IPL 2011 - Chennai Super Kings (Captain - MS Dhoni)
Starting the tournament as defending champions, Dhoni's team yet again started on a slow note, winning just 2 of the first 5 matches. However, they gathered momentum in the last 9 matches as they won 7 of them to be second on the league table (and also the second-highest impact side). In the playoffs, a familiar assurance came into the fore again, as they prevailed with something to spare.
- CSK had the 4th highest impact batting unit at the end of the league phase. They also had the highest Strike Rate IMPACT and were 2nd highest impact batting unit at absorbing pressure before the playoffs began. Their batting revolved around the joint efforts of 5 batsmen throughout the tournament - Hussey, Raina, Badrinath, Dhoni and Vijay. Dhoni led the pack on Strike Rate IMPACT while Badrinath led them on Pressure IMPACT, performing complementary roles with great cohesion.
- CSK had also the 5th highest impact bowling unit in the tournament at the end of the league phase, including the 3rd highest Economy IMPACT. Their bowling revolved around consistent performances from R Ashwin and high impact performances from Bollinger with the rest chipping away. Ashwin led the pack on Economy IMPACT while Bollinger took wickets consistently.
- However, after combining batting, bowling and all-round impact of the team, CSK had the 2nd highest Team IMPACT in the tournament at the end of the league phase behind Deccan Chargers. Astonishingly, DC never made it to the playoffs despite consistent performances from quite a few players as they lacked high impact players (IMPACT 2.5 or more).
- 3 of the Chennai's players were high impact players (IMPACT of 2.5 or more) in the tournament at the end of the league phase. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders had a higher number of high impact players but Chennai produced the maximum number of big match performances in the tournament - a testimony to their players' abilities in the big match scenario. For the first time in IPL history, all the 3 high impact players at the end of the league phase from the 4 IPL winning teams were also Indians - Dhoni, Raina and R Ashwin - the last two also producing tournament-defining performances (with Hussey, Vijay and Jakati joining them in the final with high impact performances).
IN A NUTSHELL - if the second-highest impact team is most likely to win IPL (as every one of the last four years suggest), then Delhi Daredevils may have reason to be wary - as they have registered the highest impact as a team up to this point (Friday, 18th May - still 5 league matches to go). Do check this space on Monday for final league impact results - with some succinct observations and projections that time around.
For more information, please go to www.impactindexcricket.com