So each team (except CSK and SRH) have now played 7 games each which means that it’s the time for our mid season review. And what’s a season it has been so far. We are particularly excited as our predictions (written in an article when IPL started) are still very much true. The top 4 is a new combination now for example.
Herein we continue with our assessment and the strengths and weaknesses of the teams.
- Mumbai Indians – top of the league and it will take quite an effort to displace them. Each of their batsmen have scored big 50’s and have won matches. Imagine that a power hitter like Chris Lynn cannot even find him in the playing XI and this shows what a batting powerhouse they have become. Bumrah is clicking, Chahar is bamboozling and Boult is trending. Clearly the team to beat already.
- DC – some chinks in the bowling armor as both Amit Mishra (great while he was there) and Ishant have been ruled out. Yes Rabada and Nortje continue to torment (on their day) and while Axar is great (Econ rate of less than 6 in the 7 matches) they should get Sandeep Namichanne in the playing XI sooner than later. Shikhar D got some form (he needs more) and with Alex Carey in the XI the batting will continue to click. However they need to hold on for being in the top 2.
- RCB – surprise surprise! (Although we called it). Kohli has hit form (as predicted) and AB is delivering! They need to sort out their opening woes (Finch is flinching at times) and still the 4th international player (now Moeen was dropped from the last game) position is not sure. We would still call them slightly unpredictable however should stay in top 4.
- KKR – Another surprise (and we didn’t call it). Dre Russ and Morgan are out of form and their international contingent is letting them down. Banton was called in for a suspected action Narine and he didn’t get going (early days). Cummins is on and off. Therefore it is the only team relying on its national players and doing well. DK, Rahul Tripathi, Gill and Rana – all are doing well and in the bowling Prasidh is a good find. Good tussle with RCB (and others) for a top 4 finish.
- CSK – Faf and Shane are in form and inspite of a weak middle order they could just about get in the top 4.
- SRH – Depleted bowling and middle order woes continue. Except the top 4 there is no one worth mentioning and with Bhuvi injured the bowling is already under stress. Yes they have Rashid however need to put runs on the board for him to defend. As before we don’t predict them to be in the top 4.
- RR – they have just lost all form and for no real reason. Butler tried his best (lone standing) in a match, Steve Smith is at a loss (guess captaincy isn’t his thing), Sanju Samson (as other IPL’s) has shown promise and now not showing it anymore and their bowling is in tatters – have leaked 200+ quite often. Yes they won the last match inexplicably however they need a lot more consistency.
- Punjab – lost 3 matches from winning positions, not playing Gayle (just because he isn’t agile on the field), players like Pooran and Maxi in the wings (and they can’t chase), the team management is to be blamed for this year’s debacle.
By the time we write our next article we should be getting a more clearer picture of the top 4 – it’s a fight between RCB, CSK and KKR (maybe RR also) to join DC and MI!