The Power Rankings - Episode 5

How teams stack up given their results so far, their batting in each phase, and their upcoming schedules

The Power Rankings - Episode 5

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Here they are, your IPL power lists. Rajasthan looks a clear step apart. I couldn't tell you who the second team was with any confidence. And at the end, I am out on Gujarat as their bowling is falling apart. But it could just be a form thing.

By this time in the season, I usually have a lot of questions answered. But I honestly wondered if Delhi could McGurk their way to third. How have we ended up here?

So here they are, in their messy crazy glory. 

1.  Rajasthan Royals

Recent record: Rajasthan Royals got exactly what they needed from the last couple of matches. Their bowling managed to restrict both MI and LSG under 200, and their batters chased it down comfortably. Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a match-winning ton, and Dhruv Jurel also got some runs under his belt. Sanju Samson was unbeaten in both the run-chases, and he was at his best against Lucknow.

Powerplay overs: On talent, you could argue that they have one of the best opening partnerships in the league. However, Buttler and Jaiswal have not yet been at their best this season despite three match-winning hundreds between them. RR have scored at 8.2 runs per over off the bat and lost an average of 1.33 wickets per innings, which is not great by this year’s standards.

Middle overs: Riyan Parag and Samson have done a very good job after the field restrictions are over. Parag having a big season was quite important from RR’s perspective, and Samson has averaged 111 while striking at 161. Buttler and Jaiswal have also contributed at a good clip in the middle when they’ve gone on to make big runs.

Death overs: Shimron Hetmyer, Parag and Samson have scored over 50 runs at more than two runs a ball in the final four overs. Buttler is not too far behind either, with 56 off 29. Rovman Powell has faced only 10 balls in this phase, but he’s also scored 27 runs and been dismissed twice.

Upcoming fixtures: They have almost qualified for the playoffs. However, with five games in hand they must target a top two finish. All of these are away games, so going 2-1 in these three games would be a pretty good run.

2. Chennai Super Kings

Recent record: They scored 210 & 212 in the two matches in the first innings. A Marcus Stoinis special denied them a win against Lucknow, but they defeated the Sunrisers by a huge margin of 78 runs. They now have the second-best net run rate in the competition.

Powerplay overs: Chennai started the season with Rachin Ravindra smashing the ball everywhere. He scored 118 runs at a strike rate of 159 but at an average of 24, so he was dropped after seven matches. They now have an opening partnership of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ajinkya Rahane. Gaikwad has 205 runs at 68/150, which is actually pretty good for an anchor type batter. Rahane is striking at only 121 (three dismissals) - far from the 208 (zero dismissals) of last season.

Middle overs: Shivam Dube and Ruturaj Gaikwad have done the bulk of the work in this phase. Dube hits a six once every nine balls, and a boundary every 4.5 balls. Gaikwad has maintained a strike rate of 146 through the middle, so he does not really slow down either. Daryl Mitchell has not been that good, but he got some runs against SRH in the last match. Rahane averages 16 while striking at 126, and the idea of promoting Jadeja up the order has not worked too well either.

Death overs: MS Dhoni has scored 96 runs off 37 balls in the final four overs without being dismissed, which is outstanding. Dube has also scored 115 runs at 29/195. However, Jadeja (160 SR) and Mitchell (132 SR) have not been able to strike it that well. 

Upcoming fixtures: They have two away games in the next three matches, and they play Punjab twice. If they go 3-0, that improves their chances of a playoff spot massively.

3. Kolkata Knight Riders

Recent record: At the start of the season, nobody would have imagined that KKR would score 261 and that it would be chased down with 8 balls to spare. They followed it up by reducing Delhi to 111/8, after which they couldn’t dismiss Kuldeep Yadav. They came out all guns blazing in the first six overs, but when the two Iyers were batting they did not really look to go for a net run rate boost.

Powerplay overs: Sunil Narine and Phil Salt have been at their destructive best in the first six overs, and they have also been very consistent at it. They have an average score of 62.1 off the bat in this phase, and they lose 1.22 wickets per innings on average. Angkrish Raghuvanshi has also shown potential when he’s come in to bat early on, scoring 59 off 37 balls while being dismissed twice.

Middle overs: Narine has a strike rate of 197 in overs 7-16 while averaging 29. That has created a massive difference. Salt has also kept going at 35/176. Andre Russell has also scored 90 runs at 173. But Shreyas Iyer has faced the most balls for them (147) in this phase, and he’s scored 183 runs at a strike rate of 125 for just 1 dismissal. Raghuvanshi (59 runs at 20/164) and Venkatesh Iyer (102 runs at 34/132) have also contributed in this phase of the innings.

