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Sixes galore in Bengaluru; Jaipur a venue for the fittest & more venue traits

article_imageVENUE ANALYSIS
Last updated on 28 Mar 2023 | 03:42 PM
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Sixes galore in Bengaluru; Jaipur a venue for the fittest & more venue traits

A 200+ total has been posted in Bengaluru every 4.8 innings in IPL since 2016

The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League will be played across 12 venues. Guwahati, home for Rajasthan Royals and Dharamsala, home for Punjab Kings, will host two matches each.

Guwahati alongside Ekana Stadium, the home venue for Lucknow Super Giants, will witness its first IPL game.

After three seasons, the IPL will be played in the home and away format. Before the three seasons, how did the surface behave in the nine venues (excl, Lucknow, Guwahati and Dharamsala)? Which venue was conducive for spin? Which venue saw boundaries flow like water? And many other characteristics will be decoded with our data:

*All data points are since IPL 2016 unless stated otherwise

Hitting sixes is too easy in Bengaluru

There are few inevitabilities in the IPL. Death, abundance of sixes in Bangalore and taxes. Short boundaries with flat wickets, a match made in heaven for the crowd.

Teams have scored at a run rate of 8.9, the highest among the current venues of the 2023 edition. During this time, the venue has witnessed 13 scores of over 200, which is the most. Wankhede has seen 10 totals of 200+ but in 118 innings. Adding more, a 200+ total has been posted every 4.8 innings in Bengaluru. The next best among the current venues is 9.1 in Delhi.

And the reason behind that is really simple: sixes flow like water. In this period, 30.6% of runs have been scored through sixes, a six has been hit every 14.3 balls and the venue has witnessed 16 sixes per match. All the values above are the highest at a venue in IPL since 2016.

Teams deal in boundaries in Kolkata

If Bengaluru is a six hitting venue, then Kolkata is the one with an equal share between fours and sixes. The super quick outfield and the small boundaries at Eden Gardens make it another venue where bowlers will sweat a lot.

Kolkata has been the second fastest venue in terms of run rate. Unlike Bengaluru, the ground hits are more common in Kolkata. 38.3% of runs have been scored through fours as compared to 33.65% in Bengaluru. That is the highest percentage of runs through fours at a venue. A four has been hit every 7.5 balls, which is also the best.

Overall, 65.1% of runs have come through boundaries (4s & 6s), which is the highest. In terms of balls/boundary, Kolkata’s ratio of 5.1 is the least.

The peculiar case of Eden Gardens

The overall numbers between pacers and spinners in Kolkata hasn't seen much difference. Pacers have picked 57.4% of wickets at an economy of 8.9 and strike rate of 21.5. Whereas, spinners have bagged a wicket every 21.2 balls at an economy of 8.3.

However, the pitch in Kolkata has been unpredictable every following year. One season it would help the spinners and in the other, the pacers. In the 2022 season, pacers bagged 75% of the wickets in the two matches. What will it be, this season? 

Chennai and Hyderabad, a pitch for bowlers in different ways

At both the venues, the surface is different and both are fairly bigger grounds compared to the others. Chennai is a slow surface, helping the spinners in controlling the middle overs. Hyderabad is more conducive for pacers.

In terms of economy, 7.6 in Chennai and 7.9 in Hyderabad are the best among the current venues. In terms of balls/wicket, interestingly, Bengaluru is on top (18.5), Chennai and Hyderabad are on equal terms (19.2) at second.

In Hyderabad, pacers have conceded runs at an economy of 7.9 while picking a wicket every 19.2 balls. Both are the best among all venues. 53.8% of the pacers’ wickets in Hyderabad have come in the last five overs. Their economy of 8.8 and strike rate of 10.2 is the best among all venues in this phase.

Another inevitable in IPL is spinners succeeding in Chennai. Spinners have an economy of 6.6 at this venue, the best by a distance. A wicket has fallen every 20.6 balls to spinners in Chennai, the second best among the current venues. Surprisingly, spinners in Bengaluru have gone for runs while picking up wickets, which is why, the balls/wicket ratio here is the best (20.0).

