Tuesday, May 24, 2011

IPL 2011 Points Table

Blame it on its to the World Cup or the heartburn that comes from watching an obviously weak Daredevils side, but it took me a while to warm up to the IPL this season. I was so indifferent toward the start that during one of the games I decided to go grocery shopping. 3 of the 4 teams to make the playoffs were decided almost before the start of the tournament. The owners of Mumbai and Chennai had got their way with the player retention rule while Rajasthan and Punjab were docked a certain amount of their payroll. Bangalore had bought very wisely as well. It was just a matter of finding out which would be the fourth team to make the playoffs, although the playoff system was a very good move to ensure teams didn't ease off once qualification was confirmed.

But I did get into it as the season went on and there have been some really good performances. I'm not going to get into who are the best and worst players this season as that's not what this post is about.

This post is about the final points table and a statistical assessment of where teams should have been based on their performance. I should add a caveat here. A 14-game sample for teams isn't really big and there will always be large variations because of some lopsided matches. This was especially the case for the Bangalore, as the team's performance improved remarkably with the arrival of Chris Gayle. Just to give you a sense of perspective, Bangalore's estimated win percentage in matches Gayle didn't play was 29.43. In matches Gayle played, their estimated win percentage was 68.57. It would have probably been even more had they not had that huge loss against Punjab, but since a 9-game sample is small it will be prone to such odd results.

The estimated win percentage is based on the teams' average (batting and bowling), strike rate (batting and bowling), economy rate, and balls per wicket lost. I would have loved to incorporate the percentage of dots, singles, boundaries as well but unfortunately that data isn't available very easily. Also, the weight of each statistic was based on data from the previous IPL seasons. Below is the table depicting the actual and estimated win percentage of the 10 teams.

Team

Mat

Won

Lost

Win %

Est Win%

Bangalore

14

9.5

4.5

67.86%

55.95%

Chennai

14

9

5

64.29%

61.93%

Mumbai

14

9

5

64.29%

63.10%

Kolkata

14

8

6

57.14%

62.96%

Punjab

14

7

7

50.00%

44.15%

Rajasthan

14

6.5

7.5

46.43%

41.91%

Deccan

14

6

8

42.86%

50.09%

Kochi

14

6

8

42.86%

38.73%

Delhi

14

4.5

9.5

32.14%

35.24%

Pune

14

4.5

9.5

32.14%

42.49%


* Bangalore and Rajasthan, Delhi and Pune shared points because their respective matches did not produce a result due to rain.

The 4 statistically best sides have made the playoffs, albeit not in the order of their statistical edge. This is the first time in four seasons that it's happened - Mumbai missed out in 2008 and 2009 while Delhi didn't make the semis in 2010.

There really isn't much to choose between Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. It's interesting that Bangalore who have the worst estimated win percentage of the four have topped the table. It's due to the fact that teams play just 14 games and all it takes is a run of 5-6 good matches to make it to the top 4. In this case, Bangalore reeled off 7 consecutive wins thanks in large part to Chris Gayle.