CSK Team Preview IPL 2021 – Bowling

Here we preview the CSK Team ahead of IPL 2021 and consider how the bowlers the men in yellow have at their disposal might be able to lead the Chennai based franchise back to its former glory after a disappointing season last time around.

CSK are renowned for their slow bowling options which prove very useful on the slow, low wickets of Chennai but with the IPL once again being staged at neutral venues, will CSK be able to take the necessary wickets to make an impact in this year’s tournament?

MS Dhoni celebrates a wicket in typically understated fashion
CSK Preview Fast Bowling Options

On paper, CSK certainly have the pace bowling options to be effective in this year’s tournament whatever the conditions. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur are both seasoned campaigners who offer something slightly different with the ball. Chahar is a new ball specialist and will look to extract whatever swing is on offer during the powerplay overs. Fans can expect to see him bowl 2 if not 3 overs from the off as is demonstrated in his stats by phase of the game below

By contrast Thakur is much more of a bang it into the pitch type of bowler who has a variety of slower ball bumpers that can prove effective in the middle overs and at death again his stats by phase of the game show that he’s more likely to be utilised outside the powerplay.

What CSK have perhaps lacked recently is a genuine quick with a little bit of an x-factor who can buy a couple of wickets on good batting tracks. They do have Aussie Josh Hazlewood as well as Lungi Ngidi from South Africa and perhaps as we’ll consider later some of the venues they are playing on this season might be well suited to this pair.

Ngidi’s chances since his arrival at the club in 2018 have been limited but when he does play he has carried on his form from the international stage where he is a consistant wicket taker for the Proteas with 20 victims in his 11 IPL appearances to date.

Ngidi has a happy knack of picking up wickets in T20 cricket

Hazlewood meanwhile is probably least effective in this format as demonstrated from his solitary wicket in 3 outings last year and the fact that he has only represented Australia 9 times in T20 cricket in a career spanning 8 years.

Backing up these primary fast bowling options are a couple of all-rounders in the form of Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo. Curran who was CSK’s leading wicket taker in last season’s IPL with 13 victims obviously has the advantage of being a left-armer and you sense that Dhoni likes to have that option at his disposal while Bravo is an experienced campaigner, a fact underlined by him being 2nd only to Kieron Pollard on the all time T20 appearance list.

The West Indian all-rounder managed just 6 appearances in last year’s IPL as a result of a groin injury and CSK will hope that he is fit and in form for the start of IPL 2021. My concern would be that Bravo has lost his pace and now has to rely exclusively on his slower balls. While still an effective weapon their potency is diminished when high quality batsman know that he’s unable to follow them up with a full pace delivery as was the case when Bravo was at his best.

Of the lesser known, uncapped players, that little bit of x-factor could be provided by KM Asif who has the ability to bowl 140kmph and is known for hitting his yorkers. He took 6 wickets for Kerala during the Syed Musthaq Ali trophy games in January including a burst of 3/25 against Mumbai that accounted for IPL regulars Sarfaraz Khan and Shivam Dube.

CSK also acquired 22-year-old pace bowler Harishankar Reddy who has had success on the domestic circuit but may need a little further polishing before he is ready for the IPL.

CSK Preview Spin Bowling Options

The slower bowlers have been a traditional strength of CSK. In 2019, the last time the IPL was held in India and last time that CSK got to play at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium their spinners dominated the tournament on their way to the final. However, last season away from the slow turning tracks of Chennai, the Super Kings found things much harder going in no small due to the impotency of their spin bowlers.

The decision not to find a direct replacement fo Piyush Chawla who lasted just one season at CSK following his big money move just over a year ago is curious one and suggests that Dhoni will keep faith with 41-year-old leg-spinner Imran Tahir as well as Karn Sharma who in his 3 seasons at CSK to date has been something of a bit part player. Again, the concern here is how CSK will take wickets during the middle overs without a genuine fast bowler or without a first rate wrist spinner. Tahir would have hoped to had the 2nd half of the PSL to have proved that he is the man for that role but the league’s suspension in early March means CSK enter IPL 2021 with more questions than answers in that department.

They have moved to fill the gap left by Harbajhan Singh in the finger spinning department by signing Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gowtham who was the most expensive Indian player in this year’s auction. Alongside the left-arm spin of either Jadeja or Mitch Santner it means that CSK have plenty of options to play with again and they could be a threat in the right conditions.

In terms of younger options, CSK could turn to Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore who has been prolific in domestic white ball cricket. The young left-armer bowls fairly quick, flat deliveries that target the stumps but still manages to extract some turn. It seems unlikely that CSK would go into a match with 2 slow-left armers so unless Ravi Jadeja is injured or dropped then Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore will probably remain on the bench.

CSK IPL 2021 Venues

All player stats by venue for IPL 2021 can found on our pages

5 x matches at the Wankhede Stadium

We can see straight away that CSK have tended to use their fast bowlers more on the bouncier pitches in Mumbai. Ngidi has played on both occassions in 2018 and 2019 while Thakur has also been asked to do a significant amount of bowling. Both Bravo and Sharma have experience of the venue from their time with Mumbai Indians.

4 x matches at Arun Jaitley Stadium

The Arun Jaitley stadium in Delhi is certainly likely to provide the pitch that CSK are most comfortable on. The question is will they still be in with a realistic chance of making the playoffs when they get there? We can see that all there primary spin bowling options have enjoyed success here in the past and if that trend continues then these 4 games could be crucial to their season.

