Quickies and batsmen sizzle but spinners fizzle









Gaurav Joshi reports from India on IPL-2016

So what has been so unique about this season of the IPL? Sixes continued to flow, as did the fall of wickets and the crowd still poured through the gates.   However, cricket on the field took a slightly different turn.

One of the key statistics this season is the lack of wickets taken by spinners.   Pitches this season have been the flattest and the lack of help for the spinners has affected their wicket- taking abilities. Only since Royal Challengers started posting improbable totals did their spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal started seeking rewards.

Kolkata Knight Riders have built their success on spin bowling but this year the Eden Gardens pitch behaved in favour of batsmen negating the Kolkata spinners’ impact.   In the last two seasons, Kolkata only lost three games at home. This year they lost three in one year alone.   The impact of spinners has reduced dramatically.   The Sunrisers Hyderabad’s path to success has been built around fast bowling. Their spinners have taken only four of the 83 wickets this season.

But while spinners have had low impact, fast bowlers seemed to have evolved. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rehman, Jasprit Bumrah and Dwayne Bravo’s ability to bowl accurate yorkers at the death has been a standout feature.   The credit should be given where it is due: the fast bowlers despite playing on docile pitches have taken the game up to another level.


The batting on the other hand has been scintillating. It is no surprise to see the three best batsmen in the world Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and David Warner are smashing all the records.   Warner and Kohli have scored more runs in a season this year than anyone has ever managed to do in the last eight editions of the IPL.



The cream at the top seems to be rising but perhaps there is a concern that no emerging talent really blossomed with the bat this year. Karun Nair from Delhi was the standout but the likes of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Unmukt Chand among others really failed to contribute.

It begs the question: are the upcoming batsmen still in transition phase? Are they still trying to work out what works the best for them? Watching Kohli, De Villiers and Warner should be a lesson to all of them that hard work is the best solution.

The batsmen may have the last laugh in the IPL final but this season has been about the development of the fast bowlers in the T20 game.

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