The Power Rankings - Episode 6

How teams stack up, their strengths and player of the week, and their upcoming schedules

The Power Rankings - Episode 6

This post is brought to you by Cricket8. We’ll be writing there throughout the IPL. Plus, there are podcasts and live watchalongs.

Stats from Cricmetric

The IPL Power list is here. You will laugh, cry and be disappointed with where I have your team. But that is why we do it. Because it’s as fun as a Deshpande spell or being Fraser-McGurked.

This week we are looking at each team’s strength and a player of the week.

  1. Rajasthan Royals

Recent record: 0-1 (L @SRH)

Avesh and Sandeep took early wickets, but Chahal had an off day as he conceded 62 in four overs. Despite losing Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson in the first over of the innings, Jaiswal and Parag’s partnership put them on the course for a win. SRH bowled exceptionally well to defend 67 runs in 6.3 overs after Jaiswal’s wicket.

Batting strength: Death overs

Even though they were not able to cross the line against SRH, they have done quite well at the end of the innings throughout the season. Samson has been their most important player, striking at 210 in the final four overs without being dismissed. 

Bowling strength: Powerplay overs

Trent Boult has been one of the most effective new ball bowlers of the league - he takes wickets and does not go for a lot of runs either. Sandeep Sharma has figures of 4/19 so far in five overs in the Powerplay.

Player of the week: Yashasvi Jaiswal

Not only was Jaiswal (along with Parag) the main reason why RR came close against SRH, but he also scored a match-winning ton against MI two games before that. His form will be crucial come the playoffs, when RR won’t have the services of Buttler.

Upcoming fixtures: @DC, @CSK, v PBKS (Guwahati)

They still have four games to go, and it went down to the final ball in both their losses. A top two finish should still be achievable with their squad.

  1. Kolkata Knight Riders

Recent record: 3-0 (W v DC, W @MI, W @LSG)

They were definitely the best team of the week, and winning two games away from home has definitely strengthened their case for a top two finish. They won all three games comfortably in the end, but the win against MI where they recovered from 57/5 to reach 169 showed us that they can also come back from behind and win.

Batting strength: Powerplay overs

Phil Salt and Sunil Narine have been one of the major reasons for KKR’s success so far in the tournament. Raghuvanshi has also shown promise, scoring 78 runs off 49 balls while being dismissed thrice in the powerplay. Will they move him up the order when Salt is not available for the playoffs? They also have the option of Gurbaz.

Bowling strength: Middle overs

The spin duo of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy has been very good in the middle phase. Andre Russell has been slightly expensive, but he has taken 9 wickets in just 16 overs - often creating a difference.

Player of the week: Sunil Narine

Narine did not concede more than 24 runs and took at least one wicket in each of the three games. With the bat, he scored 81 off 39 at Ekana.

Upcoming fixtures: v MI, @GT, @RR (Guwahati)

MI and GT are not in form, so this could be a great opportunity for KKR to finish in the top two. 

  1. Sunrisers Hyderabad

Recent record: 1-0 (W v RR)

Nitish Reddy and Heinrich Klaasen powered SRH past 200, which seemed a bit far off at the 8 over mark when they had just 48 runs on the board. We saw glimpses of peak Bhuvi when he dismissed Buttler and Samson in the first over.

Batting strength: Powerplay overs

Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma have given them terrific starts on a regular basis. Both of them have scored at over 210, and Head also averages a mind-boggling 96.3.

Bowling strength: Powerplay overs

Although their bowling has not been as effective as a whole, they are at their best in the Powerplay. Bhuvi has 7 wickets at an economy of 8.3, which is the joint-most this season along with Boult and Khaleel. Natarajan has also done well, returning with 3/80 in 10 overs.

Player of the week: Nitish Reddy

Coming in at 35/2 in 5.1 overs, Nitish Reddy hit 3 fours and 8 sixes in his 76 off 42 balls. The fact that he is a fast-bowling all-rounder means that Indian fans are also excited to see how he goes.

Upcoming fixtures: @MI, v LSG, v GT

They are 6-4 right now, so they need at least 2 more wins to feel comfortable. MI and GT are on a four and three match losing streak respectively.

  1. Chennai Super Kings

Recent record: 1-1 (L v PBKS, W @PBKS)

CSK lost the home game and won the away game against Punjab. They batted first in both games, scored in the 160s, and had way different results. 

Batting strength: Death overs

Ruturaj Gaikwad has been their best batter, but they perform at their best in the final four overs. MS Dhoni and Shivam Dube have been the best performers for CSK in this phase. Jadeja finally struck some hitting form in the last match. 

Bowling strength: Middle overs

Pathirana was a big reason for CSK’s dominance in this phase - his 9 wickets came in only 13 overs. Mustafizur also did quite well in this phase, while Jadeja and Deshpande have also been economical.

Player of the week: Ravindra Jadeja

He had a very good all-round outing in the away game, top-scoring with 43 off 26 and taking 3/20 in four overs. He was not as effective in the home game, scoring only 2 and conceding 22 runs in 3 overs without a wicket. 

Upcoming fixtures: @GT, v RR, @RCB

They are 6-5, so they need to win at least two games. RR have been the best team in the tournament, and RCB are also in form right now.

  1. Lucknow Super Giants

Recent record: 1-1 (W v MI, L v KKR)

LSG won against MI in the final over and then lost by almost 100 runs against Kolkata.

Batting strength: Middle overs

Marcus Stoinis, KL Rahul, and Nicholas Pooran have scored runs at a good strike rate and average in the middle overs.

Bowling strength: Powerplay overs

Mohsin Khan and Yash Thakur have taken five wickets each while the field restrictions were on.

