IPL 2022 Pitch Report: Pacers get BIG ADVANTAGE in Mumbai, spinners to boss in Pune

IPL 2022: The Indian Premier League (IPL) kicks off later this weekend with 70 league matches across four venues in Maharashtra.

A total of 55 of the 70 league matches in the upcoming IPL will be played at three venues in and around Mumbai – Wankhede Stadium and Brabourne Stadium, and DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai – all of which are made of red soil. The fourth venue, the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, is a black earth ground.

What is the impact of red soil versus black soil? Will dew play a big part? How will the open-air grounds like Pune and those like Wankhede and Brabourne, bordering the Arabian Sea, impact bowlers? Will the fields slow down by the time we reach the second half as the IPL is played in a limited number of venues during peak season?

ESPNcricinfo digs up the key numbers in these locations to outline some of the trends observed in the past and that could once again be predominant this IPL.

IPL 2022 Pitch Report: Pacers get BIG ADVANTAGE in Mumbai, spinners to boss in Pune – Check IPL pitch report

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Key Statistics

– Teams chasing have won 10 of the last 13 night matches.
– The average score in the first innings in the last 20 games is 175.
– Wrist spinners find it challenging, going at 9.15 runs per over and hitting once in 34 balls, while finger pinners go at just 6.92 per over and hitting once in 27 balls.
– Pacers took 31 wickets compared to the one wicket spinners took in 2021 IPL

Win the toss, field first and use the dew. That seems to be the mantra for winning at the Wankhede. Short borders and dew probably play a big role here. We can expect aggressive batters and fast and/or swing bowlers to dominate. Quicks have taken nearly 73% of the wickets here in the last 20 matches.

As for the red bottom surface, former Indian fast bowler and Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra and current Indian fast Harshal Patel, who is at Royal Challengers Bangalore, agree it will have plenty of bounce. Both Nehra and Harshal believe that the surface could be used by the fast bowlers to make an impact as the carry would be good. Nehra pointed out that aggressive strike bowlers can easily take quick wickets in the power play to neutralize the damage that batters could potentially do in the bottom half of the innings: “With the new ball, you’ve seen bowlers take two or three wickets in the first three overs, which you don’t see in Chennai or Hyderabad. You have to capitalize beforehand. If you bowl well, you will get your reward.”

Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai

Key Statistics

– No T20 game has been played at this location since 2015.
– Teams that bat first have won six of their last nine games here.
– The average score in the first inning is 173.

The numbers don’t tell us much, as Brabourne hasn’t hosted a competitive T20 match since 2015. However, like Wankhede Stadium, it remains a high scoring surface as its base is red soil.

“The biggest feature of red soil fields is the bounce it provides, and when it bounces, the ball tends to travel further,” Harshal said. “It can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. I suspect it will kick in in the second half of the tournament due to the high number of games being played and the heat.” The outfield at Brabourne is fast and the boundaries are much bigger than at the Wankhede. Spinners could be more relevant here then the Wankhede.

IPL 2022 Pitch Report: Pacers get BIG ADVANTAGE in Mumbai, spinners to boss in Pune – Check IPL pitch report

DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

The last IPL game held here was in 2011 and there hasn’t been a professional T20 match here since then. The ground has been used as a football field for the past two years. There isn’t a lot of data and teams would look closely to see how the fields play to come up with plans. However, the border dimensions are quite large compared to the other locations in Mumbai.

MCA Stadium, Pune

Key Statistics

– Only one T20 game has been played at this location in the last four years.
– The average score in the first innings in the last 14 games is 170.
– Teams chasing have won nine of the last 14 matches.
– Pacers have risen to 9.22 runs per over in night games hitting once every 22 balls, while spinners have increased to 8.1 per more than those hitting once every 19 balls.

Pune has hosted many IPL matches in the past, but with the exception of one T20I in 2020, the venue has not hosted a T20 game since 2018. Unlike the stadiums in Mumbai, the pitch in Pune consists of black soil. The location also has shorter boundaries compared to Brabourne. Spinners could play a big part in day games here as they conceded only 6.78 runs per over and hit 23 balls once every. Of the four IPL locations in the competition phase this year, we could see spinners coming into play the earliest in Pune compared to the other three locations.

IPL 2022 Pitch Report: Pacers get BIG ADVANTAGE in Mumbai, spinners to boss in Pune – Check IPL pitch report

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