The use of time-outs in IPL cricket: a guest post by Krishna Tunga

Introduction

Last week, Ron Smith wrote a guest post for the Clyde Street blog. One of his concluding remarks was “I wonder if some form of time out will be the next initiative IFAB discusses”.

This sent me off thinking about games in which time-outs do occur. Given that IPL cricket has had strategic time-outs for some time, I thought I would ask my friend Krishna Tunga to share the insights he has gained from his meticulous observation of IPL cricket using data from the 2018 IPL tournament.

Krishna’s analysis of cricket was recognised in the Shorter Wisden 2018. I think this was a delightful way to acknowledge the passion he has for the observation and analysis of cricket.

As a background to his post the regulations for IPLT20 stipulate:

11.6 Time-Outs

11.6.1 There will be two time-outs of 2 minutes 30 seconds in duration in each innings. The time-outs are to allow the teams to re-group tactically. Umpires and players must start to move back into their positions after 2 minutes in order to resume play when the countdown clock reaches zero seconds. (My emphasis)

11.6.2 Drinks may be brought out on to the field during the time-out. No practice is allowed.

11.6.3 Subject to clauses 11.6.4 and 11.6.8 below, the above-mentioned time-outs will occur in each innings of matches which are not Interrupted (such that the scheduled number of overs in respect of such innings remains 20) at the following times: (a) at the end of either the 6th,7th, 8th or 9th over at the election of the fielding team and (b) at the end of either the 13th, 14th 15th or 16th over at the election of the batting team.

Time-Out in Cricket

At Keith’s request, I have compiled data on time-outs from 58 of the 60 games played in this season’s IPL tournament. (Two games did not have time-outs due to reduced overs in the games.)

My short summary is:

Time-outs for bowlers have enabled bowling teams to limit run-rates after power plays. (My measure of this is the percentage of consecutive overs with 5 runs or less.)

Batting time-outs come at a time when the batting sides are accelerating their accumulation of runs.

I have looked closely at both sets of time outs in each innings of the games: Bowling (nBowl); and Batting (nBat). I thought it might be helpful to look at the nBowl+1, nBowl+2 over patterns as well as nBat+1 and nBat+2 overs before time-outs (Pre-TO).

First innings

Measure Pre-TO nBowl+1 nBowl+2 nBat+1 nBat+2
Overs 482 60 120 59 118
Runs 3843 451 943 560 1093
Wickets 106 11 26 24 51
Average 36.25 41.00 36.27 23.33 21.43
Runs/over 7.97 7.52 7.86 9.33 9.18
Balls per wicket 27 33 28 15 14
Scoring rate 56.74 69.44 70.00 68.45 68.41
Singles/ 100 balls 34 51 50 40 41
Boundary/ 100 balls 19 13 14 19 18
Sixes/ 100 balls 5 4 5 8 7

Second Innings

Measure Pre-TO nBowl+1 nBowl+2 nBat+1 nBat+2
Overs 458 58 115 54 108
Runs 3761 426 865 456 972
Wickets 110 11 27 15 33
Average 34.19 38.73 32.04 30.44 30.38
Runs/over 8.21 7.34 7.46 8.44 9.00
Balls per wicket 25 32 26 22 20
Scoring rate 57.24 66.09 68.60 69.44 70.28
Singles/ 100 balls 33 48 50 46 44
Boundary/ 100 balls 20 12 13 15 17
Sixes/ 100 balls 5 5 4 5 6

I have also looked at what was happening before the time-outs: nBowl-1, nBowl-2 over patterns as well as nBat-1 and nBat-2 overs.

First Innings

Measure Pre-TO nBowl-1 nBowl-2 nBat-1 nBat-2
Overs 482 60 120 60 120
Runs 3843 520 1020 483 1022
Wickets 106 9 22 32 53
Average 36.25 57.78 46.36 15.09 19.28
Runs/over 7.97 8.67 8.50 8.05 8.52
Balls per wicket 27 40 33 11 14
Scoring rate 56.74 65.28 64.86 65.28 66.25
Singles/ 100 balls 34 41 41 44 43
Boundary/ 100 balls 19 19 18 16 18
Sixes/ 100 balls 5 6 6 5 6

Second Innings

Measure Pre-TO nBowl-1 nBowl-2 nBat-1 nBat-2
Overs 458 58 116 54 108
Runs 3761 497 976 425 926
Wickets 110 12 20 18 34
Average 34.19 41.42 48.40 23.61 27.24
Runs/over 8.21 8.57 8.41 7.87 8.57
Balls per wicket 25 29 35 18 19
Scoring rate 57.24 65.52 66.24 62.65 66.67
Singles/ 100 balls 33 43 44 41 42
Boundary/ 100 balls 20 20 18 13 16
Sixes/ 100 balls 5 4 5 6 7

There are more data to share from the IPL. This post is an initial response to Keith’s request … and I hope the start of a bigger conversation about strategic time-outs hinted at in Ron’s post about football.

I write about Indian and world cricket on my blog site All That Cricket. My Twitter account is @allthatcricket.

Photo Credits

IPL 2014 RRvRCB (Ramesh NG, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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