Thursday, May 21, 2009

Most Valuable Player of this IPL

With few day to end IPL 2009, its time to look back and pick this year’s Most Valuable Player .

Selecting the best player in a league is a subjective call. And when it comes to cricket you can be sure that everyone has their own opinion.In cricket, it gets even harder because you end up comparing across species- batsmen and bowlers . Then there are all-rounders and keeper-batsmen which add to the complexity.

So let’s take a look at this year’s candidates. For simplicity, we first compare within a species (i.e. batsmen with batsmen) before looking across categories. We also look at player’s who have been a part of at least half the tournament, long enough to have made a sustained impact.

Best Batsmen

Player Runs Runs per innings Strike Rate
ML Hayden 546 49.6 145.21
AB de Villiers 433 39.4 132.01
SK Raina 394 32.8 147.01
AC Gilchrist 395 30.4 146.84
JP Duminy 363 33.0 113.79

Matthew Hayden is well ahead of the pack- the most runs, an average score of nearly 50 per innings (a hallmark of consistency) and a high strike rate. The rating also tells you that while Duminy has a lot of runs, his batting momentum score is a fair bit lower than the rest- and that’s because of his low strike rate.

Best Bowlers

Player Wkts Average Economy Rate
SL Malinga 17 16.11 6.02
A Nehra 18 17.11 6.55
RP Singh 19 16.89 6.73
A Kumble 15 18.53 5.89
IK Pathan 15 23.86 7.72

This one is harder to call. RP Singh may be the purple cap holder, but Malinga and Nehra have been better overall bowlers thanks to their superior economy rates. SL Malinga just edges out the Delhi Daredevil in this list.

Best All-rounders

Player Runs per innings Batting Strike Rate Bowling Strike Rate Economy Rate
DJ Bravo 21.8 107.38 18.0 7.80
YK Pathan 19.5 139.28 30.0 6.94
JH Kallis 27.7 110.29 44.4 7.97

The bowling strike rate (i.e. deliveries bowled per wicket) indicates Bravo was by far the most effective wicket taker of the lot, which led to him overcoming Kallis and Yusuf Pathan in the rankings. Plus, the West Indian got bonus points for his fielding efforts. Pathan did have the best batting strike rate and economy rate of the three, but his lack of consistency led to fewer wickets taken and fewer runs per innings. A tough call, but statistically Bravo wins out.

Castrol Cricket has estimated Most Valuable Player Index which makes it possible for players contribution to the game irrespective of their mode of contribution. According to that index ,Matthew Hayden is well ahead of others. His overall Castrol Index of 81 is top of the pack. His batting momentum score of 79 is nearly 40% better than his closest competitor Maliga. His consistency has been unparalleled by anyone- no other batsman, bowler or all-rounder has maintained his level of sustained excellence. And Hayden has led his side to a winning record and a place in the semis. Without a doubt, the IPL 2009 Matthew Hayden in the most precious asset for out of the all commodities sold in the IPL ,according to the cost benefit analysis.

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