IPL 2016 was a tournament that simmered for a long time before finally exploding in the later stages. A major round of auctions before the event was set to level the playing field and give the two new franchises a fair chance to set their mark. As is the norm, the number of inexplicable picks in the auctions (Pawan Negi going for an obscene amount to Delhi Daredevils, Mohit Sharma fetching the equivalent of Aaron Finch, Adam Zampa, Dwayne Smith, Ben Cutting and Dinesh Karthik combined) easily outweighed the smart ones (Mustafizur Rahman to Sunrisers Hyderabad, Adam Zampa to Rising Pune Supergiants).

It was actually in the auctions that Sunrisers Hyderabad made their plans very clear – to create a bowling heavy team with special preferences to left-handed bowlers, picking up Mustafizur Rahman, Ashish Nehra and Barinder Sran. Even in IPL 2013, SRH banked heavily on their bowling (leg-spinners on that occasion) and while they reached the playoffs, Shikhar Dhawan was no David Warner to pull the batting single-handedly. What Warner achieved in IPL 2016 is unparalleled for any batsman in any limited-overs tournament. He embarked on a solo journey with his bat and pulverized the opposition game-in and game-out to, eventually, clinch the title and finish as the highest impact batsman of the tournament. Crucially, he got support from the other SRH batsmen when it was needed the most – in the knockout stages – and his bowlers were on the mark for the most of the tournament.

For the fourth time in six IPL tournaments, Impact Index got at least 3 of the 4 projected semi-finalists right. The only team to miss out on a playoff spot (from our expected four) was Mumbai Indians, and they were heavily undone by the shifting of their home venue. Along with winning their maiden IPL title, Sunrisers Hyderabad also broke a long standing Impact Index record of a projected semi-finalist winning the trophy. This was the first time in 15 major limited-overs tournaments we have covered since 2011 that a team we did not pick as a semi-finalist went on to win the title. That they did it on the back of three consecutive knockout games (which no team had ever done before in the IPL) reinforces their status of being the IPL 2016 champions.

Here’s a look at the individual teams in detail (in order of their expected final position):


What went right:
1) Turning their low Chasing Impact batting unit (prior to the tournament) into a high Chasing Impact one.
2) Dhawal Kulkarni’s form with the ball during the tournament as he finished amongst the ten highest impact bowlers.
3) Aaron Finch clicking in almost each and every kind of situation thrown at him. Finch had the second-highest Chasing Impact in the tournament after Rohit Sharma.
4) Identifying Shivil Kaushik. Although he had a few failures, his performance in the second qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad was stellar.

What went wrong:
1) Opening with Eklavya Dwivedi in the second qualifier when the two highest impact batsmen from their team (Aaron Finch and Dwayne Smith) were demoted to the middle-order (none of them faced a ball till the ninth over), a position where Dwivedi flourished in the previous game against RCB.
2) Praveen Kumar’s lack of wickets with the new ball. He had the second-lowest wicket-taking propensity amongst specialist bowlers after Varun Aaron.
3) Suresh Raina’s inability to convert starts into high impact performances.
4) Ravindra Jadeja’s repeated failures to make a mark in the IPL as a player.
5) Failures of the lower middle-order batsmen especially Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja.
6) Bowling attack’s inability to defend and close out games.

Highest Impact Batsman– Aaron Finch
Highest Impact Bowler– Dhawal Kulkarni
Highest Impact Player– Dwayne Smith

Suresh Raina: Only two high impact performances in 15 innings in the tournament.



What went right:
1) Identifying Krunal Pandya in the auctions and using him judiciously in the tournament. Krunal eventually finished as the highest Strike Rate Impact batsman of the tournament.
2) Blooding Nitish Rana.
3) Rohit Sharma’s form as an opener. He finished as the highest Chasing Impact batsman in IPL 2016.

What went wrong:
1) Injury blows to two of their highest impact players- Lendl Simmons and Lasith Malinga.
2) Distinct home advantage stripped away and asked to play at a venue which clearly didn’t suit their strengths.
3) Constant selection of Tim Southee in the tournament, denying Corey Anderson and – more importantly – Martin Guptill chances, especially given that they faced an opening conundrum.
4) Hardik Pandya, Jos Buttler, Harbhajan Singh and Kieron Pollard failing to play to their potential (as per past records).