3 x matches at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium

Onwards to Bangalore and a stadium in which most bowlers economy rates suffer. Again, taking wickets is usually the best form of defence in T20 cricket so much will depend on whether CSK can find the right combinations to be a threat throughout the 20 overs. If not, sides will be able to accelerate earlier against them and at the altitude that Bangalore offers that usually means big scores!

2 x matches at Eden Gardens

CSK’s venue for the final 2 games sees them travel to Eden Gardens, a wicket that generally favours seamers with some occasional inconsistent pace and bounce. CSK’s spinners have done well to take wickets here put have generally done so while conceding runs at a rapid rate.

CSK Team Preview IPL 2021 – Batting

Here we preview the CSK Team ahead of the IPL 2021 and consider how the batsmen the mean in yellow have at their disposal might be able to turn around a poor showing in last year’s tournament.

Preview CSK Capped Top-Order Batsmen IPL 2021

Top order runs are an essential part of any sides hopes of making the playoffs but in that regard CSK have failed to have one of their top order hit the magical 450 run mark that signifies a really big year in each of the last 2 IPL seasons.

Ravi Jadeja celebrates for CSK source

While playing at home in Chennai where scores are harder to come by and CSK feel confident of defending pretty much any total with their armoury of bowling options, that hasn’t been so much of a problem but outside of the MA Chidambaram Stadium they will need to score faster and score bigger than they have in previous IPL seasons if they hope to climb back up the rankings.

Much then will depend on the experienced Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu to get them off to positive starts in the coming IPL. Du Plessis has been fairly consistant over the last few years for CSK but perhaps the bigger concerns are over Raina and Rayudu who have had a couple of quiet seasons including of course the former missing last year’s IPL altogether.

Indeed, since the end of IPL 2019, Raina has played just 5 List A T20 matches all of which came in this seasons Syed Musthaq Ali Trophy, where he averaged 34 at a strike rate of 113. The rumour mill was rife with speculation that last seasons exit from IPL was due to a fallout with MS Dhoni and the leadership at CSK and Raina’s decision not to join up with the CSK training camp that is currently underway hasn’t done anything to quell the whispers that not all is rosey in his relationship with the franchise.

Rayudu meanwhile has warmed up nicely with a couple of more significant innings for Andhra in the Syed Musthaq Ali trophy and CSK will hope that he can recapture the form he showed in 2018. His run scoring in that IPL season helped get him back into the Indian white ball team and he seemed a shoo-in for the 2019 World Cup squad before being overlooked. That can’t have done his confidence any good and neither can his constant shifting up and down the order. At 35 years old, this may his last chance at redemption with a mega auction looming next year.

Speaking of players past their best, Robin Uthappa who has become something of journeyman crickter in recent years has found a new home at CSK who become his 3rd franchise in as many seasons. Uthappa averaged just 16 in last years tournament and has managed just 2 half centuries in the past 3 IPL seasons. He is joined by Test favourite Pujara who has unsurprisingly failed to win an IPL contract for some time but whom CSK have decided to add to their ranks for this year’s competition.

It’s difficult to see how either of those players will be making a significant contribution to solving the problem of top order runs noted above and so it must surely be time for CSK to consider some of the younger uncapped options that they have at their disposal.

Preview CSK Uncapped Top-Order Batsmen IPL 2021

Ruturaj Gaikwad

The young right hander announced himself to the IPL at the back end of last season and might have played more than the half a dozen matches he did had he not have tested positive for Covid-19 a couple of weeks before the tournament was due to begin.

Things didn’t start particularly well for the youngster as he recorded scores of 0, 0 and 5 in his first 3 IPL matches but he followed that up with 3 back to back half-centuries. Starting with this effort to guide his team to a victory against RCB. He then followed it up with another excellent knock against KKR and while he didn’t quite see the job through on this occasion his 72 from 53 balls laid the platform for Ravi Jadeja’s late heroics as he hit a 6 to win off the final ball.

Gaikwad’s success last year all came in innings where CSK were batting 2nd

He comes into IPL 2021 off the back of some scratchy form for Maharashtra in limited overs cricket. A brilliant 102 against Himachal Pradesh accounts for over half the runs he has scored in his last 10 innings and CSK will be hoping that he can return to the kind of consistency that he showed at the back end of last year’s IPL which will surely make him one of the uncapped players to watch in this years Dream11 fantasy cricket game.

Narayan Jagadeesan

Another young up and coming top order batsman at CSK, Jagadeesan didn’t quite hit the heights that Gaikwad did in last year’s tournament but that was as much about opportunity (he had 2 at bats during his 5 appearances) as it is about talent.

The right-hander who can also keep wicket has in the meantime been scoring plenty of runs in domestic cricket in both T20 and 50 over forms for his native Tamil Nadu. In fact, he was the top runs scorer in this year’s Syed Musthaq Ali T20 tournament with 364 runs at an average of 74.8 including 4 half centuries in the 8 fixtures played. Since then he has also top scored for Tamil Nadu in the recently completed Vijay Hazare Trophy which included a century in the opening match against a Punjab bowling attack boasting the likes of Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul and Arshdeep Singh.

Chezhian Harinishanth

Jagadeesan’s partner in crime at Tamil Nadu is Chezhian Harinishanth a left handed batsman who also had a successful Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy that led to him being signed by CSK for this year’s IPL.

Given his fairly limited experience in list A cricket this years IPL may come too soon but he’ll certainly be looking to take plenty away from training with some of the biggest names in IPL history.

Preview CSK middle and lower order batting

Despite their disappointing IPL 2020, CSK didn’t make wholesale changes to their squad but one area that has seen some new faces is in the all-rounder spots.

