The aim of this piece is to analyse the players in batsmen category of the IPL 2020 auction pool. This exercise is to group the players and place them in four different boxes. Each box represents a type of batsman.
The players in the top right-hand section are considered to be consistent and quick scorers (Batting Average above 28.4 with Strike Rate over 130.5).
The top left-hand section represents players who are quick scorers but not consistent (Batting Average below 28.4 but Strike Rate above 130.5).
The bottom right-hand section players are observed as consistent but not quick scorers (Batting Average above 28.4 but Strike Rate below 130.5).
Finally, the bottom left-hand section has players who are neither quick scorer nor consistent (Batting Average below 28.4 and Strike Rate less than 130.5).
The rationale behind taking a Batting Average of 28.4 and Strike Rate of 130.5 as a benchmark to evaluate these batsmen is because that is the median value of the player sample in the auction.
To eliminate bias due to extreme values, a median (the middle value that separates the higher half from the lower half of the data set) not a mean (average) is considered for analysis. All numbers are taken since 2015 to ensure that the trends are over a large number of matches. The minimum qualification for analysis is 10 games since 2015.
After assessing the players based on their position as per the data since 2015, recent forms and other nuances of a few key players are analyzed in detail below
Median since 2015
Batting average: 28.4
Batting strike-rate: 130.5
Now, based on the data we will look at some of the big players and some surprise picks. We will also assess these players on current form.
International players – Overall solid record with good current form
Aaron Finch – Currently at the top of his game, the Australian opener has a strike-rate of 170.7 at an average of 39.3 in T20Is since 2018. Given his experience as a player and a leader, he is sure to be on the radar of multiple franchises.
Tom Banton – Banton was the second-highest run-getter in England’s domestic T20 tournament. Opening for Somerset, he scored 549 runs at an average 42.3 and a strike-rate of 161.5. Equally severe on pace and spin, Banton will be a good value add for any franchise looking for a foreign top-order batsman. If that’s not enough, the 21-year-old can also keep wickets.
Evin Lewis – The West Indian opener was released by Mumbai Indians as they already have Quinton de Kock. Going by his numbers, the strike-rate is not an issue for the opener. Severe against pace (SR 149.5 since 2018), he makes up for his slow going against spin (SR 122.6 since 2018). He is an excellent choice at least for the slot of a reserve opener.
Rahul Tripathi – Tripathi’s numbers do not provide a complete picture. As an opener, he averages 31.7 at a strike-rate of 140.6 in 19 IPL matches. However, forced to play in the middle-order for RR for most of the past two seasons, his numbers have taken a blow.
Eoin Morgan – If we look at the data from 2015, Morgan is not among the T20 greats. This has largely been the reason for him to not have a successful IPL career. But with improved numbers – average 30.9 and SR 155.7 since 2018 – Morgan can be a good value add in the middle-order for a lot of teams. Moreover, the leadership inputs he is bound to bring can be priceless.
International players – Overall good record but average IPL performance
Chris Lynn - Most teams have at least one of the two openers sorted. For those who don’t, they have other openers – Indian and Foreign – to choose from. Though among the best T20 batsmen since 2015, Lynn has been exposed to spin – (SR 110 since 2018). His inconsistency has cost him his place in the Australian side as well.
Jason Roy - Similar to Lynn, Roy has not been able to get on top of spin. Since 2017, his average and strike-rate against spin have constantly dropped.
David Miller – Though still 30, Miller appears to have passed his prime. His strike-rate in the last three seasons has dropped to 120.1. It seems unlikely that a team will rely on him for this season.
Colin Ingram - One of the most consistent T20 batsmen since 2015, Ingram failed to convert his opportunity in the 2019 IPL season. At a strike-rate of 108.4 against spin in the last season, his prospect in this season does not seem bright.
Uncapped players raring to be noticed
Virat Singh – The left-hander, who made his T20 debut for Jharkhand at the age of 17, has an overall strike-rate of 124.5 and is not among the other big-hitters. However, his exploits in the two editions of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT), where he scored 682 runs at an average of 56.8 and a strike-rate of 135, is sure to earn him a place in any of the IPL franchise.
Shivam Bhambri – Bhambri had a great SMAT 2019-20 with an average of 43.2 and a strike-rate of 149.7. He scored 106 against Himachal Pradesh while batting at three for Chandigarh. Given he is a local player; he is likely to be on the radar of a few teams.
Vishnu Vinod – A wicket-keeping batsman, Vinod has already played in the IPL for RCB. However, he featured in only three games in the 2017 season. An improved player now, Vinod has averaged 30.2 in T20s since 2018 at a strike-rate of 137.3. Moreover, he was the leading six-hitter in the last edition of Vijay Hazare Trophy where he smashed 29 maximums. He can be a good fit for a team that is looking for an alternate wicket-keeping choice or an attacking Indian batsman.
Rohan Kadam – He was the leading run-scorer in the SMAT 2018-19 with 536 runs at an average of 53.6 and strike-rate of 129.8. He was also decent in the last edition of SMAT in which he averaged 43. In a prime form in 2019, he is a likely pick in the 2020 auction.
Priyam Garg – He was appointed the Indian captain for the Under-19 World Cup in 2020. Although with sub-standard T20 numbers (Avg 28.9, SR 132.8), he is likely to be picked by a team, as they would want to keep their options open for the mega auction next year.
Star players with substandard numbers-
Shimron Hetmyer – The analysts for the IPL teams would have recalibrated their strategy after Hetmyer’s performance against India in the recent series. After a blockbuster start in 2018, a sedate IPL and CPL in 2019 affected Hetmyer’s overall T20 numbers but it seems like he is back at his talented best. He should be a good pick to bat in the middle-order on spin-friendly pitches like Delhi and Chennai.
Mushfiqur Rahim – There have been some speculations that Rahim has been requested by a team for this year’s auction. A strike-rate of 126.6 since 2015 is not very inspiring. However, his strike-rate against pace has been 155.3 since 2018. Yet, a strike-rate of 109.7 against spin during this phase complicates his assessment.