Which three teams will join Gujarat Titans in the play-offs, that’s the burning question on every fans’ mind. Gujarat Titans, who have already secured a place in the top two with 20 points from 13 games, can at the moment put their feet up and relax. There are still five games left and all barring Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings can sneak in the play-offs.
Today’s game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants is important for both teams, especially Kolkata Knight Riders as if they lose, they get knocked out. Simple equation for Lucknow Super Giants is to win and it might even take them in the top two along with Gujrat.
Tomorrow, Royal Challengers Bangalore have a battle in their hands as even a win does not guarantee them a place as their net run rate is -32.3, so they have to win big. Their first target would be a win and hope Delhi Capitals lose their last game to Mumbai Indians - which will give them an entry to the play-offs.
Delhi Capitals’ fate is in their own hands and if they win, they walk in to the play-offs as their net run rate is 0.255. Only a loss can knock them off for if Royal Challengers win, they go ahead of Delhi.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, meanwhile, have their work cut and even a win in their last game would take them to just 14 points. They will have to hope that Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders lose badly for them to sneak through - but that’s going to be a long shot.
Rajasthan Royals are as good as secured with a healthy positive net run rate of 0.304 and should make it even if they lose their last game to Chennai Super Kings. They would like to win to secure a place in the top two and I am sure this is their best chance as they are playing Chennai - who are now trying to give chances to new players as they are already knocked out.
In all, every game is important and several teams can still make it - which makes this IPL the most absorbing and exciting.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group