- CSK and SRH have already qualified for the playoffs.
- Three teams — KKR, RR, and KXIP — are tied on 12 points with the Kolkata-based franchise having a better NRR.
- MI have a good chance to qualify if they win their next two matches due to their positive Net Run Rate.
As we head into the business end of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season, the race for playoff spots heats up.
While Sunrisers Hyderabad (18 points from 12 matches) and Chennai Super Kings (16 points from 12 matches) have already sealed a spot each in the knockout stage, five teams, barring Delhi Daredevils, are still in contention.
IBTimes India looks at how the five teams — Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Mumbai Indians (MI), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) can reach the playoffs.
While KKR, RR and KXIP are have clinched 12 points each from 12 matches, their Net Run Rate is on the negative side. On the other hand, MI and RCB, who have 10 points each from 12 matches, have a positive NRR.
(Note: All teams have completed 12 matches as of 10 am IST, May 15)
How can KKR qualify for IPL 2018 playoffs
Position on points table: 3 with 12 points (NRR: -0.189)
Matches remaining: Vs RR - Tuesday, May 15; Vs SRH - Saturday, May 19)
The equation is simple for KKR. Dinesh Karthik's men are assured of a place in the playoff if they win their next two matches.
They will be placed on 16 points and only two other teams, RR and KXIP, can achieve as many points at the end of the league stage.
A win over RR on Tuesday, May 15 at the Eden Gardens will give them a huge boost as it brings down the NRR of nearest-rivals Royals.
If KKR lose to the Royals, then they need to beat SRH by a huge margin if more than two teams are locked on 14 points at the end of the group stage.
How can RR qualify for the playoffs
Position on points table: 4 with 12 points (NRR: -0.347)
Matches remaining: Vs KKR - Tuesday, May 15; Vs RCB - Saturday, May 19.
Like, KKR, RR will be assured a place if they win their next two matches.
If they lose to KKR on Tuesday, their NRR will take a beating and they have will have to beat RCB by a big margin on Saturday.
RR will not have a big advantage if they are tied on points (either 14 or 12) as their NRR is second lowest among the five teams.
If they end up with 14 points, RR will be hoping KXIP, RCB and MI lose one of their next two matches so as to have a better NRR than the Punjab-based franchise and finish above Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli's men.
How can KXIP qualify for the playoffs
Position on points table: 5 with 12 points (NRR: -0.518)
Matches remaining: Vs KKR - Tuesday, May 15; Vs RCB - Saturday, May 19
KXIP cannot afford to lose either of their next two matches as their NRR took a heavy beating following their 10-wicket loss to RCB.
If KXIP lose a match and more than two teams are tied on 14 points, they will most probably be eliminated because of their poor NRR, the lowest among the five contenders.
KXIP have no chance if they are part of a three-way tie on 12 points each.
How can MI qualify for the playoffs
Position on points table: 6 with 10 points (NRR: +0.405)
Matches remaining: Vs KXIP - Wednesday, May 16; Vs RCB - Sunday, May 20
The equation is simple for MI as well. If they win their next two matches, they will be tied on points with more than two teams at 14. By virtue of their positive NRR, their chances of qualifying for the playoffs is high in such a scenario.
If they lose to KXIP on Wednesday, their campaign will end as two teams (either SRH or KKR and KXIP) will have 14 points.
How can RCB qualify for the playoffs
Position on points table: 7 with 10 points (NRR: +0.218)
Matches remaining: Vs SRH - Thursday, May 17; Vs RR - Saturday, May 19
RCB will have a good chance of qualifying for the playoffs if they win their next two matches. Their 10-wicket win over KXIP on Monday, May 14 helped them boost their NRR.
If RCB lose one of their next two matches, they will be hoping one of KXIP, KKR and RR win their next two matches and the other two lose all their remaining matches. In a 12-point tie, Kohli's men have an outside chance of sneaking through to the playoffs.