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Indian T20 League 2020 Learnings: A tale of record Super Overs

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This is the fourth in a series of features where we will be taking a detailed dive into the various factors that stood out during the course of the Indian T20 League 2020 season.

A feature of the 2020 edition of the Indian T20 League was the sheer number of matches that went down to the wire. We had quite a few edge of the seat thrillers during the season, and as many as four matches were tied and decided by Super Overs! 

"This Indian T20 League season was unique in a lot of ways but certainly, one of the things that will stand out for years to come is the record number of Super Overs that transpired, including two in a single game and three that same day...how incredible is that!" gushed Brett Lee. "And star bowlers like Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami duly took full advantage of those Super Overs to showcase their mastery with the ball as well."

This included a Sunday which witnessed as many as three Super Overs across two games. In an unprecedented incident, two games on the same day in the same league ended in a tie and were decided by Super Overs. One of them was tied even after the first Super Over and a second one had to be played to separate the teams. 

Super Over matches

The Delhi - Punjab game, just the second of the season, saw a Super Over that ended with Delhi edging out Punjab after a superlative bowling show by Kagiso Rabada in the Super Over. 

Mumbai were involved in their first Super Over of the season when Bangalore tied with them. Despite having Jasprit Bumrah in their ranks, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, followed by a good showing from Navdeep Saini ensured that Bangalore won.

Kolkata and Hyderabad were involved in the first Super Over of a hectic Sunday that had fans on the edge of their seats. Despite Warner smashing 17 in the last over, Hyderabad could only tie the game. Ferguson then chipped away with two wickets in the Super Over to take Kolkata to a win. 

Later that day, Mumbai and Punjab were involved in the match of the season as the Super Over itself turned into a tie like with the 2019 World Cup final. However, this was decided by a second Super Over that saw Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal seal a win for Punjab.

Super Over comparison to other years

In all, the Indian T20 League has had 14 Super Over games and 15 Super Overs considering the two in one game in 2020. The five Super Overs in the 2020 edition thereby contributes to 33.33% of all Super Overs in the history of the league. The first five editions of the league saw just two matches going to the Super Over. Since 2014, there have been nine Super Overs with this edition contributing to nearly 50% of the Super Overs in these six years.

Performances in Super Over

There were some standout bowling performances in the Super Over with Kagiso Rabada, Lockie Ferguson and Mohammed Shami standing out. While Rabada and Ferguson cleaned up the opposition with two wickets in the Super Over, Shami defended six runs by bowling a flurry of yorkers.

Bumrah, believed to be the toughest bowler to hit in the world right now, had an ordinary Super Over against Bangalore but came back strong against Punjab with a terrific performance. However, in that very game, Shami helped Punjab level the first Super Over and force another where neither Bumrah nor Shami could bowl again.

Tactics

Interestingly, teams withheld their best player on the day in most Super Overs with Ishan Kishan not going in to bat against Bangalore despite his 99 garnering accolades. In general, the best batsman and the biggest hitter were preferred in tandem by teams. Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma batting showed that teams valued the experienced batsmen in their respective sides.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain

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