Dinesh Karthik, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain, was “surprised” by the revised target thrown up for Kings XI Punjab in the rain-hit match at Eden Gardens on Saturday. Chasing 192, Kings XI were 96 for 0 in 8.2 overs when the rain arrived; roughly 90 minutes later, they needed just 29 more off 28 balls (that is, 125 in 13 overs) to seal victory and go top of the IPL table. The new target was calculated via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method, an upgrade on the Duckworth-Lewis system.
“We needed two wickets at that stage,” Karthik said, after Kings XI romped to a nine-wicket win with 11 balls remaining. “It was important to get [Chris] Gayle and KL [Rahul] early and that was something I was wishing to happen, but they played some really good shots and got away.
“It’s hard for me to predict what would’ve happened. It’s interesting that at that stage, when play was stopped, they needed about eight runs an over. But after the [DLS] method, they suddenly needed only six, a run a ball, and that was surprising.
“If it would have been a 20-over game, they’d be needing eight an over. If we’d gotten two quick wickets, the [required] run rate would have kept going up if we’d bowled well. We came back after the rain and they said they needed just a run a ball, I didn’t understand that part. I’m sure [DLS] has been something people are still trying to figure out.”
Karthik suggested an alternative to the DLS be considered for the IPL: the VJD method, put forward by V Jayadevan. The VJD method of revising scores is used in Indian domestic cricket. “I always thought since VJD is an Indian method and this is an Indian domestic tournament, why not think about it in the future,” Karthik said. “I’ve been told that is also a good method. We’ve used it in domestic cricket and only for the IPL we seem to use Duckworth-Lewis, so why not think about VJD even here?”
ESPNcricinfo understands Kings XI’s target even under the VJD method would have stood at 125.
Karthik is not the first player to voice displeasure after a shortened game in this tournament. Gautam Gambhir, Delhi Daredevils’ captain, had said a target of 71 in six overs was “tough” on his team following their rain-marred game against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on April 11. Then, Royals batted first and their innings was stopped after 17.5 overs by the weather; they had got to 153 for 5. After a prolonged rain break, Daredevils were presented with their target of 71 in six.
“We were very much in the game,” Gambhir had said. “It was a beautiful wicket to bat on, then 150-odd for 5 in 18 overs, we thought we could contain them to 170 and it was chaseable, especially with dew coming in later on.
“We were very much happy with the first innings. But then in six overs 71 was tough. We had to go from ball one. Obviously with these sort of games, things could go either way. [But] just two overs of Powerplay, it’s very difficult. If it was a 20-over game, it would’ve been much easier to chase.” Daredevils eventually lost that game by 10 runs.