The 13th season of the Indian Premier League is barely a few weeks ago and the excitement has been building up like it does before the start of each and every IPL season. Several teams have already started their preparation camps for the tournament and this highlights how important the league has become for both the stakeholders and also the players.
When it comes to T20 cricket, most fans across the world termed it as a batsman's game when the format first came to fruition and expected scored to be mostly around 170-180 mark. While that has changed to an extent especially due to slow and low tracks which are often produced at grounds like Chepauk in Chennai or the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, batting still rules the T20 format.
After all, fans are most excited about fours and sixes rather than wickets. Over the years, the IPL has seen the best batsmen from the world plying their trade for various IPL franchises. Be it David Warner, AB de Villiers, Andre Russell, MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli, fans have been treated to some extraordinary batsmanship. This season will be different given that some old and new faces like Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton, Aaron Finch, and Jason Roy will be part of the league this season.
While one gets ready for more and more stunning knocks in the upcoming season, let us take some time to rewind and look back at the 2019 IPL season. Here, we will be listing down the teams according to the 'Most Runs scored' criteria.
Note: The following stats pertain to the league stage of the competition only.
#8 Chennai Super Kings
Matches - 34 | Runs scored - 2043 | Wickets Lost - 73 | Runs per wicket - 27.98 | Runs per over - 7.51 | Fifties - 11
Highest run-scorer: MS Dhoni - 368 runs in 14 matches
Surprised at seeing the eventual runners-up at the bottom of this table? We wouldn't blame anyone for being taken aback by this as a team can't be so successful and go onto miss the IPL trophy by just one run without scoring a lot of runs.
However, that is what transpired last season as Chennai Super Kings depended heavily on their bowlers and more particularly their spinners to win matches. While CSK averaged 27.98 runs per wicket through the 14 league games, the average runs per wicket while playing at home increases to 30.65. Although most teams found it difficult to face CSK at the Chepauk, their batsmen were pretty prolific like the stat reveals. This is the major reason why the three-time IPL champions won six of their seven home games.
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Even in terms of runs per over, CSK aren't high on the list as they only managed to average 7.51 runs per over which is again the least effective in the league. While this isn't ideal in T20 cricket, it also shows that CSK always had a target in mind and played according to that. It remains to be seen whether they stick to the same formula or look to be more aggressive with the bat in this upcoming IPL season.
#7 Rajasthan Royals
Matches - 14 | Runs scored - 2194 | Wickets lost - 76 | Runs per wicket - 28.86 | Runs per over - 8.42 | Hundreds - 2 | Fifties - 9
Highest run-scorer: Ajinkya Rahane - 393 runs in 12 matches
Next on the list are Rajasthan Royals who had finished at the 7th spot in the league phase. Unlike CSK, not scoring enough runs turned out to be a big problem for Rajasthan as they weren't one of the Top 4 bowling sides too.
Rajasthan Royals were quite peculiar in terms of the fact that they were one of the two teams to have two individual hundreds in the season. However, consistency and conversion were a big miss and this is reflected by the number of individual fifties (nine) which turned out to be the lowest aggregate last season. Rajasthan were also not great in terms of their rate of scoring as their runs per over amounted to just 8.42 which was only better than Chennai and Delhi Capitals.
A lot of their struggles are down to the fact that Jos Buttler only played eight games due to international duty. Apart from him, only two other batsmen in the form of Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson scored over 300 runs with a 130+ strike-rate.
#6 Delhi Capitals
Matches - 14 | Runs scored - 2207 | Wickets lost - 90 | Runs per wicket - 24.52 | Runs per over - 8.21 | Fifties - 12
Highest run-scorer: Shikhar Dhawan - 486 runs in 14 matches
Having scored just one run lesser than Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals who had qualified for the play-offs occupy the 6th spot in this list. With a pretty young batting line-up, Delhi stuttered quite a few times.
Last year, no team had lost as many wickets (90) as Delhi Capitals did during the league phase of the competition. Further, Delhi were among the only three teams (RCB and SRH being the other two) to get all-out twice in the league phase. Delhi's rate of scoring wasn't great either as their 8.21 runs per over was only better than Chennai Super Kings.
It was only the fact that Delhi were among the best bowling sides in the competition that helped the team finish 3rd in the points table as the talented yet inexperienced batsmen floundered in a lot of winnable games.
#5 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Matches - 14 | Runs scored - 2208 | Wickets lost - 84 | Runs per wicket - 26.28 | Runs per over - 8.47 | Hundreds - 1 | Fifties - 13
Highest run-scorer: Virat Kohli - 464 runs in 14 matches
It was yet another disappointing season for the star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit as they finished bottom of the points table once again.
