The 2020 edition of the IPL kicks off on Saturday, 19 December in the UAE. Different time of year, different location but as fans we’ll be hoping for the same intensity and quality of cricket we’ve seen since 2008. We’ve analysed the data from the previous five IPLs (2015-2019) as well as looking at games played at the three venues in the UAE that will be used for the 2020 edition. We start off with highlighting some of the best individual seasons by batsmen and bowlers from 2015-19, look at the importance of the toss, dot ball percentage for spin bowlers and the ratio of boundaries to total runs to paint a picture of what to expect in this year’s IPL!

Standout Seasons By Batsmen

Let’s begin our analysis with some of the standout batsmen over the last five IPLs. Andre Russell (Dre Russ), MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Chris Lynn – some of the biggest names in world cricket standout for their brilliant individual seasons. MS Dhoni’s 2018 and 2019 seasons stand out – remarkably he seems to only be getting better with age (he turns 40 next year)! Andre Russell has been described as the most destructive batsman on the planet and his numbers (averaging over 50 and a strike rate over 220) were just absolutely remarkable. It’ll be interesting to see if he can come close to replicating that in 2020.

Standout Seasons By Bowlers

The first thing that stands out is Andrew Tye’s drop off between 2017 and 2019. Over the last couple of years, Rashid Khan, Ngidi and Rabada have had excellent seasons. With the 2020 edition of the IPL based in the UAE, it will be interesting to see if bowlers like Rabada and Ngidi can maintain their strong performances from recent years.

In the last five IPLs, this has led to a 54% win rate. The rate is even higher over the last five years in the UAE venues used for IPL 2020 at 58%. With most of the players not having played much competitive cricket in the last six months, it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll be able to deal with the pressure of a chase and if the win percentage stays around 54-58% in this year’s competition.

Death By Dot Balls

With the relocation of the IPL, it’s expected spinners will have an even larger role to play in determining which teams will be successful. The dot ball percentage in the IPL has been relatively stable over the last 5 seasons, however it has been steadily decreasing in the UAE venues used for IPL 2020. With the majority of the players in the competition expected to be quite rusty due to the COVID break, the importance of strike rotation might be just as valuable as big hitting to release the pressure in the early rounds.

The Role Of Boundaries In Building Totals

The above numbers further highlight our point. While it’s only a minor difference, there is a larger reliance on fours in the IPL compared to the UAE venues for IPL 2020. The ratio of sixes to total runs is similar could be explained by a more risk averse game at these venues up until the death where teams may be forced to go harder. If that is the case, we’ll have an extremely entertaining IPL. Especially early in the season, teams may look to build a strong base and conserve wickets for an explosive finish.

Win The Toss, Win The Match?

Data from 2015-2019

The trend over the last few years has been to want to chase in T20 games. In the last five IPLs, this has led to a 54% win rate. The rate is even higher over the last five years in the UAE venues used for IPL 2020 at 58%. With most of the players not having played much competitive cricket in the last six months, it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll be able to deal with the pressure of a chase and if the win percentage stays around 54-58% in this year’s competition.

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