IPL-Trends & Model: Careful Powerplays Quarter 1; Spinner The Roost > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - IPL Trends & Patterns: Cautious powerplays in Quarter 1; spinners rule the roost

Chahal is leading the bowling charts at the end of the first quarter of IPL 2019.

Twelve days and 15 matches into IPL 2019, Cricbuzz brings you the trends and patterns which have emerged in the first quarter of the tournament.

Captains preferring to field first despite numbers not backing up

In the 15 completed matches so far this season, on 13 instances captain winning the toss preferred to make first use of the pitch. While there could be various reasons behind the decision to bowl first, like the dew coming in later in the night, not necessarily knowing what a par score is on that track especially in the earlier games of a season and more. The general trend in the last four years has been that it favours the chasing side at the start of the season with the tracks relatively fresher as opposed to backend of the tournament where it gets slower and bounce gets lower once it's more used.

In 2019, teams batting first have went on to win more games (excluding Super Over finishes) while in none of the previous seasons since 2015 the percentages have been more than one-third. The starkest difference was in 2016 when only once the team batting first ended up winning in the first 15 matches of the season - RCB beating SRH in Bengaluru after scoring 227. Last year, none of the captain opted to bat first until R Ashwin did so against SRH in Mohali in the 16th match.

Results after first 15 matches

*Super Over wins excluded

The average first innings score in 2019 read 177 after the first 15 matches, which is on the higher side. In comparison, the average first innings score has varied from 150 to 166 in the first ten editions of IPL before it shot up to 172 last year.

More conservative in the Powerplay at the expense of being more aggressive in the middle

The scoring rate in the Powerplay after first 15 matches in IPL 2019 is surprisingly the lowest among the three phases of the innings. In comparison, the scoring rate is 8.34 per over in the middle (7-15) and at 10.26 per over at the death (16-20). The Powerplay scoring rate of 7.68 is in stark contrast with the numbers at the same stage (15 matches) in the previous two years - 9.29 in 2018 and 8.48 in 2017.

Teams have lost only 38 wickets in the first six overs (28 balls per wicket) in comparison to 59 in the middle overs and 76 in the death overs. To put things in perspective, teams lost 46 wickets in the first six overs with a wicket every 23 balls in the first 15 matches last year.

The SunRisers are easily the best in this phase scoring at 10.11 per over and, more importantly, are yet to lose a wicket. Their scores in the Powerplay read - 54/0, 69/0 and 59/0. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have put on three century partnerships for the opening wicket in as many matches helping SRH to score 180-plus in each of their games.

Scoring rates at various phase after first 15 matches

Unlike in the Powerplay, teams have been more aggressive in the middle phase. The middle overs (7-15) run rate of 8.34 in 2019 is significantly higher than that at the corresponding stage in 2018 (7.78 per over) and in 2017 (8.05 per over). With more wickets at their disposal after playing Unadventurously in the first-six have helped teams to bat freer in the middle overs. Despite being more aggressive, it hasn't resulted in loss of wickets in the middle as the balls per dismissal of 27 deliveries every wicket suggests. Teams have lost only 59 wickets in the middle stage in 2019 in the first 15 games as compared to 84 from as many games last season (18 balls per wicket).

The scoring rate in the later half of the middle overs (11-15) is markedly higher than the four overs just after the Powerplay - 7.78 between overs seven & ten and 8.79 between overs 11 & 15. One plausible reason could be teams attacking more against the opposition's fifth and sixth bowling options in this phase before the specialists return for the slog overs.

Spinners rule the roost

2018 was the best IPL season for the spinners with them taking 4.22 wickets per game - the highest in the 11 years. The tweakers have taken 62 wickets from the first 15 matches at over four wickets per game with the leg spinners being the trump cards for teams. Yuzvendra Chahal is the Purple Cap holder with eight wickets closely followed by Imran Tahir (seven) and Shreyas Gopal (six). Chennai's spinners have been the standout taking 14 wickets in four matches at an average of 16.43 and an economy rate of 6.22.

Not a season for bits and pieces players

Going by the numbers after the first quarter of the season, this hasn't been a season for those who are in the playing XI neither as a specialist batsman nor can they deliver four overs on a consistent basis. An ideal T20 XI should be complete with ten players with the 11th player acting as a buffer resource with either bat or ball as and when the situation demands. Ravindra Jadeja did this with great effect during Chennai's title run last year. He contributed valuable runs down the order and was often used as a floater in the batting lineup. In the first half of the league stage, he bowled complete quota of four overs just once while he picked important wickets in the second half.

Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme, Rahul Tewatia, Keemo Paul and Ben Cutting all featured in the starting XI of the respective sides before getting dropped following an insipid performance or two.

Big buys yet to deliver

In the auction last December, 14 players were bought for three crores of more - four of those are yet to feature in a game, while only Mohammed Shami, Colin Ingram and Shimron Hetmyer featured in all of their teams matches. Of the remaining ten, barring Sam Curran's all-round performance against Delhi nothing of note has been done by any of these.

Jaydev Unadkat, Shivam Dube and Axar Patel has found themselves out of the playing XI after a few poor outings while Shimron Hetmyer is also on the verge of getting the axe following a barren run with the bat, having scored just 15 runs in four innings. Varun Chakravarthy, the joint highest buy in the auction, kicked off his IPL career with a 25-run over and is yet to feature in another game. Colin Ingram, who made an IPL comeback after an eight-year hiatus, has struggled to close out chases twice in two matches.

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