Moeen Ali and Krishnappa Gotham join the likes of MS Dhoni, Sam Curran, DJ Bravo and Ravi Jadeja in what looks like a strong engine room for CSK. Of course it’s not impossible that CSK might look to promote one of the English all-rounders up the order as a pinch hitter in the same way that they did with Curran last year.

The other question that we will only know the answer to later in the season is whether Dhoni’s relatively poor returns last year were just a one off or whether it is symptomatic of a steady decline that could spell the end of a glittering career. The 39-year-old failed to score a half-century last season and no longer plays in any other format or tournament other than the the IPL meaning that by the time the 2021 IPL starts he won’t have hit a ball in anger in 5 months. My feeling is that this will be Dhoni’s swan song and that he won’t return for what will be a much changed IPL in 2022.

Preview CSK IPL 2021 Venues

Here we look at the CSK player stats by the venues the they will play at

5 x matches at the Wankhede

The Wankhede is one of the faster pitches in the IPL and in many ways is the exact opposite of what CSK batsman get at their home venue in Chennai. In general it’s not been a happy hunting ground for them although at the same time they won’t be playing Mumbai Indians there which will come as a relief.

4 x Matches at Arun Jaitley Stadium

By contrast Dehli’s pitches tend to be a little slower and lower and we immediately see that CSK’s batsman have profited in more familiar conditions. There 4 games here will be a chance for CSK to get runs on the board and dominate from there.

3 x matches M. Chinnaswamy Stadium

Generally a good batting track and at altitude we see averages of most batsman as well as their strike rates rocket up. The one strange exception is Suresh Raina who hasn’t enjoyed playing in Bangalore across his career perhaps as a result of the extra pace and bounce on offer.

2 x matches at Eden Garden

CSK will finish off the round robin with 2 games at Eden Garden where most of their squad have a positive record.


CSK will be hoping that a couple of their senior pros can rediscover some early form in this year’s IPL but perhaps the defining factor to their batting success will be how quickly they can integrate the uncapped batsmen into the side full-time and make them into established IPL stars.

If the top-order can fire and get CSK into promising positions then they do have the lower order hitters this year to add big runs later on in the innings. All in all, i’d expect the CSK batting line-up to bounce back from last year’s disappointment and make them a difficult team to beat once again.

New IPL stats and records added to T20 head to head

With just a few weeks until the start of the 2021 IPL tournament, we’ve been hard at work at T20 head to head adding a variety of stats and records to our new site.

Alongside the player head to head stats that were already live post-auction, we have now added a range of venue related stats for the 6 stadiums that will be used during the tournament. These include

Player statistics by venue

The stats on offer for bowlers and batsman at each venue IPL venue include

  • balls bowled / faced
  • runs conceded / scored
  • wickets taken / dismissals
  • bowling average / batting average
  • strike rate
  • economy rate
  • 4s and 6s conceded / scored
  • Dot ball percentage

With all the matches in this year’s IPL taking place at neutral grounds, knowing player stats and records by venue will be imperative for any successful fantasy cricket or betting planning that you are doing. Certain player’s records over the years at some venues where the conditions favour their style of play is exceptional while at other where the pitch or dimensions of the ground are different they can struggle.

IPL venue stats

IPL venue statistics include average first innings score, average winning first innings score, wins batting first v wins chasing, balls per 4 and 6 hit, average powerplay score and death overs score as well as bowling average, economy rate and strike rate for both spin and pace bowling.

These stats are available for all 6 venues being used during the 2021 IPL season

  • Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi
  • Eden Gardens in Kolkata
  • M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru
  • MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai
  • Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad
  • Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

Equally, we’ve added several in-depth articles looking at records in the IPL that include

Best fielding in the IPL

Catches win matches so the saying goes! Here we consider some of the best fielding in the IPL and the players with the best records in the field.

Most dot balls in the IPL

It won’t come as any surprise that the list of most dot balls played by a batsman in the IPL is dominated by those players who have had the longest careers, playing at the top of the order and therefore had the most opportunity to play the most dot balls in the IPL but in this article we dive into some of the franchise, team and innings stats for most dot balls faced.

Highest Powerplay score in the IPL

Getting a high score in the powerplay in the IPL is essential for any team’s hopes of winning a match. Here we list the 5 highest runs in the powerplay in the IPL and the batsmen that scored them.

Lowest Powerplay score in the IPL

The lowest powerplay scores in the IPL looks at the story of the 10 teams who suffered the most calamitous starts to their innings in the history of the competition.

The powerplay, as the name suggests, should be about big shots and high scoring but as we’ll see in the examples below that is not always the case as sides hopes for a fast start are dashed by a flurry of wickets and low scores while the field restrictions are in place.

Sixes to win off the last ball of an IPL match

A batsman scoring six to win off the last ball in an IPL match is what T20 cricket is all about! The condensed version of the game is designed to bring about big hitting and fast paced action but equally the most entertaining aspect of T20 cricket is that it regularly brings about close finishes.

Here we consider games in the IPL that have gone right down to the final delivery of the match and that have seen the batsman involved etch themselves forever in the history books and the minds of the supporters lucky enough to be at ground by hitting a six to win off the last ball of the game.

Which players stand to benefit most from the IPL’s neutral venues in 2021?

The IPL 2021 venues have been decided with the 8 franchises playing across 6 venues that sees no side benefitting from a home advantage and all games played at neutral venues.

David Warner will not benefit from the venues that SRH will play 12 of their 14 games at in this season’s IPL. He averages 27 playing at Dehli, Chennai and Kolkata compared to an average of 48 across all other venues he has played IPL games at.

Such a schedule throws up some interesting contests and in my mind ensures that the teams with the most balanced squads will once again dominate this year’s edition of the IPL much as was the case last season when the tournament was staged in the UAE.

