Holdingwilley The second best way to enjoy cricket
Due to some technical problems, we are unable to cover live matches on our site and app. We are working on it and will be back soon. Please stay tuned for more.

The chasing bias in the IPL

( 707 views )

IPL_toss_win_chase_cricketBefore Sunday, 15th April 2018. where both the teams batting first emerged victorious, an illusion of a dangerous trend emerging seemed to have been the talk of the town in this edition of the Indian Premier League.

Of the 10 matches before Sunday, 9 were won by teams batting second, while the one match that saw the team batting first emerge victorious was a rain curtailed game that put Delhi in a tough position, chasing a hefty target of 72 in 6 overs despite having control of the game while bowling: Rajasthan Royals were at 153/5 with just 13 balls to play and not settled batsman at the crease. There might be arguments against it, but if the full game had taken place, Delhi would have been in pole position to win the game.

This illusion, that this season might be decided by the toss itself, has been lessened by Kolkata and Mumbai’s victories on Monday (16th April) and Tuesday (17th April). At any rate, there are stats that suggest the preferred choice of teams anyway is to chase, by a good margin.

T20 is new. It was only in the early 2000s that it started to get some recognition. Not being too sure of how things might pan out, there was a near parity in the line of thought: put a score on the board and put the other team under pressure. Wait to see how things pan out and play accordingly in the second innings with an aim to chase down the target.

While the early few years saw a huge fluctuation in terms of the choice of teams with percentage of teams wanting to chase dropping down from 45.83% in 2003 to 35.98% in 2009, while the percentages in between read: 51.02%, 40.26%, 28.42%, 44.83% and 42.08%. But ever since, the percentage started to grow, reaching a peak of 72.05% in 2016 and the other years averaging about 52.053%.

Choice is one thing, results another. Looking at the overall stats across years of results in T20I’s, we can easily conclude it is in favor of the teams chasing.

 

Year

Wins

Losses

Total

Win %

2003

21

27

48

43.73

2004

24

24

48

50

2005

31

39

70

44.28

2006

41

50

91

45.05

2007

56

53

109

51.37

2008

108

85

193

55.95

2009

113

122

235

48.09

2010

152

155

307

49.51

2011

133

143

276

48.18

2012

159

141

300

53

2013

149

146

295

50.51

2014

176

157

333

52.85

2015

152

154

306

49.67

2016

186

154

340

54.7

2017

25

15

40

62.5

 

Looking at the IPL as well, the trend is quite similar right from the early editions:

 

Year

Matches

Won By Team Batting First

Won By Team Batting Second

2008

58

22 (37.93%)

36 (62.07%)

2009

56

26 (46.43%)

30 (53.57%)

2010

59

31 (52.54%)

28 (47.46%)

2014

60

40 (67%)

20 (33%)

2015

56

24 (43%)

32 (57%)

2016

59

37 (63%)

22 (37%)

 

The stats are titled heavily in favor of the teams chasing. The 2014 stats being better for teams batting first is fairly down to Kolkata Knight Riders who loved batting first, set a target and then not let the opposition get past with tight bowling and crowd pressure.

But this isn’t just the IPL. Other leagues such as the Big Bash have a similar trend. In the 2016-17 edition of the BBL, 27 of the 34 teams that won the toss opted to bowl. The seven who decided to bat, all regretted it: they lost every time.

Going by the statistics above, it is safe to say that this season isn’t something different with teams batting second running away with the games, but down to the format. Teams prefer to know what they have to get and then plan their strategies accordingly.

In other formats, you have a longer set of overs which lead to several changes in the pitch and teams need to read the pitch and conditions well and make an informed choice. In a format like T20, the pitch seldom changes in the span of 40 overs, prompting teams to chase.

Such is the format that batsmen go hell for leather and tonk right from the word go. On several occasions, teams batting first lose wickets and then fail to reach a good total, giving enough cushion to the chasing teams to go easy and plan their innings well.

If teams bat first, it is imperative for them to read the pitch and quickly assess what score is needed. Someone once told a story where Kallis used to tell Kolkata Knight Riders what a good score would be on the wicket as soon as he got out or at the break (whichever happened first). If more teams try to go that way, there might be a change in the trend.  

There is a possibility that as the tournament progresses, more teams batting first start winning, especially at home, once they have a better understanding of the wickets being used and know what to set.

Putting all things in perspective, there isn’t anything ominous about the teams batting second winning as that is the trend for years and as mentioned in the end, that it might change with time. So let’s play a waiting game and see how things transpire.

 

Fast. Lite. Innovative. Shareable. Download our HW Cricket App, for Android and iOS!



Rate this article:

About the author

Articles:
28
Reads:
58333
Avg. Reads:
2083
FB Likes:
420
Tweets:
0

Anubhav is an engineer turned Sports Management professional who decided to make his love and passi...

View Full Profile

Related Content