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How to Calculate Net Run Rate in IPL?

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Net Run Rate in IPL

With the advent of franchise cricket and the popularity of limited-overs cricket taking over the globe, the phrase ‘how to calculate net run rate in IPL’ has been hard to miss. Busy schedules, packed calendars have made it practically impossible for tie-breakers to be held in cricket tournaments these days. Therefore, in almost every elimination-based limited-overs tournament globally, NRR is used as the primary criteria to distinguish between teams who are level on the same points.

Even if you look at the IPL points table each year, you will find teams vying for the precious final four qualification spots in the league. In the end, Net Run Rate could prove to be the all-important reason why one particular team goes through to the next round, or a side gets left behind. It could also decide which team finishes in which order in the top four and thus, influence their road to the final. But the key question is – how to calculate net run rate in IPL?

What is net run rate in IPL?

First, let us answer what net run rate is, and then we will move to net run rate calculations. Simply put, it is the difference in the average run rates at which a team scores runs and at which it concedes runs. The word ‘net’ in the Net Run Rate signifies that difference. Getting a bit hard to grasp? Although Net Run Rate might seem this imposing, impossible-to-understand mathematical equation beyond comprehension, it is fairly simple. It’s pretty easy to get a hold of and can practically be used by anyone to calculate the NRR of a team.

How is Net Run Rate calculated for a particular team?

Let us understand with an example. The 43rd match of IPL 2021 took place between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Dubai International Stadium. Rajasthan Royals scored 149 runs inside their total 20 overs bowled and therefore, their average run rate for the match is 149 divided by 20, which is 7.45 runs per over. Now, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s final target score was 160. They scored 153 runs in 17.1 overs bowled. Therefore, their average run rate turns out to be 8.94 runs per over.

The difference between the two figures is 1.49 and that is the Net Run Rate of the match. Since Royal Challengers Bangalore won the game, they have a positive NRR of +1.49, while Rajasthan Royals have a negative NRR of -1.49.

In mathematical terms, Net Run Rate = Run Rate For – Run Rate Against

Run Rate For = Runs scored by the team / Number of overs played

Run Rate Against = Runs scored by the opposition / Number of overs played

Important Points to Note

If a team is bowled out and doesn’t complete its total overs bowled, the full quota of overs is used for the purpose of Net Run Rate calculation and not the number of overs in which the team was dismissed. However, if the team chasing the game manages to finish the match earlier than the entire overs allocated, only the quota of overs faced by it is taken for calculation (as we did in the example above). Only the matches where the final result was achieved are included in the calculation of Net Run Rate of a team.

Now you might be tempted into thinking that for an entire tournament, the net run rate can be calculated by taking into account the team’s average run rate in individual matches. That is a wrong approach for calculating NRR for a tournament and it will lead to inconclusive results.

How to Calculate Net Run Rate in IPL Tournament?

So how to apply the formula and calculate the Net Run Rate for a team in a tournament? Again, it’s fairly simple:

The Net Run Rate is decided by factoring in the total number of runs scored by the team in the overs it has faced and then subtracting the number of runs scored by the opposition in the number of overs faced from it.

Thus, Net Run Rate = Run Rate For – Run Rate Against

Run Rate For = Total Runs scored in the whole tournament / Total number of overs played by the team in the competition

Run Rate Against = Total Runs scored against the team in the whole tournament / Total number of overs played against the team in the competition

Let’s discuss more about this with the example of India from the victorious World Cup campaign in 2011:

Having played six group-stage matches, India finished with a Net Run Rate of +0.9. How was that calculated? Team India had scored 1673 runs during the group stage and the total overs played was 282.3 overs. Meanwhile, opposition teams had managed 1505 runs against them and they faced a total of 299.3 overs.

Therefore, the run rate in favour of Team India was 1673 divided by 282.3, which is 5.926. Similarly, the run rate against Team India was 1505 divided by 299.3, which turns out to be 5.028. Now, as we can clearly conclude from this, the Net Run Rate was the difference between the run rates of the two teams and it comes out to be +0.9.

That was pretty simple, wasn’t it? Now you can calculate the NRR for the team you support and analyze their chances of making it through to the next stage from your sofa or couch!

Ashish Pant
A fantasy gaming enthusiast, gaming writer and an out and out cricket nerd. I am an engineer by education who found his solace in writing.