Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What does one mean by home advantage?

Well just one day prior to the first semi finals between the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, one expects the Mumbai Indians to have an upper hand in this year's Indian Premier League not for topping the charts in the round robin stages and not even for the fact that the Mumbai Indians have thrashed the Royal Challengers Bangalore less than a week before playing them in the semis once again. The reason for the Mumbai Indians to have an upper hand is because they are playing the semis in their home town - Mumbai. Is this really justified?

If their statistics between both the teams are taken especially in this edition of the Indian Premier League, both the Bangalore team and the Mumbai team have defeated each other and coincidentally, both the teams have defeated each other not on their so called home grounds but on that ground which is to be believed to be the home ground for the teams that have lost. Anyways, with that being a different issue, the real issue is regarding the definition of the term "home team" especially in the IPL. Age old definition of the home team refers to the team which is hosting the match and playing there as well.

But, if the teams of the IPL are considered, though the team refers to their home town, the players making up the same doesn't imply so. In the first semi finals of the IPL, the Mumbai is bound to host the same which contains players like Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, the only two players who hail from Mumbai with Rayudu hailing from Andhra Pradesh while Sourabh Tiwary coming from Bihar. So is the case with the Royal Challengers Bangalore who are a little bit lucky when it comes to local players when they have the likes of Kumble, Uttappa and Rahul Dravid.

Likewise, the Deccan Chargers should not have been in the second position at the end of the league stage, one for having played none of the games at Hyderabad and secondly for the fact that if not for Laxman no other player hails from the state. For someone like Harbhajan Singh, playing at Mohali would be a boon rather than playing at Mumbai. Commentators keep on pointing to the home team when only few of their players would have been from that state. One advantage that the so called home team is bound to enjoy is that the crowd would surely be filed with locals who support the so called home team.


Mahek said...

You forgot Vinay Kumar and Manish Pandey who are also from Bangalore.

Fans don't necessarily root for just the players from their city. If I were to cite the example of football clubs, most of them have hardly any players from the city they're based in, most of them haven't even come through the club's youth system. Yet these clubs have some of the most passionate fans in the world of sport.

Mahek said...

Home Records:

Mumbai 8-1 (Away game vs Deccan in Mumbai, semi-final in Mumbai)
Kolkata 5-2
Chennai 4-3
Bangalore 4-3
Delhi 3-4
Rajasthan 1-2 (Only 3 games in Jaipur, they were 3-1 in Ahmedabad which is not really their home)
Punjab 1-4 (2 games in Dharamsala)
Deccan 0-0 (Didn't have a home)

Overall home record: 26-19