With the Indian Premier League (IPL) slated to take place across different locations in the country, given the conditions, spinners are bound to play a key role in determining the probability of success of their respective franchises. Only 24% of the spinners in the tournament hail from overseas, while the rest (76%) are Indians, a statistic that only serves to highlight their criticality for their team’s plans.
With crores of rupees spent by the franchises to get hold of the best Indian talent in this domain, it is not yet clearly comprehended as to where they stand in comparison to others. This article aims to objectively determine the answer to this question, using data from the country’s premier domestic T20 tournament- The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2021, where most of the IPL playing Indian spinners exhibited their skills (25 of the 30).
The recency (SMAT took place in the month of January this year), as well as the context (best of the T20 talent in the country featured in it), make it most suitable for the inferential objective of this article. The data from the tournament was compiled from the websites of the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) as well as ESPNCricinfo.
The questions sought to be answered are twofold- Firstly, who is the best at picking wickets? Secondly, who is the best economically? The insights obtained were also verified through correlation analysis for reliability purposes with the data from the same sources for the Vijay Hazare Trophy (VHT), which occurred the following month in February.
Data for a total of 24 IPL playing spinners were analyzed, while one was dropped due to a lack of matches played (M Siddharth, who played only one game). The basic inclusion criterion was a minimum of three games played for generating sufficient individual-level data points.
Who is the best wicket-taking spinner?
A basic visual insight is provided for all the spinners by first comparing graphically their strike rate vs their average in figure 1 below.
*Pawan Negi does not feature as he did not take any wickets
A composite index is provided below, consisting of wickets per game (average wickets per game), strike-rate (average balls bowled per wicket), and average (average runs conceded per wicket) for all the players.
Wicket-taking composite score was calculated as wickets taken per game + (1/economy) + (1/average)
Table 1- Analysis of wicket-takers
|Sr. No.||Player Name||Wickets/Game||Strike-Rate||Average||Composite Score|
|11||R Sai Kishore||1.00||21.00||16.87||1.11|
The three best wicket-taking spinners in the tournament are Rahul Chahar, Jalaj Saxena, and Ravi Bishnoi; overall as well as in terms of the deliveries and runs they concede to take the wickets. Karn Sharma and Krunal Pandya deserve a special mention in this category, too.
Who is the most economical bowler?
A basic visual insight is provided for all the spinners by first comparing graphically their strike rate vs their dot-ball percentage in figure 2, given below.
The economy composite score was calculated as 1/ economy for 100 deliveries plus dot ball percentage.
Table 2- Analysis of economical bowlers
|Player Name||Dot-Ball %||Economy||Composite Score|
|2||R Sai Kishore||51.19||4.82||1.77|
*Data for 100 top bowlers only was available for dot-balls, which included only the above spinners
Axar Patel and R Sai Kishore are the picks of the lot, while Harpreet Brar, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Mayank Markande deserve special mention, in terms of dot-balls they bowl as well as their economy rate.
The article attempted to predict, using objective data, the Indian spinners that are most likely to be wicket-takers and economical for their franchises in the IPL. As the sample size for prediction was relatively small, extraneous events such as player form, mindset, playing conditions, etc may have a slight impact on findings. Thus, results may accordingly be interpreted by keeping in mind these conditions.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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