The batting strike rate has been a major topic of discussion in the Indian Premier League (IPL). While scoring runs keeps holding importance, the rate at which they are scored is also crucial, especially in a generation where scores of 200 are not a rarity anymore.
KL Rahul and David Warner are among the leading run-scorers in IPL 2023, but they have faced a lot of criticism for their indifferent strike rates.
Is KL Rahul helping his own team?
The other day, Rahul scored 68 runs off 61 balls in Lucknow Super Giants’ (LSG) match against the Gujarat Titans (GT) at the Ekana Stadium, but his knock could not pay dividends. Rahul was there in the middle until the last over of LSG’s run-chase, but his team failed to chase down 136.
Rahul faced criticism from former cricketers Venkatesh Prasad and Dodda Ganesh for being unable to guide his team to win despite playing through the entire innings.
Ganesh asked Rahul to learn from Ajinkya Rahane, who has played at a strike rate of nearly 200 for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The veteran took a dig at Rahul for not showing enough intent. Rahane became the Player of the Match after he scored an unbeaten 71 against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Eden Gardens.
Rahul scored 18 runs off 20 balls earlier after LSG were asked to chase down 213. Rahul batted until the 12th and hit only one four while the required run rate kept climbing. If not for Marcus Stoinis’ 65 and Nicholas Pooran’s 15-ball half-century, the Super Giants could well have lost the match. In the end, LSG somehow defeated RCB by 1 wicket.
Rahul is seventh in the list of leading run-scorers in IPL 2023, but he has sometimes been frustrating to watch. Most of the pitches in the championship have been kind to batters, but Rahul has not drifted away from playing the role of an anchor rather than trying to dictate terms.
The Super Giants are in the race to qualify for the playoffs with eight points and a net run rate of +0.547, but Rahul’s rate of scoring remains a big cause of concern.
David Warner hasn’t been his attacking self so far
Warner, on the other hand, is the third-highest run-scorer of IPL 2023, but again, his strike rate has not helped the Capitals. Warner, who burst on the scene as a fearless batter and challenged the best bowlers around the world, has struggled of late.
The southpaw has scored 306 runs from seven matches but at a strike rate of 119.53. Warner recently hit his first six after 246 balls in IPL 2023, showing his struggles with the bat. He, however, has scored four half-centuries.
Warner, nevertheless, showed a lot of intent in the Delhi Capitals’ (DC) match against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. He hit 11 fours off 41 balls and gave a glimpse of his very best. He played at a strike rate of 139.02, laying the platform for the Capitals, who were chasing 128 to win.
In the game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Warner again struggled to get going. Although he hit two fours and a six, he could not quite rotate the strike enough.
The Capitals are not in the healthiest of positions as they are placed at the bottom of the table. With the race heating up for the playoffs, DC cannot afford much blemishes. Most importantly, Warner needs to get his intent right and up his scoring rate.
The Capitals have struggled quite a bit in the batting department, and it is Warner who must set the template.
Any other culprits?
Apart from Rahul and Warner, other batters have strained with their scoring rates. One of them is Mayank Agarwal, who is playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Agarwal has a strike rate of 111.56, which has not helped his team by any means. The Orange Army are languishing at the bottom half of the table and have a lot of work to do to climb the ladder.
Rahul Tripathi, Agarwal’s teammate in the Sunrisers, is known for his innovative stroke-making. But with a strike rate of around 111, he has not got going in IPL 2023.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz started his IPL campaign with a blistering half-century against RCB but has fallen away since then. The Afghan batter, who has a T20 strike rate of nearly 150, has a strike rate of 117.24 in IPL 2023. The numbers itself show how much he has found it tough.
If a batter decides not to take enough risks, especially in a high-scoring match, it puts pressure on the other batters, leading to their dismissal. All in all, it is important to show intent and maintain a high strike-rate in T20 matches. The quicker the likes of Rahul, Warner, and others learn it, the better it is for them and their teams.