IPL 2022 – The dominance of the wrists and the acceleration of the intermediates

IPL 2022 – The dominance of the wrists and the acceleration of the intermediates

Dominance of wrist spinners

Wrists won 141 wickets in 74 matches, the second for them in an IPL edition, behind 143 scalps in 2019. They averaged 24.53 runs per wicket, the best since 2011 (21.03) and the third best overall.

By comparison, the fingerpinners picked just 116 wickets with an average of 34.95, the fourth-worst average in an edition. Maheesh Theekshana and R Ashvin were the most successful finger spinners in this tournament with 12 wickets each.

Advantage of the new ball for point guards

The IPL 2022 has been a productive season for the playmakers with the new ball as the grounds in Mumbai and Pune have helped them through the league phase. The pace bowlers averaged 30.01 on the power play this season, third-best in the IPL. The point guards took a wicket every 23.77 balls on the power play, just behind 23.11 in the 2009 edition in South Africa.

Success with the new ball meant teams didn’t often prefer to start with spinners – as pacers threw 83.68% of balls on the power play – the second highest in a season since 2010. The Punjab Kings didn’t had only four spin overs during powerplay in the tournament, while title winners Gujarat Titans handed only six overs to the spinners in this phase.

Intermediate acceleration

Teams have been looking for early acceleration this season after quiet overs on the power play, which led to the mid-over scoring rate rising to 8.17, the highest ever in any edition of the IPL. The previous highest average pass rate in a season was 8.12 in 2018. Most teams were aiming for the block of five on 8-12 overs.

Sometimes expensive overs during this period hampered chase teams. The run rate in those five overs this season was 8.07, comfortably the highest of any edition, with the previous highest being 7.95 in 2018. In fact, the overall run rate in every over between the 8th and 12th overs this season was over 8 runs.

POTM Awards for Bowlers

Kuldeep Yadav has won Player of the Match honors four times this season, the most by any player. Seven of the 15 players to have won multiple Player of the Match awards were for bowling. In 28 games, a bowling performance earned player of the match. This is the most Player of the Match awards won by bowlers in an IPL season.

The award in 40 of the remaining 46 games went to batting performance, while the other six recognized comprehensive efforts. However, in terms of % awards won by bowlers, 37.8 in 2022 is the second highest behind 39 in the 2017 season. The 2017 season had seen 23 awards won for bowling out of the 59 matches while 31 for batting efforts.

Close game season

In a season where toss-winning teams preferred to chase, batting-first teams had a five-game streak (from game 53 to 57) with winning margins of more than 50 runs. Never in the IPL had teams batting first won more than two successive games by more than 50 points. Despite this unique streak, the IPL 2022 had fewer one-sided matches in terms of winning margins.

Only 47.3% of games this season ended with a margin of more than 18 runs or more than three wickets with more than nine balls to spare. This is the fourth lowest of all IPL editions and the lowest in editions where more than eight teams have contested. The three seasons between 2011 and 2013 with nine or more teams had more than 50% one-sided games.

Pre-bid picks and how they fared

The only franchise to make the perfect picks ahead of the auction was Gujarat Titans, who ultimately emerged as the title winners in their debut season. Titans signed Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill alongside their captain Hardik Pandya. Gill and Hardik finish in top five run-getterswhile Rashid played key cameos in order, adding to his tally of 19 wickets.

Finalists, the Royals of Rajasthan also made good choices by keeping Sanju Samson, Joe Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal. Buttler won the Orange Cap, while Yashasvi Jaiswal, benched after three games, made a solid comeback in the second half.

Big names – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli produced below par returns for their respective franchises. Rohit failed to score fifty for the first time in an IPL editionwhile Kohli recorded his worst season since 2009. Kieron Pollard failed to complete games for Mumbai Indians and was benched towards the end of the league phase.

mohamed siraj was one of three Indian point guards to be retained but ended up with the Very expensive performance for any bowler in an IPL season.

Mayank Agarwalin his first season as captain, struggled for consistency and dropped to the middle order. Kane Williamson failed to guide Sunrisers Hyderabad with his stick, scoring less than run a ball.

Abdul Samad |, another Sunrisers retention, lasted just two games before being left out. However, Omran Malik proved to be their striker, with 22 wickets.

Both Venkatesh Iyer and Varun Chakravarthy, Indian retainers for the Kolkata Knight Riders, were left out after very few matches.

Lucknow Super Giants underused their overseas draft pick Marcus Stoinis while Ravi Bishnoi was a bit pricey, conceding 8.44 while picking up only 13 wickets. Although the Chennai Super Kings have not dropped any of their retentions, their skipper Ravindra Jadeja quit his responsibilities due to a rib injury after performing poorly.

Sampath Bandarupalli is a statistician at ESPNcricinfo

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