See ball, hit ball or see wicket, hit wicket will be somewhere along the lines of what the remaining four teams in IPL 2015 – CSK, MI, RCB, RR – will target when the playoffs come a calling starting Tuesday.
Some terrific contests have been witnessed in the 56 matches prior to this, but the real fun part, the ones that matter, that gives you that special feeling, will be played in the next four games – aka the IPL 2015 playoffs.
Chennai Super Kings, for the eighth consecutive time, are there, obviously, and so are the Mumbai Indians, who, for the second straight season in IPL, produced a stirring winning run to clinch a playoff spot.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore are back competing for the title for the first time in a while, with the Rajasthan Royals also in the mix, after just about doing enough in their final game after they had kept the hopes of plenty of other teams alive with their magnanimous nature following a stirring start to the season.
So, will it be CSK – led by the man who has/shows no emotions, filled with an array of Indian stars and international ones who just know how to get the job done – that clinch a third IPL title? The team that has that "W" plastered on their foreheads every time they walk onto the field, with the opposition sometimes left wondering: "Ok, so we've got Smith and McCullum (who will be missing from these crucial matches) out, and in walks Raina and Du Plessis, and then there is Dhoni and Bravo to deal with," or "So Nehra has been negotiated, but now how do we deal with Ashwin and Jadeja on this turning track, with Bravo to come in the death overs as well?"
Find a way the other three teams must, if they run into CSK, with the first of those sides set to be MI.
The Mumbai Indians are the form team of IPL 2015, winning seven of their last eight matches to go all the way up to second place. Qualifier 1 is definitely theirs to lose, even against the mighty CSK, since the match is at their fortress Wankhede.
If MI come up trumps with the ball, then they just might book their place in the final at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
The second clash of the playoffs will be the Eliminator between RCB and RR, with both teams quite capable of going all the way and lifting that glinting gold IPL trophy as well.
Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and Mitchell Starc hold the key for RCB – of course they do – while time is ripe for the Australians to come to the party for RR. Shane Watson did that with a majestic hundred in the must-win game against KKR, and now Steve Smith and James Faulkner need to do the same.
The winner of Qualifier 1 will go straight to the IPL 2015 final, leaving the loser of that match to contest the winner of the Eliminator. With all four teams quite capable of lifting the title, these four games should be "don't even think about flipping that remote" crackers.
IPL 2015 Playoffs Schedule (All Matches start at 8 pm IST, 3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET):
19 May: Qualifier 1: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
20 May: Eliminator: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals at MCA International Stadium, Pune.
22 May: Qualifier 2: Loser of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Eliminator at JSCA International Cricket Stadium, Ranchi.
24 May: Final: Winner of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Qualifier 2 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.