Mumbai Indians Team Preview IPL 2021

Will this Mumbai Indians team be able to defend their IPL crown in 2021? Here we preview what has been the strongest squad in the IPL for some time as they chase an historic 3rd title in a row.

There used to be a pattern of Mumbai Indians having a good season followed by a poor season but that theory was shattered last year when MI defended their title with ease and with just a few tweaks to that talented squad during the auction, there’s no reason to believe that they won’t be there or thereabouts again in 2021.

MI Team Preview IPL 2021 – Batting

All the best teams in any format of cricket have a certain aura about them that is created off the back of their success. As you look down the batting line-up for Mumbai Indians you get that feeling and it is difficult to really find any weak spots.

At the top of the order come 2 of the classiest white ball cricketers of all time in Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock. It’d be fair to say that on an individual basis, Rohit hasn’t been at his best these last couple of years averaging below 30 and failing to make the 450 run mark in both title winning campaigns. We all know that the Hitman has a reputation for going big in white ball cricket but with just 5 fifties from the start of IPL 2019 it’s not quite happened for him.

Don’t get me wrong, he is still a brilliant player and if nothing else what he does and has done for a long period of time is win cricket matches either off his own bat or via his captaincy, a trait you can’t put a price on that. Still, he’s in need of a big season this year as Indian look to finalise their plans for the World T20 that takes place later in the year and with the national team not exactly short on talent and options even a player of Rohit’s stature isn’t a certainty.

De Kock meanwhile seems to have found his home in Mumbai after a couple of seasons in the IPL wilderness. Being given the opportunity to open the batting on a game by game basis has done his performances the world of good and while MI have some impressive top order options on the bench in the form of Chris Lynn and Saurabh Tiwary it’d take a serious drop off in form or fitness for them to replace the settled pairing of Rohit and de Kock.

MI top order runs in IPL 2020
Incredible consistency from Mumbai’s top order last year was the basis of their success

In fact, “settled” is very much the best word to describe the remainder of the MI batting line-up for IPL 2021. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav were rewarded for their stellar IPL 2020 seasons with call-ups to the India T20 side. Both made an immediate impact with a typically explosive half-centuries and again coming into a a home World Cup you’d imagine that Kishan and Yadav will be keen to impress in order to stake a claim for some of the hotly contested top order position in India’s T20 side.

If that wasn’t enough for you, MI then have several high quality all-rounders waiting in the engine room. Again the aura and reputation that a few of these guys carry with them as they stroll out to the middle is enough to strike fear into opposition bowlers before they’ve even taken guard. Kieron Pollard, the most experienced player in the history of the T20 format is still going strong and he is very much one of Rohit’s trusted lieutenants on the field.

The most experienced T20 cricketer of all time and still setting the bar high!

Pollard’s record in the IPL is incredible. He sits sixth on the all-time six hitting list behind a group of top order batsmen many of whom have faced over twice the number of deliveries he has. In essence he hits a six once about every 10 balls and boundary (4 or 6) about once every 5 balls. And yet, there is reason to argue that he isn’t the most destructive player in the side! While Pollard has the long-term records and Ishan Kishan struck the most 6s in IPL 2020 it is surely Hardik Pandya who is the biggest threat at the back end of an innings.

Hardik Pandya may have struck 5 fewer maximums than Ishan Kishan last season but the 25 sixes he did get came from just 157 deliveries nearly 200 balls fewer than his top order colleague. With the consistency of run scoring in the top 4 coupled with the destructive power in the middle to lower order it’s not difficult to see why this Mumbai team have been so dominant.

Then comes “the other Pandya” somewhat more understated than his younger brother but still a highly effective all round cricketer and someone who will be key to MI’s title push again especially on the slower surfaces they’ve been drawn to play on (see below). Being a left-hander, the Indians often deploy him up or down the order as the game situation suits and it’s that flexibility and selflessness that makes him such a key component of this batting unit. He may not possess the power game or flair of the players mentioned before but he can certainly do a job for MI when needed.

