This analysis is based on the opening 2 games of each IPL team.
A clear leader stands out of the pack: the Mumbai Indians emerge as strong title contenders, as they have done in virtually every IPL. The presence of T20 stalwarts like Jos Buttler and Kieron Pollard, as well as the recently returned Lasith Malinga, gives the Mumbai Indians invaluable experience and boosts in the batting and big hitting departments.
Note: All the numbers are on a scale of 10, 0 being the weakest and 10 being the strongest.
The next strongest team is defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, whose bowling is unparalleled in the tournament thanks to Rashid Khan, the Afghan leg spinner, and the efforts of Indian bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra. Once Mustafizur Rahman is added to this attack, it will be a formidable side indeed, with skipper David Warner taking on all comers at the top of the order.
Kolkata Knight Riders, arguably the canniest team in the IPL, also rely on their bowlers to get the job done. Their batting has been given a boost by an in-form Chris Lynn. They will have to fight harder if he is unable to play the rest of the tournament due to his shoulder injury.
The wave of injuries has skewed the results for some teams rather badly. Gujarat Lions, who topped the table last year, are suffering in the absence of bowling all rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo. Rising Pune Supergiant are facing the consequences of an IPL without R. Ashwin and not enough back up batters. Delhi Daredevils are not nearly as threatening without a rampant Quinton de Kock opening their batting and Virat Kohli's absence is being keenly felt by Royal Challengers Bangalore, normally among the top 2 batting teams in the tournament.
Stats by: Karan Yajnik
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