Home > Features >

IPL 7: CSK, KXIP, RR cut away from the rest; where did they get it right?

The top three teams of IPL 7 have stood apart from the rest © IANS
The top three teams of IPL 7 have stood apart from the rest © IANS

As the Indian premier League (IPL) 2014 reaches its business end, Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) look clear to seal three of the four qualifier spots. Abhijit Banare looks at what made these teams distinct than the rest.

All the teams have now completed nine of their 14 matches. Unlike previous season where the qualifiers spot has been a cut-throat race, this time around it’s a race at the second half of the points table. Mumbai Indians (MI), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have bleak chances needing to win all their matches, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have a better chance of staking claim for playoffs while Delhi Daredevils are working hard to avoid a bottom place finish.

Yet what has been the interesting aspect is the way the top three have played. While they have won consistently, the gap between them and the rest can easily allow complacency to creep in. When you are winning it’s simple logic that there are certain areas where they have done consistently well than other. Below are some of the strategies that have been key to their success.

a) Managing their Indian resource

Seldom have we seen any team succeeding only on the strength of exceptional overseas players. Glenn Maxwell‘s blitzkriegs wouldn’t have been as impressive if the Indian bowlers weren’t effective. All the three teams have been blessed with their Indian players gelling well. Chennai Super Kings (CSK), have traditionally had the strongest of all with majority of players part of the Indian team (Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina). Whereas Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals (RR) have unearthed gems in young Indian talent. However, the other teams are struggling to ensure their Indian players perform consistently. Sunrisers are perhaps the only team with Lokesh Rahul, Amit Mishra, Karn Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar doing well. But CSK, KXIP and RR have managed their Indian resource well and have stuck to their identities.

b) Consistent playing XI

All these teams have quickly found the right combination. Dhoni has been traditionally known to stick with his playing XI for India and the same reflects with CSK. Whereas KXIP’s playing XI has remained consistent thanks to the wins that have come by and RR have experimented and finally got down to their 12-13 players with whom they can shuffle around.

c) Skilled bowling to work around on all pitches

CSK and RR have quality spinners who don’t necessarily require turners. Ashwin, Jadeja are skilled enough. Pravin Tambe has been extremely tough to get away with. When it comes to fast bowling, Ishwar Pandey and Mohit Sharma have been accurate with the former relying on swing. Sandeep Sharma’s swing has stunned almost every opposition, Royals have done well with Kane Richardson and Rajat Bhatia. In comparison, the other teams have failed to get their bowling combinations right. And even if they did, they failed to deliver when it mattered. RCB is a classic example. All of their regular bowlers are among the wickets, but when it came to sticking to the basics, they faltered and did so badly against RR.

d) Quality finishers

This is one area which has ensured that close matches have fallen in their bag. Dhoni has finished the innings whenever necessary while most of the times, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum have been excellent finishers. RR have been brilliant with James Faulkner, Steve Smith while KXIP are flying high with David Miller, George Bailey, yet Maxwell has stolen the match even before the death overs begin. These players have closed out the chase while many other teams have squandered opportunities when they were closing in on a run-chase. RCB and KKR have been guilty of committing this mistake on more than one occasion.

Moving ahead, it’s unlikely that the other teams are going to outclass these three in the above mentioned areas which makes things very clear this season. Four of the five teams will be scrambling to sneak in to the fourth qualifier spot.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru


World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs


CSK vs KKR, Match 1 CLT20 2014


Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Pakistan selectors thinking of dropping Younis Khan from ODI squad

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kane Williamson’s ton for Northern Knights against Cape Cobras proves that T20 isn’t all about slogging

Furious MS Dhoni and CSK check out of Hyderabad hotel following Biryani episode

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kings XI Punjab’s batting gets the extra punch with Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Hobart Hurricanes vs Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Northern Knights Pakistan

Champions League T20 Live Cricket Scoreboard: Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers CLT20 2014 4th Match at Mohali

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers Live Cricket Score CLT20 2014 Match 4 at Mohali

CLT20 2014: Rain threatens Hobart Hurricanes vs Cape Cobras encounter

Sachin Tendulkar to felicitate Lata Mangeshkar on her 85th birthday

CLT20 2014: Andre Russell credits Wasim Akram, support staff for success with KKR

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: Barbados Tridents’ likely XI

Don Bradman plays his final innings in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Dolphins vs Perth Scorchers, Match 4, CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Barbados Tridents CLT20 2014 Match 5: KXIP’s likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

669 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) CLT20 2014

NGOs pursue education for all

Live Cricket Score Board & Ball by Ball Commentary of Dolphins (DOL) vs Perth Scorchers (PRS) Group A Match 4 of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014

Kangana Ranaut pulls off the rock chic look for a leading fashion brand – View pics!

Asian Games 2014: PV Sindhu’s match suspended due to power outage

Asian Games 2014: Indian women hope to return to winning ways against Thailand

Revealed — why we feel disappointed and let down

This toolkit will help you master soft robotics

Discovered — new gene linked to diabetes development

Khoobsurat box office collection: Sonam Kapoor’s film does a dull business, earns only Rs 3 crore on day 1!

Asian Games 2014: Sardar Singh to lead India’s hockey challenge in the opener against Sri Lanka

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here