Note: There are 8,192 possible combinations of the final points table possible with 13 games to go. For easier understanding, we will not be looking into the Net Run-Rate (NRR) level analysis and try and assess how teams can qualify by being the master of their own result and not allowing NRR to affect their chances.
MI, DC and RCB
Stranger things have happened in cricket, but in all likelihood, the three sides at the top of the table as of now should make it through to the playoffs.
Both MI and RCB are at 14 points from 10 games. They need one more win in their remaining four to be in the safe zone of 16 points. Whenever IPL has been an eight-team event, never has a team with 16 points failed to qualify.
DC are at 14 points as well but from 11 games. While the train has not reached the panic station yet, but DC have not helped their cause with two heavy defeats in the last two games. Both RCB and MI are playing the underweights CSK and RR later today (October 25) and can settle themselves well above DC with 16 points after a win.
Not only can DC miss out on the top-2 spot they can even fail to catch the playoff bus if they lose all their remaining three games. A slump in form can be a worry for them given their last two fixtures are against the heavyweights – RCB and MI.
They will be safe if they win two out of the remaining three. If they manage to win one then they might have to be at the mercy of other results. Then they would have to hope that KKR lose two out of their remaining three and KXIP loses one out of their remaining three.
If DC fail to win all their remaining matches, all other teams except CSK are in contention. For DC to qualify them, KKR will have to lose all their remaining games, KXIP two out of their three and SRH-RR will have to lose one out of their remaining three.
In an unlikely scenario, either of MI and RCB can also end up not reaching 16 points. For the sake of easier understanding, this scenario shall be an underlying assumption for all teams.
Current Points: 12
v KXIP, Sharjah, Oct 26
v CSK, Dubai, Oct 29
v RR, Dubai, Nov 1
After a win against DC, KKR are well placed at fourth with 12 points from 11 games. If they manage to win all their remaining games, they will qualify with 18 points.
If they manage to win two of their last three games, then on paper KXIP can also end with 16 points. Hence, if KKR wins two out of three, they should not lose to KXIP. Or, they should hope that KXIP lose one out of their remaining three games.
If KKR win one out of the remaining three, it gets even tougher. In that case, they will qualify without NRR being an issue only if KXIP lose two out their remaining three games. If they lose to RR, they will open the door for them to reach 14 points. If they end with 14, they would have to hope that SRH also loses one out of their remaining three.
KKR’s most important fixture of the remaining matches is their evening game against KXIP in Sharjah on October 26.
Current Points: 10
v KKR, Sharjah, Oct 26
v RR, Abu Dhabi, Oct 30
v CSK, Abu Dhabi, Nov 1
KXIP have stormed back into the tournament with four consecutive victories. They are currently fifth with 10 points in 11 games.
To be safe, they should win all the remaining games. Even then, KKR can finish with 16 points as well. Hence, their hope will be for KKR to lose at least two out of their remaining three games.
If KXIP win two, things will be tricky for them. Depending on whom they lose to, any of SRH and RR can end with 14 points, while KKR can end up with 18. Hence, their best bet then would be to not lose to KKR while hope that KKR loses three out of four, SRH one out of three and RR lose one out of their remaining three matches.
As mentioned above, KKR v KXIP on October 26 is crucial to clear some muddle among the bottom five teams.
Current Points: 8
v DC, Dubai, Oct 27
v RCB, Sharjah, Oct 31
v MI, Sharjah, Nov 3
After a heart-breaking loss against KXIP, SRH are stuck at 8 points. However, they have the best NRR among the bottom five teams. Their remaining fixtures are against the top-3 sides.
Even If SRH win all the three, they will finish with 14 points. In that case, KXIP will need to lose two out of their remaining three and KKR all their remaining three.
Since RR does not have a game against SRH, even they can compete with them at 14 points. Hence, they will hope that they lose a game themselves.
Current Points: 8
v MI, Abu Dhabi, Oct 25
v KXIP, Abu Dhabi, Oct 30
v KKR, Dubai, Nov 1
It goes without saying that RR need to win all of their remaining three games to be alive in the tournament. Even then do, they are at the mercy of results in other games.
RR’s remaining fixtures are against MI, KXIP and KKR. Even if they win all, the other teams can mathematically still be 14 points or above. Hence for them to qualify, KKR should lose three out of three, KXIP two out of three and SRH one of three. Their best hope right now is for CSK to spoil the party for KKR and KXIP to start with.
Barring a miracle, CSK is out of the contention for IPL 2020. Even if they will all their games they will end with 12 points. To qualify from there, they will have to be at a mercy of various other results and NRR.