowling unit. However, the exit of Lendl Simmons and Lasith Malinga due to injury ten days into the tournament means that they now are the second-highest impact team in the tournament.

Gujarat Lions are now the highest impact team and the favourites to win the tournament. Three wins out of three games and it sure has been a great start for the newcomers. Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore complete our playoff line-up. Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore have the strongest batting unit in the tournament. Interestingly, Gujarat Lions have a strong batting unit but the second-weakest bowling unit in the tournament. Kolkata Knight Riders is one of the only two teams in the tournament (along with Delhi Daredevils) whose bowling is higher impact than their batting.

Rising Pune Supergiants, who turn out to be the most consistent unit (individual  consistency  of all the players) coming into the tournament, is our Dark Horse for this season.

Kings XI Punjab are at the bottom of the pack. Again, this does not come as a surprise as their strategy during the auction in February and the subsequent selections was anything but logical.

Customary disclaimer – this is what would happen if all teams played to potential – which of course never happens to-a-T. But, given the substantial sample size of matches in IPL, our past IPL predictive analysis (Impact Index has correctly predicted 14 of the 20 semi-finalists of the previous five editions of the IPL. Thus, the forecast success ratio in getting projected semi-finalists right is 70%. Curiously, every single time in these 5 tournaments, the winner has been one of the four projected semi-finalists) suggests that not even the seemingly volatile T20 format of the game is beyond the scope of such analysis – as most teams seem to play closer to their impact (and perhaps, potential) cumulatively.

This is how our Impact table stands before IPL IX.

 

 

Teams Overall Impact Batting Impact Bowling Impact Runs Tally Impact Strike Rate Impact Chasing Impact Pressure Impact Wickets Tally Impact Economy Impact Failure Rate (in %) Form Impact
Gujarat Lions 100 100 86 90 38 50 86 91 56 40 98
Mumbai Indians 98 98 97 88 75 50 86 94 60 40 100
Kolkata Knight Riders 96 90 100 81 63 67 71 100 100 40 95
Royal Challengers Bangalore 94 100 95 100 100 100 86 93 84 40 91
Rising Pune Supergiants 91 96 90 95 50 67 100 94 76 37 87
Delhi Daredevils 85 77 90 77 38 50 71 98 76 40 82
Sunrisers Hyderabad 85 91 87 92 38 67 71 93 72 38 82
Kings XI Punjab 78 85 74 84 25 50 86 83 56 44 74

Note:
1) All impact parameters (apart from failure rate) are expressed on a scale of 0 to 100, with the maximum (100) assigned to the highest impact team in that parameter. All other teams are scaled relative to that.
2) Data includes all T20s (international and domestic) with higher weightage to international performances.
3) Numbers are based on the 15 players most likely to be fielded by each franchise.

 

Mumbai Indians

Strengths:
1) Second-strongest batting unit in the tournament after Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
2) Second-strongest bowling attack in the tournament after Kolkata Knight Riders.
3) Ability to score runs at a fast rate.
4) High wicket-taking ability.
5) In form players (highest Form Impact amongst all teams).
6) Big-match players.
7) Strongest Indian contingent amongst all the teams.

Weaknesses:
1) Loss of Lendl Simmons and Lasith Malinga due to injury.
2) Struggled in previous IPLs to get their foreign combinations right in the first half of the tournament. Might do the same this time as well.
3) Absence of a home venue for the latter half of the tournament.
4) Tendency of the bowlers to concede runs at a rate higher than the match norm.

Highest Impact Batsman: Martin Guptill (82)
Highest Impact Bowler: Mitchell McClenaghan (77)
Highest Impact Player: Kieron Pollard (86)

Uncapped Indian player(s) to watch out for: Krunal Pandya (54) & Nitish Rana (49)

Interesting Impact facts:
Mitchell McClenaghan has been a higher impact bowler than Lasith Malinga in all T20s owing to his superior wicket-taking ability and big match prowess.

Only Virat Kohli, Robin Uthappa and Shaun Marsh have scored a higher proportion of runs than Martin Guptill amongst all batsmen taking part in IPL 2016 in T20 cricket in the last couple of years.

 

 

 

RG_Sharma_Comp
Rohit Sharma: Will be leading Mumbai Indians, which will start as the favourites for the first time.

