Why the IPL should adopt a Bonus Point System
As the IPL goes through another season of some swashbuckling cricket, there is little doubt that there hasn’t been any other T20 league as big and as exciting across the world. Every year, we see some of the world’s best players competing in evenly matched teams to reach the top four, following which they lock horns in the playoffs.
An important factor in deciding the top four in the points table is the net run rate. It comes into picture when there is a tie between multiple teams in terms of the number of points. Some notable instances of this have been seen in the past, where calculations were convoluted and some teams felt hard done by, due to just one or two big losses in the tournament.
But as people try to get a better understanding of the NRR, there is a better and easier way to address the issue - Bonus Point system, which can probably add a lot of value to the IPL.
The system is not new and has been used widely in many ODI series across the world, including the CB series and the Asia Cup to name a few. Let’s have a look at some of the key factors to this system:
How would the Bonus Point system work?
The working of the system is quite simple in the 50 over format and has been easy to understand. In every match, if the team batting first restricts the chasing team to less than 80% of the target, then they get a bonus point. A similar calculation can be applied to the 20 over format as well.
So, if the team batting first scores 200 runs, they need to restrict the chasing team to less than 160 to get a bonus point. Similarly, if the chasing team hunts the target down within 16 overs to win the match, they get the victory with a bonus point.
How does it impact the points table?
The points table can just have an extra column to denote the number of bonus points each team has scored. In case of two teams having the same number of victories, the one with the higher number of bonus points can be placed at a higher rank in the table.
In case of any two teams having the same number of victories and the same number of bonus points, it can come down to the net run rate, as it works currently.
How would the system benefit the IPL?
There are many ways in which this system would help, as described below:
Making calculations easier for fans: It is quite evident that the net run rate system is quite complicated to understand for a viewer who is not too adept with mathematics, and over a long season of 14 matches for each team, it becomes impossible to track for the average fan.
A bonus point system would be easier for everyone to understand and follow, as it will come down to the simplicity of a team needing to win with a bonus point or another team preventing a bonus point victory, rather than complicated equations like winning with more than 41 runs or 32 balls to spare.
Adding more context to one-sided matches: Imagine a match where the team batting first has scored just about 120 runs and the chasing team has reached 75 runs in the first ten overs with just a couple of wickets lost. Only formalities left. Right?
In the current scenario, we would say yes, but if a bonus point is at stake, to be given away or to be taken, both the teams will have something to play for. This will add value to all encounters that tend to become one-sided by the time we are just a few overs into the second innings.
Impacting Tactical Changes during the Games: While in the current scenario, the teams would only be having a plan A or a plan B for the course of the match, they will always be thinking of introducing something different in the quest for winning the bonus point each time.
It can mean changes in the batting order to push for quicker runs or making your best bowler bowl earlier to restrict the flow of runs before the 16th over. It would be quite interesting to see when a team decides to play for a bonus point.
Also, how dominating a particular team has been in the tournament will also be easily known by the number of bonus points they have won.
So why not give it a try? Maybe it will add more spice to an already marquee tournament!