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)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Bangladesh gain upper-hand over Zimbabwe at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone to meet South Zone in final

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner admits that Australia is not scared of big targets

Younis Khan scores 26th ton to establish Pakistan record

Younis Khan becomes seventh Pakistani cricketer to score two hundreds in a Test

Virat Kohli and others with 20 ODI hundreds

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

NGOs pursue education for all

ISL 2014, 12th Match: Delhi Dynamos FC 4-1 Chennaiyin FC in Pics

Apple to merge Beats Music with iTunes next year as music sales fall 14 percent in 2014: WSJ

Michael Clarke: Younis Khan is one of the gentlemen of our game

Anil Kapoor ropes in a new director for son Harshvardhan’s next?

WTA Finals 2014: Sania Mirza and Cara Black shock Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik to secure final berth

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan considered skipping Tests

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Bigg Boss 8 day 34 highlights: Salman Khan makes fun of Sonali Raut’s kamchor behaviour, RJ Pritam Singh entertains!

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here