Dhoni Sanju
Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni and Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson at the toss ahead of their match. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: Excitement levels are reaching a crescendo as the IPL 2023 enters its business end. This year’s edition is proving all the more difficult to predict as it has been one of the closest seasons, especially in terms of which teams will make the playoffs.

With 55 of the 74 matches played so far, there is still no team that is out of the race for the playoffs. And plenty of dramatic last-ball finishes have kept fans on their feet.

Close contest

Graeme Swann, IPL expert, JioCinema, spoke about how close the race for the playoffs has been and gave his predictions for the Delhi Capitals: “It is actually brilliant how well all the different teams are playing. Anyone could beat anyone on their day in this IPL. I have been covering the tournament for five or six years, and there have always been two teams that are way ahead of everyone else.

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Delhi Capitals players celebrate a wicket during the match against Chennai. Despite being at the bottom, Graeme Swann feels they will make the playoffs. Image Credit: Source: IPL Twitter

“Gujarat is the most successful team at the moment, yet they could lose tomorrow to anyone. And the fact that Delhi, who have been bottom the whole time, were dreadful at the start of this tournament. Let’s face it, despite all the talent, they weren’t performing.

Rags-to-riches tale

“They could easily finish second or third if they win all of their remaining games and the results go their way, and I think they actually will. I think the Delhi Capitals are going to go to the playoffs, just because I love a rags-to-riches tale. Everyone loves a happy ending; there will be a Bollywood movie made about Delhi’s season in a couple of years, mark my words.”

Rajasthan Royals is another team who had a great start to the season but then lost a few matches on the trot and are currently fighting for a spot in the Top-4. Swann shared his thoughts on the Royals’ captain Sanju Samson and also compared him to the great Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Mr Dependable

“What I love about Sanju is, like I said, in the five or six years that I have been covering the IPL, he has become more and more of a leader and a consistent senior player that his talent beckoned and destined him to be. Let’s face it: four or five years ago, everyone knew how good he was, but he would easily go six to seven games doing nothing and then have a brilliant knock.

“I think now he’s almost Mr. Dependable for Rajasthan. And he’s very calm; he’s very assured; he is like a young MS Dhoni; I think with his captaincy. He doesn’t lose his calm, he doesn’t lose his cool, and he knows what is going on and reads the game well,” he said.