Death overs: Shreyas has scored 63 runs @263, but been dismissed four times. Russell has 89 runs at 30/202, and he’s not even performed as well as he can yet. Rinku has 69 runs at 17/197, and I am not too sure what to make of it yet. They are scoring quickly, but also losing a lot of wickets in the process. 

Upcoming fixtures: They play MI twice now, and their in-form batting should fare well against MI’s bowling. Lucknow away should be a good game. If they win 2 out of these 3 games, they will be in a comfortable position.

4. Sunrisers Hyderabad

Recent record: SRH have now lost two games in a row while chasing. Stop the press! They conceded over 200 in both games, and they never really approached their chase in a calculated manner. They lost four wickets in the powerplay against RCB, and three against CSK. 

Powerplay overs: Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma have been incredible at the top. Their average powerplay score has been 68.3, which jumps up to 73.4 when they bat first. And this is just from the runs off the bat. Both of them have a strike rate of 227 - Abhishek averages 54 while Head averages 90.

Middle overs: Heinrich Klaasen (181 runs at 45/159) and Nitish Reddy (103 runs at 52/149) have been their best batters in this phase. However, it is in overs 7-11 where they lose a lot of wickets. It makes sense because it is when their openers keep going hard but get out. Aiden Markram is not having a good season, scoring only 122 runs at 25/122 between overs 7 to 16.

Death overs: Klaasen and Samad have scored at mind-boggling rates in the last four overs. Klaasen has a strike rate of 255, while Samad is at 233. Shahbaz Ahmed has also been useful, scoring 99 runs at 33/187.

Upcoming fixtures: They have two home games, but both of those are against strong teams. If they can split those games 1-1 and win in Mumbai, they would be 7-5 with two matches in hand. 

5. Lucknow Super Giants

Recent record: Marcus Stoinis scored an unbeaten ton which meant LSG chased down the highest successful total at Chepauk in the IPL. They scored 197 against RR at home, and had them 78/3 before Samson & Jurel swung the game in favour of the visitors. But the other way of looking at it is that their bowling has not been great either in the last two matches.

Powerplay overs: Only KL Rahul has done well for Lucknow, scoring 187 runs at 62/143. It is not 2018 KL yet, but we can’t complain when the rest of the batters have scored 242 runs @19/125. So they are losing wickets in the first six overs, but not at the cost of quick runs. They need Quinton de Kock to score more runs.

Middle overs: Nicholas Pooran (162 runs at 54/156) and Stoinis (161 runs at 32/158) are the quick-scorers for Lucknow in the middle overs. KL (183 runs at 61/148) does quite well when the field restrictions are over, and even de Kock (110 runs at 55/139) has also done better after the first six overs, so it is fair to say Lucknow have usually had this phase covered.

Death overs: Pooran has a strike rate of 179 and he’s only been dismissed twice in 72 balls. Krunal has 57 runs off 39 balls without getting out, but is that quick enough? Badoni has also scored 63 runs at 21/150, while Stoinis has been dismissed once, and scored 48 off 26.

Upcoming fixtures: The two home games will be very important, where they have a 3-2 record so far this season. They play two good teams, so winning against them would increase their chances of qualification even more.

6. Delhi Capitals

Recent record: Can Delhi still McGurk their way to a playoff spot? They had one win in their first five games, and have now won 4 of the last six. Rishabh Pant was terrific against Gujarat with some support from Axar Patel, while McGurk, Shai Hope & Tristan Stubbs took them to 257 against Mumbai. Their best batter against KKR however, was Kuldeep Yadav. Their bowling didn't show up in any of these three games.

Powerplay overs: I know it sounds ridiculous to say they are just ‘good’ with McGurk going hard. But in the first five matches, they were averaging 32 and 141 off the bat in the first six overs. They average 30 in the next five matches, but the strike rate skyrockets to 183. If we look at it individually, McGurk has 195 runs at 65/257, Shaw has 140 at 28/159 and Warner has 124 at 31/146. 

Middle overs: Pant has faced a huge chunk of the deliveries for Delhi, scoring 284 runs at 47/145. That’s alright, but he’s taken some time at the start of the innings. Stubbs is their second-best run-getter with 115 runs at 23/128 between overs 7-16.

Death overs: However, Stubbs is at another level in the final four overs. He has scored 152 off 52 deliveries without being dismissed. Pant has also scored 88 runs at 29/244. 

Upcoming fixtures: They need three wins in their last three matches to feel safe about a playoff spot. They might still be in contention with two, but that would depend on other results going their way.

7. Gujarat Titans

Recent record: GT came close against Delhi, but could only take one wicket while defending 200 against RCB. The most worrying thing about them in these two games was their bowling. The spin trio has picked up just two wickets from these matches. 

Powerplay overs: Shubman Gill had a 89/151 record in the powerplay last season. That has dropped to 163 runs at 41/127 in 2024. Sai Sudharsan has scored 130 runs at 124 and been dismissed once. Saha is their quickest-scoring batter in this phase, striking at 132 but at an average of just 18.