Conditions play such an important part in determining the outcome of cricket matches and so understanding which players and teams will receive a benefit from the way the fixtures have fallen could prove crucial in determining a winner on a match by match basis as well as across the season as a whole.

Here I consider the 6 venues and look at teams playing at each to see who stands to benefit most from the recently released schedule for IPL 2021.

Venue: Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi

Teams: Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad

The wicket in Delhi tends to be a bit on the slower side and therefore you’d expect most batsman’s average and strike rate to drop as a result. Big name players including MS Dhoni, David Warner and Suryakumar Yadav all average 10 runs less at the Arun Jaitley stadium compared to their career averages.

However, the following players, all of whom are capable of accumulating runs, have all enjoyed success in previous seasons while playing in the nation’s capital.

Bowling wise CSK will certainly feel more at home on this track with the likes of Jadeja, Bravo and Tahir all having very good records at venue that can be difficult to score on against slower bowlers during the middle overs. For SRH while they too have some decent spinning options of their own, Rashid Khan has found it difficult to pick up wickets here in the past with just 1 victim in the 12 overs he’s delivered in his career to date.

With little life in the wicket a few of the quicks struggle to pick up wickets here with internationals like Bumrah, Thakar and Kaul all going for well above their career averages when playing in Delhi.

View all player stats by venue here

Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Teams: Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad

The colossal stadium of Eden Gardens under lights

Again, not usually a wicket that favours batsman, in fact, across some of the teams playing here in the 2021 IPL, it’s difficult to find a player with a positive record at Eden Gardens. Glen Maxwell is probably the only batsman who can claim to have enjoyed previous visits here with an average of 38.40 while playing in Kolkata. Virat Kohli and Wriddhiman Saha also have decent records here across their long careers.

On the flip side, the likes of David Warner, Kane Williamson, Ajinke Rahane and Shreyas Iyer all average on or below 20 runs an innings at a venue that they are going to have to call “home” this season.

Bowling wise, the pitch very much seems to favour English seamers with Chris Woakes of RCB having taken 14 wickets at Eden Gardens at an average of 12 and strike rate of 10 while Ben Stokes of RR has 4 wickets at under 10 a piece. There is no doubt that the wicket at Eden Gardens can offer that little bit of movement so going back to the basics of presenting the seam and bowling a decent length can pay dividends.

Watch highlights of Chris Woakes ripping through RCB at Eden Gardens as the team he now plays for records the lowest total in IPL history.

Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Teams: Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad

At just shy of 1000m above sea-level, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium is renowned for its six hitting and therefore it’s no surprise that some of the biggest hitters in the IPL enjoy coming here.

If one of these 3 or indeed many of the batsman on show from these 6 franchises gets going, expect fireworks!

It’s generally not pretty reading as far as the bowling stats are concerned. Pace can certainly go the distance but equally the quicker bowlers tend to pick up the most wickets here with even some of the most established spinners in the form of Krunal Pandya, Sunil Narine and Imran Tahir having pretty lousy records. Bowling units will need to pick up wickets in the powerplay and have good options at the death. If you miss your line and length at this venue, expect to see the ball disappearing into or even over the stands – 6 out of the 10 biggest sixes in IPL history have been hit at this venue!

Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Teams: Dehli Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad

The pitch in Chennai is known to be slow and low and produce a fair amount of spin which over the years has suited the bowling attack that CSK has put together. Of course, this is now the 2nd year in a row that MS Dhoni won’t have the luxury of deploying his plethora of spinners and change up bowlers at the MA Chidambaram Stadium with 6 of the other franchises left to overcome these conditions.

As a result it’s again difficult to find many batsmen who would want to take the Chennai pitch home with them. Andre Russell boasts a pretty good record here averaging 79 and no doubt helped by the lack of a genuine quick bowler in the CSK ranks when he’s played here before.

Outside of that most of even the big names have struggled in Chennai with Rohit Sharma averaging 21, Virat Kohli 32 and David Warner 26. Worryingly for SRH fans Warner really seems to have been given a bum draw in regards the venues he will be playing at this tournament with his average across the 4 way down on what it is over his entire career.

Bowling wise then it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the spinners on all sides enjoy themselves here and in Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla, KKR and Mumbai Indians have 2 players who know these conditions very well from their respective stints at CSK and can probably expect some game time when these fixtures come around.

View all player stats by venue here

Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Teams: Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore

The Wankhede tends to have a little more pace than some of the pitches in the IPL which favours some of the genuine stroke players that league has to offer.

At the same time, those that don’t play quicker bowling quite as well have tended to struggle with KKR’s batsmen having a collectively awful record at this venue which may come as a concern when they go up against Rajasthan Royals and particularly Jofra Archer who has taken 5 wickets here at an average of 11 on his previous visits to Mumbai.

In general though, the big advantage for all teams visiting here is that they won’t have to play reigning champions Mumbai Indians which is likely to mean that all round batsman and bowlers could improve upon some lower than average scores in the absence of the most successful franchise in IPL history.

Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad

Teams: Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Royal Challenger Bangalore

The last venue we consider is the newly refurbished and named Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad which now lays claim to being the biggest cricket stadium capacity wise in the world. Four franchises will play their round robin fixtures here while the play-offs and final will also take place in Ahmedabad.

Social distancing permitting, 132 00 people can fit into the the new stadium

Of all the venues, this is the hardest to get a feel for how previous form and conditions might influence the outcome of results. Firstly, there is always a bit of the unknown in regards how a stadium redevelopment might impact conditions and secondly with the ground out of action for a while there simply haven’t been enough fixtures to provide us with a huge amount of data on player performances here.

