Thursday, October 29, 2020

Why do Proteas dominate IPL but not international T20?


AB de Villiers once said he thought the IPL was bigger than the World Cup, an almost outrageous claim considering the fact that, gun to head, most non-Indian cricket fans would not be able to even guess who won the 2019 IPL, let alone the 2018 version. Now this could certainly be seen as an expected line of thinking from a man who continues to dominate in the IPL, yet has not played a T20 for his country since 2017, but we wondered if there was more to that? Now, it should be noted that doing better in one field than another does not indicate preference. I love money as much as I love gaming, but I play PlayStation every night, and I seem to never have money. That said though, we thought it was worth a look to see if AB plays T20 internationals with the same verve and chutzpah as he does in the IPL. 

AB de Villiers batting T20 batting records


 

IPL

T20

matches

166

78

Runs

4734

1672

average

40.46

26.12

Strike rate

152.51

135.17

100s

3

0


The first thing we see here, is that de Villiers' average and strike rate take a quantum leap in the IPL. His average increases by over 50%, which is a rather large amount in the grand scheme of things, while his strike rate increases by over 12%, which, when discussing strike rates, is a huge leap. There are of course, probably a lot of extenuating circumstances involved when comparing the two. The IPL only has four foreign players in a match day XI, which means that the vast majority of the playing team is Indian. If India had 56 international quality T20 players they would probably win every world cup by a significant margin, which they don't so it probably is safe to assume that the overall quality in the IPL, while by some distance the best in domestic cricket, probably falls a little short of the international game. Certainly, at varying stages, the Kochi Tuskers seemed to have a club bowling attack in lieu of a professional one. International T20s can often be held at the back-end of tours of tours with little or no prizes at stake. There would be some wisdom in thinking this lack of reward could be the reason for his reduced efficacy in T20 international cricket, but it spreads into his T20 World Cup play. His overall World T20 stats do not look that bad at first glance, but if you take a closer look, they seem to not be as impressive. 

AB de Villiers in ICC World T20 competition 


 

Overall record in T20 internationals

Record in World T20s

Record vs Netherlands, Afghanistan, Scotland

Record vs the Rest of the World

matches

78

30

4

26

Runs

1672

717

181

536

average

26.12

29.87

60.33

25.52

Strike rate

135.17

143.4

172.4

134.34

100s

0

0

0

0


Clearly his record against Test-quality opposition in World T20s was, give or take, the exact same as his overall record, which suggested that AB de Villiers, even in more high leverage situations, did not exactly play to his IPL level for the national team. 

 This represented a huge disparity and I was curious to see if similar leaps in performance existed for the other blockbuster Proteas. The two players who immediately leapt out to me were Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris. Rabada has obviously been the number one ODI and Test bowler in the world at varying points of his career, and has will very likely get the IPL purple cap (Most wickets) for the second season in a row. His T20 international stats have, however not quite followed this level of ability. Similarly, Chris Morris has seemingly had a rather average international career, and yet every second year seems to fetch North of R10 million. 

To start off with, we analysed Rabada's performances. The thing that will immediately leap off the screen will be the fact that he averages 1.8 wickets per game in IPL, while averaging 1.25 wickets per game for the Proteas. This represents a rather large departure statistically. While his IPL economy rate was only marginally better than when he represents the Proteas, one cannot ignore the fact that wicket have huge impact on the run rate the bowlers around Rabada also concede runs at. New batsmen generally take time to get their eyes in, so taking wickets is a priceless form of economic control. 

Kagiso Rabada T20 bowling records 


 

South Africa

IPL

Matches

24

30

Wickets

30

54

Economy rate

8.62

8.13

Average

25.4

17.5

Wickets per game

1.25

1.8



The stats were much the same in Morris' case, with the all-rounder recording a greater level of impact with both bat and ball in the IPL. In fact his record in the IPL basically reflects his pricing as maybe one of the top three or four most destructive lower-order all-rounders in the game, while his record in the green and gold reflects his status as a yo-yo man in the team in competition with three other men for the pace all-rounder slot.

Chris Morris T20 records 

 

South Africa

IPL

Matches

23

68

Wickets

34

80

Economy rate

8.4

7.78

Average

20.5

23.51

Wickets per game

1.47

1.17

Runs

133

548

Average

14.78

26.1

Strike rate

130

159.77

50s

1

2



So the next time you look at the Proteas dominating in the IPL and wonder why we can't do that in the international game, well the answer is quite simple: they aren't that good in green and gold. 

1 comment:

  1. Isnt this misleading as variables are not being held constant? While they are playing against some superstars in the IPL the rest are filled by 2nd tier Indian players. When you are playing international cricket you are playing against, well the best players in the country?

    ReplyDelete

To the couch for Bouch

There is an old saying in Tennessee, I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, we will tolerate you until we can replace ...