Highest Impact Batsman– Rohit Sharma
Highest Impact Bowler– Mitchell McClenaghan
Highest Impact Player– Rohit Sharma

Krunal Pandya- Highest impact spinning all-rounder in IPL 2016.

Kolkata Knight Riders- PLAYED TO POTENTIAL

What went right:
1) Reemergence of Yusuf Pathan.
2) Kuldeep Yadav’s impact in the limited opportunities that he got.
3) Gautam Gambhir’s comeback as a potent T20 opener after two indifferent seasons.
4) Ability of the middle-order to fight back in the latter stages of the tournament after poor starts.
4) Piyush Chawla’s form with the ball.
5) Not a Sunil Narine at his prime, but potent enough to be a game changer as he finished as the highest Economy Impact bowler of the tournament.

What went wrong:
1) Andre Russell’s absence in the knockout stage of the tournament- their highest impact player.
2) Shakib Al Hasan’s poor tournament both as a batsman and as a bowler as he failed in four out of the 10 matches despite being an all-rounder.
3) Playing Colin Munro instead of Chris Lynn- a much higher impact batsman coming off a spectacular season in the BBL.
4) Lack of a death overs specialist in the absence of Andre Russell.
5) Dropping Piyush Chawla- their third-highest impact bowler in the tournament for the eliminator against SRH.

Highest Impact Batsman
– Yusuf Pathan
Highest Impact Bowler– Andre Russell
Highest Impact Player– Andre Russell

Gautam Gambhir- No one scored a higher proportion of runs than him for KKR this season.

Royal Challengers Bangalore- OVERACHIEVED

What went right:
1) Bowling overachieved after a disastrous start to the tournament.
2) Yuzvendra Chahal dominating and finishing as the highest impact bowler of the tournament.
3) Sreenath Aravind finishing as the most consistent bowler of the tournament after not having failed comprehensively in any of his nine matches.
3) Virat Kohli’s stupendous form.
4) Emergence of Lokesh Rahul as a quality T20 batsman.
5) Shane Watson’s bowling for the major part of the tournament barring the final.

What went wrong:
1) Injuries to two of their key bowlers- Mitchell Starc and Samuel Badree.
2) Opting for Sachin Baby after a fantastic start to the tournament by Sarfaraz Khan.
3) Stuart Binny not pulling enough weight as an all-rounder in the team.
4) Inconsistent displays by Chris Gayle.
5) Playing Kane Richardson in the early stages of the tournament instead of Adam Milne who was amongst the highest impact bowlers in T20s in the last two years.
6) Signing of Chris Jordan. Even though Jordan’s claim to fame was his death bowling in the WT20 in 2016, his overall T20 impact is extremely poor.

Highest Impact Batsman– Virat Kohli
Highest Impact Bowler– Yuzvendra Chahal
Highest Impact Player– Virat Kohli

yuzvendra chahal 2
Yuzvendra Chahal- Finished as the highest impact bowler in IPL 2016.

Rising Pune Supergiants- UNDERACHIEVED

What went right:
1) Adam Zampa’s signing in the auction and his performances thereafter.
2) Steve Smith’s uncharacteristic high impact knocks in this format before he got injured.

What went wrong:
1) Injuries to their core group of overseas players- Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis, Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh.
2) Signing George Bailey, a low impact T20 batsman as an injury backup.
3) Failing to land even one accomplished death bowler in the auctions.
4) Rajat Bhatia dropped inexplicably for the latter stages even though he was the highest Economy Impact pacer of the tournament.
5) Not playing Irfan Pathan enough, one of the highest impact all-rounders in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2015/16.

Highest Impact Batsman– Steve Smith
Highest Impact Bowler– Ashok Dinda (for a minimum of 4 innings, it is Adam Zampa)
Highest Impact Player– Steve Smith (for a minimum of 4 innings, it is Adam Zampa)

MS Dhoni- His Strike Rate Impact dropped by 141% in the IPL compared to his T20I performances in 2016.

