The best IPL team, and the most effective hitter

The best batting side
Thanks mainly to the early exploits of Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings have the best batting numbers in the tournament so far, with an average of more than 31 and a run-rate of nearly 8.50 runs per over. They started off spectacularly, scoring more than 200 in each of their first two games, but since then their performance has fallen off somewhat, though S Badrinath, S Vidyut, Stephen Fleming and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, their captain, have all done their bit with handy displays.

Chennai have also managed a fair number of boundaries, and are one of four teams who have scored more than 60% of their total runs in fours and sixes. The numbers for Delhi Daredevils are interesting too - they haven't relied as much on boundaries as Chennai have, but they've also ensured that dot balls are kept to a minimum, allowing less than 37% of all deliveries to go un-scored off, easily the lowest among all teams.

The numbers for the two teams at the bottom of the table tell a story as well - Deccan Chargers have the highest percentage of runs in boundaries, but they have a fairly high dot-ball factor as well. The stats for Bangalore Royal Challengers clearly proves their lack of batting firepower. (What was that again about this being a Test team?) They are the only team to score less than 55% of their runs in boundaries, and they haven't made up for that with a low dot-ball percentage either.

The best bowling team
Rajasthan and Kolkata have been the two best bowling sides, and both have been excellent at taking wickets, which has also ensured that their economy-rates are the lowest among all teams. Shane Warne's team didn't look like a great bowling side on paper, but Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir and Warne himself have been outstanding, while the local players, especially Siddharth Trivedi, have backed them up superbly as well. Kolkata were served well by Ashok Dinda and Ishant Sharma before Shoaib Akhtar made his presence felt so forcefully against Delhi. Both Rajasthan and Kolkata have the highest dot-ball percentages, which has in turn forced batsmen to take greater risks and in the process concede more wickets.

Bangalore's batting has borne the brunt of criticism, and quite justifiably as well, but their bowlers haven't shown much spark either. Zaheer Khan has been the exception, with 13 wickets in nine games, but the rest have disappointed: Dale Steyn has only managed four wickets in six games, each costing him more than 41 runs. Not surprisingly, Bangalore have the poorest bowling average, and only Chennai have a worse economy-rate.

Dots and boundaries
The list below, of batsmen who have played the lowest percentage of dot balls, has plenty of unexpected names. Michael Hussey is hardly a surprise, while Gautam Gambhir's outstanding ability to find the gaps and run singles even during the Powerplays puts him high on the table, but many of the other names aren't the usual suspects. Bangalore have three in the list, but more crucially, all of them have poor run-rates despite low dot-ball percentages, which again indicates the lack of boundary-hitting ability. The other seven players in the top ten all have strike-rates of more than 8.50 per over, but Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid have much poorer rates. This also suggests that low dot-ball percentage by itself isn't enough in a format that demands a regular injection of boundaries.

The list below, though, consists of far more explosive batsmen. Sanath Jayasuriya's blistering century against Chennai ensures he tops the table - he has scored a stunning 83% of his total runs in the IPL in fours and sixes. Michael Hussey, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh are the only ones to make both the lists, while Rohit Sharma just misses out - he is in 11th place with 65.54% of his runs in boundaries.

All stats till the 36th match of the IPL, between Mumbai and Chennai at the Wankhede Stadium.