The batter with the next-highest aggregate is also the player with the second-highest rating points, but apart from scoring 295 runs, Hardik Pandya has also contributed with the ball, taking four wickets at an economy rate of 7.56. In terms of batting impact alone, Suryakumar Yadav (55.9) and Liam Livingstone (53.2) follow Buttler. The fact that Buttler is 45% ahead of the next-best in terms of batting impact score shows just how dominant he has been.
Andre Russell and Suryakumar round off the top five. Russell has been a mixed bag with the bat – a couple of strong performances interspersed with some failures – but he has still scored 227 runs at a strike rate of 180. To add to that, he also has 10 wickets in 14.4 overs. Suryakumar, meanwhile, has been the one bright spot in a dismal Mumbai Indians campaign so far.
Smart wickets puts a value to each wicket taken by a bowler based on the quality of the batter, his score at the time of dismissal, and the match situation and pressure on the fielding team at that point. The highlight of Chahal’s spell was a fantastic 17th over in which he took four wickets, including a hattrick. At the start of that over, Knight Riders had needed 40 from four overs with six wickets in hand in a chase of 218, which means they were already going at more than the required rate at the start of their innings. ESPNcricinfo’s forecaster gave them a 66% chance of victory at that stage. By the end of that over, their win percentage had slumped to 9.5.
Overall, Chahal’s 18 wickets is worth 22.2 smart wickets, seven more than Avesh, whose 11 wickets are worth 15.1 smart wickets. T Natarajan, who is second on the wickets tally, is fifth in terms of smart wickets: his 15 wickets converts to 14.2. Umesh Yadav’s 11, on the other hand, is worth 14.8, because of the number of top-order batters he has dismissed early: nine of his 11 wickets are of batters in the top four, and six times he has dismissed batters for single- digit scores.
Among the batters, Buttler obviously tops the smart runs list as well – his 491 runs are worth 530 smart runs – but further down the table the rankings for the two lists don’t match. Livingstone is 12th in terms of runs scored, but third in the smart runs table: his 226 runs are worth 298 smart runs. That is because smart runs take into account the batter’s strike rate, the phase of the innings when he batted, and the pressure and match situation for each delivery that he faced. Livingstone has batted largely in the middle overs and achieved a strike rate of 171.6 in that phase; the strike rate of all the other batters in the middle overs is only 133.
All stats updated till Match 36 on Saturday, April 23