Worst IPL? The mind-boggling dominance of bat over ball in 2024 season

IPL 2024, KKR vs PBKS: A total of 523 runs were scored and 42 sixes were hit in Kolkata as the growing disparity between bat and ball was highlighted once again on Friday. PBKS scripted the highest-ever successful chase in T20 history -- 262.
Worst IPL? The mind-boggling dominance of bat over ball in 2024 season
Jaano Junction

IPL 2024 is turning out to be a season of run-fests and six-hitting shows. Some call it a beyond-believable disparity between bat and ball while others say it is a case of beyond-believable dominance of bat over ball. And Friday’s record-breaking game between PBKS and KKR at Eden Gardens only divided the cricket fraternity more. 'Worst IPL' was trending on X, reflecting the mood of the critics of the 2024 season.

A total of 523 runs were scored with PBKS scripting the highest-successful chase -- 262 -- in the history of T20 cricket. PBKS hit 24 sixes, 6 more than KKR batters as to contribute to a new T20 cricket record for six-hitting. Barring the magician Sunil Narine, who has thrived on reputation and skill in this season, none of the bowlers were spared from the carnage.

Jonny Bairstow’s ruthless 108 off just 48 balls which came after a platform-setting 54 off just 25 balls from Prabhsimran Singh propelled PBKS towards completing an improbable chase. And PBKS’ decision to send Shashank Singh at No. 4 worked wonders as their ‘find of the season’ smashed 68 from just 28 balls. PBKS chased down the target in just 18.4 overs.

Records tumbled at Eden Gardens, where there is only a bit more than 30 yards between the inner circle and the boundary rope. For the first time in an IPL match, openers from both teams hit 50-plus scores. Bairstow and Prabhsimran lit up the night sky in Kolkata only after fireworks from Sunil Narine and Phil Salt. Narine smashed 71 off 32 balls to go to the No. 2 spot in the Orange Cap standings while Salt hammered 75 off 37 balls.

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Worst IPL? The mind-boggling dominance of bat over ball in 2024 season

Friday’s game between the Knight Riders and the Kings was only an extension of the entertaining/worrying trend in IPL 2024.

260-plus: Teams have hit more than 260 in IPL 2024 seven times. Between 2009 and 2023, only once was a 260-plus total scored - RCB's 263 vs Pune Warriors India in 2013.

500-plus: Since the inception of T20 cricket, only 7 times have 500 or more been scored in a match in aggregate. 3 of those aggregate totals have come in 2024.

9.49: On average, bowlers have conceded close to 10 runs per over in the IPL.

200-plus: Teams have gone past the 200-run mark as many as 24 times in the first 42 matches of the tournament.

200 by chasing teams: As many as 7 matches have seen chasing teams post a total above 200.

287: SRH smashed the highest-ever total in the history of IPL against RCB in Bengaluru, days after smashing 277 against MI in Mumbai. On both occasions, SRH conceded in excess of 200.

SIXES: Over 700 sixes have been hit so far in 2024 after 42 matches. The count is set to easily overtake the tally of 1,124 sixes hit in IPL 2023.

2: KKR have been unable to defend 200-plus totals twice in IPL 2024. Before PBKS's 262, RR chased down 224 on the back of a Jos Buttler century.

The Impact Player rule, which allows teams to play an extra batter or bowler, is one of the main reasons for the spike in totals. Batters are playing with more freedom, knowing there is an extra hitter waiting in the dugout.

Bowlers have voiced out against the Impact Players rule, highlighting there is no respite for them in an era in which bats are getting better and the boundaries are getting smaller. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj have voiced their concern about the Impact Player rule.

The rule to review wide calls has also had its effect as bowlers have not been able to get away with close calls.

“Loads of different things, guys can hit balls for long periods of time, the coaches, training, the dew, dot balls become wide after reviews and you get the extra ball. Stats are going of the window,” PBKS captain Sam Curran said on Friday.

R Ashwin took to social media, sending an SOS call ‘Save the bowlers’ after PBKS chased down 262. His Rajasthan bowling partner Yuzvendra Chahal backed him with a meme on social media.
Notably, former India captain Sourav Ganguly, on Friday, called for more balance between bat and ball in the IPL. It came even as the Arun Jaitley Stadium has produced some incredible run-fests in this season.

“Not easy for the bowlers. They are being carted all over and that's one area that needs to be looked at in the future, the balance between bat and ball,” Ganguly said.

However, former India opener Aakash Chopra opined that the batters are evolving, and the bowlers need to catch up. Irfan Pathan attributed the spike in totals and sixes to the change in mindset of the batters.

Strangely, in a season where the two-bouncer rule was introduced, bowlers, especially the pacers, are travelling the distance. The bowlers will only be hoping that the rise in temperature in the coming weeks will bring them some respite from the ruthless batters. 

Source: India Today

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