The only addition to the potential batting stocks during the 2021 auction was Kiwi James Neesham who will presumably be back up for Pollard or Hardik Pandya or if they choose to Mumbai could play him as another all-rounder at the expense of one the overseas quicks (see below). At the very least he is a safe pair of hands with a proven track record at international level and while his game time has been limited in an IPL career stretching 7 years, MI know exactly what they are getting which is a very good squad player.

MI Team Preview IPL 2021 – Bowling

As we’ve already discussed one of the big strengths of Mumbai as a bowling unit is their all round options and those options look even better this year with the return from injury of Hardik Pandya who has proved his fitness as part of a 5 man bowling attack in India’s T20 series against England. With his brother offering some left-arm darts (I hesitate to use the word spin) from the other end and even Kieron Pollard rolling back the years to do a bit of bowling last year then Mumbai already have a fair chunk of the overs covered before we’ve even hit the specialist bowlers.

Of those bowlers and like much of the Mumbai Indian’s team it’s the combinations that work so well for the defending champions. In Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai posses arguably the best quick bowler across all forms of cricket in the world but it was in T20 that he really made a name for himself with his unusual action and uncanny ability to hit his yorkers.

As a foil to Bumrah’s right arm pace are Trent Boult’s left arm swingers. I’m a massive fan of T20 sides having a genuine swing bowling option to take wickets in the powerplay. Let the guys who can bowl their variations and half dozen different slower balls have their fun in the middle overs, if you can move the ball in the early stages of any game of cricket then you’ve more than a good chance of picking up wickets and that is exactly what Trent Boult is capable of delivering. However, beyond that, Boult has also developed into an excellent death over asset for Mumbai as indicated by the stats below.

Trent Boult stats by phase of the game
Trent Boult’s record in different phases of the game show his worth to the team

In support of Bumrah and Boult, Mumbai generally look to play a 3rd seamer although as we’ll see later conditions may tempt them to go for the extra spinner early on. Last season it was Coulter-Nile or Pattinson this year it will be either the former or Adam Milne the Kiwi quick. Milne who has genuine pace had a pretty good time of it for Sydney Thunder in this year’s BBL and seems to have gotten over some of the injury problems that have hampered his recent career. Fitness wise Coulter-Nile was unavailable for large parts of the same tournament and it would be a blow to Mumbai to lose him both for his versatility as a bowler and his hitting power at number 8.

That being said, the champions aren’t short of options. They also have the experienced Dhawal Kulkarni, young left-armer Marco Jansen from South African who is something of an unknown quantity and a another left-arm seamer going by the name Tendulkar. The signing of Arjun Tendulkar son of India legend Sachin raised a few eyebrows and calls of nepotism from certain quarters given that the 21-year-old has only played a couple of T20 games at List A level. He is, however, a member of India’s U-19 squad which in itself is an achievement given the amount of raw talent the country has to work with. Time will tell if he can forge a career in the long shadow cast by his famous cricketing father.

The spin options for Mumbai are also looking good and with the neutral venues that they have to play on the acquisition of Piyush Chawla may yet prove to be a masterstroke for the men in blue and gold. Chawla’s expensive and brief stay at CSK ended in ultimate failure and you’d imagine that he will be second choice here to the impressive young Rahul Charar who continues to go from strength to strength and is now looking to establish himself as first choice for the national team heading into the T20 World Cup.

Chawla could be a key signing for MI on pitches that suit his style of bowling

Further options are provided by in the finger spin department by Jayant Yadav the right armer or young Anukul Roy the left-armer both of whom have had opportunities in the IPL when Mumbai feel that it’s a spinners wicket.

Overall, it’s difficult to find a weakness in the Mumbai Indians team when considering their squad alone. I guess the only question is do they have the hunger to win it a third time?

To that, I’d point out 2 things. Firstly the IPL will be used by the national selectors to form their final plans for the T20 World Cup so it’s imperative for players like Rohit, Kishan, and Yadav that they score big runs to maintain their current positions while fringe players like Krunal Pandya could open up the door for another go at international level if they can impressive in 2021. Secondly, IPL 2022 will be very different. This is likely to be the last time this squad is together following a super auction at the end of the year so there must be an incentive to put in one final push to get this 3rd title in a row a record that is likely to stay for some time.

