At the end of match 53 of IPL 2023 between KKR and PBKS, the points table looks like this:
|2||Chennai Super Kings||11||13|
|3||Lucknow Super Giants||11||11|
|5||Kolkata Knight Riders||11||10|
|6||Royal Challengers Bangalore||10||10|
GT are at the top of the points table with 16 points. From past seasons, we have learned that a team needs at least 16 points to harbour hopes of qualifying. Only GT have reached that level. Of the rest, only CSK, MI, and either RCB or LSG can hope to equal or surpass GT. Thus, by my reckoning, not more than three of the remaining teams can get 16 points or more.
Matches Remaining to be Played
In the following table, I look at what matches remain to be played by each team and in what order:
|Team||Remaining matches (Home and Away) vs other teams in chronological order|
|GT||MI (A), SRH (H), RCB(A)|
|CSK||DC(H), KKR (H), DC (A)|
|LSG||SRH(A), MI(H), KKR(A)|
|RR||KKR(A), RCB(H), PBKS(A)|
|RCB||MI(A), RR(A), SRH(A), GT(H)|
|MI||RCB(H), GT(H), LSG(A), SRH(H)|
|PBKS||DC(A), DC(H), RR(H)|
|KKR||RR(H), CSK(A), LSG(H)|
|SRH||LSG(H), GT(A), RCB(H), MI(A)|
|DC||CSK(A), PBKS(H), PBKS(A), CSK(H)|
Teams Most Likely to Qualify
I would consider only GT who have already managed 16 points to belong to this category. GT could still fail to qualify by losing their remaining three games. They could tie for 16 points with another team and end up with a poorer NRR. However, with a home game scheduled against SRH, I don’t expect this to happen.
Teams Reasonably Likely to Qualify
I would include CSK in this category. Dhoni’s wards have 13 points with 3 games to go. The four-time former champions would need to win two of those three games to be assured of qualification. Given that they have two home games versus DC and KKR, that is a reasonably likely outcome.
Teams that are Strong Contenders
MI and RCB belong to this category. Of the lot, MI appear best placed to qualify. Rohit Sharma’s wards can end up with 16 points if they win three of the remaining four matches. With three home games and one away match to play, MI are quite capable of achieving the goal. RCB also need to win three of four remaining matches to get to 16 points. However, their one home game is against defending champions GT.
Teams that must win all Their Remaining Games
LSG, RR, KKR, SRH and DC belong to this last category. If LSG won all their remaining three matches they would finish on 17 points. Those games include a home match with MI and away matches against SRH and KKR. Thus, only two of LSG, KKR and SRH can reach 16 points. Likewise, only one of KKR and RR can qualify as they have a match against each other. RR have a home match against RCB and two away games versus KKR and PBKS.
Ironically, I believe that DC have a better chance of qualifying than KKR or RR or PBKS. Warner’s wards have two games each versus CSK and PBKS. By contrast, SRH’s remaining matches are against four of the toughest teams, LSG, GT, RCB and MI. However, DC at the bottom of the points table would not only need to beat PBKS and CSK twice each. They would also have to boost their NRR to be able to compete for a place in the playoffs.
Predicted Teams for the Playoffs
Given the current situation, I am going to predict which four teams will reach the playoffs. To start with, I would name both GT and CSK among the likely qualifiers. I believe that GT will win at least one of their remaining three games while CSK will win at least two of their remaining matches. Of the rest, DC, SRH, RR, KKR and PBKS appear unlikely to qualify. That leaves MI, LSG and RCB.
Of these three, RCB have the toughest schedule of matches remaining. By elimination, MI and LSG should qualify. While MI are likely to win three of their remaining games, LSG are likely to win two of theirs. So, we expect GT, CSK, MI and LSG to qualify in that order. Interestingly, by my calculation, LSG will qualify in 4th place with just 15 points.
The first qualifier is likely to be played between GT and CSK, while the eliminator is likely to feature MI and LSG. Who will win IPL 2023? If you can predict that, you must monetise your talent by betting on the outcome of these games. If you want to bet on the IPL, you can check out our article on the best cricket betting sites.