Amid all the buzz of best T20 batsman, let's look at the Top 10 scorers of the best T20 league in the world, across various scenarios. Strike Rate(SR) has been taken as the primary parameter and Average(Avg) is the secondary indicator in consideration of the length of the format. The stand-out batters are highlighted in each scenario.
On a cursory look, Gayle and ABD are clear winners in overall numbers. Warner falls behind due to the substantial drop in SR(compared to these 2) even after averaging slightly higher. Some might argue that Warner’s strike rate takes the hit for his anchor role but it only means that ABD-Gayle have done extremely well to keep their average at par with Warner alongside the spectacular hitting.
2. In Powerplays
Even though 3 batsmen have been highlighted, Warner is the crown king of powerplays. Averaging and striking better than the rest, very few teams have had a dream opener like him. Raina and Gayle too have done well, just not as consistently and briskly as Warner. Although Dhoni is the only one to strike below run a ball in powerplays, an analysis of his batting position would reveal more.
3. At Death
The Average is of least relevance here among the scenarios discussed and hence Dhawan and Dhoni have not been highlighted despite monumental average between overs 17-20. ABD has such a significant lead that its almost futile to discuss others except for Gambhir who has been exceptionally poor in scoring swiftly at death. Important to note that GG has played over 107 balls in overs 17-18 and just 17 balls in last 2 overs. Coming back to the legend, only Caribbean power Andre Russell(217) & Gayle(217) come close to ABD(234) when it's about taking off in the penultimate overs.
4. Batting 1st
This graph is very similar to the Overall performance where ABD and Gayle are ahead from the rest. The only difference is that the stand out players strike better(+10 SR) while setting up a target. With the highest SR(163) and a 40+ average, ABD has been an alpha-anchor for the team. RCB were extremely lucky to have played both(Gayle-AB) of them together.
5. In Chase
Warner and Gayle are marginally ahead in chases with almost the same average as Kohli-Dhoni but with a better SR. Rohit Sharma has done the worst among the Top10 who has an SR lesser than 125 and average of just 30.
6. Versus Top 25 Economical Bowlers
SR takes precedence in this scenario. AB and Warner top this elite category of scoring swiftly against the toughest of bowlers. Kohli with an incredible average of 58 and Dhoni with 51 are not highlighted because of strict adherence to the scenario. Most of the bowlers(refer list) bowled accurate enough to not let batsmen take any chances, thus leaving impeccable averages irrelevant over elevated strike rate. The likes of Bolinger, Rahul Sharma, Warme, etc speaks of the pedigree of the top performers on this parameter.
Only 22 bowlers are considered among the top 25, who bowled ~100 overs. Full list below:-
7. Versus Top 30 Bowlers(in terms of Avg)
Here Avg will have more weightage, naturally, than the SR as these top-notch bowlers have consistently picked wickets. Warner & Dhoni have done the best in this scenario where Warner has a clear edge with a better SR(both average 47). Where ABD has been highlighted for his exceptional SR, Uthappa has done well cumulatively with a 40+ average. All the bowlers who bowled ~100 overs in the Top 30 list have been taken into account. List below:
After going through these few basic scenarios, I can't help but agree with panelists around the sports fraternity that ABD, undoubtedly, is the best batsman IPL ever saw in terms of numbers. Magical shots are just the icing on the cake!