The first round of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League is finally over. Spread over a month and a half with innumerable matches -- some forgettable, a few memorable and a few, sadly, controversial, we finally have got our top four teams. Here’s a closer look at how the sides, who have made it to the top four, have performed.
Chennai Super Kings: Chennai have ended up as the number one side following the end of the first round. Out of 16 games, Chennai have won 11 and lost only five, which gave them a total of 22 points. Their net run rate of +0.530 earned them the top spot following the league games. The chief reason why the former champions did so well was because their big players stood up and were counted. Mike Hussey was outstanding at the top of the order, pummeling 646 runs in 15 matches, with five 50s and a highest of 95. Suresh Raina made an impact yet again, with 466 runs in 16 games, including a 100, at a strike rate of 145. Skipper MS Dhoni played some blistering knocks in the slog overs, scoring 398 runs at a strike rate of 167. With the ball, Dwayne Bravo has been exceptional, picking 25 wickets at a strike rate of 13 and an average of 18.
Mumbai Indians: At last, Mumbai have performed to potential, till now. Out of 16 matches, they have won 11 and lost five, putting them on par with Chennai, with 22 points. The only reason they are second in the points table is because their net run rate is slightly lower at +0.441. Rohit Sharma, who took over as skipper from Ricky Ponting very early in the season, has been the star of the show for Mumbai. In 16 matches, he has amassed 526 runs at a strike rate of 138. With the ball, Mitchell Johnson has been instrumental in Mumbai’s success. He has grabbed 22 wickets in 14 games at a strike rate of 14.
Rajasthan Royals: The Royals have deservedly qualified. After 16 matches, they stand third with 10 wins and six losses, a total of 20 points, with a net run rate of +0.322. With the Royals, it has been a case of wonderful team efforts combined with some brilliant individual acts. Shane Watson has amassed 513 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 143 while openers, skipper Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane, have both registered more than 400 runs, at strike rate of 110 and 107 respectively. James Faulkner has been sensational with the ball, picking up 26 wickets in 14 matches, at a strike rate of under 13.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: The debutants are the surprise entry at number four. Having played 16 games, they have won 10 and lost six, ending with 20 points. The bowlers have stood out for Hyderabad. Amit Mishra has grabbed 20 wickets in 16 games at a strike rate of 17 while Thisara Perera has grabbed 19 in 15 and Dale Steyn 18 in 16. The best aspect of Steyn’s performance has been his economy rate of under six runs an over. With the bat, Parthiv Patel has been sedate for Sunrisers, with 293 runs from 12 games while Shikhar Dhawan has made 278 from nine.
--By A Cricket Analyst