Batting strike-rates in IPL history

By Jaideep Varma and Jatin Thakkar

As expected, Chris Gayle tops the list

Measuring the strike rate of a batsman relative to the average strike rates in every match he plays in is an idea pioneered at Impact Index. This number, between 0 and 5, taken across a career, provides the clearest picture of the impact a batsman had on account of his strike rate.

So, the varying standards of its time (when the analysis is done across eras) or of the conditions (say, the tournament strike rate during IPL 2 at South Africa would be different from the tournament strike rate in other years due to the conditions) is taken care of in this system, and therefore provides the truest picture as far as strike rate comparisons go.

Here are the batsmen with the highest Strike Rate IMPACT numbers over the last 4 years of IPL (minimum 15 matches).

1. CH Gayle (Strike Rate IMPACT 0.53, 28 matches)
2. V Sehwag (0.35, 50)
3. SR Watson (0.28, 32)
4. YK Pathan (0.25, 58)
5. JD Ryder (0.21, 18)

No surprises here at all perhaps. Though Kieron Pollard would make this list on conventional strike rates, Jesse Ryder wouldn’t. On that list, the order of the remaining players is different (with Sehwag on top, instead of Gayle), but 4 of these batsmen are in the top 5 of the conventional strike rate list too – which suggests that standards and conditions have not varied much in the IPL in these 4 years.

The Ten Highest Impact Strike Rate Performances in IPL History

1) BB McCullum 158 off 73 v Royal Challengers Bangalore  in Banglore, IPL 2008 - Strike Rate IMPACT 4.08

The highest impact innings in T20 history occurred in the very first IPL match ever. Nothing comes close to this even on a pure strike rate level. The trauma inflicted on the RCB bowlers lasted a whole season.

2) ST Jayasuriya 114 off 48 v Chennai Super Kings  in Mumbai, IPL 2008 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.94

Chasing a respectable 156 against the otherwise successful bowling line-up (in that season) of Morkel, Balaji, Gony and Muralitharan, Jayasuriya dramatically reverted to his default setting of monstrous destroyer for the first time in the IPL. The match was over by the 14th over, with Jayasuriya scoring 72% of his team’s runs.

3) V Sehwag  94 off 41 v Deccan Chargers  in Hyderabad, IPL 2008 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.82

Chasing 146, Sehwag took just 16 balls to knock off half the runs (10 fours, 6 sixes) in an innings that otherwise lasted a little more than an hour – as DD won in the 13th over by 9 wickets.

4) AC Gilchrist 85 off 35 v Delhi Daredevils  in Centurion, IPL 2009 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.82

Strike Rate IMPACT is not measured for tournament context; otherwise this would be right on top of the list – as it came in the 2009 semi-final. 10 fours, 5 sixes is a very symmetric distribution of quintessential Gilchrist magic, that all but finished off the match in the first ten overs itself (when Gilchrist was dismissed, with the score at 102). 

5) V Sehwag 75 off 24 v Rajasthan Royals  in Ahmadabad, IPL 2010 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.65

Chasing 141, DD lost 2 wickets in the fourth over itself – Gambhir gone for 9, Dilshan for 0, but the score was 42 – Sehwag had started going berserk. He got out with the score at 99 (for 75 in 24 balls; 8 fours, 5 sixes) leaving his team 43 to get in 60 balls, which they achieved with ease.

6) R Dravid 66 off 48 v Rajasthan Royals  in Cape Town, IPL 2009 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.62

The most surprising name on this list (as surprising as  the 50 in 22 balls he has in ODI cricket) – Dravid played one of the finest T20 innings in quintessentially tough batting conditions where only two batsmen crossed 11 – the world’s best T20 batsmen Pietersen made 32. Dravid came out at 17-3 and got out at 125-9, anchoring the innings with a performance that had everything (including 8 fours and a six). RR were knocked over for 58, which made Dravid’s strike rate even more astonishing.

7) CH Gayle 107 off 49 v Kings XI Punjab in Bangalore, IPL2011 - Strike Rate IMPACT 2.59 Table 7

IPL 2011 will go down as the year Chris Gayle defied all odds with a consistency that has never been seen in T20 cricket. In this particular match, in a little over an hour, he had taken his team’s score beyond 150 in just the 15th over (with 10 fours and 9 sixes), already 30 more than what KXIP would be able to muster up when they batted.

8) KC Sangakkara 65 off 47 v Kochi Tuskers Kerala  in Kochi, IPL2011 - Strike  Rate IMPACT 2.47

Much like Dravid’s, another name that is surprising to see on a list celebrating strike rate achievements. And much like that instance, a complete batting performance from captain-wicketkeeper Sangakkara – transforming 20-3 to 110-5 – absorbing considerable pressure without dropping the momentum. KTK, 11-6 at one stage, folded up almost 40 runs before even that. 

9) AC Gilchrist 109 off 47 v Mumbai Indians  in Mumbai, IPL2008 - Strike  Rate IMPACT 2.41

Chasing 155, Gilchrist pretty much single-handedly finished off the match in just under an hour – gently caressing 9 fours and languidly dispatching 10 sixes along the way. Purely from an academic point-of-view, Laxman also got 37 as DC won by 10 wickets.

10) MS Dhoni
  66 off 33 v Kolkata Knight Riders  in  Kolkata, IPL 2010 - Strike  Rate IMPACT 2.40

CSK was not quite cruising at 55-3 in the 10th over. Dhoni, always preferring to tee off closer to the end, massacred a bowling attack consisting of Shane Bond, Ishant Sharma, Angelo Matthews, Laxmi Shukla and Murali Kartik (6 fours, 3 sixes) taking CSK to a formidable 164 – as a shell-shocked KKR folded up for 109 thereafter.

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