What Changed? - IPL 2022 vs 2023
Author : Gautam Varier
Yet another Indian Premier League season is now in the books and just like all the previous ones, it didn’t disappoint. We saw many incredible batting displays, and some sensational bowling, and it appeared as if every other night had a nail-biting finish. At the end of it all, it was the Chennai Super Kings who came out on top on the final delivery of the season, as they thwarted the Gujrat Titans’ attempt at defending their title.
When comparing this season to the last, there were certainly some changes. For one, teams were extremely aggressive in the powerplays, with the run rate in the period going up from 7.81 to 8.71. The team’s batting first ended up with an average run rate of 9.15, which was up from 8.61 in the previous year. Last year also saw an even split with 37 wins each for teams that batted first and chased while this season saw a 40-33 edge for teams batting first, which is a bit of a surprise.
When we take at what changed in terms of the teams that dominated the different phases of the game, some interesting results pop up.
The Punjab Kings were the best team in the powerplay in 2022 and they had two Englishmen to thank for that. Among batters who faced at least 30 deliveries in the powerplay, the highest strike rate belonged to Liam Livingstone (212.12) while Jonny Bairstow (173.61) was third. Who was second on the list? Well, that’d be Rishabh Pant (177.41) from the Delhi Capitals. DC had two more players who struck at over 150 in the powerplay, David Warner (154.10) and Prithvi Shaw (150.69).
When you consider that neither Bairstow nor Pant played in IPL 2023 and the fact that Prithvi Shaw was hopelessly out of form, it is perhaps understandable that both teams weren’t able to replicate their success the following season.
The first thing you notice is how the run rate just shot up as compared to last year. We only had two teams going at over nine RPO in 2022 and there were only two under eight RPO in 2023.
The one constant here is that the SRH finished bottom in both seasons and they need to find ways to fix their low scoring rate if they are to have any kind of success. In terms of the top performer, it’d be CSK, as while they came second in run rate to RR, they only lost 9 wickets in the phase, which is incredible. On the odd chance they did lose an early wicket, Ajinkya Rahane proved to be quite the force in the powerplay, as his strike rate of 208.33 was the highest in the phase (minimum 30 balls faced).
In terms of the middle overs, it was KKR who had the highest rate, but it came at a heavy cost, as they lost the most wickets in the phase as well. Andre Russell did much of the heavy lifting as he was striking at 163.70, the third-highest rate among players who faced at least 100 deliveries in the phase. Right behind him was SRH’s Rahul Tripathi (160). The Mumbai Indians were unquestionably the worst in the middle overs in 2022, which makes what came next incredibly surprising.
To go from bottom to the top is some achievement and what’s even more surprising is just how much better they were than everyone else. It shouldn’t be all that surprising that the chief architect for this turnaround was one Suryakumar Yadav. SKY’s strike rate in the middle overs last year stood at just 126.05 but this time around it was a whopping 180.89, the best among batters who faced at least 100 deliveries. KKR deserve some credit for their consistency in this phase as well but it was Venkatesh Iyer who was their top performer this time, scoring 253 runs at a strike rate of 159.1.
It was the Lucknow Super Giants who were the top dogs in the death and leading the way for them, somewhat surprisingly, was KL Rahul, who scored 121 runs in the phase at an impressive strike rate of 198.36. Marcus Stoinis was second on the team with 111 runs and had a strike rate of 179.03. On the other end, the Punjab Kings, who were at the top in the powerplay, sunk to the bottom at the death as they struggled to finish off with a flurry repeatedly.
The runner-ups proved to be quite the force in the death this season, being the only team striking at over 12 RPO. They had three of the top four in terms of death over strike rate (minimum 30 balls faced) within their ranks, Vijay Shankar (279.41), Rashid Khan (217.07), and Sai Sudharshan (216.12). The biggest disappointment by far were DC as they failed to even score at nine RPO in the death. They only had one batter scoring more than 50 runs in the phase and that was Axar Patel with 130 at a strike rate of 178.08. No one else was able to score with any kind of consistency. They could have perhaps used Rovman Powell a bit this season, as he had struck 113 runs at a massive strike rate of 235.41 for them in 2022.
When it came to bowling in the powerplay in 2022, the Royals were a class apart, with the lowest economy rate and the most wickets. That perhaps shouldn’t be surprising considering they have Trent Boult within their ranks and his 11 wickets were tied for the most in the phase last year. Teammate Prasidh Krishna also took 11 wickets, and he was surprisingly more economical than Boult, at 6.58 compared to 6.95 for the Kiwi. RCB undoubtedly had the worst powerplay bowling last year but they managed to turn things around in a big way in 2023.
While the Royals remained the most economical team in the powerplay, the wickets weren’t quite there as Krishna missed the whole season. It would be RCB who would rise to the top for wickets with 33 and a big reason for this jump was Mohammed Siraj. Siraj took five wickets at an economy of 10.22 in the powerplay last year but this year, took 11 wickets at a miserly rate of 5.93. His 11 wickets ended up being second only to Mohammed Shami in the tournament, as the Titans pacer racked up an impressive 17 wickets.
KKR had the best run rate in the middle overs last year and had the best economy rate in the phase too. Sunil Narine with the ball was a big reason why, with an economy of just 5.30 in the middle overs, which was the lowest among bowlers with at least 100 deliveries in the phase. The most wickets, however, were taken by RCB as Wanindu Hasaranga had 20 scalps, which was tied for the most. Harshal Patel also took 10 wickets but it all went downhill for them in 2023.
RCB arguably went from worst to best in the powerplay in 2023 only to fall apart in the middle overs. Hasaranga played fewer games, but still managed just three wickets at a ridiculous average of 70.33. Patel, meanwhile, only picked up six wickets. As for Narine, he too wasn’t quite able to replicate that success in 2023, with an economy of 7.40 and an average of 45.66 in the phase.
The Super Giants at the top were led by Krunal Pandya who had the lowest economy rate in the middle overs at just seven RPO among those who bowled at least 100 deliveries in the phase. Ravindra Jadeja, meanwhile, led CSK as he was fourth at 7.23 as they maintained their second spot from 2022. As far as the wickets were concerned, GT were comfortably at the top, with their players accounting for three of the top six wicket-takers in the phase. Rashid Khan had 17, Mohit Sharma had 14, and Noor Ahmad had 13.
The Titans were the cream of the crop at the death in 2022, with the lowest economy rate and they were tied for the most wickets as well. Rashid having the second-lowest economy rate among those who bowled at least 30 deliveries in the phase at 6.83 helped while Shami took eight wickets to spearhead a somewhat balanced bowling effort. The team to keep an eye on here is CSK, who completely turned things around in 2023.
The Titans once again reigned supreme at the death in the end, but CSK’s uptick in that phase is one of the stories of the season. Matheesha Pathirana’s tournament-leading 18 wickets at the death propelled them to near the top of the pile after they took just 22 wickets in the whole of last year. As for the Titans, Mohit Sharma proved to be an inspired acquisition as he followed up his 14 wickets in the middle overs with 13 here, to rank second behind Pathirana. On the other end, the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, who took seven wickets at an economy of just 7.38 in the death last year, certainly hurt MI and Jofra Archer failing to impress just made matters worse.
We saw that only a few teams were really able to carry forward their success from last year over to this one, with the Titans at the death and the Royals in the powerplay perhaps being the exceptions. There are some interesting problem areas for teams to sort out for next season and it’ll be worth seeing if they make some moves in the auction to sort out those issues in particular.
Stats used in the article are from Cricinfo