Saturday, May 31, 2008

IPL results bits and pieces

The league stage of the IPL is over, and so it's time to start looking back at it. This post looks at some overall results.

Firstly, let's re-visit those blog predictions, now with the final league standings:

Actual Me Q Arjwiz
1. Rajasthan Rajasthan =Delhi Bangalore
2. Punjab Chennai =Kolkata =Delhi
3. Chennai Delhi Deccan =Kolkata
4. Delhi Deccan =Chennai =Deccan
5. Mumbai Bangalore =Punjab Chennai
6. Kolkata Kolkata Mumbai Punjab
7. Bangalore Punjab Bangalore Mumbai
8. Deccan Mumbai Rajasthan Rajasthan

In terms of Pearson's rho (1: perfectly right, -1: perfectly wrong), I won with a score of 0,33, followed by Q at -0,33 and Arjwiz -0,76. Arjwiz is the only one of us to get a significant result. Unfortunately for him, it's in the wrong direction.

Now let's compare the two halves of the IPL. There are various ways of doing this, and I'm not really sure which is the best. First up, home and away wins:

team home away
Ban 1 3
Che 3 5
Dec 0 2
Del 4,5 3
Kol 4 2,5
Mum 4 3
Pun 6 4
Raj 7 4

If IPL matches are essentially just coin tosses, then the correlation between the two columns should be around zero. The results are actually correlated more strongly than I would have expected — r = 0,49. To minimise any potential differences in home advantage between teams (not that you'd really expect too many; overall, home teams won 29 out of 55 games), I also split the matches into two round-robins, with one group having four home games and the other three (for each team). That gave r = 0,28, though there are many more ways of splitting up the games. Probably I should get the computer to do all of them and find the average.

Anyway, it looks like IPL cricket is not just a coin-toss game, though just how much of the results is luck-based will take a few years to work out properly. The positive correlations that we've seen would happen by chance about once every six or so tournaments.

Of the 55 matches, the team batting second won 32 times. That's a bit more than a standard deviation above the expectation of 50%, so nothing significant. Until a more detailed analysis comes along, it seems safest to bowl first.

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