Player of the week: Marcus Stoinis

Stoinis put in a good all-round performance against MI, scoring 62 off 46 along with figures of 1/19 in 3 overs. He top-scored with 36 off 21 against KKR, but that would just not be enough.

Upcoming fixtures: @SRH, @DC, @MI

Their net run rate has taken quite a hit. All three of their upcoming games will be on the road. LSG v SRH is a very important match in context of the playoffs race.

  1. Delhi Capitals

Recent record: 0-1 (L @KKR)

Kuldeep Yadav took Delhi past 150, and KKR made more than half of that in the Powerplay without even losing a wicket. Axar’s bowling was the only other positive. 

Batting strength: Powerplay overs

Fraser-McGurk is scoring at more than 2.5 runs a ball, while averaging 65. While Shaw and Warner have not been at their best this season, they have done a decent job while the field restrictions are on.

Bowling strength: Middle overs

The spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel have taken wickets while also stemming the flow of runs between overs 7-16.

Player of the week: Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav top-scored with a 26-ball 35 against KKR. This meant that Delhi recovered from 118/8 to 153/9.

Upcoming fixtures: v RR, @RCB, v LSG

Delhi can still qualify for the playoffs, but they need to win all three games. Their net run rate is -0.44, so it may not be easy to get through with just seven wins.

  1. Royal Challengers Bengaluru 

Recent record: 1-0 (W v GT)

RCB restricted GT to 147, which started off with 23/3 in the powerplay. Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli came out all guns blazing in the Powerplay but they slipped from 92/0 to 117/6. It took some smart batting from DK and Swapnil to take them home safely.

Batting strength: Powerplay overs

Kohli (272 runs at 91/160) and du Plessis (258 runs at 32/178) have done an impressive job of giving consistent starts at a good clip. They put up their highest ever score (92) in the first six overs of the IPL against GT.

Bowling strength: Powerplay overs

Even though RCB’s bowling has been far from impressive this season, their powerplay bowling has been a major factor in the last four matches. They took only 7 wickets at an economy of 10.8 in the first eight matches, while they now have 11 wickets at an economy of 8.4 in the last four matches.

Player of the week: Mohammed Siraj

Siraj was off colour in the first few matches of the season. However, he has figures of 4/123 in 16 overs in his last four matches. Against GT, he got Wriddhiman Saha and the big wicket of Shubman Gill. 

Upcoming fixtures: @PBKS, v DC, v CSK

If they win all three games and a few other results go their way, they might still be in with a chance to sneak into the playoffs. The one run loss against KKR might just come back to haunt them now.

  1. Punjab Kings

Recent record: 1-1 (W @CSK, L v CSK)

Punjab bowled first and kept CSK in the 160s in both games. They chased it down with ease at Chepauk, but collapsed from 62/2 in the 8th over to 90/8 in the 15th in Dharamsala.

Batting strength: Death overs

Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma have carried Punjab in the final four overs of the innings. They have come close on several occasions this season.

Bowling strength: Middle overs

Almost every Punjab bowler has done a good job between overs 7 to 16. Harshal has the most wickets, Chahar has been a strike bowler while maintaining a good economy, and Brar has kept a lid on the scoring rate.

Player of the week: Rahul Chahar

Wrist-spinner Rahul Chahar has figures of 5/39 in eight overs against CSK. He was dropped for five matches after starting in the first three, but he has made a terrific comeback.

Upcoming fixtures: v RCB, @RR (Guwahati), @SRH 

They are still in it mathematically, but their upcoming games will be challenging. Again, if they win all three and just miss out, it could be the close losses that hurt them.

  1. Mumbai Indians

Recent record: 0-2 (L @LSG, L v KKR)

MI recovered from 27/4 to 144/7 while batting first and managed to take the game to the final over against LSG. However, they let KKR make 169 from 57/5. Apart from Suryakumar Yadav, nobody else got going in the chase.

Batting strength: Middle overs

Tilak Varma has been very good in this phase of the game, averaging 55 at a strike rate of 164. Surya is also at his best, and even Hardik prefers to bat between overs 7 to 16 in this IPL. Nehal Wadhera has also rescued MI from precarious positions against RR and LSG.

Bowling strength: Death overs

Of course, thanks to Jasprit Bumrah, MI have been the third most economical team in the final four overs. Coetzee has also conceded less than 8 runs per over in this phase.

Player of the week: Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah is operating at a level above the rest. Although he did not take a wicket against LSG, he conceded only 17 runs in 4 overs. He also took 3/18 in 3.5 overs against KKR.

Upcoming fixtures: v SRH, @KKR, v LSG

They can win a maximum of six games, and none of their upcoming games are easy. Their season is all but over at this point.

  1. Gujarat Titans

Recent record: 0-1 (L @RCB)

GT had a terrible start - 23/3 -  in the powerplay. 30s from Shahrukh, Miller and Tewatia ensured that they recovered enough to post 147. Josh Little and Noor Ahmad did trigger a collapse that gave them a chance, but they just did not have enough ruins on the board in the first place.

Batting strength: Death overs

Tewatia, Rashid and Miller have been their top three run-getters in the final four overs. Miller strikes at 220, but he has only faced 30 balls in this phase.

Bowling strength: Middle overs

Sai Kishore has been their best bowler in the middle overs, while Noor Ahmad has also been decent. Rashid Khan has picked up only 3 wickets at an average of 76 in this phase, which is far from what you’d expect from him on an average.

Player of the week: Noor Ahmad

Noor Ahmad’s spell of 2/23 in four overs kept Gujarat in the game. He got the two big wickets of Will Jacks and Virat Kohli.

Upcoming fixtures: v CSK, v KKR, @SRH

They are also not yet out of contention. But a net run rate of -1.32 means that even if they finish with 7 wins, it may still not be enough. Plus, their upcoming games are against strong teams.