MI Team Preview IPL 2021 – Venues

As noted above, Mumbai’s move to bring in a player of Piyush Chawla’s experience could prove to be very important. Yes, he struggled in last season’s IPL but CSK undoubtedly purchased him on the basis that they believed he’d be playing on their slow turning wickets in Chennai only to later find that they’d be over in the UAE.

Fortunately for Mumbai Indians or at least for Chawla they do start the defence of their title with 5 games at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium before going onto Delhi which is also a track that generally favours the slower bowlers.

MI bowling records at Chennai
With Pollard and Hardik Pandya offering back up to Bumrah and Boult, MI may well be tempted to play a 3rd slow bowler on Chennai wicket if these player stats by venue are anything to go by

While not having quite the same amount of experience as Chawla, and despite his sullen expression in the infographic below, Rahul Chahar must also being do a little jig in his hotel room at the thought of not having to bowl at the Wankhede. The young wrist spinner has managed just one wicket at Mumbai’s home ground from the 19 overs he’s bowled there but even in his limited game time on the surfaces of Chennai and Delhi has shown that he’s a real threat there!

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Rahul Chahar – IPL bowling record by venue

Wankhede Stadium – 19 overs, 1 wicket, ave 136, S/R 114, economy 7.16

M. A. Chidambaram Stadium – 8 overs, 2 wickers, ave 17.5, S/R 24, economy 4.38

Arun Jaitley Stadium – 4 overs, 3 wickets, ave 6.33, S/R 8, economy 4.33

Batting wise on these slower wickets it’s understandable that averages and strike rates will suffer. However, Mumbai’s game plan on these types of surfaces is generally to lay a platform in the opening part of the innings before launching an attack later on with their big hitters in the middle and lower order.

In that respect Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard will play an important role and of course they have the records to suggest that they can pull it off.

MI batting stats at Delhi

They finish the round robin stage with a further 3 games in Bangalore and 2 more in Kolkata. These venues will probably give the quick bowlers more of a chance for overs and of course with its altitude we might see the best of some of the big hitters from MI at Bangalore. In general, Eden Gardens has been a venue that Mumbai and their players have very good records on so if they do need something from those final 2 games then the draw couldn’t have been kinder.

Cover image source CC license

KKR Team Preview IPL 2021

Kolkata Knight Riders were in the midst of a transition period during last season’s IPL. Here we preview their chances for the 2021 season and consider whether KKR have been sufficiently reshaped to the extent that they can challenge at the very least for a playoff position if not a 3rd IPL title.

KKR Team Preview IPL 2021 – Batting

One of KKR’s primary issues last season was the balance of their batting line-up which they chopped and changed throughout the campaign as they searched for success.

At the top of the order, young Subman Gill has won many admirers for his elegant stroke play and looks like a player to watch particularly in the longer forms of the game for many years to come. He finished last season with 440 runs to his name making him KKR’s top scorer and yet question marks still remain over his ability to go up through the gears as his innings progresses.

Shubman Gill scoring rates
Gill’s strike rate by phase of the game remains fairly constant throughout his innings

In essence Gill batting through the innings with a S/R of around 120 isn’t a big problem as long as KKR can get men around him to compensate for his short comings as a T20 cricketer.

First port of call then is to consider who will open with Gill? KKR tried plenty of guys in this role during 2020 including Sunil Narine who on his day is a fantastic pinch hitter in the powerplay but who recently has been struggling to find those occasions nearly as often as he or the KKR management would like. The other options then include Nitish Rana and Raul Tripathi.

Rana is another player who has suffered at KKR with not really knowing his role in the side. Part and parcel of T20 cricket is having to adapt to game situations but Rana has been shunted up and down the order on a near game by game basis. We’ve seen glimpses of what he can do in the IPL and his 352 runs last season was a decent return but you feel that a man of his talents can push up above the 450 mark which is the standard set by the league’s most consistent top order players.

Rana has been playing at number 3 for Delhi in domestic T20 cricket this season and has been in good form. If KKR persist with Narine as the pinch hitting option then having Rana at 3 for the times that the experiment fails seems like a good ploy.