There are a few players from the days of the Gujarat Lions who have experience of playing games here before the redevelopment particularly Steve Smith, Karun Nair and Ajinke Rahane who averages an impressive 51 at this venue but it’s arguable that none of the 3 players will have a major role in their respective team’s campaigns so player performance at his venue is going to be a bit harder to call!

View all player stats by venue here

All images sourced from wikimedia under CC license unless otherwise stated

Yes, no, maybe, s%#t! Batsmen run out the most times in the IPL

From the ridiculous to the sublime. Comical mix-ups to brilliant fielding. The run out provides them all. Here we look at the batsmen run out the most times in the IPL.

Virat Kohli run outs Rajasthan Royals player Karun Nair in the IPL 2015. source cc license

Our first table then shows the top line stats of the batsmen run out the most times in the IPL.

PlayerRun outs
G Gambhir16
S Dhawan15
SK Raina13
AT Rayudu13
batsmen run out the most times in the IPL

As is always the case though with these kinds of stats listing the batsmen who have done something the most number of times will always put those who have played a significant amount of matches at the top of the list. But are these really the worst runners in the history of the IPL?

Let’s try and add a couple of measures then to balance out the first table and consider the batsmen most likely to be run out in an IPL innings. First off we look at run outs as a % of total dismissals in the IPL.

PlayerTotal dismissalsRun outs% dismissals run out
A Mishra311032.26%
P Kumar381026.32%
Y Venugopal Rao441125.00%
Percentage of total dismissals run out – min. 10 career run outs

Top of this particular list then is Amit Mishra a man more commonly associated with being the leading all-time wicket taker in the IPL is also the most likely “batsman” to end his innings run out.

In fact, so keen is Amit to maintain his position at the top of the list of batsmen run out the most times in the IPL that he is willing to give opposition teams 3 goes at running him out while he lingers in the middle of the wicket pondering his dinner reservations for later that night as the below clip shows.

Amit Mishra comedy run out vs the Royals

Mishra is also joined on this list by a more established batsman in the form Yalaka Venugopal Rao. Given the number of games that Venugopal Rao played in the IPL is about a third of those of the initial list of batsmen run out the most times in the IPL it’d be fair to say that if his career were as long he’d be way out in front if the trend of getting run out once every 4 innings continued.

However, none of them can beat the man atop the next list who I believe can rightly be named the most entertaining batsman in the history of the IPL. He holds the record for the longest 6 in the history of the IPL, he was also the most likely to be out bowled in the IPL and now he’s claimed the crown of batsman most likely to be run out in the IPL. Ladies and Gentleman once again, I give you Praveen Kumar!

BatsmanBalls facedRun outsBalls faced per run out
P Kumar3231032.3
A Mishra4101041.0
SK Warne219543.8
Balls faced per run out. NB I’ve included wides and no balls in the “balls faced” category which seems fair as you can be run out off these

You certainly don’t want to be popping off to the bathroom when Praveen walks into bat, anything could happen!

But lets not forget that when it comes to run outs it takes 2 to tango! In the next table we consider the batsmen who have been involved in the most run outs whether as the player run out or the one sheepishly trying to avoid the glare of the man trudging back to the pavilion.

PlayerRun outs involved in
RG Sharma36
KD Karthik34
MS Dhoni33

Interesting to see that these senior pros might be involved in a lot of run outs but they aren’t usually the player who is actually out! In the case of Rohit Sharma only 25% of the run outs he’s involved in end up with him being out. The first rule at Mumbai Indians is, you don’t run out Rohit. The second rule at Mumbai Indians is, you don’t run out Rohit!

Of course real humour can only come from a classic comedy duo, think the two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise or in the case of the batsmen below perhaps the Chuckle Brothers would be a more appropriate comparison.

The most run outs involving a pair of batsmen in the IPL is currently held by David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan at 5. The openers put on many successful partnerships for Sunrisers Hyderabad but perhaps their history of “miscommunication” stems from this incident back in 2014 in a Test between Australia and India which resulted in the pair being fined 15% and 30% of their matches fees respectively.

Interestingly enough all 5 run outs have resulted in Shikhar being sent back to the pavilion but in compensation, Warner has gone onto average 100.75 in those 5 innings never failing to pass 50 on each occasion.

Which batsman has been bowled the most number of times in the IPL?

Batsman bowled the most times in the IPL

For any batsmen hearing the infamous death rattle as the ball dislodges bails, turning to see a stump cartwheeling past the wicket keeper or watching the triumphant bowler, palms aloft sprint past you to celebrate with his jubilant teammates are all fairly traumatic experiences to say the least. For some, this is a rarity but for others it happens all too often.

Rilee Rossouw of the Royal Challengers Bangalore is bowled by Ashish Nehra. Photo by: Shaun Roy / SPORTZPICS / IPL CC

In this blog we look at the players who have been bowled the most number of times in the IPL.

Lets start with the top line stat of the batsmen that have been bowled the most in the IPL. Here are the top 5

BatsmanBallsDismissals Times Bowledas % of total dismissalsballs per bowled dismissal
S Watson28131263628.57%78.14
S Dhawan40961523120.39%132.13
V Kohli 45001543019.48%150.00
G Gambhir34041362719.85%126.07
D Warner37141252620.80%142.85
Top 5 batsmen out bowled the most time in IPL history

At the head of the list and a player that was bowled 38 times in this IPL career is Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson.

