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Mid-season review: How the teams have fared so far

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Highlights - Mumbai Indians defend 142 (3:41)

Mumbai Indians produced a fine bowling performance to beat Delhi Daredevils by 14 runs at the Wankhede Stadium (3:41)

Mumbai Indians - 1st (12 points)

Unlike the previous three seasons, Mumbai have started this season on a high, having won six of their first eight matches. They are sitting on top of the league and have identified their best XI fairly early - evident from the fact that they have made the fewest changes of all the teams. Mumbai have won their games mostly on the back of their Indian players - Rana and the Pandya brothers - with little dependence on overseas recruits.

Impact Performers

Nitish Rana- 266 runs at an average of 38.00 and two Man-of-the-Match awards.

Kieron Pollard - 199 runs at an average of 28.42 while being part of match-winning partnerships against Lions and Royal Challengers.

Area of Improvement

Lasith Malinga's form: 4 wickets and an economy rate of 10.93 - two of his worst T20 spells have come in his last two matches

Potential strategy changes

Batting Order: Rohit Sharma to open, Jos Buttler to keep wicket, and Ambati Rayudu to replace Parthiv Patel

Kolkata Knight Riders - 2nd (10 points)

Similar to Mumbai, Knight Riders have started well, winning five out of their first seven games. They have managed to cover up Andre Russell's absence with a new strategy of playing aggressive cricket in the Powerplay through Chris Lynn or, in his absence, Sunil Narine. Knight Riders have the best run rate in the Powerplay (10.16) this season and most of their wins have come courtesy tight bowling performances. It therefore makes sense that three of their bowlers have clinched Man-of-the-Match awards.

Impact Performers

Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine as openers - 244 runs at a strike-rate of 193.6.

Nathan Coulter-Nile - 8 wickets from three games

Area of Improvement

Batting at the death: The absence of a finisher could pose a challenge in the business end of the tournament. At the moment Knight Riders have the lowest run rate between overs 16 and 20, at 8.78.

Potential strategy changes

Role of the finisher: Firm up the role of the finisher with either Colin de Grandhomme or Rovman Powell (who has not yet played a game).

Sunrisers Hyderabad - 3rd (8 points)

Sunrisers have had a slightly inconsistent season so far with four wins from seven matches. They have won all their home games but don't have a single away win yet. With one of the best bowling units in the competition, Sunrisers are on track to make it to the top four. Their wins have largely been set up by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan.

Impact Performers

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan- together they have picked up 60% of the team's wickets and have conceded less than seven runs an over.

Area of Improvement

Middle-Order batting: Last season, David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan scored more than 60% of the team's runs. Sunrisers need to avoid this dependence on their openers and ensure the middle and lower order perform consistently. Sunrisers have already taken a step towards that by playing Kane Williamson in their last two games.

Potential strategy changes

Identify a fixed bowling combination: Sunrisers are spoilt for choice with their pace-bowling options. It is important that they identify the right bowling combination to use in most of their games as the tournament progresses, reducing the dependence on Bhuvneshwar and Rashid.

Rising Pune Supergiant - 4th (8 points)

Rising Pune's performance so far has been a surprise. Barring Imran Tahir, they possess an inexperienced bowling line-up. That being said, they have managed to string three wins against more fancied teams, which will augur well for them leading up to the second half of the tournament. Their marquee players Steven Smith, MS Dhoni and Ben Stokes have all won games with quality individual performances.

Impact Performers

Imran Tahir - 10 wickets at 8 runs per over. He has been instrumental in containing the batsmen in the middle overs where Rising Pune hold the best record among all teams (7.15 runs per over).

Ben Stokes - Began the tournament poorly but has collected two Man-of-the-Match awards for his bowling efforts. With six wickets and 127 runs, Stokes would be looking to finish the tournament on a high.

Area of Improvement

Death Bowling: If Rising Pune wish to go all the way, they will have to ensure their bowling does not continue leaking runs at the death. They are the second-worst team in the last five overs this season, conceding 11.56 an over.

Potential strategy changes

Bat Manoj Tiwary higher and fix their bowling combination: Tiwary has been in good form so far and has played some useful knocks this season. He has the best strike-rate (167.07) for Rising Pune but has faced only 82 balls. They also need to identify their best bowling combination, having played 13 bowlers so far in the tournament.