Nitish Rana scoring rates
Unlike Gill, Rana has shown that he has the power game to move up through the gears

In Raul Tripathi, KKR had what I felt was an underated player who struggled for chances at a top heavy Rajasthan team in previous seasons. Therefore his returns from the 11 games he did get for KKR last season were something of a disappointment and his failure to have an impact in the domestic leagues in the meantime must come as a concern. The KKR think tank also have an obsession with ensuring a right hand, left hand combination is at the crease most the time (another reason for Rana being moved up and down the order) so playing Tripathi as Gill’s partner seems less likely.

If they did wish to to maintain that right/left combination they could opt for young Venkatesh Iyer whom they signed in this year’s auction. His 227 runs at an average of 76 and strike rate of 150 opening the batting for Madhya Pradesh in the Syed Musthaq Ali Trophy certainly caught the eye and convinced KKR to take a punt on him for this year’s IPL. Since then he’s also hit 198 in a 50 over game suggesting he will join his more established teammates full of confidence and may yet get a chance on the big stage.

On paper then comes a strong KKR middle order that really flattered to deceive in last year’s tournament. Eoin Morgan who took over the captaincy half-way through the 2020 season played some nice cameos on his way past the 400 run mark which is an excellent return for anyone playing outside the top 3 but he was all too often left to either pick-up the pieces of a poor start in the powerplay or play a lone hand towards the back end.

Eoin Morgan plays a significant knock against RR

The experienced Dinesh Karthik had a really poor 2020 season contributing just 169 runs despite playing every match. Again there was some shifting around in regards his role and you’d hope that for this season, KKR ensure that he bats no higher than number 5 as he is more suited to the role of finisher than middle order accumulator.

In fact, the role of middle order accumulator is one that KKR seem to be lacking in general. Having Morgan and Karthik at 4 and 5 looks great if the top order gets the job done but if they don’t and that pair are forced to come in early as was the case on far too many occassions last season then there is the potential for the Knight Riders to be left short at the death. The aquisition of Karun Nair, a player who has a Test Match triple hundred does little to solve the problem and he seems to be utilized as a bowler as much as he does a batsman in domestic white ball cricket these days.

Then of course comes one of the most feared late order hitters and biggest stars of the IPL in Andre Russell. Form and fitness were in short supply for Dre last Autumn and he made no significant impact with the bat in the 10 matches he did manage. He has since played a handful of games in the Lankan T20 league but has not played a competitive game of cricket for 4 months.

The power hitting that both Russell and Narine offer to KKR is crucial but so too is the balance to the side with 2 all-rounders featuring in the top 7. With both players having disappointing 2020 campaigns, KKR moved quickly during the auction to secure back-up options in the form of Shakib Al-Hassan and Ben Cutting both players of significant experience in this league and T20 cricket in general.

Indeed Shakib fresh from his ban could prove one of the most astute signings of the recent auction and as well as his canny left-arm spin he could be the man to offer that much needed middle order stability mentioned above. Of course fitting him into the team would almost certainly require one of Russell or Narine to be left out so it is fair to say that KKR’s transistion period is far from over just yet!

KKR Team Preview IPL 2021 – Bowling

As noted above, one KKR’s apparent strengths are the bowling options they have at their disposal particularly when Russell is fully fit and firing on all cylinders with Nitish Rana even able to chip in as 7th bowling option when conditions allow it.

Russell at full pace can certainly play an important role as a mid-over enforcer and at the death allowing record signing Pat Cummins the opportunity to bowl at least 2 overs with the new ball. Lockie Ferguson also put in some useful displays last season in Russell’s absence and while his wickets sometimes can at the cost of a higher economy rate you get the sense that Morgan will be ok with that as long as the wickets do continue to come.

Russell wickets by phase
Russell is an important death bowler as well as batsman for KKR

The concern however with playing Ferguson is that as was the case last season, it leaves KKR very short of lower order batsmen with Cummins being asked to bat as high as number 7 on some occassions. Again, Morgan and coach Brendon McCullum have historically favoured having a batting line-up with players capable of making a contribution down the order to allow their teams to play an attacking brand of cricket whatever the situation and this may well impact team selection for the upcoming IPL season.

