back icon


How can SMAT 2023/24 impact the IPL 2024 Auction?

article_imageTRENDS ANALYSIS
Last updated on 14 Dec 2023 | 08:40 AM
Google News IconFollow Us
How can SMAT 2023/24 impact the IPL 2024 Auction?

With the auction for the 2024 IPL close by, here are a few trends from this year's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy that can affect the auction

It is that time of the year when the thinking hats will come out for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises’ think tanks. The mini-auction for the 2024 IPL season is close. Retentions, releases, and trades are all done. 

Many Indian domestic players will be in contention based on their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2023/24 performances. 

In this article, we will not look into individual players. Instead, we will have a see-through of the trends of the SMAT season. Was it a tournament for the batters? Or the bowlers? What impact can it leave on the upcoming auction?

Batters made merry

It was a season tailor-made for the batters. The batters averaged 23.5 throughout the season while striking at 127.8, the best of all seasons with 20+ matches. Overall, 1503 sixes were hit, and 3384 fours to go along with it, both are the most in a single season ever. 

In total, 13 centuries were hit in this edition, which is the joint-most in a SMAT season alongside 2018/19. A boundary (four or six) was witnessed every 5.9 balls and a six every 19.3 balls, again the best among all seasons. 

In 131 matches, there were 31 totals of over 200, with Punjab’s 275 against Andhra in Ranchi being the highest. No other season has seen more than 20 totals - 18 in the 2018/19 edition was the most. Only in four other T20 tournaments, including the 2023 IPL, were there 30+ totals of 200 or above. 

A good season for wicket-keepers

There is always demand for Indian wicket-keepers in the IPL market, and this SMAT season had some good ones. Overall, the keepers scored runs at an average of 28.2, the best across seasons, while maintaining a strike rate of 134.8, the second-best in an SMAT edition. 

The keepers who opened the innings were among the runs, but the ones who batted at number four and five were the most beneficial. Keepers at number four averaged 34.1 with a strike rate of 144.6, the best among wicket-keepers at other positions. 

Six of the top ten run-scorers among wicket-keepers are available in the auction. Teams like Gujarat Titans, Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders can target a few. If we look at the above list, only one WK has a strike rate of less than 140, a testimony of how good they have been. 

Someone like Harvik Desai or Urvil Patel, who was released by Gujarat Titans, can be considered a back-up Indian wicket-keeper. 

A Good set of finishers

Power-hitting batters at number five and six in India are scarce. However, this season of SMAT produced them in abundance. Overall, the number five and six batters scored over 7500 runs at a superb strike rate of 132.8. In none of the other seasons with 20+ matches, the batters in these positions had a cumulative strike rate of 125+. 

None of the top 11 run-scorers at #5 & #6 had a strike rate of less than 150. In fact, among 19 batters who scored 100+ runs, only two batters had a strike rate of less than 150 and eight below 160. 

Ashutosh Sharma, the lower-middle-order finisher, smashed the second-fastest T20 half-century (11 balls). Though he achieved it against Arunachal Pradesh, he had an overall strike rate of 277.3 after scoring 183 runs this season. As a #5 or 6 batter, his strike rate sky-rocketed to 371.1 in three innings (141 runs). He could attract a few eyeballs in the auction.  

Youth with the bat were fearless, but experience trumped with the ball

Young batters nowadays are fearless, and Yashasvi Jaiswal is one of the best examples of this. Some explosive youngsters were also evidently visible in the 2023/24 edition of SMAT. The batters aged 25 or below were the best. 

As the age increased, the strike rate kept decreasing throughout the edition. While the batters aged 25 or below struck at 132.1, the batters between 26 and 30 had a strike rate of 127.1, and it came down to 123.8 for batters aged 31+. In no other season of SMAT, the youngsters (25 or below) had a better strike rate. In the 2017/18 edition, they struck at 125.7. 

However, with the ball in hand, the experienced folks aced. The older players (age of 31+) averaged 24.7 with a bowling strike rate of 18.7, while the youngsters picked up a wicket every 28.1 runs and 21 balls. 

Not a tournament for bowlers, especially pacers 

With the 2023/24 edition being the best for the batters, it meant only one thing: bowlers struggled. The spinners were still decent, but the pacers had no respite. 

Overall, the bowlers picked up a wicket every 25.98 runs at an economy of 7.95, the worst in an SMAT season with 20+ matches. 

In the split, spinners were way more economical than the quicks. While the tweakers conceded runs at 7.3, the pacers conceded at 8.5. In an edition of SMAT with 20+ matches, this was the only season in which the seamers conceded above eight runs an over. 

However, they picked up a wicket every 18.4 balls, the third-best in a season. To conclude, they were among the wickets but went for runs. In the top-ten wicket-takers list, only two are spinners.

Related Article