Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Is there any home advantage in the tournament?

The Chennai Super Kings play two of their "home" games in Ranchi © IANS
The Chennai Super Kings play two of their “home” games in Ranchi © IANS

The Indian leg of the Indian Premier League takes off from May 2, 2014. Abhishek Mukherjee delves deep to find out whether the concept of home advantage is relevant in the tournament.

Competitive leagues, in most sports, have involved “home” and “away” matches for teams. There is a general notion that teams have an advantage on home surfaces (batsmen who do well at home are typically referred to as “home track bullies”).

It is not very different in several other sports as well. For example, if the teams are tied on goals in the knock-out phase of the Champions League (to most connoisseurs, the grandest and toughest football tournament) the team that has scored more away goals is considered the winner.

Clearly, the concept of a “home advantage” is relevant; or, at least, there exists a notion that suggests so. Unfortunately, the Indian Premier League (IPL) doesn’t think on those lines: the organisers clearly feel that home advantage is irrelevant.

Let us, for example, consider how the tournament had started. The first few matches were played in United Arab Emirates (UAE), which included “home” and “away” matches for the teams. For example, the tournament opener between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi was considered the home ground of the former.

Does that make any kind of sense?

One can argue that the matches had to be hosted in UAE (or some other country) for logistic issues. The reason is perfectly valid, unless we consider some numbers. There have been 20 matches in UAE; all teams have played five matches each; KKR, Rajasthan Royals (RR), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have played three home matches each compared to the two by the others. This means that KKR, RR, SRH, and CSK will get to play four matches each at their “real” home grounds, while the others will get five.

The problem does not end there. Once back in India, KKR, SRH, MI, Delhi Daredevils (DD), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will play all their remaining home matches in their respective cities (Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore respectively).

The other teams have a problem, though: CSK play two of their remaining four “home” matches in Chennai, while they will have to play the remaining two “home” matches at Ranchi (including their clash against Kolkata, which is geographically closer to Ranchi than Chennai). One might argue that MS Dhoni, arguably the greatest icon in the history of the city, may have his share of fans at Ranchi, but the same does not hold for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).

KXIP play three matches at Mohali, but the remaining two are scheduled at Cuttack. Once again one of these involves KKR, and unlike Dhoni in Ranchi, there is no reason for the locals to support KXIP over KKR, given the significant proportion of Bengalis in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

Fortunately for CSK and KXIP, they do get to play some matches at home, which is a privilege RR will be deprived of. RR is scheduled to “host” their remaining home matches at Ahmedabad, which would mean that Jaipur will not be a part of the IPL at all. It may or may not have to do with the fact that a certain Lalit Modi’s association with Rajasthan Cricket Association (of course, one cannot tell for sure).

This is, of course, not as bizarre as Deccan Chargers (DC) playing their “home” match against MI at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai in the 2010 version of IPL. One can wonder how the DC players would have felt while playing their “home” match against Mumbai in Mumbai. Some things defy logic. But then, we are talking a “league” that involves playoffs at the end, so we might as well give up finding logic.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Hosts hope to return to winning ways

Kepler Wessels suprised with Jesse Ryder’s inclusion in New Zealand squad

Younis Khan deserves to be in 2015 World Cup squad, says Zaheer Abbas

Misbah-ul-Haq supports polio drive launched by UNICEF

Pakistan on top against Australia at Lunch on Day 3 despite David Warner century

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Happy New Year box office: Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s film off to a flying start!

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

‘Kaththi’ mints Rs.15.4 crore on release day

Google partners Oxford University to teach machines to think

Rashami Desai, Ravi Dubey, Tina Dutta wish to have a pet friendly Diwali!

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Happy New Year movie review: Crafted to please Shah Rukh Khan fans

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here