08.05.2019 Author: C.NAMASIVAYAMThe two most successful teams in IPL history have taken the first and second position on the points table this year. After 44 days of non-stop cricket and after 56 absorbing matches, Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians have emerged as the two top teams at the end of the league stage. In the process, CSK has become the only team to reach the playoff stages of all IPL seasons in which they were part of.
The Delhi Capitals with their impressive performance this year has made it to the playoffs after a gap of seven years. Sunrises Hyderabad are fortunate to make it to the playoffs on the basis of their better net run rate after securing a mere 12 points. In fact, this is the first time in IPL history that a team has managed to reach the playoffs with that number.
As CSK and MI gear up to face each other in the first playoffs at Chennai on Tuesday, let us analyze the performances of the two teams to determine which is the better team this season.
# 1 Head – to Head recordMumbai Indians won both their matches against CSK this season. They trounced the super strong CSK team at home by 37 runs. However, their victory at the lion’s den at Chepauk by a better margin of 46 runs was without MS. Dhoni, Faf du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja in the opposition ranks.
Nonetheless, CSK has won at least one match this season against all opponents except Mumbai. This in itself speaks volumes about Rohit Sharma's side. Hence, on head-to-head record this season, MI has dominated CSK.
# 2. Net Run RateAt the completion of the league stage, both teams have 18 points each. But Mumbai has a much superior run rate of 0.421 against Chennai Super King's 0.131. In fact, one of the main reasons for CSK’s dip in Net Run Rate was due to the two heavy defeats they suffered at the hands of MI.
But for their big win against Delhi Capitals in their penultimate match, CSK could have been pushed to the third place in the standings. Hence, Mumbai has an upper hand on Net Run Rate too.
# 3. Away recordThe superiority of a team can be best judged from their away records. On that count, MI has won four away matches against RCB, SRH, DC & CSK. It is interesting to note that three of those four teams who lost to MI at their home have made it to the last four.
Conversely, CSK has won only three of the seven away matches against KKR, RR and, DC while they lost to RCB at Bangalore by the narrowest of margin.
#4. Contenders for Orange capOut of the top 15 run scorers in this year’s IPL, three are from Mumbai. Quinton de Kock(492) is ranked at number four while Rohit Sharma(386) and Hardik Pandya(380) are not far behind.
For CSK, MS Dhoni( 368) is at the 17th position closely followed by Suresh Raina(359) in the 18th position. For CSK it was MS Dhoni and the bowlers doing the damage before Raina and Faf du Plessis jumped into the bandwagon much later.
In the league stages, Dhoni had to play the dual role of consolidating the innings and as well as finishing off the same. Comparatively, Mumbai is better placed with flying starts from De Kock and Rohit Sharma while Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya are doing the finisher’s job to perfection.
Mumbai has been well served by their batsmen compared to CSK.
#5. Contenders for Purple CapCSK scored over MI in this respect. Out of the top 15 wicket-takers, four are from CSK. Imran Tahir(21), Deepak Chahar(16), Harbhajan Singh(13) and Ravindra Jadeja(13) have all struck at crucial stages. In fact, it was due to the relentless efforts of the bowlers that CSK could make it to the last four.
Mumbai has only Jasprit Bumrah(17), Lasith Malinga(15) and Hardik Pandya(14) in the same list.