Abu Dhabi: As the IPL battles advance to the play-offs, the two teams have decided. One is the Mumbai Indians. They secured the playoffs. Another team is Chennai Super Kings. They were eliminated from the tournament. Six teams are awaiting a fiery test for the remaining three places. Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad are in contention for three places in the play-offs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The RCB suffered two setbacks in a row as they went on to win. If they win one of the next two matches, they can reach the playoffs without looking at the net run rate. Their next rivals are Delhi and Hyderabad. If they win against both the teams, Kohli and his team can advance to the play-offs as runners-up. There is still a slight chance of losing both matches. It may also depend on the results of other teams.
Delhi is on the same path as the RCB. The next two matches will be crucial for Delhi. If both of them win, Delhi will move up to the second position. Even if they win one more match, they can still advance. But who will finish in which position will depend on the outcome of the other teams. Even if they lose two matches, other results will be crucial for Delhi.
Kings XI Punjab
When Kolkata lost to Chennai, the chances were opened for Punjab. Punjab can secure the play-off stage if they win the next two matches. Net run rate is crucial if a contest is to be won. If both lose, Punjab can return.
Kolkata Knight Riders
With KKR losing to Chennai yesterday, their chances suffered a major setback. They have only one match left. Success is essential in that. Also, Kings XI Punjab will have to lose their next two matches. Hyderabad should lose none of their next two matches. Only then can the former champions advance to the playoffs.
Having a good net run rate is a bonus for Hyderabad. The next matches of Hyderabad will be against Mumbai Indians and RCB. You have to succeed in both of these. If they lose one, Hyderabad can return the box. If they win both and stand at 14 points, then if the other two teams have 14 points, the best net run rate will help Hyderabad at that stage.
Miracles must happen if Rajasthan are to reach the play-offs. With no net run rate, they need a big win in the next two matches. Only then can hope be maintained. A defeat would put a curtain on their chances.