IPL 2022: The Curious Case of more Totals Being Defended This Season

Six out of the last ten games have been won by the side batting first indicating a change in trends.

  • admin | April 30, 2022 | 8:30 am

IPL 2022: Last season, out of 34 games in the UAE, only nine were won by the team batting first. Taking the first leg into account the total was 23 out of 64 games. Once the IPL shifted to the UAE, the toss became a crucial factor. Taking flat pitches and dew into account, the team winning the toss was left with a strong advantage, which seems to be changing this season.

42 games into IPL 2022 and the side batting first has already won 20 games. The interesting thing though is that the toss trend hasn’t changed. Sides winning the toss are still choosing to bowl first. Up until this point, only Hardik Pandya decided to bat first after winning the toss, and his superior bowling line-up on a hot day is a reason that prompted him to go with what seems a bold decision.

What is the difference though between the last season and this one? The dew factor still remains, but the groundsmen have ensured that the factor is less prominent then it was when the season started. When the season began, eight games were won by the side batting second as dew wrecked the team bowling second.

With the dew factor being unpredictable though, bowling sides have been getting some assistance. Another factor could be down to the pitches. With four seasons hosting the entire league stage of IPL 2022, the groundsmen have started to leave more grass on the surface. This has led to some seam movement, bringing bowlers into the game across innings.

Few games into IPL 2022, the wear on the track has started to show. Playing in the Indian heat, the pitch has got drier and is much more conducive to spin and lower bounce, making it tough for batters to pick the off-paced deliveries.

While dew and the surfaces have been factors, another key reason could be down to the bowling attacks. A strong bowling attack is crucial in winning tournaments and with ten teams, it may be tough to build an attack of five superstar bowlers. Few sides though have managed to find the balance and that could be their reason behind being a successful defense in IPL 2022.

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The Rajasthan Royals were the first team to successfully defend. While their batting line-up has the might to score big totals, the bowling has also looked very balanced in defense. Out of eight games they have won six batting first. Of those six, the Rajasthan Royals have posted in excess of 190 on four occasions, and have later went on to defend lower totals in the 140s and 160s range. They are one of the stronger teams defending this season, and the results show that they have enjoyed defending more than chasing, despite being on the wrong side of the toss on a number of occasions.

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A couple of other sides to have relative success while defending are the Gujarat Titas and Lucknow Supergiants. In their recent games, they have defended decent totals, while the Mumbai Indians also took the game to its final over while defending 150 odd, showing that the trend of chasing is changing as batting second looks more challenging in IPL 2022.

Six out of the last ten games have been won by the side batting first, and a number of the games won batting first have resulted in close encounters, with teams winning by small margins. While only one captain has chosen to bat first, recent results may give the other captains some confidence in their bowling unit, prompting more to bat first after winning the toss in IPL 2022.

There are still 28 games to go, and given the rate of wear on the surfaces, more spin and slowness can be expected. With batters likely to be challenged by the lack of pace, the old notion of win the toss, bat first, put runs on the board, and put pressure on the opponents may be heard a lot more, resulting in some interesting encounters to come.