The captain and his numerals.
This season of IPL would be widely remembered for it's run chases. Out of the 34 matches played so far, 24 (70.58%) have been won by teams chasing. The fear of elevated targets, the fear of soaring required run rate, the fear of opposition batsmen (when they bat first) and the fear of opposition bowlers (when they bowl second) have all been put aside by the captains in this season of the IPL. Notwithstanding the conditions, most of the captains these days elect to bowl first at the toss.
The architecture of these run chases has been mostly drawn by the batsman cum captain for a team. Rohit Sharma being the greatest exemplary. Mumbai Indians has played 9 matches as of now. They have won five and lost four. Indians' dependency on him is best defined by the fact that his contributions of 84*, 62, 65, 68 and 85 have all come in the matches that they have won. In the remaining matches, Sharma registered innings of 7, 7, 5 and 0. Out of the 1,447 runs that Mumbai Indians have scored in nine matches, 383 (26.46%) have come out of Sharma's bat. Out of his tally of 383 runs in this season, 364 have come in winning times. No team would ever ask anything more from it's captain.
|Rohit Sharma has has contributed 364 runs in Mumbai Indians' victories this year.|
As far as looking up to the captain is concerned, David Warner is on the top of that list. His innings of 90*, 74*, 59, 92 and 24 have all come in winning causes. In the three matches, which Sun Risers Hyderabad lost, Warner got out on 58, 13 and 0. SRH has scored 1,193 runs in eight matches, out of which Warner has 410 runs (34.36%) under his belt. It is the highest percentage of runs by a batsman in comparison to the total runs scored by the team.
Next on the list is Virat Kohli. The captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore has scored 433 runs (32.87%) out of the 1,317 runs scored by his team in 7 matches. The bowling attack of RCB has been nothing less than a fiasco for them. Their average score (188.14) is the highest by any team in this season. Yet their bowlers somehow manage a way to end up on the losing side.
For the table toppers, Kolkata Knight Riders, Gautam Gambhir has been the highest run-scorer. Gambhir, who captains KKR, has scored 393 (27.65%) out of the 1,433 runs scored by his team in 9 matches. In terms of captains, Suresh Raina comes next on the list. The captain of Gujarat Lions is also the highest run-scorer for his team. He has 272 runs (17.39%) under his name out of the 1,564 runs scored by Lions in 10 matches. Murli Vijay, who has recently been given the big role for Kings XI Punjab is also their highest run-scorer. Out of the 1,181 runs scored by Kings XI in 8 matches, Vijay has 204 (17.27%) under his name. However, their average score (147.62) is the lowest by any team in this season.
Among the non-captains, Ajinkya Rahane leads the runs tally for his team. Out of the 1,373 runs scored by Rising Pune Supergiants in 9 matches, 343 (24.98%) have been scored by Rahane. Quinton de Kock, who keeps wickets for Delhi Daredevils is also their highest run-scorer. His 245 runs in 8 matches form 19.82% of the runs scored by Delhi Daredevils.
It is comprehensible from the above numbers that captains have dominated in this season. Out of the 8 respective highest run-scorers for a team, six of them have also been leading the team. This signifies that captains no longer feel the pressure of leading a side to an extent where their personal form experiences a dip. The contemporary cricket demands captains who excel at both captaining the team and performing at the individual level. The current scenario defines a captain as an asset and not as a liability.
Another thing which comes to mind is after observing the numbers carefully is that all the eight batsmen bat in the top three for their team, which further demonstrates that more the time given to a batsman in a T20 game, more are the chances for him to score big and quick.