The pitch at the M Chinnaswamy stadium has gained a reputation of being a batsman’s paradise and subsequently a nightmare for the bowlers. The fact that targets as high as 180 or even 200 have been chased down is a testament to this fact. However, in the 10th edition of the league, the famed batting paradise is not the same as bowlers have found something extra in the 22 yards. While RCB bore the brunt of this change, the teams playing in the qualifiers also suffered as matches were low scoring and bowlers dominated the show.
In the first match of this season, we got an indication of this when Delhi Daredevils took on Royal Challengers Bangalore and batsman struggled to get going because of the slowness in the pitch. In the two eliminators as well, matches were low scoring as teams struggled to put runs on the board. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra took to social media and wrote, “Playoffs deserve better pitches and better turnouts…Chinnaswamy has been quite a let down this IPL”
Playoffs deserve better pitches and better turnouts…Chinnaswamy has been quite a let down this #IPL
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) 19 May 2017
With the pitch having very little to offer for fast bowlers, it is the spinners who have made merry. Post the victory over KKR, MI spinner Karn Sharma said, “It was a little bit slow. It was not like the earlier Bangalore wickets. But it was good that we bowled well from the start and got wickets. T20 is all about momentum,” he said.
Interestingly, in IPL 2016 the average score at the Chinnaswamy was over 200 runs. In the playoffs, scores were on the higher side as well. But this season the average took a sharp drop to 142.
Earlier, in a column for the Times of India, RPS coach Stephen Fleming wrote, “Conditions have not been traditional this season. Bangalore, for example, is a low-scoring ground. Mumbai was very dry, with not a lot of dew, while Kolkata produced a seaming wicket, with quite a bit of pace and bounce. This edition of the IPL has seen the world’s best players struggle to score at the death.
“That means one of two things – either the bowling has been extremely good or the conditions aren’t easy to score in, particularly when the ball gets old.”, he concluded.