IPL 2021: Qualification scenarios - KKR, MI fighting for a spot, PBKS and RR not done yet

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safari
01 Oct 2021 | 04:52 AM
authorSomesh Agarwal

IPL 2021: Qualification scenarios - KKR, MI fighting for a spot, PBKS and RR not done yet

Chennai become the first to reach the playoffs, but the fight for the other spot remains interesting

Note: There are 2096 possible combinations of the final points table with 12 league 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 result and not allowing NRR to affect their chances.

Chennai Super Kings 

The first team to get knocked out in 2020 are the first to get a “Q” against them in 2021. With 18 points, they are all but certain for a top-2 finish as well. To not let other results affect them getting two chances to make it to the final, all Chennai need to do is win one more of their remaining three games.

Delhi Capitals

Current Points: 16

Remaining Fixtures: 

v MI, Sharjah, Oct 2
v CSK, Dubai, Oct 4
v RCB, Dubai, Oct 8

Whenever IPL has been an eight-team event, never has a team with 16 points failed to qualify. With history behind them, Delhi should have no fear about their qualification chances. 

But, based on the fixtures ahead, each of Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata can also finish at 16 points. Mumbai will have to beat Delhi to ensure that while Bangalore also have a game against them. The one remaining fixture for the Capitals is against the raging Chennai. 

Now, to ascertain a top-2 finish, Delhi have two routes. Win at least two of these matches or beat Bangalore even if the other two do not go their way. To guarantee a qualification, they need to win one of the three. 

Things might get interesting if the Capitals lose all their remaining games, all of which are tough fixtures. Then we might see a scenario of four teams fighting out for the three spots available. Losing all the games will affect Delhi’s net run rate too.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Current Points: 14

Remaining Fixtures: 

v PBKS, Sharjah, Oct 3
v SRH, Abu Dhabi, Oct 6
v DC, Dubai, Oct 8

A lot is up for grabs for Bangalore. Win all three games and finish in the top-2. Win two and can still make it if Delhi loses all their games from here. But, if they manage to win only one, they would like Mumbai and Kolkata to lose at least one of their remaining games to ensure a playoff spot.

Losing all the remaining games will mostly put their qualification in jeopardy owing to their low net run rate. Then they will have to hope that Mumbai and Kolkata lose two of their remaining games. And Punjab and Rajasthan lose one each. By beating Punjab in their next game, they will put a lot of these scenarios to rest. 

Kolkata Knight Riders

Current Points: 10

Remaining Fixtures: 

v PBKS, Dubai, Oct 1
v SRH, Dubai, Oct 3
v RR, Sharjah, Oct 7

The Kolkata Knight Riders have turned up as a side in a different mood. Their performance has broken the monotonicity of the league and has thrown up different possibilities in the playoff race.

To reach the safe haven of 16 points, KKR need to win all their remaining games. However, their positive approach has implied that they are the only side of the bottom six to have a positive net run rate. If it comes down to teams clubbed together with 14 points for the remaining spots, Kolkata have an advantage. But, for that, they will hope that Mumbai loses at least one of their three games or Bangalore loses all their remaining games.

Mumbai Indians

Current Points: 10

Remaining Fixtures:

v DC, Sharjah, Oct 2
v RR, Sharjah, Oct 5
v SRH, Abu Dhabi, Oct 8

Stumbling and picking themselves up, Mumbai have managed to stay in the playoff race. As things stand, they will need to win all their remaining fixtures to get to 16 points. 

With a low net run rate, 14 points might not be enough unless they turn their fortunes around and start thumping their opponents. Or, if Kolkata loses two out of their remaining three games while Punjab and Rajasthan lose one each. Given Mumbai’s reputation, one cannot help but feel that they will somehow find a way to qualify. 

Punjab Kings

Current Points: 8

Remaining Fixtures: 

v KKR, Dubai, Oct 1
v RCB, Sharjah, Oct 3
v CSK, Dubai, Oct 7

Even if they manage to win all their games, Punjab will reach 14 points. To qualify from there without net run rate being an issue, they will have to hope 1) a loss for Mumbai in two of their remaining game 2) Someone else apart from them also manages to beat Kolkata 3) a loss for Rajasthan in one of their three games.

Rajasthan Royals

Current Points: 8

Remaining Fixtures: 

v CSK, Abu Dhabi, Oct 2
v MI, Sharjah, Oct 5
v KKR, Sharjah, Oct 7

Two back to back losses have sucked the light out of Rajasthan’s campaign. In their slender hope for qualification, their perfect route would be to hope that someone else in addition to them manages to beat Mumbai and Kolkata. Moreover, Punjab loses one of their remaining games.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

With only four points from eleven games, the Sunrisers can at max attain 10 points by winning all their remaining games. It will not be enough to give them a spot in the top four. It is the first time since 2016 that they have failed to make the playoffs. 

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Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab KingsIndian Premier League, 2021Mumbai IndiansKolkata Knight RidersRoyal Challengers BangaloreDelhi CapitalsChennai Super KingsSunrisers HyderabadPunjab KingsRajasthan Royals

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