Cummins was much maligned after a slow start to his KKR career following his record price at the 2020 auction. On a game by game basis he didn’t bowl too badly and certainly the luck was against him during the first half of the tournament. Equally, I feel that some sides were happy to take fewer risks against him with the knowledge that there were easier run scoring opportunities in later overs against lesser bowlers as demonstrated in the stats below that show only Varun and Cummins were regular performers for KKR with Mavi and Ferguson effective albeit from fewer games and then a real drop off both in wicket taking potency and economy rates.

KKR wickets IPL 2020

Here again, I think Shakib will offer a better option to Narine whose impact as bowler has been waning for the last couple of years following injuries and bans for his suspect action. The other slow bowling option who KKR must be hoping will refind his mojo is Kuldeep Yadav who was rated as one of the most dangerous wrist spinners in white ball cricket at his peak but seems to be suffering with confidence crisis at present.

A team with a fully fit and firing Varun, Kuldeep Yadav and Shakib as slow bowling options would take some stopping particularly in favourable conditions (see below) and again we know from watching Morgan as the England captain that he is happy to back his spinners as wicket taking options. Could he be the man to revive Kuldeep’s career?

The real difference between the challengers and the no hopers tends to be the quality and performance of the home grown talent. In Nargakoti and Shivam Mavi, KKR invested heavily on a pair of bowlers based on their young raw talent and success at U-19 level. For the first couple of years, injury stunted their development and limited their opportunities but there were signs from both that KKR might be about to see a return on the sums paid several years ago for these 2 tear away quicks.

KKR Team Preview IPL 2021 – Venues

The Knight Riders will be playing the bulk of their games in Ahmedabad and Bangalore this season. With the former having not been used as an IPL venue for some time it’s diffucult to know with any confidence how the players might perform although the fact that KKR captain Eoin Morgan will be coming off the back of 5 x T20s at the venue with England certainly gives them an edge.

Bangalore meanwhile is a venue that most big hitting batsmen enjoy on account of its altitude. Certainly Dre Russel who has a Strike Rate of 240 and who has hit 14 maximums in the 55 balls he’s faced at this venue can agree!

Strike rates for KKR at Bangalore

However, KKR will start on the much slow and lower wickets in Chennai with their opening fixtures against SRH, Mumbai Indians and RCB. As noted above it may well be their slow options that give them an advantage here particularly with the experience of Harbajhan Singh who took 16 wickets in the 2019 season most which came on this pitch.

KKR spinners records at Chennai

After their opening matches in Chennai, KKR move onto play the bottom 2 teams from last season’s IPL at the Wankhede where their bowlers both spin and pace generally have very good records.

KKR bowler records at the Wankhede

If they can utilise the conditions well for those opening 5 games and get off to a good start then a play-off place is certainly not beyond this team.

Delhi Capitals Team Preview IPL 2021

Delhi Capitals have been a team on the rise these past couple of years as evidenced by their final appearance in 2020. They possess the perfect balance of a strong core of home grown talent interspered with some of the IPL’s biggest overseas stars. Will IPL 2021 finally be the year that they take the trophy home to the capital? Let’s consider their chances

DC Batting Preview IPL 2021

Delhi’s great strength over the last couple of seasons has been the emergence of a couple of home grown players who have gone from promising youngsters to global superstars. Certainly Rishabh Pant is well on his way to being a household name around the world and DC’s young and inspirational captain Shreyas Iyer is not far behind. Those 2 are joined by Prithvi Shaw another exceptional young batting talent fresh off India’s seemingly endless production line.

While Iyer and Pant have been enhancing their reputations on duty with the national team, Shaw who was dropped from the side after the debacle of the first Test in Australia this winter has been scoring runs for fun in the domestic limited overs competitions. In the 8 games he played in Mumbai’s title winning Vijay Hazare season, Shaw scored 827 runs, the most ever in 50 over season in India, a haul that included scores of 105*, 165, 185* and 227*! The god given talent of the lad is clear to see and for many years he has been heralded as Tendulkar’s heir apparent. Could this be the year that he truly establishes himself?

