Strike rates in IPL reach a peak during the 2023 season | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has captured the attention of the cricket-loving public in India and more like no other T20 tournament. With the best cricketers from the world, other than Pakistan, playing in the tournament and given the high-risk, high-reward nature of T20s, the annual extravaganza has only continued to grow in popularity.
With teams getting a better feel for the rhythm of the T20 game, favoring the batsmen, and with the new rule changes, strike rates in the IPL have reached an all-time high during the 2023 season. In the 40 matches played in the IPL before April 30, 13,994 runs were scored in 1,568 overs for an overall run rate of 8.92, the highest in 16 seasons ( Chart 1). It broke the record run rate — 8.44 — set last season.
Chart 1 | The chart shows the total run rate of a season in 16 seasons of IPL
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One reason for this jump may be the use of “impact players” — teams can field an extra batsman/bowler as a one-time replacement. This helped situational use of batters in a line-up and further accentuated risk-taking.
By its very nature, T20 favors a high-octane approach by batters. With the reduced number of overs — 20 as compared to 50 in traditional limited overs cricket — and the number of batters in a line-up being full of 11, the relative risk of losing wickets while trying to play big shots is more down here. version of the game, unlike ODIs. Shorter boundaries and generally batter-friendly wickets have also benefited batters over bowlers.
Over time, IPL teams have fielded more and more “power hitters” to address this aspect of the game. The nature of bowling has also changed significantly with containment on a par with wicket-taking as a requirement for bowlers. This means that “impact batters” will be more impacted than bowlers, which means there is more risk to take and more reward in terms of boundaries.
The audience doesn’t mind, though. The T20s have increased the popularity of the game with the IPL acting as the main money-spinner for the teams that own franchises in the league, apart from the Board of Control of Cricket in India.
Table 2 | The table shows the boundaries scored (sixes and fours) per game in each IPL season
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In 2023, there were 43.35 boundaries and 15.55 sixes scored per game. The six accounted for 35.9% of the total boundaries scored as well, the highest for any season ( Table 2). The chart also shows a very similar development in the boundary-scoring rate over the years with the 2009 season being the only kind of anomaly. This season is being played in South Africa — a country that hosts more bowling-friendly pitches.
South Africa’s Faf du Plessis, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore, tops the chart with the most sixes (27) in the 2023 edition. Among batters who have faced at least 100 deliveries, West Indian Nicholas Pooran of Lucknow Super Giants has the highest strike rate of 194.59.
It will take a long time to break Chris Gayle’s record of 357 sixes overall in 141 innings in the IPL. Only Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians) with 250, MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings) with 237, Virat Kohli (RCB, 229) and David Warner (Delhi Capitals, 217) have more than 200 sixes overall, among active batters.
Gayle’s West Indian compatriot Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders) tops the charts with a strike rate of 175.42, closely followed by Punjab Kings’ English import Liam Livingstone, who has 162.92.
The “power hitting” revolution in T20s has meant that the scoring rate in ODIs has also increased significantly, but overall run rates (5.31 in 2023) are still low compared to T20s.
Source: ESPNcricinfo’s Statsguru, official website of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
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