Gujarat Lions

Strengths:
1) Joint-highest  Batting Impact  unit in the tournament along with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
2) Big-match players.
3) Second-highest Form Impact team after Mumbai Indians.
4) Joint second-highest impact Indian contingent (along with Rising Pune Supergiants) players after Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Weaknesses:
1) Lowest  Chasing Impact  batting unit.
2) Even though the team boasts of a few hitters, they have a low  Strike Rate Impact  batting unit. The likes of Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith and Suresh Raina have had a poor  Strike Rate Impact  in the last two years in T20s.
3) Will take time to figure out team combinations as they are a new entrant.
4) Second-lowest  Bowling Impact  attack after Kings XI Punjab.
5) Non-restrictive bowling attack (joint lowest Economy Impact along with Kings XI Punjab)
6) Dale Steyn’s injury struggles.

Highest Impact Batsman: Suresh Raina (100)
Highest Impact Bowler: Dale Steyn (65)
Highest Impact Player: Suresh Raina (95)

Uncapped Indian player to watch out for: Eklavya Dwivedi (55)

Interesting Impact facts:
Suresh Raina is the highest impact Indian T20 batsman in all T20s (domestic and internationals). His place at the top though is increasingly threatened by Virat Kohli. It will be an interesting battle to watch out for.

James Faulkner is hardly a finisher with the bat in T20s. His  Batting Impact  in ODIs is 139% higher than in T20s.

 

SURESH_RAINA1-compressed
Suresh Raina: His status of being the highest impact Indian batsman in all T20s is under threat by Kohli.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Strengths:
1) Highest  Bowling Impact  unit.
2) Best wicket-taking ability in the tournament.
3) Most restrictive bowling unit in the tournament.
4) Big-match players.
5) In form players.
6) Ability to score at a fast rate.
7) Acquisitions of Jaydev Unadkat, R Sathish and Ankit Rajpoot—all of whom were amongst the highest impact players in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament in 2016.

Weaknesses:
1) Questions on Sunil Narine’s effectiveness as a bowler after his remodeled action.
2) Low run-scoring propensity.
3) Low  Pressure Impact  batting unit leaving them prone to collapses.
4) Two very low  Strike Rate Impact  batsmen in their top 3- Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey.
5) Dip in Gautam Gambhir’s batting form over the last two seasons.

Highest Impact Batsman: Gautam Gambhir (81)
Highest Impact Bowler: Sunil Narine (87)
Highest Impact Player: Sunil Narine (91)

Uncapped Indian player to watch out for: Kuldeep Yadav (83)

Interesting Impact Facts:
In Robin Uthappa, Kolkata Knight Riders have the highest impact player amongst all teams when it comes to Form Impact (impact in all T20s in the last two years).

Andre Russell has produced a tournament-defining performance in each of his last two T20 tournaments (World T20 and PSL). In his 178 T20 matches prior to that, he had produced none. Interestingly, his team has gone on to win in each of the last three T20 tournaments that he was a part of (Sydney Thunder, Islamabad United and West Indies).

 

 

Gautam-Gambhir1-compressed
Gautam Gambhir: T20 batting numbers have seen a tremendous dip since 2013.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Strengths:
1) Joint highest Batting Impact unit in the tournament (along with Gujarat Lions).
2) The best ability to score a high propensity of runs.
3) Most attacking batting unit.
4) The best chasing team in the tournament.
5) Second-most restrictive bowling unit after Kolkata Knight Riders.
5) Inclusion of Samuel Badree, the highest impact bowler in T20 history in the team.

Weaknesses:
1) Lack of big-match players in the team.
2) Top-heavy batting order.
2) Second-lowest impact of Indian contingent (after Delhi Daredevils).
3) Absence of Mitchell Starc due to injury.
4) Lack of a death-overs specialist bowler.
5) They lack a specialist finisher with the bat until and unless Watson bats in the lower half to provide impetus at the end if the ‘big three’ fail.

Highest Impact Batsman: Virat Kohli (92)
Highest Impact Bowler: Samuel Badree (100)
Highest Impact Player: Samuel Badree (100)

Uncapped Indian player to watch out for: Harshal Patel (46)

Interesting Impact Facts:
When it comes to all T20s in the last two years, Virat Kohli has the highest Runs Tally (propensity to score high proportion of runs), Pressure (ability to absorb pressure of falling wickets), Partnership-Building and Chasing Impact amongst all the batsmen part of this season’s IPL. His consistency is also the best.

Mitchell Starc didn’t fail in any of the 11 IPL games that he played in IPL 2015. He was also the highest impact bowler of the tournament. His absence will be a big blow.

Watto_2
Shane Watson: Can the highest impact player in IPL history lead RCB to its maiden title?

 

Rising Pune Supergiants

Strengths:
1) Strong batting lineup.
2) Ability to score a high propensity of runs.
3) Their batting unity has the ability to absorb the maximum amount of pressure.