I find it a touch amusing that Watto has been out bowled more than any other batsman in the history of the IPL simply because for much of his international career he was famed for getting his pads in the way of any ball that had even the faintest chance of bowling him, a subject that has not gone unnoticed by cricket lovers around the world. In fact, I can remember being in the ground during an Ashes Test where the whole crowd would appeal for LBW every ball he faced!

Not likely to be bowled with those pads on – Images may have been enhanced for comic effect

In fact, Shane Watson was so good at getting his legs in the way of the cricket ball hitting the stumps he even managed to deny his own teammates on certain occasions.

All of that though appears to have changed when he arrived in the IPL where he did a fine job of keeping his legs out of the way meaning by comparison he was only out LBW 6 times in a IPL career spanning 13 years. Perhaps the pads in India are a bit smaller?

Whatever the reason we can see that not only is he way out in front in terms of the total number of times bowled but his % of total dismissals bowled and balls per bowled dismissal are also significantly higher than anyone else in the top 5.

It is, of course, not surprising to see the likes of Kohli, Dhawan, Warner and Gambhir on this list. Firstly they’ve faced a huge number of balls in the IPL and secondly, as top order players they are more likely to face bowlers targeting the stumps with a little bit of movement. A career average of out bowled once every 5 innings seems to be the norm for the majority of established top order players.

To make things fairer then lets take a look at the players who have been bowled the most times in the IPL as a % of their total dismissals.

BatsmanBallsDismissalsTimes bowledas % of total dismissals
P Kumar 314381539.47%
B Stokes681351337.14%
J Bairstow 55519736.84%
L Pomersbach24611436.36%
V Kumar274281035.71%
Highest % of dismissals as bowled in the IPL. Minimum 200 career balls faced

At the top of this list is Praveen Kumar who was bowled a whopping 39.4% of the time. Of course this isn’t the first time that Praveen has featured on this blog with his appearance on the list of biggest sixes ever hit in the IPL also notable. It seems then that if Praveen wasn’t smoking the ball out of the park he was generally missing it with fatal consequences.

Then come a couple of English batsmen who have also made a habit of getting bowled in their relatively successful IPL careers.

Anyone who has watched Jonny Bairstow’s career develop will know that he has made a significant change to his technique in the second half of it deliberately getting to the leg-side of the ball in order to access the off-side. The result has been more runs in white ball cricket but at the expense of his place in the Test team where he was particularly vulnerable to being bowled.

As for Ben Stokes, I’m at loss to explain why he’s been bowled so many times but there you go. Oppositions teams are definitely targeting the stumps and to good effect. Something to watch out for in IPL 2021!

Unsurprisingly given their tail ender status Praveen and Vinay Kumar head up the next table as well which shows the number of balls faced per time bowled. Essentially this means that Praveen Kumar was bowled once every 3 and half overs that he faced in the IPL which is some going! Making up the remainder of the table are 3 leg-spinners none of whom apparently gave much importance to getting in line with the ball during their IPL careers.

BatsmanBallsTimes bowledballs per bowled dismissal
P Kumar3141520.93
V Kumar2741027.40
S Warne214635.67
A Mishra389942.67
PP Chawla5241243.67
Balls faced per bowled dismissal in the IPL. Minimum 200 balls faced

To finish lets spare a thought for 2 cricketers who have faced just a single delivery in the IPL that ended in them both being bowled. Hats off to Joe Denly and Sandeep Lamichhane for achieving such a feat.

Joe Denly is bowled by Ishant Sharma by his first and to date his last ball in the IPL

Which bowler has dismissed Virat Kohli the most times in IPL history?

If there is one wicket that any IPL bowler must prize above all others it is surely that of Virat Kohli but who out of the 400+ bowlers to play in the IPL has dismissed Kohli the most number of times?

image sourced from Flickr under creative commons license

The below table shows the bowlers who have gotten Kohli out the most in the IPL

Sandeep Sharma7
Ashish Nehra6
Mitch McClenaghan4
Mohammed Shami4
Dhawal Kulkarni4

Only 5 bowlers in the history of the IPL have dismissed Kohli on 4 separate occasions but way out in front is current Sunrisers Hyderabad left-armer Sandeep Sharma who has claimed the prize scalp of Kohli a record 7 times. Given that Ashish Nehra has long since retired and with only Mohammed Shami in the chasing pack likely to play any significant IPL cricket in the near future then it seems likely that Sharma will hold onto this title at least for the the next few years if not longer.

Of course, all 5 players have had relatively long careers meaning the opportunity to get Kohli out has been greater than others. If we break it down to strike rate we see the following bowlers who have experienced success against Kohli to the extend of having a strike rate of under 10 against the great man. Here Shami just sneaks ahead in the stakes for the most successful bowler v Virat Kohli.

BowlerBallsWicketsStrike Rate
M Shami3147.75
S Sharma5577.86
L Balaji2538.33
K Pollard2638.67
A Nehra5469.00
S Gopal2839.33
R Harris1929.50
minimum 10 balls bowled v V Kohli

With T20 bowling being as much about restricting batsmen as getting them out, we also need to consider which bowlers have limited Kohli’s scoring more than any other in IPL history.

BowlerBallsRuns Kohli’s S/R
S Warne281657.14
S Watson251976.00
MM Patel252080.00
S Sreesanth292482.76
J Kallis342985.29

Above are the bowlers that Virat Kohli has the lowest strike rate against when playing in the IPL. The list this time is headed up by another legend of the game albeit from an early era in the form of Shane Warne who successfully limited King Kohli to a paltry 16 runs from the 28 balls he bowled (1 dismissal).

