Every season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) throws up facts and stats that grab the cricket fan’s attention and IPL 10 is not far behind in this respect.
While in most editions, the IPL has been about discovering young Indian players, this time it has been about how the new generation and the technical players have performed at par.
If Rahul Tripathi is playing the big shots at the top of the order for the Rising Pune Supergiant, there is also New Zealand’s classical batsman Kane Williamson, who has re-invented himself in the T20 format while playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Among the many players who have impressed this season, the performances of these two batsmen have stood out – albeit for different reasons.
While we look at their impressive numbers, there’s also something to worry about for MS Dhoni’s fans. The former Indian skipper has been struggling against spinners throughout the current tournament.
Here’s a look at the three astonishing figures from IPL 10 so far.
1. Rahul Tripathi – RPS’ Smiling Opener
Rahul Tripathi has been an important contributor to RPS’ resurgence in the tournament. A relatively unheard-of name until before this tournament, the 26-year-old has made the most of the opportunity given to him in IPL 10.
The ever-smiling RPS opening batsman seems to be enjoying the spotlight and appears not to be affected by the reputations of his opponents.
In a tournament featuring the best cricketers from around the globe, Tripathi’s performance has caught the eye: he has batted fearlessly and his strike rate of 155 is better than that of some of the reputed batsmen in T20 cricket.
2. Kane Williamson – IPL Ten’s Kiwi Revelation
Kane Williamson is among the top batsmen in world cricket today. The Kiwi is ranked second in the ICC’s Test cricket rankings and third in the T20I rankings. He has already scored hundreds against all Test playing nations, and has equaled the New Zealand record for most Test hundreds.
Williamson has the image of being a technically correct player, a stylish run-maker and an effortless and consistent accumulator; hence the notion that he was more at ease in the longer version and the 50-over format.
However, he has been a revelation this IPL – for the ease with which he has been able to step on the accelerator and for playing strokes one wouldn’t expect from him.
Consider this: his strike rate this season stands at 161.70 – which is a 34 percentage point improvement over his scoring rate in T20s before IPL 2017.
3. MS Dhoni – Fluent Against Quicks, Strangled by Spin
From very early in the season, captains have been alert to trends and patterns emerging in the tournament.
One such trend that has emerged – which has been widely written about, discussed and criticised by sections of the media – is MS Dhoni’s supposed weakness against spin bowling.
The former RPS captain has certainly been found to scoring slowly against spin bowlers, particularly early on in his innings, and fielding captains have been smart in introducing spinners the moment Dhoni has walked out to bat.
His strike rate against spinners is 84, which is in stark comparison to his strike rate of 135 against the quicks.
Among the other batsmen who’ve had trouble against spinners are Rohit Sharma and AB de Villiers.
The former has a strike rate of 85 against spinners – and has also been dismissed five times in seven innings by bowlers of that variety. De Villiers has a strike rate of 145 against the quick bowlers, but it drops to nearly a run-a-ball against spinners.
Visit The Quint’s IPL 10 site for more.