IPL Power list Volume 4

As we get to the pointy end...

1- Gujarat Titans

Previous Ranking: 1

Hot: I found this confusing because Shubman Gill has been fantastic, David Miller as well, and the player I am about to mention is probably in some ways down on form. But Rashid Khan has 95 runs from 39 balls. Yes, most of that was from one knock. But what a knock, even in a losing game. But also he is taken wickets every 12 balls. Teams have decided to attack him again, after years of defending, and he’s straight away taking almost two wickets a game. I mean this is already the most wickets he has ever taken in a year, and he has a bunch of games left. His economy is about eight, and he’s never been north of 7 before. That is really high for him, but he’s used those runs to buy extra wickets.

Cold: This is unfair, but there are no players who have been horrible really. However, Yash Dayal is a bowler who played three games and went for 95 runs, in six overs. Last year he played nine matches and took 11 wickets. He was still expensive last year, but only half a run to the bad on true economy, this year he’s giving up seven runs more than he should per over.

Gujarat became the first team to qualify for the playoffs, and are all but certain to finish in the top 2.

2 - Chennai Super Kings

Previous Ranking: 4

Hot: Well it is probably Rahane, I mean I could give it to Jadeja, or maybe Dube, but I will not because Rahane is making it rain in a hilarious manner and if nothing else I love what that makes all those people who told me he was no good thing. See bad form stretches can last long times, and I think Rahane had to almost hit rock bottom to see what his T20 play - and red ball for that matter - had been thrown out a plane. But his basic talent and skills are still high. And even though it is not quite true, I like to think that he has slogged his way into a Test squad as well.

Cold: Mahesh Theekshana is pretty cold right now, I could see times where he might struggle with taking wickets or slowing down the runs. But for both to happen for pretty much an entire year is a problem. I think for ages everyone has been wondering if Mitch Santner will replace him. At this point, it is almost too late. However, Santner is such a pro that it’s not that hard.

If you were playing for a guaranteed second chance, would you order up the Delhi Capitals, yeah probably. So here they are, all in their hands. Well, they made it easy by collapsing to KKR, they just need to win this last one now. And thankfully that is up against Delhi, so yay. They really should have just not collapsed in the last game.

3 - Mumbai Indians

Previous Ranking: 8

Hot: Sky has almost 500 runs at close enough to two runs a ball. There are a few guys with electric batting years around him, but it would be unfair to even mention their numbers compared to him. Also, I love the fact this coming after all those ducks. This sort of stuff happens all the time. People overreact to a couple of failures coming together.

Cold: A few fairly big names here, and no, that is not a joke to mention Arjun Tendulkar’s economy. I actually think he’s done well all things considered. But Jofra Archer was fighting his body, and it didn’t come out well. Jason Behrendorff was a steal from RCB, so Mumbai can’t get a refund now he’s struggling. However, he is taking wickets. Rohit Sharma is averaging 18, and striking at 128. When was his last really good IPL year, 2016?

Net run rate and a washout point mean they are a way off CSK. So they would have to win both and hope CSK or Titans loses both. Do they have a chance for the top 2? Not really. But one win is probably enough to play in the finals.

4 - Lucknow Super Giants

Previous Ranking: 3

Hot:  There are obviously a few to choose from here. If Mayers had bowled an over or two more, I may have gone with him. And Krunal Pandya has found his bowling again, but his batting hasn’t been great. But it has to be Nicholas Pooran, who almost 300 runs while striking at 173. Incredible to think that he has almost 600 runs while striking over 150 since everyone said he was finished in 2021.

Cold: Oh Deepak Hooda. You will remember - and if not I will remind you - I thought last year he went at too much money, but that was because I don’t think he can bowl. I was certainly right there, dive-overs in the last two seasons. But he made 451 runs last year. This year he is averaging seven. He would have to play for six more seasons at this rate to make 450. But if there is any hope for him it’s that Pooran had a year like this a while back.

Really need something here, they are playing a team on top of them and another at the bottom. They need both coming off, but their washout point could come in handy here.

5 - Rajasthan Royals

Previous Ranking: 2

Hot: Despite how their recent form is going, there are actually plenty of candidates here. Chahal has had another incredible year and certainly deserves a mention. Hetmyer and Samson have gone pretty well. But it would be hard to not give this meaningless title to Yashasvi Jaiswal who is currently on 575 runs, averaging almost 50 and striking at over 160. It really is a remarkable season for someone this young who last year and the previous season basically averaged this much combined.

Cold: Devdutt Paddikal is certainly in the conversation, but in truth, he’s been more meh than cold. But Jason Holder has completely fallen off the map. Sadly for him in the games he was in the side, he only batted three times, so he had no chance of being helpful there. His econ is almost ten an over, and that isn’t that uncommon for him, but usually, he makes up for it by taking just a comedy amount of wickets at the death. In the last three years, he has the third-best true wickets mark in the league. This year he has 4 wickets in eight games.