Alongside side these 3, DC have been clever in deploying a couple of more experienced pros no doubt to allow the youngsters to play their natural games and to give Shreyas Iyer a helping hand on the field. Equally Shikhar Dhawan is still one of the best white ball cricketers around and he was in red hot form last season scoring back to back centuries on his way to being the 2nd highest run scorer in the competition.

You would image then that the top order of DC will comprise these 4 players but the Capitals also have a safe pair of hands in the form of Ajinke Rahane to call upon and they’ve sigend Steve Smith. Smith’s acquisition during the auction was a curious one given that if he is to be successful you’d image that he will need to play in top 3 which as we’ve established would mean disposing one of the men just mentioned and of course it would mean DC probably needing to rebalance their side by dropping another overseas player to accommodate him.

Moving down the order, Marcus Stoinis was one of the best players of IPL 2020 hitting 352 runs and taking 13 wickets. I have to admit he proved me wrong with the way that he has developed his game of late. I thought he would struggle in the middle order coming in against the slower bowlers and if you’ve watched him in the BBL over the last couple of years it’s difficult to remember that he is an all-rounder given that he hardly ever bowls for the Melbourne Stars.

Stoinis record vs spin
Stoinis’ record against bowler types shows that his performance vs wrist spin has generally been good during his IPL career

Finally, at least in terms of established names, we come to the curious case of Shimron Hetmyer a player that DC and before them RCB have invested heavily in without seeing much of a return. Hetmyer is sure to turn up for this year’s IPL with a new haircut and some fancy trainers but will he be bringing any run scoring form with him?

Hetmyer IPL record by phase of the game
Hetmyer’s performance by phase of the game shows that he is a dangerous late innings hitter but he’s rarely gone on to make big match winning scores

His exclusion from the West Indies side for much of the last 12months shows his star is definitely on the decline and at 24-years-old he can no longer rely exclusively on the tag of young precocious talent to get him a deal in next year’s mega auction. The acquisition of Smith as well as Sam Billings does give DC options in the middle order and as we’ll see by some of the venues they are playing at, it might be that they can’t afford the luxury of Hetmyer in lower scoring contests.

Breaking into this DC team is going to be tough for any aspiring young batsman but in Lalit Yadav and Ripal Patel the Capitals have a couple of talents on their hands. Lalit’s ability to bowl right-arm off breaks also make him a potentially useful option against sides who are stacked with left-handers.

DC Bowling Preview IPL 2021

It’s impossible for a side to be successful across an entire season without having an efficient and multi-faceted bowling line-up. Delhi Capitals have the advantage of being able to pick Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel, 2 players coming off a hat full of wickets in the longer format of the game and both of whom are canny operators in T20 cricket. The fact that both can the bat as well coupled with Marcus Stoinis in the top 6 is another big advantage for the Capitals who generally have plenty of options during games.

If they opt to go for a third slow bowler in the form of a wrist spinner then DC can choose from either Amit Mishra who has bags of experience in this tournament or Pravin Dubey who was given some game time last season. Given that between them in last season’s IPL the pair made just six appearances (Mishra was injured) and took 3 wickets it suggests this is an area of concern for the Capitals with wicket taking wrist spinners at the fore of most successful white ball teams around the world.

Leading wicket takers in IPL
Mishra needs 11 wickets to go past Lasith Malinga in the all time list of wicket takers in the IPL

Thus far however, that gap has been made up by the brilliant form of their quick bowlers and in particular Kagiso Rabada who was the leading wicket taker in IPL 2020 and the leading fast bowler the season before that. His partnership with fellow countryman Anrich Nortje who claimed 22 wickets in his debut season in the IPL will again be crucial to Delhi’s hopes of winning that elusive first title.

DC’s back up options in the quick bowling stakes are also impressive with the experienced duo of Ishant Sharma and new signing Umesh Yadav ready to offer assistance as a 3rd seamer. I was somewhat surprised that more teams weren’t interested in Umesh Yadav at the auction. While this is probably not his best format, he still has ample experience and is just the kind of player a side can turn to if looking to re-balance the play 11 with an extra seamer. Producing homegrown fast bowlers is something that India in general have gotten better at over the last decade but they are still a valuable commodity within an IPL squad.

