Sunday, 09 January 2011

[Sport: Cricket] IPL 4 squad analysis following auction (8 & 9 January 2011)

So the player auctions for the IPL 2011 season (and beyond) have come to pass and most teams have had a total revamp. The only team which will have a retained a major contingent of their squad is the Chennai Super Kings and they have been contenders in all 3 seasons since tournament inception (so it makes perfect sense for them to retain the look of their squad).

Some teams have chosen not to retain even a single player and gone with fresh line ups! Two new franchises have entered the fray in the form of Kochi and Pune taking the total number of teams to ten. Not long ago there were only 7 teams whose participation was without doubt, this after the banning of two existing franchises by the BCCI (Rajasthan & Punjab) and ownership squabbles within the Kochi franchise threatened it to become a non-starter. Rajasthan and Punjab decided to take the BCCI to task and the higher powers of the land ruled in their favour thus entitling them to compete and effectively 'unbanning' them.

So the player auction (which had been postponed due to the team uncertainty) could go ahead on 8 & 9 January 2011. It appears the Kochi franchise have not had time to finalise their team name and logo but that did not stop them from being one of the more active parties on the auction floor.

Now the question is, which team(s) emerged from the auction with the best players and which is the most balanced squad? Its pretty obvious that simply rating the players based on how much the final bid they were sold for at the auction is not the way to go because of the nature of auctions. There have been loads of media content on who fetched the largest sums, who were the 'steals' and who went unsold against the predictions but not much to evaluate the various team strengths based on player ability and squad completeness, that is what I have attempted to do.

The Squad composition table is available as a pdf download available here.

Scoring Methodology
Each player has been assigned a 'Quality/Ability' score (based on performance at domestic and international level and prior IPL seasons). Scoring of players will always be subjective and the scores presented are my personal view. These individual ratings are then used to determine an overall score for each team based on player quality.

A second score is computed based to indicate the 'Completeness of the squad' which essentially takes into account the number of players already signed up (and bearing in mind that those signed on outside the auction are generally not going to be of the same caliber as they have not represented India at international level). The squad completeness also takes into account the number of Indian players vs the international players in the squad (this rating is preferential towards Indian players due to the limit of 4 internationals in the starting line-up for each match).

Team Ratings summary pdf download available here.

Both these scores are then used to derive an overall team score based on the squad profiles after the auction. The table above indicates a few surprising findings alongside the more expected results, there is little to separate the leading 5 scores but the top 3 sides are Chennai, Bangalore and Kochi respectively whilst the three weakest teams are Punjab, Kolkata (in spite of their big money signings!) and Rajasthan.

Rajasthan appear to be the side with the biggest concern here, they have the fewest number of players in their squad (less than half that of Chennai, Delhi or Kochi) and despite this only manage to obtain a mediocre player quality score (this can only go down with signings after the auction). While they may be able to improve their squad completeness score with some 'Asnodkar' type signings their quality score will take a hit and thus their overall team score will likely remain at the bottom of the rankings. One might say that they pulled off the unexpected with an average squad in the inaugural season but I think they will struggle to repeat a similar feat again.

A table of detailed team ratings by individual player ratings is available as a pdf download available here.

The complete spreadsheet is also available (xlsx format) here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Abu,

    Very good in-depth analysis of the squad. Some comments that I have:

    1) Player ratings: I would rate the multi-skilled players higher than the specialists. So, I would've rated a Yusuf Pathan/Shane Watson higher than a Steyn. AB and Steyn are rated 9. AB, is multi-skilled, and I know that Steyn is in the form of his life, but is he going to be that effective in T20s? (Interestingly enough, Praveen Kumar has better figures than Steyn in T20s!). Also, pitches in India may not provide as much help as it would to the slower bowlers, so his effectiveness may be tampered a bit. Also, I would've taken James Hopes as an all-rounder, rather than specialist bowler. Also, Pollard as an all-rounder. And Nathan McCullum is more spinner than batsman - all-rounder as well, I guess... Harris as all-rounder is also a bit strange - didn't think he batted that well... Abhishek Nayar can bowl a bit as well.

    2) Squad usage: Teams have gone with 10 overseas players, but I wonder how many of them will actually play! In the first of editions of the IPL, a lot of big-name players have been bought, but not played too many games. So, with a team with 10 overseas players, is the emphasis on getting 4 big impact players, and 6 standby players with low skill/experience, or getting 2 big impact players, and getting another 6 of moderate skill/experience and 2 with low skill/experience? I guess we'll only see the full picture when we see who the local uncapped players are.

    3) It would've been nice, if the overseas players had been a different colour - For example, Kochi have 3 out of 4 batsmen from overseas. They have 5 out of 6 all-rounders from overseas. Bowling is okay, in that Kochi have only Murali from overseas. So although the team may look okay in terms of the overall numbers, it looks terrible when you consider that they don't have enough capped indian players.

    4) As part of your analysis, it might have been useful to look at the first 11 selection as well, i.e. leaving out the uncapped players, and with the 4 overseas player limit, I think the teams would look like (their skill total at the bottom):

    PS: Uncapped players marked as X, with a score of 3.


    Tillakaratne Dilshan
    Virat Kohli
    AB de Villiers
    Cheteswar Pujara
    Saurabh Tiwary
    Mohammad Kaif
    Daniel Vettori
    Zaheer Khan
    Dirk Nannes
    Nuwan Pradeep
    Score: 72


    Michael Hussey
    M Vijay
    Suresh Raina
    MS Dhoni
    S Badrinath
    Albie Morkel
    Dwayne Bravo
    R Ashwin
    Doug Bollinger
    Joginder Sharma
    Sudeep Tyagi
    Score: 71


    Kumar Sangakkara
    Shikhar Dhawan
    Kevin Pietersen
    Cameron White
    Dale Steyn
    Prajyan Ohja
    Ishant Sharma
    Amit Mishra
    Manpreet Gony
    Score: 68


    Virender Sehwag
    David Warner
    James Hopes
    Venugopal Rao
    Irfan Pathan
    Naman Ojha 
    Roelof vd Merwe
    Morne Morkel
    Ashok Dinda
    Agit Agarkar

    Score: 61


    Brendon McCullum
    Parthiv Patel
    Mahela Jayawardene
    Brad Hodge
    VVS Laxman
    Ravindra Jadeja
    Muttiah Muralitharan
    RP Singh
    Vinay Kumar

    Score: 63


    Gautam Gambhir
    Jacques Kallis
    Brad Haddin
    Eoin Morgan
    Yusuf Pathan
    Manoj Tiwary
    Brett Lee
    Lakshmipathy Balaji
    Jaidev Unadkat

    Score: 60


    Davy Jacobs
    Sachin Tendulkar
    Rohit Sharma
    Andrew Symonds
    Kieron Pollard
    Harbajan Singh
    Lasith Malinga
    Munaf Patel

    Score: 65


    Graeme Smith
    Jesse Ryder
    Robin Uthappa
    Yuvraj Singh
    Angelo Mathews
    Ashish Nehra
    Murali Kartik
    Wayne Parnell

    Score: 62


    Shaun Marsh
    Adam Gilchrist
    Dinesh Karthik
    David Hussey
    Abhishek Nayar
    Ryan Harris
    Praveen Kumar
    Piyush Chawla

    Score: 61


    Shane Watson
    Rahul Dravid
    Ross Taylor
    Shane Warne
    Shaun Tait
    Pankaj Singh

    Score: 51.5