Holdingwilley The second best way to enjoy cricket
Due to some technical problems, we are unable to cover live matches on our site and app. We are working on it and will be back soon. Please stay tuned for more.

The Soothsayer


Our analysis/predictions for Kolkata and Deccan have been spot on with the opener (yes?) or at least we like to think so.  We continue that with the preview for the other six teams, though you would have already seen four of them in action by now.  After a study of the other six teams, we believe Kolkata and Mumbai are best positioned to fight for the title in the final. Here's the complete sticking out of the neck:

Prediction for top four : Kolkata, Mumbai, Punjab and Chennai, with the first two having an edge in terms of making it to the finals.
Prediction for last four : Delhi, Deccan, Rajasthan and Bangalore, with Rajasthan and Bangalore likely to take the last two spots.

I can hear you asking how, so we’ll add this part from the previous article for the first-timers.

There is a simple way to understand the ‘balance’ of each team. If the total strength of the team is 100%, we find out how much each player in the squad contributes to it.

We have taken into account numerous factors such as each batsman’s strike rate, average with unbeaten scores, without unbeaten scores and the performance under pressure in every twenty20 game he ever played (and a similar looking set of statistics for the bowlers). We had to take some serious steps to prevent our statisticians from taking all the street, gully and oongli cricket into account. After that, a lot of math went in to derive the percentage contribution of each player to the team’s overall resources. That told us quite a few stories.

The four teams most capable of reaching the semifinals, according to our study, are Kolkata, Punjab, Chennai and Mumbai. Deccan and Delhi pose a stiff challenge to Punjab and Chennai with some very dangerous match-winners in their side. Any team can go on to win from there, as in the end, it all comes down to the strategies on match days and the form of some players in question.

Let us see what the numbers say for each team in detail.

Rajasthan Royals:

Shaun Tait leads the bowling attack of Rajasthan Royals and numbers say that’s one of their better departments – which is not a compliment. Out of the eight teams in the fray, Rajasthan has one of the weakest middle orders, in the sense that their all-rounders are merely ‘swing-the-bat’ types and their specialist middle order local batsmen don’t exactly have the ‘world beaters’ tag associated with them. Their stats reflect the same and are, going by numbers, the team with the lowest batting strength in terms of capabilities. The opposition needs to take out Smith and one of Mascarenhas and Yusuf Pathan to trigger a collapse, unless some of the ICL / unknown players strike big. These three make up 40% of the team’s strength.

So, in a nutshell

We go for a last four finish for Rajasthan this year. We’d even go one step further to predict a last two finish, but with players as unpredictable as Pathan and Tait and the imminent return of Shane Watson at the end of the month, they have the ability to climb a place or two with individual streaks.


Mumbai Indians:

Mumbai begin their IPL without two of their most important players, Kieron pollard and Dwayne Bravo. That shouldn’t be a big problem, as they have a solid world-class Indian lineup. The Caribbean addition, though, will bolster the middle order further and make Mumbai the team to beat this year.

Sanath, Pollard and Bravo, if they play together, will be the combination other teams will need to work on containing. If all these three fail in a match, the opponents will have an additional 40% chance of winning, which showcases their importance in the side that also has important players in Malinga, Harbhajan and of course, Sachin Tendulkar.

So, in a nutshell

We reckon this is Mumbai’s best chance in three years for the title, but they do face stiff competition and we believe a first Semi-final in three years is definitely on the cards.


Delhi Daredevils:

Delhi, we’d say, is one of the better bowling sides in the tournament. Even without Wayne Parnell, who we think might not be preferred over Dirk Nannes, Delhi’s bowling is all capable of wrecking through the opposition with a good Indian side to it, notable among whom would be Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra.  Statistics seemingly belie Delhi’s twenty20 batting capabilities, as only four of their batsmen have an average of twenty or more in the playing eleven; or this could be a clear indicator why Delhi hasn’t won it big yet. If the opposition manages to get three out of Sehwag, Gambhir, AB/Warner and Dilshan in quick time, Delhi will lose over 50% of their batting strength, which is, in other words, a lot of pressure on the four batsman.

Again, in that nutshell of ours

We expect Delhi to give Chennai, Punjab and Deccan a strong fight for a place in the top four, and can only succeed in that if at least two of the top four batsmen keep firing all the time.


Kings XI Punjab :

Kings XI Punjab is among the better balanced sides in the tournament. None of their players carry the burden of bowling or batting display on their hands single-handedly; so if the opponents restrict or contain one or two players, there will be another couple of players to take it from there. Yuvraj Singh, though, is a strong presence. His failure can reduce the overall effectiveness of the side by 14% (also considering his bowling). With Brett Lee set to join the team after the first match, their bowling, going (only) by statistics, would be the second best in IPL 3 after that of the Knight Riders.

So, in a nutshell

We think Punjab is strongly placed in the tournament to get into the semifinals. They will have to ward off the Delhi and Deccan challenges to do it, though.


Chennai Super Kings:

Chennai’s numbers give us a report that is very different from what we see in the media today. Chennai’s batting largely relies on Hayden and Raina, and taking them out brings down their batting strength by 40% and the overall effectiveness of the team by 30%. MS Dhoni adds another 10% to this power. This would only be for the first month, after which Micheal Hussey is expected to give more balance to this side. Playing two spinners in Muralitharan and Ashwin makes the spin department the most lethal among the eight and is 40% of the bowling strength of the side, with Ashwin also reducing the batting pressure on Dhoni and company.  Also, the duo, along with Balaji, Tyagi, Morkel and the part-timers in Raina and Kemp doesn’t make a ‘weak’ bowling side (even discounting Perera) as it is projected. What’s more, they are better at bowling than four other teams in the IPL on paper, thanks to the contributions of their all-rounders.

So, in a nutshell

We expect Chennai to do a good job, not because they are the best at bowling or batting, but because they are not bad at either. They stand a good chance to make it to the Semifinals for the third year in a row simply because of that, and because no other team has this feature.


Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Despite their strong looking bowling lineup with the likes of Steyn, Kumble, Kallis, van der Merwe and Praveen kumar, their statistics (and only that, if we may add a disclaimer here) are nothing to be proud of in this format, compared to that of the other seven teams in the fray. Their batting contingent is definitely not the weakest, with a handful of upcoming local talent in Kohli, Pandey and er… Uthappa. Each of them contributes between 8 and 11% of the overall resources. Their results, however, will depend on the performances of their two key foreign players, Roelof van der Merwe and Cameron White, who make up 28% of the overall resources.

In that nutshell for one final time,

This team from Bangalore doesn’t look like it will make the final four despite being a fairly balanced side. Any win for RCB will come only through teamwork and good fielding. With Pietersen and Taylor available later in the series, they become a force to reckon with, but any progress to the semifinals will be based on how much damage they can avoid in the initial matches.

Rate this article:

About the author

Avg. Reads:
FB Likes:


View Full Profile