New Delhi. There are now 12 league matches left in IPL 2021 and gradually the picture of the playoffs is getting clear. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are out of the race for the playoffs after losing to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the previous match. At the same time, CSK has become the first team to reach the playoffs. He has 18 points in 11 matches with 9 wins. Now for the remaining three places, there will be a competition between 6 teams in total. This includes Delhi Capitals (DC), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Mumbai Indians (MI) and Punjab Kings (PBKS). All these teams have had 11 matches and there are 3 matches left in the league stage.
To stay in the race for the playoffs, it is necessary to perform well in every match. Especially for Kolkata and Mumbai. Because these two teams have won 5-5 matches and if both the teams are successful in winning the last three matches, then they can make it to the playoffs. Let us understand that for which of these 6 teams the road to reaching the playoffs is easy and for which is difficult?
Delhi Capitals: Last IPL’s runner up Delhi Capitals is currently at second place in the points table behind Chennai Super Kings. Delhi has won 8 out of 11 matches so far and has 16 points. The team has to play 3 more matches and it can score maximum 22 points. However, if Delhi wins even one match, then its claim of being in the top-2 will be strengthened. But after the defeat in the last match against KKR, the team’s hopes of coming in the top-2 have suffered a bit.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli-led RCB are currently at the third place in the points table after winning 7 out of 11 matches. He has to play three more league matches. After the victories against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, the team’s hopes of coming in the top-4 have increased. If the team is successful in winning 2 out of 3 matches, then it will easily reach the playoffs.
Kolkata Knight Riders: KKR have won 5 out of 11 matches in IPL 2021 and with 10 points, the team is currently at the fourth position in the points table. Mumbai Indians also have the same number of points in 11 matches. But Kolkata’s net run rate is better. The team still has three more matches to play. If the team is able to win 2 matches out of this with a good run rate, then the claim of reaching the playoffs will be strengthened.
Mumbai Indians: IPL 2021 has not been good for defending champions Mumbai. Team has 10 points in 11 matches equal to Kolkata. Mumbai has won five matches and lost 6. However, the team’s run rate -0.453 is much worse than Kolkata (0.363). In such a situation, Mumbai will have to win the remaining 3 matches by a big margin to reach the last four.
The hopes of Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals reaching the playoffs are quite bleak. Both the teams have won 4-4 out of 11 matches. But due to better run rate, Punjab is above Rajasthan in the points table. Punjab is at 6th and Rajasthan at 7th position. These two teams have 3 league matches left. Even if both the teams win all three matches, they will still have a maximum of 14 points. Which will be insufficient to beat the first three-placed Chennai Super Kings (18 points), Royal Challengers Bangalore (14 points) and Delhi Capitals (16 points). In such a situation, the hope of reaching the playoffs of Punjab and Rajasthan is negligible.
Looking at the current form, Chennai Super Kings can remain in the first place at the end of the league stage. There can be a competition between Delhi and Bangalore for the second place. For that RCB will have to win all three matches. For the remaining fourth place, there may be a struggle between Kolkata and Mumbai.