IPL Halfway Report: The Moves That Made The Difference | Cricket
Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans were the first three teams to get to the 10-point mark in this Indian Premier League, hardly surprising considering how balanced their teams looked before the season began. But this IPL has also been unlike any other. Over 18 200 team scores have been scored in this IPL, which is already equal to 18 runs in all of IPL 2022, which is the most in any season.
On the other hand, chasing has not always been easy, though most teams prepare themselves to bat well afterwards. The Impact bye rule has allowed teams to play to their strengths – allowing more spinners like Amit Mishra, Suyash Sharma and Adam Zampa to bowl freely without waking themselves up to bat. There are fascinating returns and trends beyond the numbers too, as Ajinkya Rahane’s No.3, junior Tendulkar defends 20 runs in the last over and the steel of the lower-order few teams rely on to orchestrate brilliant turnarounds. With the IPL reaching the halfway mark, we take a look at some of the moves that have worked so far.
Rahane back, and how
Story of the season, possibly the year. No longer in the Test squad count, dropped from the central contract list and given hardly any room to prove he belongs here, Ajinkya Rahane ends this IPL with a zen smile, zero luggage and tee Took 20 shots with great range. A match back, he was sitting at a strike rate of around 200. It is now below 190.
An average of 44 at No.3 meant that openers Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad almost always assured Chennai Super Kings a solid fightback in the middle overs, courtesy Rahane. And it was only because MS Dhoni felt that Rahane’s style of batting was best suited for a one-down attack. Not only has his strike rate been the talking point of CSK’s campaign, but Rahane’s consistency has also been highlighted by the fact that he has scored 20.36% of the team’s runs.
CSK’s lanky import
Amidst the talk of Ben Stokes joining the team, he will focus only on his batting. Deepak Chahar returned from injury after conceding 94 runs in nine overs in three matches. Tushar Deshpande was expensive in the first match and CSK’s bowling resources were looking thin across the lines. Ravindra Jadeja, easily one of the best bowlers this IPL, had to be used efficiently, so Dhoni turned to his Sri Lankan signings – off-spinner Mahesha Tikshana and medium pacer Mathisha Pathirana – to weigh him down. He did more than that.
In a high-scoring thriller against RCB, Tikshana screwed up before defending 19 runs in the last over. The next match, he was effective once again when KKR were looking to break free in their chase of 235. They may average over eight per over, but together they are proving to be a difficult combination to face in slog overs.
Averaging 16.64 runs for each of his 14 wickets, with an economy of 7.38 and striking every 13.7 balls, Mohammed Siraj has proved to be Royal Challengers Bangalore’s go-to bowler, regardless of the scenario he finds himself in Be With Harshal Patel’s slower deliveries almost revealed and Vijaykumar Vaishak still being eased into the attack, RCB were in dire need of an Indian pacer to handle the front and back end of the innings.
It has been quite a turnaround for Siraj as he averages 10 per over in 2022 but has now turned into a fitter, more aware bowler who can bowl an average yorker in the death overs. It was always difficult to play the natural inswinger in the powerplay, but Siraj has added another dimension to his new-ball bowling, with greater control over the wobbly seam variation.
low grade steel
More on trend, and largely successful. And there is no set pattern to it. On a day when anchor Rinku Singh went under the shadow of finisher Rinku Singh, KKR hit five sixes in the last over. When Mumbai Indians seem to be slipping into a batting coma once again, Tilak Verma comes in at No.5 and shines with a 46-ball 84 in an innings where the next highest score is 21.
If Shardul Thakur’s 29-ball 68, Nicholas Pooran’s 19-ball 62 and Shimron Hetmyer’s 26-ball 56* are examples of successful turnarounds when all hope was lost, Verma and Jason Roy ( 61 off 26 balls against CSK) will tell you that not every innings ends like a fairytale. Point is, it’s not over until it’s really over. And that is only making IPL even more enjoyable.
puberty in different dosages
Highlights of this IPL will be the selection of Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rahane, Siraj and Rinku Singh; Also Yashasvi Jaiswal, Arjun Tendulkar, Rajvardhan Hangergekar, Dhruv Jurel and Tilak Verma. Young, ambitious and with nothing to lose, the next generation of cricketers have shown once again that India is T20 ready. Despite being the son of Sachin Tendulkar, Arun has already given a good account of his patience by defending 20 runs in the last over.
Jaiswal had a mediocre season last year, but this year he is a changed man, striking almost 150. In 15 balls against CSK on Thursday. For talents like Rajvardhan Hangergekar or Yash Dhull who haven’t got enough matches to impress, the right backing can make them stars.