They have one game left, and getting bowled out for 59 in a must-win game means that they are probably gone.  Had they won v RCB, they could have at least been sitting on points from seven wins and given themselves a shot. I almost think it’s better if they lose the last game, because at least that shows any faith we had in them was completely misplaced. But they are clearly better than where they are.

6 - Punjab Kings

Previous Ranking: 6

Hot: If Sam Curran was bowling even at a normal level this would be him, his batting has been fantastic, but his bowling has been fantastically bad. Sikander Raza could also be mentioned here. I’ll give this to Prabhisamran Singh for averaging 30 and striking over 150. If Shikhar Dhawan had a couple more games it would be him.

Cold: It’s probably Matthew Short. I love that he has continued to improve, but it seemed a reach to think he was IPL-ready. He hasn’t played outside of Australia much ever. He only has six games. But his batting was fairly blah, and he had plenty of starts. He’s actually regressed to the player he used to be three years ago. A barely used bowler, who isn’t that special with the bat. He needs to play in a few other comps.

They need two wins to squeeze in, and they have two home games. One against a team who is now playing not to finish last. And another trying to secure to salvage a year that has fallen off the rails. The Royals game could be interesting when it comes to points. But the Kings’ main problem is their net run rate is in the toilet.

7 - Royal Challengers Bangalore

Previous Ranking: 5

Hot: I almost gave this to Mohammad Siraj, and he is quite obviously running hot at the moment. But Faf du Plessis is almost playing the role of two anchors in one, and while he is at that level of production he’s scoring at 154 strike rate. This is also very unfair of Glenn Maxwell’s 180 strike rate on a good average. They have quite a few stars doing their job and someone else’s.

Cold: Harshal Patel is going at ten an over, and Dinesh Karthik is averaging 12. These are both pretty poor years, but I would be most worried about Hasaranga at the moment. His batting has not translated at all in the IPL. And last year he averaged 16 while going at seven and a half an over. This year it’s 28, which is ok, but it’s translating to one wicket a game, but he’s 1.5 runs an over worse than last year. If he had been adding something with the bat that softens the blow. But being that he isn’t, that’s one expensive spinner who is getting hit right now.

They obviously have to win their last two games, so playing the Sunrisers - even away from home is still quite handy. But the problem is after that they have a Titans team who probably already has a top-two spot. Their best chance is beating the Sunrisers and then hoping Gujarat don’t have to win the last one. But even then, the half-a-point behind they are on Lucknow may really matter.

8 - Kolkata Knight Riders

Previous Ranking: 9

Hot: It has to be Rinku Singh, right? A first full year in the IPL, and he’s been even better than his cameo last season. To average around 50 for most of the year and also strike at nearly 150 is some effort when teams already had an idea about you and early on you become the guy everyone is looking at. Really interested to see how he goes from here.

Cold: I was writing this while Sunil Narine was tearing down CSK, so I find it hard to completely throw him under the bus. But this is his first year with an economy over eight, and more importantly, he doesn’t bat at all anymore. Then there is Shardul Thakur, who is going at a huge amount of runs per over, but his batting has been pretty good. So I think this is Umesh Yadav. He has one wicket in 19 overs, and is going at ten runs an over. I think him, Shardul and Dre Russ are all going more masses of runs, so some of that might also be conditions. But Umesh’s skill is taking wickets, and his current bowling average is 169.

9 - Sunrisers Hyderabad

Previous Ranking: 7

Hot:  It is not actually easy to find anyone having a good season for them. But Mayank Markande’s numbers are better the more you look at them. He has 12 wickets with an econ on 7.8.  I think he’s a better bowler than most give him credit for. Henrich Klaasen has also been terrific in the middle order. But that is just about it.

Cold:  I suppose Harry Brook is the captain of the cold club. He made 100 runs in an innings, and 63 in his other eight knocks. His strike rate is 121. That said, Tripathi has been slow for him, Markram hasn’t gone on much, and Agarwal has been awful. In fact, let us just say no SRH batter except Klaasen has 300 runs yet.

Even if they win both games, they still probably won’t get anywhere near the finals. But worth a try.  At the least, they give themselves a chance of not coming last.

10 - Delhi Capitals

Previous Ranking: 10

Hot: Axar Patel has tried to bat and bowl for this team this year. If they had two of him they wouldn’t have sucked nearly as much. Outside of Phil Salt’s cameos, he’s probably their best bat. He also has ten wickets, is averaging 28 and has an econ of 6.8. I mean, that is pretty good. At worst, he is probably second-best at batting and bowling for them.

Cold: I don’t know whether to put in Mitch Marsh or not, because his bowling has been surprisingly good. But he didn’t make many runs. Nortje has been average, but not terrible when you look closer. Mukesh Kumar has really struggled, he’s going for runs and taking no wickets at all. So it is probably him. Ofcourse, if you were being unfair you could throw Warner in here, but he has picked up his rate after a turgid start. But still not at a rate he’d like.

One team is desperate to make the finals, and the other trying to cement a second chance. Delhi have to win at least one of these to get off the bottom, and maybe even both to be sure. It’s not ideal.