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The Pitch Side Experts Podcast: Tracking IPL Trends – Anchor Batsmen & High Pace Quicks

Episode 18 of The Pitch Side Experts Podcast, featuring CricViz analyst Freddie Wilde.

The Podcast

In the latest episode of The Pitch Side Experts Podcast, presented by former West Indies fast bowler, turned commentator Ian Bishop, former Australia all rounder, turned coach Tom Moody and CricViz Analyst Freddie Wilde, the trio discuss two of the main trends from the on-going IPL: anchor batsmen and the success of high pace quicks. You can listen to the full episode of the podcast below on Spotify. The Pitch Side Experts is available on all the primary podcast platforms, including iTunes and Google Podcasts.

Further Reading

In Cricket 2.0 Freddie explored the role of anchor batsmen in T20. You can read the chapter from the book here.

The Data

CricViz data is used throughout the episode. Some of the key statistics and bits of analysis are outlined below.

In the discussion on anchor batsmen Freddie references how this season has seen high scoring batsmen score at a notably lower strike rate than in the previous two IPL seasons.

The scatter below plots all batsmen to score at least 400 runs in an IPL season with those from 2020 marked in red.

KL Rahul’s season for Kings XI Punjab is touched on by the trio in the podcast. The table below shows Rahul’s average batting impact—a unique CricViz measure—for each of his innings this season and shows how a number of Rahul’s high scoring innings have in fact contributed negative impacts.

After discussing anchor batsmen the trio move onto discuss how high pace bowlers have dominated the IPL season this year. The graphic below shows the leading wicket-takers in the tournament this season, with those capable of speeds of more than 140 kph highlighted in red.

The chat about pace bowling leads onto a discussion about death bowling and the relative merits of yorkers compared to shorter lengths. Moody references data showing death over economy rates from this year’s IPL according to the length the ball has pitched. That data is shown in the table below.

Freddie also makes reference to the fact that some of the world’s best and most destructive hitters struggle against back of a length when it is above 140 kph – as this table below shows. The table also shows the tiny margin for error on yorkers to the world’s best hitters.

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