There have also been 2 bowlers so far in IPL history who have taken the wicket of Virat Kohli with their one and only ball against him in the competition. They include New Zealand seamer Doug Bracewell who only played a single game in the IPL despite taking 32 for 3 on debut including the wicket of Kohli and Abu Nechim Ahmed another right arm bowler who played a handful of games for Mumbai Indians before then transferring to Royal Challenger Bangalore effectively ending any chance to get Kohli a 2nd time.

Batsmen with lowest dot ball % in the IPL

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The IPL website will give you a list of the bowlers who have managed to deliver the highest number of dot balls in the competition’s history but what about the batsmen that have faced the lowest number of dot balls?

If you are looking for dot ball stats for IPL 2021 you can find them here
Creative commons license

If we were simply to look at the total number of dot balls faced by batsmen in the IPL then it’s not too much of a surprise to find the likes of Virat Kohli, Shikar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma leading the way as these are also the 3 batsman who have faced the most number of balls in the IPL full stop. 

Therefore, looking at the dot balls as a % of all deliveries faced seems a fairer assessment of which batsmen are best at getting off strike.

Starting with those who have used up the most deliveries without scoring perhaps the biggest surprise is to see Australian great Ricky Ponting so high up on the list, a man who captained his side to multiple limited over tournament victories including 2 x World Cups.

BatsmanDot ball %
YV Takawale53.37%
RT Ponting53.13%
RJ Quiney52.94%
K Goel52.81%
Z Khan52.48%
UBT Chand52.00%
PC Valthaty51.67%
CM Gautam50.67%
Batsmen who faced higher than 50% dot balls in their IPL career – minimum 100 balls faced

However, Ponting isn’t the only stroke maker of that generation to have a dot ball % that wouldn’t pass muster in the T20 era. Sanath Jayasuria, Sourav Ganguly, Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchirst, all batsmen renowned for their swash buckling approach to the game, had a dot ball percentage above 45% for their time in the Indian Premier League.

By contrast most of the current greats of the game and players that have grown up playing T20 cricket hover around 35% or to put it another way they only allow 1 dot ball in every 3 faced. These include MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli as well as the likes of David Warner and Suresh Raina all players who have been involved in the IPL since its early days and remain key players for their respective franchises today.

What this also suggests is that while scoring rates have undoubtedly gone up since the IPL started back in 2007, it might not solely be off the back of bigger hitting (something we’ll look at in a future blog) but as much around manipulating the field, hitting the gaps and running hard. Equally, some might argue that in the modern game giving a big hitting batsman a single and getting him off strike is almost as good a result as a dot ball!

As for the big hitters, it might not come as any great surprise that a few of them have a slightly higher dot ball %. Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh and Shane Watson for example all rank high on the all time 6 hitting list but also use up quite a few deliveries in getting their eye in leading to higher dot ball percentages of jjhd jhdjh djhdh respectively. The eagled amongst you may also note that these are 3 players who could be charitably described as being ‘athletically challenged’, particularly in their later years.

Perhaps the true champion then and a man who needs little introduction to fans of white ball cricket around the world is AB de Villiers, 2nd on the all time six hitting list and with a power game to rival anyone out there, he also appears to be a master of manipulating the strike with one of the lowest dot ball % seen.

BatsmanDot ball %
Bipul Sharma26.83%
TM Head27.03%
M Kartik28.70%
CH Morris28.94%
A Ashish Reddy30.05%
AB de Villiers30.34%
KS Williamson30.64%
AC Voges30.77%

By contrast, the man at the top of the list is not a household name. Bipul Sharma was one of several players from Punjab Ranji who opted to try his luck in the break away ICL back in 2007 but after 2 largely unsuccessful years the league folded and Sharma, along with many others, was forced to seek amnesty in a bid to rejoin the domestic circuit and potentially the IPL.

In 2010 he joined Kings XI Punjab where he spent 4 years as a back-up player for the franchise making 15 appearances in total including just a single outing during the 2013 campaign. Having been dropped from the KXIP roster and failing to find a franchise at all for 2014 season it looked like Bipul Sharma would become a forgotten man on the world’s biggest T20 stage.

However, a lucky break saw him picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad Team for the 2015 season as a replacement for the injured Laxmi Shulka and while once again he was by no means an automatic pick for the franchise he did deliver some key moments for the men in orange as they secured their maiden IPL title in 2016.

Bipul Sharma played just 7 matches in the 2016 edition of the IPL but that included all 3 of the knockout games that SRH were required to win to lift the title. He started well in the Qualifier against Gujarat Lions by striking a useful 14 from 6 balls to accelerate the Sunrisers score past 160, a total that ultimately proved too much for the Lions.

Then in the eliminator against KKR he played a gem of an innings (27 off 11 balls with 3 x sixes) in support of his captain David Warner to see the Sunrisers into the final in what was a dramatic run chase. Coming to the crease with the score at 117-6, the Sunrisers still needed 46 from 25 balls but thanks to Sharma’s powerful hitting completed the chase in relative comfort with 4 balls to spare. You can watch highlights of the run chase here.

The final saw no such fireworks with the bat although Bipul Sharma did claim the crucial wicket of AB de Villiers as SRH successfully defended their first innings score of 208 to lift the IPL trophy. It was to be the high point of Bipul Sharma’s IPL career with the 2017 season once again seeing him getting limited playing time before he went unsold in the 2018 and 2019 auctions.

Bipul Sharma remains a key player on the domestic circuit in all formats with both bat and ball, playing for the Chandigarh side and while the glitz and glamour of the IPL are now behind him he will be making a move over to the UK this summer to play cricket for Formby in the Liverpool League.

