Apr 24, 2013

IPL Race


A cricket post after a long time.. The IPL 6 is on and everyday sees a change in the table. There were similar changes happening last year too, which is what is shown in the figure above (yellow circles). Until the league phase, the table positions are plotted (positions 1 to 9) as the tournament progressed. In order to remove the ambiguity of the tournament schedule, I have started plotting only after all the teams had played at least one game, which happened a few days after the season started. There were several highlights from this figure:
* Over half the teams (5 of them) occupied the top position at the end of some day. Sustaining the position was the challenge.
* After about 2 weeks of the season, Delhi emerged as the clear table-toppers and continued to top throughout except for 3 days in May, when Kolkata momentarily enjoyed the apex position.
* Within the first 2 weeks, Rajasthan flirted with the top position more than any other team. Within a week after losing the #1 position, they were out of top-4 and came to #4 only for a day in Early may and then out again.
* Pune's case was very interesting. They enjoyed early success quite well. They even topped the table for a day in the first fortnight. Then they started losing but managed to hold on in the top 4 for about 10 days more. The free fall started after that and they lost pretty much all the games to stay in the no. 8 position during the second half of the season, before losing to Hyderabad and getting the wooden spoon.
* Hyderabad's was a sad season too. They looked lost from game 1 and continued to do so throughout, except for the last week. That was when they played the part of spoilsport to perfection, messing up the play-off chances of RCB and RR, and avoiding the ignominy of the last place.
* The top 3 teams more or less stayed in that position for the last 3 weeks of the league phase, and the competition was between 4 teams for the #4 spot. This year, it looks the opposite. I am predicting that DD, PWI and KKR would languish at the bottom whereas RCB & CSK would stay in the top 4, even top 2. It would mean that the remaining 4 teams would compete for the 2 remaining spots.
* Last, WHATTAPLAYER GAYLE IS !!! Most brutal innings that I've ever seen in 26+ years of cricket watching. Mind-blowing!!
UPDATE:
How does it look for this year?

I've tried to add the jersey colors to the lines this time. Already 6 teams have been table-toppers. I doubt if anyone else would be able to touch the apex position albeit briefly. What I see as salient points are:
* Yesterday was the first day there was no change in the positions of all the teams. Last year, it happened for  the first time two later, i.e., on 26th April.
* For the past week, the bottom three teams (7-9) have stayed in their respective positions.
* After the customary early hiccup, Chennai's winning streak has helped them gain rapidly from 7th to 1st position in just 5 days.
* On the contrary, Mumbai, after enjoying 3 days at the apex position, slipped to #6 in just 6 days.
* Sunrisers are the only team to stay in top 4 since their first game, closely followed by both the Royals.
* At the other end of the table, Delhi and Pune are having nighmarish tournament, very similar to their 2011 campaign; they have never even crossed the bottom of the table since Day 1.

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