Unique insights into the 9 IPL teams

By Jaideep Varma and Jatin Thakkar

To analyse the strengths of each IPL team this year, we take their 15 highest impact players (10 Indian players and 5 overseas) – well-represented in each function. In this case, we have taken the impact each of these players have had on all T20 matches in their career (with a slightly higher weightage to T20Is of which there are a relatively smaller sample size of matches). This is important to note – this does not factor in factors like conditions or varied opposition within the domestic circuit. It is too complicated (and perhaps misleading) to try and factor those elements in within the structure of domestic T20 cricket today.

The bird’s-eye-view of the 9 teams looks like this at the start of the tournament. 


1. Favourite teams for Semi-finals:
Chennai Super Kings (Team IMPACT 2.77)
Kolkata Knight Riders (Team IMPACT 2.42)
Delhi Daredevils (Team IMPACT 2.40)
Rajasthan Royals (Team IMPACT 2.37)

2. Dark Horse: Kings XI Punjab ((Team IMPACT 2.35)

3. Team/s with strongest batting unit: Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils

4. Team/s with weakest batting unit: Royal Challengers Bangalore 

5. Team with strongest bowling unit: Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals

6. Team with weakest bowling unit: Delhi Daredevils

7. Most attacking batting unit: Delhi Daredevils

8. Most sluggish batting unit: Deccan Chargers

9. Team with ability to absorb maximum pressure while batting: Pune Warriors

10. Strongest chasing team/s: Kolkata Knight Riders

11. Team most susceptible in a chase: Royal Challengers Bangalore

12. Most economical bowling unit: Rajasthan Royals

13. Most uneconomical bowling unit: Delhi Daredevils

14. Most mercurial side/s: Chennai Super Kings and Pune Warriors (high failure rates)

15. Most imbalanced side: Delhi Daredevils (batting far stronger than bowling)

16. Likely Cannon-fodder for most teams: Pune Warriors

17. Best Bench Strength: Delhi Daredevils

18. Worst Bench Strength: Kings XI Punjab

19. Team with best Indian players: Chennai Super Kings

20. Team with best overseas players: Rajasthan Royals


Below is a succinct but comprehensive look at the 9 teams – and what they’re constituted of.

Chennai Super Kings  (Team IMPACT 2.77)
1st on IMPACT list. 1st in batting. 1st in bowling.
STRENGTHS: Big match players. Defending champions for the last 2 years. Has the strongest bench strength too.
WEAKNESSES: High failure rate which suggests that several players in the team can be inconsistent. Hunger may be a factor too (which this system cannot measure).
HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Michael Hussey, Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Murali Vijay.
LOOK OUT FOR:  G. Vignesh

Kolkata Knight Riders (Team IMPACT 2.42)
2nd on IMPACT list. 6th in batting. 6th in bowling. (A team short of experienced high impact specialists but plenty of all-rounders – which increases their overall impact but not in each department)
STRENGTHS: Bat deep, many bowling choices. Chasing a strength in batting.
WEAKNESSES: Not likely to win too many matches on batting or bowling alone.
HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  SP Naraine, Yusuf Pathan, Jacques Kallis, Brett Lee, Shakib Al Hasan, Manoj Tiwary, Gautam Gambhir, Brendon McCullum.
LOOK OUT FOR:  Shami Ahmed

Delhi Daredevils  (Team IMPACT 2.40)

3rd on IMPACT list. 2nd in batting. 9th in bowling.
STRENGTHS: Very strong batting, highest Strike Rate IMPACT, most consistent batsmen in this IPL. 
WEAKNESSES: Weakest bowling in this IPL. Low Economy IMPACT the biggest problem.
HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  Kevin Pietersen, Irfan Pathan, Ross Taylor, A Finch, David Warner and Colin Ingram.
LOOK OUT FOR:  P Negi, KC Rawal

Rajasthan Royals (Team IMPACT 2.37)
4th on IMPACT list. 5th in batting. 2nd in bowling.
STRENGTHS: Very strong bowling, Economy IMPACT very high. While batting, Pressure IMPACT is high.
WEAKNESSES: Strike Rate IMPACT relatively low – could be Achilles Heel. The weakest fielding side in this year’s IPL.
 HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  Shane Watson, Johan Botha, Brad Hogg, Kevon Cooper, Dinesh Chandimal, Brad Hodge.

Kings XI Punjab  (Team IMPACT 2.35)
5th on IMPACT list. 3rd in batting. 4th in bowling.
STRENGTHS: Strike Rate IMPACT as a batting unit is high. Batsmen build partnerships and absorb pressure well.
WEAKNESSES: High failure rate in both batting and bowling – therefore inconsistency could be a problem. Chasing while batting seems relatively a weak spot. Just 3 high impact players (all of whom are ageing players) suggests a paucity of fresh talent.
HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  Adam Gilchrist, Azhar Mahmood and David Hussey.
LOOK OUT FOR:  Amit Yadav, N Saini.

Mumbai Indians  (Team IMPACT 2.14)
6th on IMPACT list. 4th in batting. 5th in bowling.
STRENGTHS: A reasonably consistent unit – a lot of players with decent T20 impact. In IPL conditions though, their team has more high impact talent.
WEAKNESSES: Not enough high impact talent, which could be a problem in a long tournament like this. Also, leadership is a problem, as evidenced in the last 2 IPL tournaments. 
HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  Kieron Pollard. LOOK OUT FOR:  SH Marathe. 

Deccan Chargers  (Team IMPACT 2.13)

7th on IMPACT list. 7th in batting. 7th in bowling.
STRENGTHS: Partnership-building in batting. Consistency in bowling, decent Economy IMPACT. 
WEAKNESSES: Strike Rate IMPACT is low in batting.
HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  Daniel Harris, Kumar Sangakkara, Darren Bravo.
 LOOK OUT FOR:  AA Bhandari, Anand Rajan.

Royal Challengers Bangalore   (Team IMPACT 1.96)

8th on IMPACT list. 9th in batting. 3rd in bowling.
STRENGTHS: Best Economy IMPACT bowlers this year.
WEAKNESSES: The most inconsistent batting line-up in the tournament. 
HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  Andrew McDonald, Daniel Vettori, Chris Gayle, Carl Langeveldt, Muttiah Muralitharan.
LOOK OUT FOR:  M Gautam.

Pune Warriors   (Team IMPACT 1.89)
9th on IMPACT list. 8th in batting. 8th in bowling.
STRENGTHS: Ability to absorb pressure while batting.
WEAKNESSES: Not enough high impact talent. 
HIGHEST IMPACT PLAYERS (min. 15 matches, IMPACT over 2.5):  None over 2.5. Highest impact players – Nathan McCullum, Graeme Smith.
LOOK OUT FOR:  S Rana, HH Khadiwale.

The implications of hunger apart (very relevant to Chennai Super Kings), Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings also have a relatively high failure rate amongst their players. That makes their teams susceptible to inconsistency. Delhi Daredevils players have the lowest failure rate among the highest impact 4 teams – but they are also the most imbalanced team – as their batting is much stronger than their bowling.  Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers have players well-tested in IPL conditions – and this may prove to be significant if many of the overseas players fail to replicate their average form. It will be interesting to see how much of this pans out. 

For more information, please go to www.impactindexcricket.com

Recent Articles by Impact Index


(11 stories)