Kings XI Punjab - 5th (6 points)

Like the past two seasons, Kings XI have not ended their first half on a high. They have three wins from seven matches and are yet to get their combination right. They have made changes in almost every game and have been poor with the ball. Punjab may lose the services of Eoin Morgan, David Miller and Amla over the course of the next two weeks and would be eyeing a strong finish to the season in a bid to qualify for the playoffs.

Impact Performers

Hashim Amla - Has scored 299 runs at an average of 59.80 and a strike rate of 145.85. He is the top run-getter for Kings XI this season and has helped them make good starts in the Powerplay.

Area of Improvement

Death Bowling: If Kings XI have to beat the in-form teams they will have to ensure their bowling does not continue leaking runs at the death. They have been the worst team in the death, conceding 11.62 an over and picking up only eight wickets.

Potential strategy changes

Glenn Maxwell could look to open once Amla leaves. Kings XI, meanwhile, could play T Natarajan regularly: Natarajan has played only three games so far and not bowled four overs in a game yet. Picked as a specialist death bowler, he has bowled only one over in that phase so far. Currently, he has the best economy rate among all Kings XI's pace bowlers.

Royal Challengers Bangalore - 6th (5 points)

AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli have played together in only three out of seven games. They have shown glimpses of their potential in two games but haven't been consistent. After their humiliating loss against Knight Riders and the washout against Sunrisers, it will be very difficult for Royal Challengers to come back this season. They need to win all their remaining games to have a chance of making the playoffs, and without de Villiers towards the end, it will take a number of individual performances for Royal Challengers to qualify.

Impact Performers

Yuzvendra Chahal - 10 wickets at 6.76. He has been Royal Challengers' best bowler, bowling in tough periods and picking up important wickets.

Area of Improvement

Powerplay batting: Royal Challengers have been very poor in the Powerplay overs, scoring 6.78 runs per over while other teams score at more than 9 per over. Chris Gayle has a dot-ball percentage of 60 in this phase, which is the highest for any opener this season.

Potential strategy changes

Royal Challengers could look to replace Gayle with Travis Head or Shane Watson to help the team get faster starts

Delhi Daredevils - 7th (4 points)

Daredevils have arguably the best bowling combination in the tournament, which is evident from their numbers as well. Their bowling unit has the best economy rate as well as the best average this season. However, their inexperienced batting and poor decisions with batting positions have caused some close matches to slip from their grasp. They are most likely to lose the maximum number of players (Sam Billings, Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada) to national duty in the coming weeks and it is vital they gain momentum with some key wins at home.

Impact Performers

Chris Morris - He has 126 runs at an average of 42 and a Strike rate of 175. He has also picked up 12 wickets at 6.90.

Area of Improvement

Batting Order: Delhi need to figure out their best batting order as soon as possible. With an inexperienced batting line-up it is important they get the best players to face the most deliveries.

Potential strategy changes

Shreyas Iyer to open and Ankit Bawne to replace Karun Nair - Bawne comes to the Daredevils squad after strong performances in the domestic T20 tournament while Nair has undergone a prolonged run of poor form. Iyer has been impressive in his limited outings.

Gujarat Lions - 8th (4 points)

Lions started the season with a beefed-up batting unit and were dependent on allrounder Dwayne Bravo to provide balance. However, Bravo's absence has meant bowling at the death was always going to be a challenge. Lions have been dependent on their domestic Indian bowlers who have had an average outing, and have leaked runs at the death. Like Kings XI, they are yet to find their best combination. They have two wins from seven games, and need to win six more to be assured of playoff qualification.

Impact Performers

Brendon McCullum - He has 264 runs at 37.71 with two fifties and has helped Gujarat get off to good starts.

Area of Improvement

Batting Order: The presence of four high-quality overseas T20 openers in the squad has proved a challenge for the franchise. Two of them have had to play out of position and have not been the force they were expected to be. Gujarat have swapped the batting order many times but have still not found a stable combination.

Potential strategy changes

Dwayne Smith and McCullum to open, and Dinesh Karthik to bat at No. 4: Karthik has come off a superb domestic T20 season but is not facing enough deliveries. He could be used ahead of Aaron Finch at No. 4 and Lions could use James Faulkner as their fourth overseas player instead.