IPL 2019: Major issues and required changes for each team before the business end of the league
IPL 2019 has entered its business end, the stage where the qualification scenario for each team changes with every game. As evident from the previous editions, the teams which peak at this stage go on to win the title.
Chennai Super Kings sit comfortably at the top of the points table and need one more win from three games to book a top-two slot. Delhi Capitals seem to be a rejuvenated unit and are primed for their first appearance in the playoffs since 2012. Mumbai Indians, at third place, also look good to qualify.
The fourth slot is what the rest of the teams are fighting for.
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab are having a mixed season, with SRH being slightly ahead in terms of net run rate. They are followed by Kolkata Knight riders who, after a sizzling start, have suffered five losses in a row.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have now won three of their last four games and will need to win all their remaining games, just like Rajasthan Royals, to stand a chance of qualifying. Rajasthan Royals, after being unable to close out several nail-biting encounters, find themselves at the eighth spot.
As we enter the business end of the season, we look at some of the key issues for each team :
The Royals have lost a number of close games this season, both while chasing and defending. With 3 wins from 10 games, they sit at the eighth spot and their qualification scenario is the same as that of RCB: win all games and hope other results go their way.
The change in captaincy did bring a win, but the next game saw yet another close game slip away.
Apart from the last game against Delhi, the top order has failed to convert good starts into big ones, especially Ajinkya Rahane. The former skipper has found it difficult to maintain the scoring rate once the powerplays are over and has not been able to carry on the momentum.
The batting order needs to be used wisely. Ben Stokes will probably play his last game against KKR before going for national duty, which means the lower middle order will lack experience. Ashton Turner has been a disappointment with three golden ducks in three games, which leaves Laim Livingstone the only option to bank on.
Also, they can make use of Stuart Binny’s experience in the middle order. If needed, the likes of Mahipal Lomror and Prashant Chopra can be used too, but they should refrain from using the likes of Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi, who are predominantly top order batsmen, in the middle order.
In the bowling department, RR should think of starting with Jofra Archer and attack the opposition right from the beginning instead of playing the waiting game. After all, facing Archer on your 15th ball is easier as compared to the first ball.
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