What made this edition of IPL the season of batters?

Batsmen have become more fearless as the league progressed over the years

Royal Challengers Bangalore batter Virat Kohli plays a shot | PTI Royal Challengers Bangalore batter Virat Kohli plays a shot | PTI

This season of the Indian Premier League has been undoubtedly the season of the batsmen. There have been 12 centuries so far, and two more matches are yet to come. The previous best has been eight centuries in 2018. Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans respectively have done the maximum damage, having scored two centuries each this season.

What is the reason for batters plundering with impunity?

There are a few. First and foremost, batsmen have become more fearless as the league progressed over the years. They are now more experienced about the twist and turns the format can throw at them and their teams. Their approach too has evolved—they practise hard certain shots during training and prepare to target specific bowlers.

Also, this season, the bowling standards have not exactly been very sparkling. Barring the top five bowlers so far this season—Mohammed Shami (Gujarat Titans, 15 matches, 26 wickets, 7.66 economy rate), Rashid Khan (Gujarat Titans, 15 matches, 25 wickets, 7.91 economy rate), Yuzvendra Chahal (Rajasthan Royals, 14 matches, 21 wickets, 8.17 economy rate), Piyush Cawla (Mumbai indians, 21 wickets, 7.75 economy rate), Tushar Deshpande (Chennai Super King, 15 matches, 21 wickets, 7.75 economy rate)—nobody else has managed to keep the batters quiet.

The bats too have played a critical role in this transformation. The use of the “mongoose bat” has been quite the talking point. The blade is 33 per cent shorter and the handle is 43 per cent longer than a normal cricket bat. This helps to play attacking cricket as it gives the batsmen more power to hold.

Talking about the bowling, every team in this IPL has had a few “weak bowlers” in their lineup, and these have been specifically targeted by the batsmen. Besides, even though IPL is a highly competitive league, it is a fact that the plundering batters will not have it easy in non-league games - either with shots used or runs scored. The absence of top, mainline bowlers from countries like England, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand, too, has contributed to batters playing fearless cricket.

However, for now, with the IPL in its final stages, it is time to enjoy the last two games. Be it with the bat or ball, the final is unlikely to be a one-sided affair.


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