Sunrisers Hyderabad- OVERACHIEVED

What went right:
1) One man batting show in the form of David Warner, although the others chipped in during the knockout stages.
2) Mustafizur Rahman and Ashish Nehra’s signing in the auctions.
3) Bhuvneshwar Kumar overachieving spectacularly (in this format), finishing as the second- highest impact bowler of the tournament.
4) Deciding to play Ben Cutting instead of Kane Williamson in the latter stages of the tournament to bolster their bowling and increase their hitting prowess at the death.

What went wrong:
1) Inconsistent showings from the SRH batting line-up barring Warner.
2) Injury to Ashish Nehra.
3) Deepak Hooda failing to deliver on his promise despite getting many chances.


Highest Impact Batsman– David Warner
Highest Impact Bowler– Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Highest Impact Player– David Warner

Mustafizur (1)
Mustafizur Rahman- Amongst the highest Economy Impact bowlers in his debut season.


What went right:
1) Selection of Chris Morris & Carlos Brathwaite in the auctions.
2) Played a young team to set a stable base for the future.
3) Giving unheralded players like Rishabh Pant a chance and bringing uncapped talent to the limelight.

What went wrong:
1) Not using Brathwaite judiciously in the tournament. Played too few matches in the tournament, should have been sent up the order in their must win encounter against RCB to change the momentum of the game.
2) Too many changes during the tournament.
3) Not playing JP Duminy, a batsman known to play high Pressure Impact innings in T20s in their must-win encounter against RCB.
4) Could have done much better in the auctions.
5) By making too many tactical changes in an attempt to give all the players a chance, they lost sight of their immediate goal – qualifying for the playoffs.

Highest Impact Batsman– Quinton de Kock
Highest Impact Bowler– Chris Morris
Highest Impact Player– Chris Morris

Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock: Delhi Daredevils’ highest impact batsman this season.



What went right:
1) Making Murali Vijay the captain mid-season and his performances with the bat thereafter.
2) Purchase of Marcus Stoinis in the auctions as he finished as the fourth-highest impact all-rounder in the tournament after Chris Morris, Andre Russell and Dwayne Smith.
3) Even though he didn’t produce match-winning performances, Sandeep Sharma’s performances with the ball were commendable as he finished as the third-most consistent bowler of the tournament after Sreenath Aravind and Yuzvendra Chahal.

What went wrong:
1) Performances of David Miller and Glenn Maxwell in the IPL. Miller finished as the lowest impact specialist batsman in the tournament whereas Maxwell had a failure rate of 73%.
2) Terrible auction strategy, barring the signing of Stoinis.
3) Underwhelming bowling performance by Axar Patel as he finished with a failure rate of 62% as a bowler.
4) Possible end to Mitchell Johnson’s IPL career after another mediocre campaign.
5) Injury to Shaun Marsh middle of the campaign.

Highest Impact Batsman– Murali Vijay
Highest Impact Bowler– Sandeep Sharma
Highest Impact Player– Marcus Stoinis

sandeep sharma
Sandeep Sharma- Was the third-most consistent bowler in the tournament after Chahal and Aravind.

Here’s a look at the individual high-fliers in the tournament.
Big-match performances have been taken into account here.
(Min. Qualification: 7 innings/matches)

Highest Impact Batsmen

David Warner, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, AB de Villiers and Aaron Finch.
(Despite getting the orange cap, Kohli doesn’t emerge as the highest impact batsman. More here).

Highest Impact Bowlers

Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Shane Watson.
(Special mention: Adam Zampa, who played in only five matches but had the highest impact amongst all bowlers. Mitchell Marsh and Kuldeep Yadav follow him but they played only three matches each).

Highest Impact Players

David Warner, Virat Kohli, Chris Morris, Andre Russell, Quinton de Kock.
(Special mention: Ben Cutting, who played in only four matches but provided a tournament-defining performance in the final).

Highest  Strike Rate Impact  batsmen

Krunal Pandya, Chris Morris, David Warner, AB de Villiers and Steve Smith.

Highest  Economy Impact  bowlers

Sunil Narine, Rajat Bhatia, Sreenath Aravind, Mustafizur Rahman and Chris Morris.


Soham Sarkhel
Illustrations- Vasim Maner