IPL Playoff Scenarios - BookMyShow Blog

IPL 11: Scenarios for Playoff Qualification

Only last week, excited by the young, unabashed talent in the Delhi Daredevils top order, I had put forth the most improbable IPL 2018 prediction – DD to win 5 of their remaining 6 matches to reach the playoffs against all odds. But with two losses in their next three – and a total of three wins out of ten games – the Shreyas Iyer led team has almost become the first out of eight teams to crash out of playoff contention. Such are the cruel ways of playing soothsayer. And Mumbai Indians, again, are on their way to mount an improbable comeback after losing five out of their first six matches. 

With 38 matches gone, here are the scenarios to make the top 4 for each of the 8 IPL teams:

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

Played – 9
Won – 7
After winning an impressive 7 out of their first 9 matches, the Kane Williamson led underdog SRH team (on a 4-match winning streak) are leading the table ahead of MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings. SRH is in the most comfortable position out of all. 

Teams to face: RCB twice, CSK, DD, KKR 

IPL Playoff Scenarios SRH - BookMyShow BlogAll they have to do to be assured of mathematical qualification is win 2 of their next 5 matches. Even 1 win might do, given the situation of other teams. But SRH will want to finish in the top 2. For this, they will have to win 3 out of their final 5 matches – a proper possibility, given their bowling line-up and the encouraging form of new opener Alex Hales. Expect SRH to finish in the top two. 

Prediction: Played 14, Won 10

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

Played – 10
Won – 7
CSK are struggling a bit after a very strong start to their comeback season. They lost to KKR after an insipid fielding performance, before getting their campaign back on track against a weak RCB team. They are, however, in a battle to finish second with a rejuvenated Kings XI Punjab team. CSK need just 1 win in their last 4 games to finish in the top four and qualify officially. But they will be looking for at least two wins in order to stay ahead of the curve. 

Teams to face: RR, SRH, DD, KXIP

CSK will fancy their chances against an underperforming Rajasthan team and a top-heavy Delhi Daredevils lineup. But their fate could very well come down to the final league game against KXIP – a match that could well decide who finishes in the top two, and which team might have to go into knockout mode with an eliminator. They will hope that Watson and Dhoni continue their form and that Suresh Raina lifts the old legs of his team in the field to pull through.

 Prediction: Played 14, Won 9
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IPL Playoff Scenarios CSK - BookMyShow Blog

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)

Played – 9
Won – 6
After losing to a resurgent MI team, KXIP came back on track by defeating Rajasthan Royals with a KL Rahul special at the top of the order. With Afghani spinner Mujeeb in top form, too, KXIP suddenly look like the “momentum” team that might be hungrier than most to make the playoffs: a phase that they haven’t occupied very often. 

Teams to face: RR, KKR, RCB, CSK

It won’t be easy, but they will hope to demolish RR again before being a spanner in the wheels of KKR, who are desperately fighting to secure the fourth position. RCB will be dangerous and will have nothing to lose by the time KXIP come up against them, while the final group game against CSK might just be a shootout for second place. This is presuming that KXIP doesn’t collapse like most seasons and continue their form.

Prediction: Played 14 Won 9

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

Played – 10 
Won – 5
There is daylight between 3rd and 4th place. KKR haven’t won against MI since April 2015, and they continued that losing streak on Sunday evening after captain Dinesh Karthik failed to chase down a moderate total because he ran out of partners. The match was crucial, for it could have almost meant curtains for Mumbai and a smooth passage for KKR into the top 4. But with just four games remaining for them now, they find themselves in a position of having to win 3 – in a highly competitive final stretch for the season. It’s not the first time KKR has started well only to fade away. 

Teams to face: MI, KXIP, RR, SRH

The Eden Gardens game against MI has the power to make or break the KKR campaign. If KKR loses and MI wins again, they could well be equal on points, leaving KKR an uphill task to defeat KXIP and SRH in their last three games. 

IPL Playoff Scenarios KKR - BookMyShow BlogPrediction: Played 14, Won 7
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Mumbai Indians (MI)

Played – 10
Won – 4
Rohit Sharma’s defending champions have hit back after a disastrous start to their campaign. Dropping Kieron Pollard seems to have helped, even though replacement JP Duminy is yet to hit form. They have won three out of their last four games, and are now threatening to give KKR a battle for fourth place. They will have to keep up their momentum, and will ideally have to win at least three of their last four matches. One of them is against direct competitors KKR on Wednesday night. 

Teams to face: KKR, RR, KXIP, DD

MI will be the favorites at Eden Gardens and then against the Royals as well as Kings XI – all of who have losing records against this team. But much of this depends on their ability to finish an innings aggressively. They are the worst batting team in the last five overs and almost the best in the first five. It is a trend they must reverse, and for that, they need Rohit Sharma to be more consistent. 

Prediction: Played 14, Won 7
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IPL Playoff Scenarios MI - BookMyShow Blog

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

Played – 9 
Won – 3
Once again, RCB finds themselves in a near hopeless situation. The injury to AB de Villiers for two matches seems to have derailed their hopes – evident in their meek surrender to Dhoni’s men last week. They have to win at least four of their next five matches and hope for other results – and the Net run rate – to work in their favor. It won’t be easy, but RCB is an unpredictable team, and win big when they’re in the mood. Only, their bowling has failed way too often this season for them to be taken seriously. 

Teams to face: SRH twice, DD, KXIP, RR

Facing the best bowling team of the tournament will not help their cause one bit. Kohli has looked circumspect this season, and his inability to accelerate an innings has cost his team dear, despite him being one of the top five run scorers in the season once again. 

Prediction: Played 14, Won 6

Delhi Daredevils (DD)

Played – 10
Won – 3
Unfortunately for DD, despite the selfless decision of captain Gautam Gambhir to step down, the team relies too heavily on the top 3 – Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant. All three have been phenomenal in different games, but virtually nobody else has contributed to the team cause, resulting in them having to play for pride too early in the tournament. Amit Mishra came to the party too late, and their lack of inexperience seems to show with every subsequent game. 

Teams to face: SRH, RCB, CSK, MI

They have four tough matches ahead. If nothing, it’s a chance for their youngsters to spoil the party and impress the selectors. 

Prediction: Played 14, Won 5

Rajasthan Royals (RR)

Played – 9
Won – 3
Ajinkya Rahane’s boys started well enough. But no team has looked as uninspired and out of form as the Royals despite winning two of their first four matches. It has been a tough season for coach Shane Warne, and the failure of Ben Stokes with both bat and ball has hurt the most. They look all set to finish last with their lack of firepower. 

Teams to face: KXIP, CSK, MI, KKR, RCB

It doesn’t matter who they play next. Their brainwave of promoting Jos Buttler up the order has come too late. Rahane’s own poor form, combined with Samson’s inability to build upon great starts, has made RR the weakest team of IPL 2018.

Prediction: Played 14, Won 4