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
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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!