Further back options come in the form of England duo Chris Woakes and Tom Curran but you feel that it would take a dramatic loss of form or injury to some of the players ahead of them in order for the pair to see much first team action this season. Other options include Avesh Khan who has made just 9 IPL appearances since his debut in 2017. However, the 24-year-old right arm quick is coming off the back of a very strong domestic T20 season, taking 14 wickets at a strike rate of a victim ever 8.5 balls, the best of any bowler in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this season.

The only other obvious hole in the Delhi Capitals bowling line-up then is the absence of a left-arm seam option. DC did move to bring in 29-year-old Lukman Meriwala whose record at domestic level looks impressive with 72 wickets in 44 T20 matches to date. How he might fair against higher quality batsman in the IPL is anyones guess but his efforts over the years have at least given him the opportunity at a shot at the big time.

Delhi Capitals Venues IPL 2021

As with all teams in IPL 2021, the Delhi Capitals will play their games across 4 neutral venues and so we’ll consider the player stats across those different venues.

3 x matches at the Wankhede Stadium

Wankhede stats

Pant has certainly enjoyed himself at the Wankhede on previous visits and Dhawan and Rahane have favourable records here too. You would have thought in general that Delhi’s batting line-up will do well on a typical Wankhede pitch and they undoubtedly have the advantage of playing their opening match against CSK who probably don’t have the ideal bowling line-up for these conditions.

Wankhede bowling stats

Bowling DC have a number of their squad who have tasted success in Mumbai before and it’s noticeable how much experience they have to call upon in different conditions particularly from their bowlers. That little bit of extra bounce at the Wankhede can benefit both spinners and seamers

2 x matches at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium

M. A. Chidambaram Stadium batting stats

Strike rates in general tend to fall for batsmen playing in Chennai. DC don’t have a huge amount of experience playing at this venue with the likes of Pant and Shaw making just a single IPL appearance at this particular venue both which finished with single figure scores. That being the Arun Jaitley Stadium where they usually play their home game is similarly slow so you’d expect these players to adapt to conditions quickly.

M. A. Chidambaram Stadium bowling stats

This is a venue that Ravi Ashwin knows like the back of his hand and has had great success bowling at across all forms of cricket. It wouldn’t surprise me if DC went with 3 spinners in their 2 games here opening the door to either Mishra or Dubey to earn some more game time.

4 x matches Narendra Modi Stadium

Narendra Modi stats

Not many players in this season’s IPL have any experience of playing at the Narendra Modi Stadium but Delhi are at advantage in that Rahane and Smith have batted on this surface in the IPL and of course the likes Dhawan, Pant, Iyer and Patel are playing 5 matches there for India at this very moment. Evidence so far is that it’s a little 2 paced but we have seen a few decent knocks by batsmen willing to play their shots.

5 x matches at Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens batting stats

Batting wise Eden Gardens has not been a successful venue for many of the DC batsmen. In addition to the stats shown above, Steve Smith averages 8 from his 3 matches in Kolkata while Stoinis and Shaw also have averages in the teens. As noted above though, DC do have plenty of options when it comes to their batting line-up so on potentially lower scoring pitches they will hope to find the right combinations to set competitive totals.

Eden gardens bowling stats

Eden Gardens tends to have something in it for the seamers and Chris Woakes has been devastating at this venue in the past taking a wicket every 9 balls. Rabada has also found success here in his previous matches and it’s tempting to think that the Capitals strong seam options should serve them well during the run in.

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

Chahar bowling record

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.

Thakur bowling record

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.

Lungi Ngidi
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

CSK bowling records in Mumbai

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

CSK bowling records at Delhi

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

CSK bowling records at Bangalore

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 bowling records 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.

CSK's Ravi Jadeja celebrates
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

Preview CSK batting at Mumbai

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

Preview CSK batting at Delhi

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

Preview CSK at Bangalore

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

Preview CSK batting at Eden Gardens

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

Summary

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
T20 head to head logo

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 has a poor average at the venues where he will play most of his cricket during the IPL.
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 funny run out IPL
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 bowled during an IPL match
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!

Shane Watson not bowled
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 bowled first ball
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

BowlerWickets
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.