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Sixes sweeten IPL, but how many is too many?

Heinrich Klaasen was this year’s best six swatter in the Indian Premier League till last Sunday. He isn’t even the star player on his own team anymore. Has the sweet become sour?

Not exactly. Travis Head has tied the South African record set by Klaasen with 31 sixes, while Abishek Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Sunil Narine have all surpassed it. But those players are separated by just four sixes, which is less than the number of times a single batter has been struck in an innings in this IPL.

And when Sunrisers Hyderabad hosts Gujarat Titans on Thursday, the wild, roaring redhead will probably have an opportunity to take the top spot back. In his four innings there, Klaasen has smacked 11 sixes, including seven in his season-high score of 80 runs off of 34 balls against the Mumbai Indians on March 27.

The Titans will aim to accomplish more than they did on March 31 in Ahmedabad, where they prevented any SRH batter from reaching 30. With five balls left and seven wickets remaining, the Titans overtook SRH’s 162/8 thanks to Klaasen’s 24 which included two sixes.

Which, in a tournament that has produced an average of 17.84 sixes per match in its 62 completed games, may be mostly or even entirely meaningless by Thursday. Though not the primary cause, this year’s IPL has made news around the world of cricket. Furthermore, it is strongly related to the impact player.

This is an example of a headline that appeared on April 30 in the UK Daily Telegraph column written by Nick Hoult: “IPL’s ridiculous substitution rule is undermining the fabric of cricket.” The heading reads: “Allrounders are being sidelined and bowlers are being battered – all for the sake of more and more boundaries” .

“Six used to have its own cachet, standing for a risk taken, a shot well and sometimes audaciously hit, a frisson in flight, some doubt about whether it would clear the fielders or the boundary, exultation when it did,” columnist Greg Baum wrote in the Melbourne Age on May 5. In a game, sixes were uncommon enough for each to be significant.” That headline read: “The joy of six has not been entirely lost, but it’s getting there” .

“It seems to me these days that the IPL is almost like an accounting exercise rather than a cricket exercise,” Gideon Haigh said to Peter Lalor in the first episode of the podcast Cricket et al. the next day. Instead of scoresheets, it’s more like spreadsheets. When I switch on the highlights, every game appears exactly the same. Each game has an identical sound. The uniforms’ color is the only variation. Furthermore, to be honest, artificial intelligence (AI) could probably accomplish that anyhow.”

Jacques Kallis, Axar Patel, Mukesh Kumar, and Rohit Sharma have all expressed opposition to the impact player rule. However, Ravi Shastri stated on R Ashwin’s YouTube channel on Tuesday: “The impact player is good.” It’s necessary to change with the times. There will always be those who attempt to argue against any new regulations. But eventually, when you see the scores—200 and 190—and people seizing that chance and maximizing it, people will begin to reconsider their opinions.”

In South Asia, cricket and most other public conversations are dominated by the IPL. The majority of its matches begin at 3 p.m. London time, which is midnight in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, 10 p.m. in Perth, and 11.30 p.m. in Adelaide. As a result, while you may watch the IPL live if you’re in the UK or the Indian subcontinent and analyze everything you see, including how the players are affected, in Australia, you’re probably going to see an increasingly frantic frenzy of packed highlights. Or six after six after six with the tiniest dash of quite uncommon and insignificant events such as wickets. especially when SRH is participating.

With 146 launches, they have more sixes than any other franchise. Compared to Gujarat, the team at the bottom of the list with 68 hits, that is more than twice as many. With a league-high collective strike rate of 168.19, SRH has the highest. Not least because they boast three of the best five six hitters in Sharma, Head, and Klaasen, they have scored three of the top five totals. However, compared to SRH’s 171, no other team has hit more fours.

Consequently, compared to SRH, the percentage of runs scored in boundaries by Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, and Royal Challengers Bangalore has been greater. These numbers are 71.82%, 70.38%, 68.60%, and 68.15%, in that sequence. Gujarat is in last place at 59.95%.

Naturally, none of these figures will determine which teams advance to the postseason. That’s what the standings are for. How do the locations on the table compare to the border percentage positions? In terms of boundary %, only the top two teams in the standings, KKR and SRH, are in the same positions. There is a two-place difference between the two measurements for RCB, Gujarat, and Lucknow Super Giants. Rajasthan Royals are ranked second and seventh, while Chennai Super Kings are ranked third in the rankings but eighth in terms of boundary percentage. That represents the largest difference—five places—in both situations.

Thus, big hitting is not always a sign of success. For those who want to watch players like Klaasen hit six after six after six, it does appear good on film. Of his 339 runs, 54.87% have come from sixes, whereas only 14.16% have come from fours. Compared to Klaasen, fifty-seven players have hit more fours, but only 22 have scored more runs.

In his career, Klaasen has faced 16.48% more seamers than spinners and made 10.92% more runs versus seamers. I wish you luck in formulating a hypothesis regarding the significance of the discrepancy of 5.56%. He has been removed five times by seamers, three times by spinners, twice by slower balls, and five times when attempting a huge shot. He’s been caught five times and bowled three times. Not every one of those five occasions featured a catch, a booming shot, and a seamer.

There exist other additional statistics, but it seems that we are quickly losing all significance of Klaasen’s charming swing—a piece of understated yet sophisticated beauty. Let’s refrain from doing it.

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