Although the two biggest names in the team, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers were really good along with Parthiv Patel, several other players struggled due to wrong batting positions and lack of a long rope. The clearest examples of this issue were the duo of Shimron Hetmyer and Shivam Dube who played only a combined nine games after going for big money in the IPL auction.
Like the very first match of the league revealed, RCB was also not good at reading and adjusting to various conditions. In the seven away games, Bangalore averaged a meagre 24.31 runs per wicket. Unsurprisingly, they lost five of those seven matches too. However, one can't point a finger as the batsmen alone as RCB were also one of the poorest bowling sides in the competition to compound the overall problem.
#4 Sunrisers Hyderabad
Matches - 14 | Runs scored - 2288 | Wickets lost - 74 | Runs per wicket - 30.91 | Runs per over - 8.60 | Hundreds - 2 | Fifties - 14
Highest run-scorer: David Warner - 692 runs in 12 matches
Somewhat fortunate to make the play-offs, Sunrisers Hyderabad were a team which depended heavily on two or three batsmen to make the bulk of the runs. It is quite incredible to notice that Hyderabad's opening combo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow nearly scored half of their team's runs. Out of the 2288 runs that SRH scored through the league phase, Warner and Bairstow accounted for 1137 runs.
Helped by their usually strong bowling attack along with some superb knocks from Manish Pandey, Hyderabad somehow managed to bag the 4th spot in the points table. With the side adding some domestic and overseas middle-order options, it would be interesting to see whether the 2016 IPL Champions have solved their soft underbelly.
#3 Mumbai Indians
Matches - 14 | Runs scored - 2380 | Wickets lost - 80 | Runs per wicket - 29.75 | Runs per over - 8.67 | Fifties - 10
Highest run-scorer: Quinton de Kock - 492 runs in 14 matches
The defending champions Mumbai Indians find themselves at the third position in terms of teams who scored the maximum number of runs through the league phase.
Mumbai's journey to lifting their fourth IPL title was laid strongly on their batting line-up. Just like what you would expect from a team that went onto win the championship, a number of players including Quinton de Kock, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma and Keiron Pollard stepped up on various occasions. While Suryakumar and Rohit Sharma anchored the innings for MI, the other three were at their aggressive best.
This is what helped Mumbai to end the league stage with such balanced statistics. From 14 matches, Mumbai scored 2380 runs with the average runs per wicket being 29.75. The scoring rate was also pretty good as Mumbai got their runs at 8.67 runs per over.
#2 Kings XI Punjab
Matches - 14 | Runs scored - 2429 | Wickets lost - 74 | Runs per wicket - 32.82 | Runs per over - 8.78 | Hundreds - 1 | Fifties - 15
Highest run-scorer: KL Rahul - 593 runs in 14 matches
The fact that Kings XI Punjab are so high on the 'Most Runs scored' list might come across as a surprise to many but their two star batsman, KL Rahul and Chris Gayle were indeed in fine form during the 2019 IPL season. While the duo of Sarfaraz Khan and Mayank Agarwal flattered to deceive by not being able to convert their starts, Rahul, in particular, played the sheet anchor role to perfection and sometimes even to the level where it was slightly unnecessary.
Although Chris Gayle was at his very best with his 490 runs coming at a strike-rate of 153.60, there was a distinct lack of aggression from others. Hence, while KXIP did average a healthy 32.82 runs per wicket, there was still room for improvement in terms of their scoring rate.
Like all the four teams that missed the play-offs, Punjab too were unfortunate as they were short on net run rate. However, the side will also know that their bowling could have been better in the season. This is why KXIP made a massive reshuffle in the 2020 IPL Auction to bring in the likes of Chris Jordan and Sheldon Cottrell.
#1 Kolkata Knight Riders
Matches - 14 | Runs scored - 2466 | Wickets lost - 78 | Runs per wicket - 31.66 | Runs per over - 9.11 | Fifties - 17
Highest run-scorer: Andre Russell - 510 runs in 14 matches
The most impressive batting unit by some margin, Kolkata Knight Riders excited fans around the country with their performances. In terms of the teams that missed out on the play-offs, Kolkata were the closest to displacing Sunrisers Hyderabad with a net-rate difference of 0.549 proving to be decisive in the end.
Looking at the team's batting displays in detail, it was unbelievable how Andre Russell managed to overshadow the likes of Chris Lynn, Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik with some other-worldly knocks against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore. 'Dre Russ' went onto finish the season with 510 runs which came at a strike-rate of 204.81. Unsurprisingly, KKR averaged 31.61 runs per wicket while the scoring rate was the best in the competition at 9.11 runs per over.
Unfortunately, KKR had to pay the price as they were the worst bowling side in the competition. Be it spinners or pacers, KKR couldn't find a bunch of bowlers to capitalize on the brilliance of Andre Russell and co.