IPL 2019: Top 4 prediction
We are nearing the business end of the twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the most expensive and arguably the best T20 league in the world. Cricket fans all around the world are bracing themselves for what promises to be an action-packed fortnight of top notch cricketing action. We have witnessed a number of fierce contests between the bat and the ball and we will witness many more before the tournament comes to an end in the second week of May.
In the build-up to the tournament, there was a lot of talk about whether the standard and quality of cricket that is played in the IPL this year will match up to that of previous editions of the tournament, especially with the World Cup starting almost immediately after the tournament. It is safe to say that the cricket that has been played in IPL 2019 is as good as anything we have ever witnessed in the history of the IPL, if not better.
From Russell's brutal batting prowess for KKR to SRH's belligerent opening partnerships between Warner and Bairstow to Alzarri Joseph's 6/12 on debut for MI, this season of the lucrative T20 tournament has been absolutely phenomenal.
At the beginning of the tournament, all teams looked well balanced to make a claim for a spot in the playoffs. As the tournament progressed, some teams performed better than others by taking their chances and holding their nerve in the crunch stages of the match.
Some teams have been driven by individual brilliance, a notion for which KKR's Andre Russell is the best example. Only 4 teams can make it to the knockout stages of the tournament and here's my prediction of the top four, based on current standings and form. Which of these four teams will go on to lift the cup in May?
#1 Chennai Super Kings
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are at their ominous best in IPL 2019. Everything is working out well for CSK at the moment and it is very unlikely that they won't finish at the top of the table in the league stage of IPL 2019. The Chennai franchise has lost only 2 out of the 9 games they have played so far and need only 1 win in their remaining 5 games to seal a spot in the playoffs.
One of the primary reasons for their consistency is that they have a collective contribution mindset which is the ideal approach to the sport. There aren't a few individual batsmen who are doing the bulk of the scoring at CSK. All the CSK batsmen have contributed equally.
At the end of the day, cricket is a team game and all 11 players have a role to play. This mindset has been the driving force behind CSK's success. On the bowling front, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar and Harbhajan Singh are doing well for CSK with 15, 11 and 7 wickets respectively in 9 matches. MS Dhoni's leadership prowess has been as good as ever. All in all, CSK look unbeatable at the moment. It is their title to lose!
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