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)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 6, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 7, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Birmingham


Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 62 runs

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Birmingham

India won by 9 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts


India vs England, 4th ODI at Edgbaston


Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan complete comprehensive series win for India with 9-wicket win in 4th ODI

Mitchell Marsh records highest strike rate in an ODI innings for Australia against South Africa

N Srinivasan faces a two-month wait as Mudgal commission prepares final report

Norman Gordon passes away at 103

Ishant Sharma: 10 facts you need to know about the towering Indian paceman

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia Zimbabwe vs Australia 2014

Shakib Al Hasan takes up ‘Rice bucket challange’

Nathan Lyon injured during Australia’s 62-run win against South Africa in Zimbabwe tri-series

Amitabh Bachchan lashes out at Indian cricket fans

Alastair Cook vows to stay on as England captain despite ODI series loss against India

Ajinkya Rahane becomes first Indian opener to score an ODI hundred against England in England

14 greatest upsets in ODIs — Part 1

Faf du Plessis shows his grit with twin tons against Australia in Zimbabwe Triangular Series

India’s ODI series triumphs outside Asia — a statistical review

Cricket in Columbia: Rest of the World XI beat India XI

Sachin Tendulkar’s Playing It My Way: What cricket lovers would expect from his autobiography

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

628 Posts | 7 Fans

Thilan Samaraweera finds an unusual way to get stumped

Calling all Vegetarians: How to Have an all Inclusive BBQ

Apple confirms accounts of Hollywood celebrities were compromised to access nude photos, refutes iCloud breach

Shakib Al Hasan takes up ‘Rice bucket challange’

Opera Mini returns to Windows Phone, starts taking signups for beta testing

Nathan Lyon injured during Australia’s 62-run win against South Africa in Zimbabwe tri-series

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Latest Ebola News: Death toll in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reaches 31

Hrithik Roshan not doing Hollywood film Step Up 6?

What is endometriosis?

Obhrai Announces Canadian Support For Bangladesh

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here