Major takeaways from the IPL 2020 halfway stage
The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE has reached its halfway stage. All eight teams have played seven games apiece so far. The likes of Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals have been thoroughly impressive. Royal Challengers Bangalore look like a new side altogether. Meanwhile, several teams have struggled to find momentum. Here are the key takeaways.
IPL halfway stage: A look at the points table
Three teams (MI, DC and RCB) have collected 10 points and are separated by NRR. The NRR for these sides are: +1.327, +1.038 and -0.116 respectively. Kolkata Knight Riders have eight points and are fourth (-0.577). Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals follow suit with six points each. Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab are seventh and eighth respectively (four and two points).
MI and DC have been largely impressive
MI and DC are the two favorites to win the IPL trophy this season. Both teams have been consistent and are well settled across all three departments. The bowling, in particular, deserves a praise with the pacers being highly effective. With the bat as well, players have taken responsibility. What strikes most is both teams' application while finishing games. That has been promising.
RCB have been a different side from previous editions
RCB have been poor over the last few editions. But they got the IPL 2020 auction spot on and that has worked well. Chris Morris may have joined the party late, however, he has shown his qualities. Spinners Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal deserve praise. RCB are highly balanced and credit goes to Virat Kohli for being aggressive. He knows what he wants.
KXIP and RR haven't yet identified their best sides
KXIP and RR haven't identified their best sides and too many changes in personnel have impacted their play. Punjab have been over dependent on their openers and the middle order has struggled. They have also lost a few times from winning positions and the management's decisions have been baffling. RR's senior players have disappointed. The team has got things wrong in the batting department.
What has gone wrong with CSK?
CSK have lacked intent with the bat and that has contributed to their downfall. The MS Dhoni-led side has chased every game and faltered on five occasions. They have left it too late and things backfired in the final overs. Also, there is no spark in the side. The performances have been laboring. MS Dhoni knows his side has been outplayed this season.