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How Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad Made the Play-Offs

IPL-19-05-17  is a battle of equals. Unfortunately, only the best four march to the knockout stage, leaving their counterparts behind.

To differentiate themselves from the rest, the best teams do certain things differently and decisively. As the tournament arrives at the knock-out stage,  analyses the most attributable reasons why the four teams that have made play-offs – Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune Supergiant, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders – have done that so successfully.

Despite the presence of multiple stars in the team such as Rohit Sharma, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh, MI have not depended heavily on any one particular name. Instead, it has been the newbies and the relatively non-stars who have consistently driven MI to greater heights this year.

The team delivered as a well-oiled machine with all all its parts smoothly synchronised. The examples are several – from Rohit Sharma’s sacrifice of batting down the order to strengthen the lower middle order to Nitish Rana’s tremendous show in the first half of the tournament.

Batting Depth: Besides Parthiv Patel’s consistent scores and Lendl Simmon’s bursts at the top, the team’s multi-pronged batting unit is decked with Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya in the middle and lower order providing the team sufficient fire power and depth to clinch close encounters and boost the death over batting.

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