IPL 2019: Powerplay, the pillars of strength

Former Australia cricketer Dean Jones, currently a panellist on Star Sports Select Dugout, says he would like to try to win the PowerPlay because overall in IPL cricket, 74% of the teams which win it go on to win a match.

The players who make an ideal T20 team: a death-overs bowler, an aggressive opener, an unorthodox hitter, a finisher and a spinner who can turn the ball both ways.

We are in the second week of the IPL and one of the trends that we are starting to see is the middle-overs. Personally, I would like to try to win the PowerPlay because overall in IPL cricket, 74% of the teams which win it go on to take a match. This year, for some reason, it’s down.

Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody loves winning the mids and he can when you have guys like Rashid Khan to knock teams over. The use of leg-spinners, in particular, is very important.

SRH try to control the game right from the very first over and have been going way better than any other team: 10.8 runs per over in PowerPlay!

Circumspect

Conversely, CSK is a bit more circumspect. It has been one of the worst teams with the bat but catch up at the end mainly due to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s class. They know how to finish it off.

My philosophy is that you got to have four pillars of strength. The first pillar is selecting a death bowler. He is the most important player in the team. No. 2 is the opening batsman who can have a good strike rate of over 130 and bat deep into the innings.

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No. 3, you need a banger, who can also bowl. It needs a guy like Dhoni or Andre Russell.

And the last piece of the puzzle is you have to have a spinner to spin both ways. Now, if you get three of them working in a match, you are going to win nine out of 10 games.

Let’s look at RCB. Who’s the death bowler? Good answer!

Who’s their opening batsman batting deep? Good answer!

Who’s the spinner who can spin both ways? That’s Yuzvendra Chahal and he is not getting the numbers. Who’s the banger? Again, good answer! We don’t know.

If you take SRH, they have got a Johnny Bairstow or a David Warner and a good death bowler in Bhuvi.

Let’s look at Mumbai Indians. You have got Rohit Sharma going deep, once he gets going. It has got amazing death bowlers like Bumrah and they have got a banger like Hardik Pandya. Now, the young lad, Rahul Chahar, is a very good leg-spinner and is a very good replacement to Mayank Markande.

So, you must get your four pillars of strength working for you. That’s how you analyse a team.

Time for a Capital turnaround

If you look at Delhi, their batters aren’t batting deep enough and the spinners, Sandeep Lamichhane and Amit Mishra, are not getting enough. They have got Rishabh Pant but he is struggling to finish things off. Kagiso Rabada did well to finish a game off from them so he is a very good depth bowler. They are almost there!

In the coming week, I am hoping that Delhi Capitals can somehow find a way to play at home. It’s time for them to have drop-in pitches. The pitches that they have been preparing for the teams is a wrong style of pitch they need to do. If they can’t get it right, they need drop-in pitches. This pitch is hurting Delhi Capitals.

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The same could be said for Chepauk stadium. There is so much cricket played on this beautiful grounds that they don’t have time to let the grass grow. Is it time for this country to look at the idea of drop-in pitches for IPL?

Smart Hesson

I also have something to say about Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI. Rajasthan is struggling somewhat but I love the way Kings XI are going about their job.

They started with controversy and I think they have got a very good coach in Mike Hesson at the dug-out. He is very smart in how he goes about man-management and is a perfect foil for skipper Ashwin.

They are well prepared and won a game without Chris Gayle.

They think on their feet and are really starting to change my opinion of their squad when it comes down to good leadership.

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