314,267,251,243……These are some of the top scores by batsmen this season in Ranji Trophy thus far and we are not even in the knockout phase of the tournament yet.Runs have been flowing with plenty of huge scores.So what is the main reason for this and how are the numbers different from the previous years?Though this season is far from over,let’s compare the runs scored and wickets taken this season with the last few years and how they differ.
The general feeling is that the pitches have become flatter this season and the boundaries have become smaller,leading to batsmen occupying the crease for a longer length of time and bowlers made to toil under the hot sun.Let’s start off by comparing the last season of Ranji Cricket with this year’s tournament.Rajasthan’s journey of winning the Ranji Trophy for the first time after finishing at the bottom of the table the previous year was something extraordinary.Let’s have a closer look at some of the big scores last year.
During the 2010-11 season,there were only three individual scores past 200 with the highest being Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s 250.Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu scored exactly 200 when their teams decided to declare,so that would make it 5 scores of 200 or more last season.This season,we have already seen 14 Double-Centuries with the highest being Ravindra Jadeja’s 314 at Cuttack.
Year No.of 200 plus scores Highest score
2011-12 14 314-Ravindra Jadeja
2010-11 5 250-Laxmi Ratan Shukla
2009-10 7 309*-Rohit Sharma
2008-09 13 302*-Cheteshwar Pujara2007-08 5 230-Murali Vijay
The 2008-09 season saw 13 scores of 200 or more and it also included three Triple Centuries.This year,we have already seen 13 Double Hundreds and 1 Triple Century.Most of the hundreds have also come at a quicker rate this season compared to the last few seasons.
Taduri Sudhindra of Madhya Pradesh has already taken 32 wickets in 10 inns this season and those have come at a strike rate of 36.There have been 4 Ten wicket hauls in a match so far and Ashok Dinda’s 12-142 is the best in a match this season so far.Sudhindra has picked up 9 wickets in a match twice.
Year No.of 10 wicket hauls Best figures
2011-12 4 Ashok Dinda-12/142
2010-11 5 Ravi Ashwin-11/181
2009-10 6 Vinay Kumar-11/102
2008-09 6 Monish Parmar-12/104
Bhargav Bhatt,the leading wicket taker last year with 47 scalps isn’t out of reach for Sudhindra if he continues his good work in the remaining matches.
Big Double-Centuries have led to big totals this year,but that’s not something new.Last season saw twelve 500 plus totals and the seasons before too saw 500 plus totals in the range of 15 and 16.There have already been sixteen 500 plus totals this season with plenty of matches still remaining before the Ranji season comes to an end.
Year No.of 500 plus totals Highest Total
2011-12 19 698-8- Tamil Nadu
2010-11 12 621-8-Mumbai
2009-10 16 785-Tamil Nadu
2008-09 15 688-Delhi
2007-08 6 583-5 Baroda
This year has seen more 500 plus totals than any of the last five years and with still one round of the league phase and the knockouts to go,we may be looking at twenty-five 500 plus scores this season alone,which would be twice as much as last season.Clearly,the batsmen have enjoyed spending time at the crease and scoring some big runs this season.
Though the scores this season have been bigger than some of the previous years,the number of outright wins,which is what a lot of people are talking about these days hasn’t changed significantly.
Year No.of outright wins
There have been 14 outright wins this season and there’s every chance that we might see more wins,again indicating that this season is almost similar to the past few seasons.Even though there has been a lot of talk about the pitches being used for the Ranji matches,this season hasn’t been very different from the last few seasons-at least numbers wise.