Jaipur demands fitness

Jaipur is a venue where the batters need to grind for runs. Jaipur has been the least favoured six-hitting venue. However, the ground hits do come by swiftly.

Only 17% of runs have come through sixes, which is the least. But 37.5% of runs have come through fours, the second most after Kolkata. Because of the low percentage of sixes, the overall boundary percentage is on the lower side (54.5%). In fact, the least.

Proportionally, the non-boundary run percentage is on the higher side (1s, 2s, & 3s), the highest to be precise. 13.5% of runs have come through 2s and 1.3% through 3s, the highest again.

The test of fitness for batters starts in the middle overs (7-15). In this phase, 15.9% of runs have come through 2s, which is 3.1% higher than Hyderabad (12.8) at second. Key to success in Jaipur: A good pair of spikes and a fit body. 

It gets better to bat in the second innings in Ahmedabad

Teams winning the toss in Ahmedabad have chosen to field first in six out of seven matches, and there is a reason behind it.

In the first innings, teams have a batting average of 22.5 at a run rate of 7.7, the worst among all venues. However, while batting second, the average shoots up to 36.5, the best. Teams have lost a wicket every 17.5 balls in the first innings as compared to 26.3 in the second innings. Again, the worst and the best.

Catching in Hyderabad, a difficult feat

According to our data, Hyderabad has been one of the most difficult venues for catching. The low placement of the light towers could be one of the reasons. Harry Brook, an exceptional fielder, mentioned it in SRH’s YouTube channel after a practice match.

“I am still getting used to it. Plenty of practice to come and I just need to keep on working. That is also why I wanted to play these games and get used to the pitch and the viewing as well. When you play at a new ground, it is completely different and it might be difficult, especially with these lowlights,” he said. 

Overall, fielders have had a catching efficiency of 75.4% in Hyderabad, the lowest among all venues. In overall efficiency, there isn't much difference between Hyderabad and Rajasthan (75.6%). However, when it comes to catching outside the 30-yard circle, there is a stark difference. 

In the outfield, fielders have a catching efficiency of 65.% in Hyderabad, the lowest. It is 7.5% lower than the second worst - Jaipur. The outfield catching efficiency is highest in Bengaluru at 81%. 

Teams prefer to chase in almost all venues

Irrespective of the result, teams at all the nine venues have shown interest in chasing. 

In all the nine venues, teams have opted to field first more than 60% of the time. In Kolkata (96.9%) and Bengaluru (93.5%), the percentage is above 90. In 32 matches in Kolkata, only once has a team chosen to bat first, and only twice out of 31 in Bengaluru.

In Jaipur, regardless of what teams choose, the toss has played a crucial role. 71.4% of the times, teams winning the toss have gone on to win the match. In the 2019 season, in all seven matches teams had chosen to field and in six of those, the chasing team went on to win.

Some venues like Hyderabad (42.9%) and Delhi (47.6%) have witnessed a win percentage of less than 50% when teams have chosen to field. 

Different characteristics in phases while chasing

In all the nine venues, there is an unusual pattern in the first two phases while chasing. Chasing teams have been extremely good in the powerplay. However, in the middle overs, the advantage is for the side batting first. In fact, there are striking differences.

In the powerplay, teams batting first have posted 45.5 runs on an average in the first six overs. In comparison, 50.6 runs while batting second (across the nine venues). In each of the venues, the average score difference is above 3.1 in this phase. Clearly, the chasing teams have aced the powerplay. 

But in the middle overs, the advantage shifts towards the defending side. Apart from Delhi (1.5 - 2nd innings to 1st innings difference) and Ahmedabad (4.3), teams chasing have had a negative impact. 

Overall in all nine venues, teams batting first have scored 70.9 runs in the nine overs between 7-15. Whilst, chasing teams have scored 68.7, an average difference of -2.1. If we take out Delhi and Ahmedabad, then the average score difference is -3.8 in the seven other venues. 

In some chases, teams would have already won by the end of 17th or the 18th over. Which is why, the comparison in the last five overs wouldn't be valid. 

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