IPL Power Rankings: Moeen Ali the new No. 1, Andre Russell still going strong

Moeen Ali lifts the ball into the leg side BCCI

The fourth week of the IPL saw plenty of movement in the middle of the table, and Royal Challengers Bangalore strung together successive wins for the first time, though both happened to foil what would have been two of the greatest individual heists of the season. These performances are all reflected in this week's top 10 rankings, where only two names remain from last week.

The rankings are purely subjective, taking into consideration both numbers as well as on-field impact.

10 Shreyas Gopal [Rajasthan Royals]


Rajasthan Royals switched captains during the week and celebrated Steven Smith's return to IPL leadership with a fine win against the in-form Mumbai Indians. The victory was set up by some intelligent bowling from Gopal, who removed Rohit Sharma early with a skidder that the Mumbai captain played on to his pads and back to the bowler. With the Rajasthan attack providing no pace for Quinton de Kock to work with, Gopal would remove the well-set South African by luring him into a false shot when on 65.

9 Virat Kohli [Royal Challengers Bangalore]


The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain had two relatively early exits with the bat, scoring single digits against both Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, but posted a fighting century away to Kolkata Knight Riders. It was a calculated innings, though Kohli enjoyed his share of luck along the way as he brought up his first 50 off 40 balls and raced to a century off the next 17 balls he faced. Royal Challengers Bangalore played that game without AB de Villiers, and Kohli ensured they put 213 on the board, dismissed off the last ball of the innings. Rarely was a slog employed, as Kohli brought out his trademark drives through the offside and whips away to anything bowled at his pads.

8 Sandeep Lamichhane [Delhi Capitals]


Delhi Capitals played two matches at home over the week and erred in reading the pitch by omitting Lamichhane on a slow, low wicket against Mumbai Indians. Lamichhane was drafted in against Kings XI Punjab and the results were there for all to see. He tossed up one to KL Rahul in his first over, having conceded 10 off the first three balls, and had him stumped. He returned later to remove Chris Gayle and Sam Curran in the same over, and should have finished his spell with 4/39 rather than 3/40, as Kagiso Rabada failed to hold on to a flat catch off a Mandeep Singh slog off his last ball.

7 Khaleel Ahmed [Sunrisers Hyderabad]


It would be easy to ascribe Sunrisers Hyderabad's revival this past week to the success of their top order -- Jonny Bairstow and David Warner together accounted for 258 runs in two matches, and the former saw his team home with the bat both times -- but the wins were set up by the bowlers. Young Khaleel epitomised the shrewd work put in by the seamers, perfectly complementing Rashid Khan. His best spell took some doing, as Sunil Narine tore into the first three balls he bowled against Kolkata Knight Riders. Khaleel still pitched up a slow off-cutter that uprooted leg stump. He followed up with another change of pace to get Shubman Gill driving on the up to point and then removed Chris Lynn in the death overs.

6 Rahul Chahar [Mumbai Indians]


Rahul Chahar probably only made Mumbai Indians starting lineup this season because of an injury to Mayank Markande but his accurate and varied leg spin has now made him one of the first names on the team sheet. In midweek, he set the Delhi slide going by building pressure on Shikhar Dhawan and inducing a false shot, a reverse sweep that Dhawan played on to the stumps. He followed up by removing Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer, the latter with a perfect leg-spinner's delivery, pitching around middle and leg and hitting the top of off. Against Rajasthan Royals, he infused life into Mumbai's defence of a paltry 161, with the early wicket of Ajinkya Rahane. He then got Sanju Samson to hole out in the deep and also bowled a ripping quicker one to get Ben Stokes for a second-ball duck.

5 Dale Steyn [Royal Challengers Bangalore]


If Dale Steyn had to write a script for his return as an injury replacement to the IPL, he couldn't have made it a more dramatic one. In defending 213 against Kolkata Knight Riders, he bowled fast, straight and got Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill to miscue their shots and play them to Virat Kohli at mid-off. He did take a bit of tap in the death overs -- how many have escaped the wrath of Andre Russell this season -- but bowled the most sensational opening over against Chennai Super Kings while defending just 161 at the Chinnaswamy. Shane Watson then chased a brisk away swinger straight to first slip, before Suresh Raina was undone by the near-perfect yorker, dipping back in, first ball. Steyn is back and firing on all cylinders -- if only they can find him a jersey with a name and number on it...

4 Hardik Pandya [Mumbai Indians]


As the World Cup draws near, Indian cricket fans must be beaming looking at the ways in which Hardik Pandya is contributing to Mumbai Indians' campaign. He is bankable with the ball -- and has even started taking the new ball, possibly to allow Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah to retain more overs in the back 10 -- and his catching and outfielding have been excellent. But it's with the bat that he has made the greatest impact -- this week he won games against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals with cameos of 37* off 16 and 32 off 15. Only Jofra Archer could prevent him from running amok against Rajasthan Royals with a gorgeous yorker, but even there Pandya conjured 23 from 15.

3 MS Dhoni [Chennai Super Kings]


MS Dhoni missed the first of Chennai's two games this week but made up with a sizzling individual effort with the bat against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday. Walking in at 28 for 4 inside the Powerplay, he knew the target of 162 wasn't out of range, but his attacking options were limited with little batting to follow. He kept Chennai within breathing distance of the target and ran hard to ensure there weren't too many dot balls in the chase. With 26 to get off the last over, he nearly pulled it off and was perhaps left to rue not having shown enough faith in Dwayne Bravo, refusing a single on three occasions in the penultimate over. His last over burst against Umesh Yadav included one jab over midwicket that flew out of the Chinnaswamy and -- at 111 metres -- is the biggest six of the season thus far.

2 Andre Russell [Kolkata Knight Riders]


Kolkata Knight Riders are in a slump of form that is threatening to derail playoff hopes and one continues to wonder if Andre Russell is batting a bit too low for them. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he walked to the crease with 135 needed off 49 and brought them close with a rollicking 65 off 25. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata lost early wickets but held Russell back until the 16th over. He only made 15 but hit two mighty swats for six even there. At times he looks less than 100 per cent physically and can be seen with his left wrist taped heavily. But with Russell at the crease, Kolkata believed they could get 24 off the last over against Royal Challengers Bangalore -- such is the surreal nature of his impact this season.

1 Moeen Ali [Royal Challengers Bangalore]


Speaking of that last over against Andre Russell, the bowler who delivered that was this week's high-impact performer and often an unsung hero for a resurgent Royal Challengers Bangalore. Moeen began with a fighting 50 to support AB de Villiers against Mumbai Indians, before fronting up to bowl four overs for just 18 runs and picking up both Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock. He was even more sensational against Kolkata, smashing the spinners around in a momentum-inducing 66 off just 28. Against Chennai, given a go with the bat only in the 16th over, he played a rapid 26 to take Royal Challengers Bangalore to a reasonable total, showing his range of shots especially square of the wicket on the off side. His outfielding has been excellent too, an aberration in an otherwise patchy fielding unit.