Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IPL update - More on the millisecond, and some Game theory

Two tabs in a day. This one was necessitated by IPl happenings, so apologies.

First, Ravi Shastri is the first IPL commentator to finally pick up on Raina's feinting action that this tab mentioned a few weeks ago in "the longest millisecond". Raina just bowled 4 overs for 13 runs with 2 wickets to sink the Punjab-11, clean bowling yuvraj (6 of 19 balls!) with that technique. He earlier bowled the last over in the high-scoring previous match against SRK's circus, and did so really well and almost got them to victory using his methods.

Second, it's game-theory time, which of course means duality. With the Punjab loss, 3 teams are vying for two spots (B'lore, Deccan, Punjab). The three teams are tied on points, with a game between Deccan and Blore left. Teams tied on points will be selected based on net run rate'. Obviously the winner goes thru, but that will be known only after the conclusion of the match. How should Blore and Deccan approach their match to maximize their chances of grabbing the remaining two spots? Its a classic team sport situation.

A) maximize your optimistic objective and go all out for a win, or the dual option:
B) minimize your worst case to ensure that no matter what happens, u grab the spot on net-run-rate

Punjab will certainly be hoping that the victory margin will be huge. In particular, home team Bangalore's net run rate is in the middle, below Deccan, so a bad loss would probably eliminate them. Too much dual noise..... Here's this tab's strategy for the home team:

1. win the toss. (heh). bat first and aim for a decent par score around 145. the logic is that unless u get a really low score, Deccan is not going to go crazy chasing it down in 17 overs. seeing dravid and kallis batting happily at run-a-ball with calm deccan nerves and they'll relax too. so your final net-run rate will not change much.

2. if u lose the toss - deccan will probably bat first and since they dont want to collapse, they are going to bat the same way. but gilly's game theory is 100 of 50 balls, so u have to get him out soon or you are IPL history very soon.

in some ways, the 2 teams will be playing punjab tomorrow. so if neither team rocks the boat and ensures an exciting last over finish, punjab-11 will sadly be eliminated. in short, play smart and reasonably aggressive cricket, keep wickets in hand, bowl well. Its' just sensible 20-20 cricket in the end. the math will just back u up. Now, if Buchanan coached Blore, we will lose for sure :-)

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