This years IPL has introduced playoffs and it has provided a whole new meaning to qualifiers. Teams just dont want to qualify, they want to qualify in positions #1 and #2. Because then they have a higher chance of moving to finals.
With the current table; there are 5 teams who are favorites for qualifying to top 4: MI, RCB, KKR, CSK and RR and maybe Punjab. Pune, Kochi and Delhi have outer chances. As I write this, Punjab is playing Mumbai and if they win all matches from here on, they will end up on 16 giving them a chance of qualification.
The next few matches will be very interesting because they are going to be amongst teams who are playing for top spot. Here are the scenarios:
– Mumbai: 4 matches to play already on 16 points. Need 2 wins to reach 20; and that will give them a #1 or #2 spot.
– Bangalore: 4 to play and can reach a maximum of 21. 2 of those 4 matches are against CSK and KKR who are competing for top spot and remaining 2 are against RR and KXIP who are fighting for qualification. These need at least 3 wins to qualify for top spot.
– KKR: 3 matches to play. 2 of them are against MI and RCB and last one against Pune. Need 3 wins
– CSK: 3 matches to play. 1 against RCB and remainder of those are against KTK and Delhi. They also need 3 in 3 to reach top spot.
Now time for permutations:
– RCB wins 3 and looses only to CSK. RCB is on 19
– CSK wins 3 and end on 20
– KKR looses to RCB (as they have won remainder of 3) but wins rest 2. KKR finishes on 18
– MI wins 2 and end on 20
So, a lot depends on KKR or CSK winning of loosing their matches against RCB. if ECB can beat both of them, it will restrict them to maximum of 18 points and and ensuring they are at least on 17. They still have a match in hand (10 vs. 11) and if they can beat RR or KXIP in their last of matches they will ensure themselves a top spot.
Phew!! I hope you can understand all of this