With all but two teams having played 8 (out of their 14 stipulated) games, the league stages of the Indian Premier League are nearing the business end. The matches have flown thick and fast, and clear favourites, trends and potential exit patterns have emerged.
Let’s have a team-by-team look at what each IPL franchise needs to do in their remaining 6/7 games to make the all-important playoffs:
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS (CSK)
Dhoni’s men are all but assured a spot in the IPL 2019 playoffs. With 7 wins out of 8 games, they will easily be the first to mathematically qualify, before they go on to probably top the group. Technically, they need 1 win out of their last 6 games to seal the spot, and perhaps 3 to seal top position. They’ve done the hard work, now it’s all about sailing home. To watch them live, book your tickets here:
DELHI CAPITALS (DC)
Shreyas Iyer’s young, explosive team has the Purple Cap holder in Kagiso Rabada, who has been key to their fortunes this season. The batting hasn’t even needed Rishabh Pant to explode, and despite a few collapses, they find themselves second in the table after 3 wins on the trot. DC needs 3 wins in their next 6 games to be assured a playoff spot. At times, depending on the others, even 2 wins will do, but they wouldn’t want to rely on other teams. A 50% success rate is entirely possible, given their form.
MUMBAI INDIANS (MI)
The other in-form team here is Rohit Sharma’s men, who have won 4 of their last 5 games, just like DC. They are in virtually the same position, and need to win 50 % of their remaining matches to make the playoffs. MI is in arguably a much stronger position than they usually are at the halfway stage of every season. To watch them live, book your tickets here: https://in.bookmyshow.com/sports/ipl-mumbai-indians/ET00097338
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS (KKR)
KKR started with 3 wins out of 4, and looked the most balanced team, thanks to Andre Russell’s hitting ability. But KKR has lost 3 of their last 4 games, losing their way a bit, and leaving themselves in a battle for fourth position rather than 1 or 2. KKR has to win 4 of their last 6 games – a herculean task right now. But they will hope that captain Dinesh Karthik will ride the high of being selected for the World Cup and inspire this consistent T20 team to make yet another playoff. To watch them live , book your tickets here: https://in.bookmyshow.com/sports/ipl-kolkata-knight-riders/ET00098359
KINGS XI PUNJAB (KXIP)
KXIP has an inferior net-run rate but need to do exactly the same thing that KKR needs to do. It won’t be easy. It’s all on Gayle and KL Rahul.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD (SRH)
They started as table-toppers, winning 3 of their first 4 matches and riding on Warner and Bairstow’s opening-partnership records. But their middle order has been exposed since then. SRH has lost 3 in a row, and look to be the team lowest on confidence right now. They need to play Williamson more often, and have to win 5 of their last 7 games to reach the playoffs. It isn’t beyond them. Expect them to make a comeback.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS (RR)
Rajasthan Royals need to win 6 of their next 7 games to make the playoffs. This puts them virtually out of consideration for the playoffs, but stranger things have happened. They can invoke an MI-like spirit to come back from the depths of the table. They beat the odds to reach the playoffs last season. But it looks tougher this time around. With Samson and Stokes barely hitting form, it’s a tall ask. To watch them live, book your tickets here: https://in.bookmyshow.com/sports/ipl-rajasthan-royals/ET00097484
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE (RCB)
Kohli’s men finally caught a break by beating KXIP the other night, but they were beaten by MI to hand them a 7th defeat in 8 games. RCB is perhaps the only team with almost no chance to reach the playoffs, even if they win all their 6 matches after this. Kohli’s eyes are already on the World Cup, and it will be safe to say that RCB will play to not finish last now. And maybe spoil a few parties.