45 matches of the 13th season of the IPL have been completed, and not a single team has qualified for the playoffs yet. Some teams are just one-win way from qualifying, while others are fighting for that one playoff spot.
At the half-way stage, it seemed as if the top four were running away with the playoff spots, but that hasn’t happened as no team has a Q besides their name in the points table.
The race for the playoffs is heating up as 2-3 teams are fighting for the fourth playoff spot, while the top 2-3 teams are fighting for a top-two spot. A top-two finish gives a team two chances to reach the Final, which is important as it can allow a team to stay in the competition even after a bad day.
So, which are the teams that are one step away from qualifying, and which are the teams that depend on other results? Let’s have a look at the qualification scenarios of each team for the playoffs of IPL 2020.
Mumbai Indians – 14 points in 11 games, NRR: +1.252
Remaining fixtures – RCB, DC, SRH
Mumbai Indians are currently at the top of the table with 14 points from 11 games and still have three games to go. Over the years, we have seen 16 points are enough for a team to take them to the playoffs. So, MI is just one win away from qualifying once again.
But looking at the strength of the MI team, they won’t be happy by just qualifying for the playoffs, and would want a top-two finish. If MI wins two out of their next three games, then they will finish in the top two.
Delhi Capitals – 14 points in 11 games, NRR: +0.434
Remaining Fixtures – SRH, MI, RCB
Delhi Capitals are in a similar position as Mumbai Indians, but are in the second spot because of a lower net run rate. They also need one win to qualify for the playoffs and two wins to make it in the top two. But it seems as if DC is losing their way as they have lost two in a row. They play their next game against SRH which will be an important game for them.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – 14 points in 11 games, NRR: +0.092
Remaining Fixtures – MI, SRH, DC
After 3 unsuccessful years, RCB fans can finally be happy as they are just one step away from the playoffs. They are in a similar position to MI and DC. One win will take them to the playoffs, and two wins will take them in the top two. RCB needs to keep that winning momentum going as they tend to lose 3-4 in a row.
At the moment, it seems as if these three are more or less going to make the playoffs. The battle between these three teams is for the top two spots which will allow them one more chance to reach the Final. All three teams have games against each other, so it will be interesting to watch those three games.
Kolkata Knight Riders – 12 points in 11 games, NRR: -0.476
Remaining Fixtures – KXIP, CSK, RR
Out of the four teams fighting for the fourth spot, KKR is in the best possible position. They have three games remaining and if they win all three, they will not only qualify but might as well make the top two. If they win two out of their next three, then they will qualify only if KXIP doesn’t win all their remaining games.
If they win only one of their next three games, then they will be hoping that KXIP or SRH don't reach 14 points because both teams have a better NRR than KKR. The important thing is that they still have their fate in their hands.
Kings XI Punjab – 10 points in 11 games, NRR: -0.103
Remaining Fixtures – KKR, RR, CSK
Kings XI Punjab looked down and out at the halfway stage, as they had lost 6 out of their first seven games. Since then, they have won four in a row and have a great chance of making the playoffs.
If they can continue their winning streak for the remaining games, then they will surely make the playoffs. If they win two out of their three games, then they will be hoping that SRH and KKR don’t reach 14 points, or else it will be a battle of NRR. They can’t qualify if they win only one out of their next three.
Rajasthan Royals – 10 points in 12 games, NRR: -0.505
Remaining Fixtures – KXIP, KKR
The Royals are back in the race after defeating Mumbai Indians in their last game, but depend on other results for their qualification. First, RR needs to win both their remaining games against KXIP and KKR which will take them to 14 points. Then they have to hope that KXIP, KKR, and SRH don’t reach the 14 points which are highly unlikely because at least one of them will reach 14.
So, if there is a tie at 14 points then the team with a better NRR will go ahead which means RR needs to keep an eye on their NRR while playing their next few games.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – 8 points in 11 games, NRR: +0.029
Remaining Fixtures – DC, RCB, MI
Sunrisers Hyderabad have made things difficult for themselves after failing to chase 127 against Kings XI Punjab. The only positive for the SRH team is their NRR. SRH need to win all three of their remaining fixtures and hope that KKR or KXIP don’t reach 16, because if there is a tie at 14 points then SRH has the best chance with a positive NRR.
The remaining fixtures for SRH are the toughest, as they face the top three teams in the competition so far.
Chennai Super Kings – 8 points in 12 games, NRR: -0.602
Remaining Fixtures – KKR, KXIP
It is the first time in the history of the IPL that Chennai Super Kings won’t make the playoffs. It has further been proven that 2020 is not a normal year by any means as CSK who are at the bottom of the table have no chance of making the playoffs.
The maximum CSK can reach is 12 points and at least one of KXIP, KKR or RR is going to reach 14 points, which means that CSK have been eliminated from IPL 2020. Having said that, CSK can still play spoilsport and ruin a few team’s chances of making the playoffs.