Middle overs: Their overall record is 21/124, so they have neither scored quick enough and they have lost wickets while doing so. Sudharsan has scored 262 runs at 44/138 which is good. Gill scores at 148, but his average drops to 25. Miller has 96 runs at 48/133. But the bigger issue here is that the rest of the players combined have scored 258 runs at 11/102. Some of that is because they had a game where they were bowled out for 89.

Death overs: Rahul Tewatia has been the main man in the final four overs, scoring 122 runs at 31/188. Miller (66 runs at 33/220) and Rashid (59 runs at 20/174) have also chipped in. They pulled off an incredible win against RR, and came close against Delhi.

Upcoming fixtures: They are 4-6, so every game from here on is like a must-win for them. They may still qualify with 7 wins, but that would depend on other results and net run rate. It is not an easy road ahead for them.

8. Mumbai Indians

Recent record: The Mumbai Indians bowling attack, with the exception of Bumrah, has not posed a threat to the opposition this season. They lost by 10 runs while chasing 258 against DC, and scored 179 against RR after being 52/4. 

Powerplay overs: Rohit Sharma has given quick starts consistently, scoring 194 runs at 49/170. Kishan has 174 runs at 29/166, and SKY has 58 at 29/161. It means their top three is consistently getting them off to fliers. 

Middle overs: Tilak Varma has scored the most runs between overs 7 to 16. Hardik Pandya also has 141 runs at 47/151 in a season where he has not been at his best. SKY has 108 runs at 36/183, so he’s still had an impact. Rohit’s average and strike rate both drop in this phase - he has 90 runs at 23/132.

Death overs: This is where the problem lies for them. Tim David has scored 129 runs at 22/205, and Romario Shepherd had a great finish against Delhi at home. But Hardik Pandya has scored only 40 runs off 28 balls and has been dismissed five times. 

Upcoming fixtures: Qualification looks very tough for them - they will have to win all five matches to get to 16 points. And their upcoming fixtures are not quite easy either.

9. Royal Challengers Bengaluru

Recent record: RCB now have two back to back wins and a one run loss in their last three matches. They got impact performances from Rajat Patidar, Will Jacks, and Cameron Green. Virat Kohli is still inevitable in a run-chase, and Mohammed Siraj seems to be picking up some form too.

Powerplay overs: Kohli averages 81 at a strike rate of 154. du Plessis has also looked to maximise the run-scoring in this phase, scoring at 159 but at an average of 28. RCB score an average of 55.1 runs off the bat for the loss of 1.5 wickets.

Middle overs: Kohli has faced the most deliveries for them in this phase, scoring 214 runs at 54/137. Rajat Patidar has had the most impact for them in this phase, scoring his 182 runs at 30/185. Dinesh Karthik also has 100 runs at 156 without being dismissed. Faf does not slow down in the middle, but he’s only played three out of the ten innings where he’s gone on after the powerplay. Usually, you would expect Maxwell to be at his best in this phase but he’s not been among the runs this season.

Death overs: Surprisingly, despite Karthik’s brilliance - 162 runs at 32/231, you could make a case for RCB not maximising their runs in the final four overs. The rest of the batters have scored 222 runs at 13/159.

Upcoming fixtures: These matches could be a good indicator for them to identify the players that they would want to retain if there is a mega auction next season. There is no doubt that they have talented players, but their biggest issue has been the effective utilisation of players in their ideal roles.

10. Punjab Kings

Recent record: They pulled off the highest chase ever in T20 history. Jonny Bairstow scored a 45-ball ton, Prabhsimran set it up nicely at the top with 54 off 20, and Shashank scored 68 off 28 in what was an absolute run-fest at the Eden Gardens.

Powerplay overs: Prabhsimran has been their best batter in the first six overs, scoring 158 runs at 40/165. Bairstow has 106 runs at 166, but he only averages 27. Dhawan scored 99 runs at 33/124. Sam Curran has scored 39 off 40 balls and been dismissed once. It’s fair to say that before the epic chase, they were not doing well at all.

Middle overs: Ashutosh Sharma and Shashank Singh have done a great job for Punjab. Bairstow has only played three innings, but he’s scored 90 runs at 45/167. Jitesh Sharma (120 runs @20/130) and Sam Curran (91 runs at 23/118) have faced over 50 balls each, but their strike rates and averages have been low.

Death overs: Punjab have been on the wrong side of some really close losses this season. Shashank and Ashutosh continue to be excellent in overs 17-20 - Ashutosh has 94 runs at 200 while Shashank has 113 runs at 246.

Upcoming fixtures: They need to win all five matches to reach 16 points, and they play CSK twice in the next two matches. Their next two home games will be played in Dharamsala.