One over wonders – players who have bowled a single over in the IPL

The IPL has made instant stars of many cricketers both domestic and international but for others their chance has come and gone all too soon. Here are the bowlers who got to bowl just one over in the richest T20 franchise in the league in the world.

Yalaka Gnaneswar Rao

Yalaka Gnaneshwara Rao comes from good cricketing stock being the younger brother of former India international Yalaka Venugopal Rao. Rao the younger seemed to be developing along a similar trajectory when he captained India’s U-19 team on a tour of England in 2002. Then 9 years later and having had only moderate success with his local side Andhra Pradesh as a bowling all-rounder, Gnaneshwara Rao was brought for INR 3,000,000 (approximately $40k) by the newly formed Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise.

Gnaneshwara Rao had to wait until the penultimate match of the 2011 season to make his debut by which time the Tuskers’ season was already over as far as qualifying for the play-offs was concerned. With Rajasthan’s top order blown away, Rao came onto bowl his solitary over that went for 7 runs (3 dot balls). He might have bowled again but for the exploits of former Aussie international and part-time bowler Brad Hodge who took career best T20 figures of 4-13 as the Royal’s crumbled to 97 all out.

Rao was selected again for the final game of the season against Chennai Super Kings but did not bowl instead being promoted up the order to number 3 and making 19 from 17 deliveries. His last game in the IPL was of course The Tuskers’ last game as well with the Kerala based franchise being disbanded after just a solitary season.  

Watch highlights of Yalaka Gnaneswar Rao and Prasanth Padmanabhan’s debuts in the IPL

Prasanth Padmanabhan

By coincidence, the Kochi Tuskers match against Rajasthan Royals contained not 1 but 2 one over wonders!  Prasanth Padmanabhan’s first and last 6 balls in the IPL were a little more eventful as the young left-arm spinner was hit for 3 maximums by Aussie and IPL legend Shane Watson.

Prasanth is said to have struck up a friendship with South Africa legend Dale Steyn while at SRH

Prasanth Padmanabhan’s domestic T20 record was exemplary and he became the first bowler for Kerala state to take 50 wickets in the shortest format. Such form kept him in the spotlight and after leaving the Tuskers he would go on to have a couple of stints with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013 and 2015 but he never made a single appearance for them before going unsold in the 2016 auction.

Despite his lack of opportunity in the IPL, Prasanth credits his time playing alongside the likes of Dale Steyn, Kane Williamson and Darren Sammy with a development in his game and with 64 victims he remains Kerala’s all-time leading wicket taker in the T20 format.

Rohan Gavaskar

Rohan Gavaskar is hardly the first or last player to have been overshadowed by a famous cricketing father and there are few within the Indian game who claim to cast a shadow as long (figuratively speaking) as the great Sunil Gavaskar.

Rohan was a stylish left-handed batsman who bowled useful slow left arm, a combination that was good enough to see him win 11 caps at ODI level for India. Despite that pedigree he only played twice in the IPL bowling a solitary over as the 7th bowler used for Kolkata Knight Riders in their win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2010.

He might have played more in the IPL had he not have chosen to join the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2007 an act that saw him receive a 2 year ban from the BCCI. By the time that ban expired in 2009, Gavaskar was already 33 years old and his playing career would finish soon after.

Ajinkya Rahane

Renowned as being a rock in the middle order of India’s batting line-up, Rahane also has the honour of appearing on the list and in successful circumstances. His single over in the IPL came against Kings XI Punjab and ended with him claiming the wicket of Australian international Luke Pomersbach clean bowled by a very military medium delivery from Rahane.

Despite playing in excess of 200 T20 matches in a career that is still going strong, Rahane has never bowled again and looks unlikely to do so meaning that he could well finish with figures of 1 over, 5 runs, 1 wicket.

Lee Carseldine

Carseldine attempts to knock over another wall during his time on the TV show Survivor

Rahane is certainly not the only cricketer to have taken a wicket in his single IPL over and Australian Lee Carseldine can surely brag that he has claimed the biggest prize for bowlers in this category by dismissing Rahul Dravid. Indeed there are more established names in world cricket who have toiled away for day after day against the man nicknamed ‘The Wall’ without success but Carseldine did it first ball!

A degenerative back injury prevented Carseldine playing as much cricket as he would have hoped throughout a stop start career but having hung up his bowling spikes in 2013 he would go on to have a successful career in the media as a sports reporter and radio star. In 2016 he also appeared in the reality TV show Survivor.

Bharat Chipli & Ishan Malhotra

Having covered a couple of successful examples of one over wonders we now turn our attention to a pair who might have wished that they hadn’t been handed the ball especially when considering the man they were bowling to! Both Chipli and Malhotra bowled their solitary IPL overs in the same match for Deccan Chargers v Dehli Daredevils against one of the biggest hitting batsmen the world has ever seen – Virender Sehwag!

The Chargers line-up included the likes Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Dan Cristian and Amit Mishra who combined to have Dehli 25-3 in pursuit of 176 to win. However, Sehwag launched a stunning counter attack that started against Malhotra in the 8th over as he was dispatched for 23 including 2 x 4s and 2 x 6s. Next to the plate was Chipli a man who was an occasional bowler at best. By contrast the 20 that Sehwag took off his over might therefore be seen as a success! Sehwag was eventually out for 119 off 56 balls, with his century coming up off 48 balls. At the time it was the 6th fastest hundred in IPL history and remains the 15th fastest to this day.

Watch highlights of Sehwag’s century

While Chipli was rarely seen again as a bowler, Malhotra continues to this day to take on some of the biggest hitters in world cricket and despite not making the grade in the IPL he is a regular Abu Dhabi T10 league with his latest outing seeing him carted for 45 off 2 overs!