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The Age Factor

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The following tables take the top five batsmen and bowlers from the IPL across three age categories, 30 & above, 25-29 and 24 and below, and compares their stats, including, and most importantly, the T20 Ranking Points they have gathered in the tournament.

A few interesting insights came to light…

Top five amongst batsmen who are 30 or above
 

Batsmen

Inns

Runs

HS

SR

Ratings

Team

ST Jayasuriya

14

514

114*

166

393.76

Mumbai

AC Gilchrist

14

436

109*

137

385.47

Hyderabad

KC Sangakkara

9

320

94

162

380.70

Punjab

A Symonds

3

161

117*

153

235.62

Hyderabad

MEK Hussey

3

168

116*

168

262.08

Chennai



Top five amongst batsmen who are between 24 and 30
 

Batsmen

Inns

Runs

HS

SR

Ratings

Team

V Sehwag

14

406

94*

185

330.34

Delhi

G Gambhir

14

534

86

141

405.98

Delhi

SR Watson

14

444

76*

152

352.33

Rajastan

YK Pathan

14

379

68

186

328.97

Rajastan

BB McCullum

4

188

158*

204

300.39

Kolkata



Top five batsmen who are below 25 years of age
 

Batsmen

Inns

Runs

HS

SR

Ratings

Team

SE Marsh

11

616

115

140

567.11

Punjab

RG Sharma

12

404

76*

148

345.79

Hyderabad

S Dhawan

14

340

68*

115

258.50

Delhi

SK Raina

13

378

55*

143

255.44

Chennai

SA Asnodkar

8

283

60

133

179.86

Rajastan

 
 
Broadly, the age of the batsmen did not seem to make a huge difference, with the cumulative total of batsmen in all three categories coming to within 1000 points of each other.

The 25-29 age group came out the strongest on two counts

-    They got more points than anyone else

-    The points distribution across the top five batsmen is even, with everyone contributing to the overall score.

With regards to the last point, the under 25 players i.e. the group that is most close to the ‘Youth brimming with energy and enthusiasm’ description that is supposed to describe the ideal T20 candidate, in fact, come off the worst.

Not only do they seem to score lower than batsmen in the other two categories, much of their score comes on account of one batsman –Shaun Marsh, with 567 points (who, incidentally, is on the edge of completing his 25th year). Without his contribution the overall total would see a bigger and more noticeable tumble.

The 30+ category come out looking fairly robust, especially given that two of the top five players there are 35+, a fact that debunks a popular myth. Not only did they put together a competitive total on the rankings front, they also have their points spread fairly evenly.

The other relevant statistic is that the top 20 batsmen in the IPL consist of 7 players who are 30+, which accounts for nearly 35%, which is a sizeable figure.
 
Also 4 out of 5 batsmen from 30+ list have manged to hit a century whereas only 1 out of 5 of the other two categories have managed the feat. Does it talk for the experience that these guys bring along with them?
 
So broadly, if a summary were to be arrived at, it would present the following points -    25-29 seems to be the ideal age for the batsmen in general, which can be explained logically with a theory that this is probably the right combination of experience and exhuberance

-    30+ is no fuddy-duddy age, and batmen may infact use their experience and maturity to adapt better to the rapidly changing scenarios and handle their game better.
 
-    Experience seems to count for a little more than it is generally given credit for, with young batsmen struggling to maintain consistency, or adding a much needed method to the general madness that everyone loves them so much for.
 
-    While broadly, a little more research here will definitely help, it may be worth considering the idea that the patterns found here will be similar to the patterns across the other formats of the game as well. Certainly ODI cricket, even if Tests see the 30+ gang get an edge over the rest (or perhaps that may be another myth waiting to be explored)

 


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