We analyse which batsman has been the most effective at number six in the IPL since 2016.
The role of number six batsmen is probably the toughest in T20 cricket. They are expected to accelerate right from the first ball as they bat in the latter half of the innings on most occasions. So, they either need to be clinical hitters who are experts in finding the gaps or they need to possess brute power to clear the fence consistently with ease.
Since the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a total of 93 batsmen have played at this position but only 19 of them have scored 100 or more runs. We will take the sample size of these 19 players to analyse which of these batsmen have been the most effective in this role.
Hardik Pandya and Andre Russell - The Beasts
The 2019 edition of the IPL is mostly remembered for Hardik Pandya and Andre Russell's batting exploits. We truly saw the best of these two players with the bat as they kept pulling off improbable run chases with ease. These two are some of the most fierce strikers in T20 cricket right now and that is apparent, considering how they occupy their own zones in the above plot. While Hardik has amassed 355 runs at this position since 2016, at an RpI of 23.67 and strike-rate of 183.94, Russell has 273 runs to his name at corresponding figures of 24.82 and 210 respectively.
Chris Morris and Ben Cutting not far behind
These two players are not far behind in matching Russell and Hardik's batting abilities. While Morris has an RpI of 17.78 and a strike-rate of 202.53 during this period, Cutting stands pretty close to him, with marginally lower corresponding figures of 16.43 and 201.75.
Both of these players add great value to T20 sides not only due to their hard-hitting abilities but also their ability to deliver with the ball.
Krunal Pandya and Dinesh Karthik deserve to be recalled into India's T20 set-up
Both of Krunal Pandya and Dinesh Karthik are out of contention from India's T20I squad at the moment but their batting numbers at this position since 2016 sum up why they deserve to be recalled. While Krunal strikes at a rate of 153.59, Karthik is a step ahead scoring at 172.13 at this position. The most fascinating part is how reliable they are despite scoring at such high strike-rates. Krunal adds 18.08 runs per innings at this strike-rate whereas Karthik adds 17.50 runs at this position.
Kieron Pollard - Mumbai Indians' Mr. Dependable
No other batsman has scored more runs than Pollard's tally of 438 runs at this position since IPL 2016. He has been a familiar figure in Mumbai's line-up over the years and has amassed these runs at a steady RpI and strike-rate of 20.86 and 140.84 respectively. These runs include five 30+ scores as well and that includes a best score of 70.
Marcus Stoinis - An underrated name in this list
The Australian batsman is mainly known for his top-order exploits in the Big Bash League but he has been successful in the role of a finisher in the IPL as well. In a total of six outings at No. 6 since IPL 2016, Stoinis has amassed 164 runs at a sensational RpI of 27.33 and a healthy strike-rate of 147.75.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Prakash Singh
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