Weaknesses:
1) Too many batsmen tend to play the same role- Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Steve Smith and Kevin Pietersen are all innings-builders. They may struggle to push the impetus during the middle-overs.
2) Lack of a death-overs specialist bowler.
3) Might struggle to field the right combination of foreign players.

Highest Impact Batsman: Kevin Pietersen (92)
Highest Impact Bowler: R Ashwin (65)
Highest Impact Player: MS Dhoni (94)

Uncapped Indian player to watch out for: Murugan Ashwin (74)

Interesting Impact Facts:
In the last two years in T20s, Kevin Pietersen, after he gets going, produces a very high impact performance 16 out of 17 times. His conversion rate of a high impact performance to a very high impact performance (94%) is the best amongst all batsmen part of this season’s IPL.

Steve Smith’s failure with the bat in T20Is is 72% but it improves drastically to only 33% when he plays in the IPL.

 

Dhoni_2
MS Dhoni: Will have to rebuild the Pune franchise from scratch.

Delhi Daredevils

Strengths:
1) Wicket-taking ability of their bowlers.
2) Young players who are yet to bloom.

Weaknesses:
1) Weakest batting unit of the tournament.
2) Inability to score a high propensity of runs.
3) Inability to score at a fast rate.
4) Batting unit vulnerable to collapses because of low Pressure Impact .
5) Lack of big-match players.
6) An unproven captain and an out of touch player in Zaheer Khan.

Highest Impact Batsman: Quinton de Kock (92)
Highest Impact Bowler: Imran Tahir (59)
Highest Impact Player: Quinton de Kock (95)

Uncapped Indian player (s) to watch out for: Chama Milind (54) and Shreyas Iyer (46)

Interesting Impact Facts:
World T20 hero, Carlos Brathwaite, has the highest Strike Rate Impact amongst all batsmen in this season’s IPL.

Quinton de Kock is the second-highest impact batsman after Suresh Raina in all T20s amongst all the batsmen in this season’s IPL.

Zaheer Khan has been the second-most consistent Indian pacer in IPL history after interestingly, Parvinder Awana.

Zak
Zaheer Khan- An unproven captain and an out of touch player.

 

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Strengths:
1) Ability to score a high propensity of runs.
2) Massive variety in their bowling attack.

Weaknesses:
1) Inability to score runs at a fast rate. Shikhar Dhawan adversely affecting the team as a slow-scoring opener.
2) Batting unit prone to collapses owing to low Pressure Impact .
3) Form of David Warner leading into the tournament.
4) Lack of a high impact spinner.
5) Will struggle to pick the right combination of foreign players.

Highest Impact Batsman: David Warner (78)
Highest Impact Bowler: Mustafizur Rahman (67)
Highest Impact Player: Moises Henriques (80)

Uncapped Indian player (s) to watch out for: Bipul Sharma (52) and Aditya Tare (51)

Interesting Impact Facts:
Amongst all specialist batsmen in this season’s IPL, Shikhar Dhawan’s Strike Rate Impact is the worst.

Amongst pacers, only Dale Steyn has a higher Economy Impact than Mustafizur Rahman in this season’s IPL. Mustafizur’s consistency is also the second-best after Sunil Narine.

Williamson
Kane Williamson: Will have to counterbalance Dhawan’s poor strike-rate at the top.

Kings XI Punjab

Strengths:
1) Ability to absorb pressure of falling wickets.
2) The form of Shaun Marsh. Also the fifth-highest impact batsman in T20 cricket history.
3) X-factor in batting – Glenn Maxwell and David Miller.

Weaknesses:
1) The lowest impact team coming into the tournament.
2) The lowest impact bowling unit.
3) The second-lowest impact batting unit after Delhi Daredevils.
4) The most inconsistent team coming into the tournament.

Highest Impact Batsman: Shaun Marsh (92)
Highest Impact Bowler: Mitchell Johnson (59)
Highest Impact Player: Shaun Marsh (78)

Uncapped Indian player (s) to watch out for: Nikhil Naik (45) & Swapnil Singh (43).

David Miller-compressed
David Miller: KXIP will need miraculous performances from him, Marsh and Maxwell to enter the playoffs.

Interesting Impact Facts:
Amongst the five most expensive players in this season’s IPL auction, Mohit Sharma’s cost to Impact ratio is the second-worst after that of Pawan Negi’s.

In all T20s, only Virat Kohli & Chris Gayle have scored more proportion of runs for their teams than Shaun Marsh amongst all batsmen in this season’s IPL.

 

Disclaimer: This article has been updated on 19th April following the departures of Lendl Simmons and Lasith Malinga from the tournament.
Soham Sarkhel
Nikhil Narain

 

Illustrations: Vasim Maner