We half-way through the VIVO IPL 2018 and the points table is wide open. With 29 matches done and 27 league matches to go, this will kick-off an exciting phase where we have a pretty good idea of how each team will fare in the points table. While some teams have got their combination right and are winning games more often than not, there are other teams who are struggling to get a win, and some teams are starting to gain momentum.
This is an exciting phase due to the race to qualify for the playoffs becomes more intense and each team knows how much matches they need to win to qualify. We will look at the teams and how likely are they to qualify.
The Williamson led SRH have won 6 out of their 8 matches giving them 12 points as they sit at the top of the table. They haven’t felt the absence of David Warner or rather they have made up for it in the bowling. They are the bowling dominant side who have defended scores of 119 and 150 even without their 2 best bowlers Bhuvaneshwar and Billy Stanlake. This shows how terrifying the SRH bowling line-up is.
They have a healthy Net Run Rate of +0.514 which is the second best after the CSK which gives them an edge over other teams. SRH is one of the 3 teams who are almost certain to qualify without any Hustle, so rest assured the orange army will qualify.
Chennai Super Kings
This a side who everyone, including me, called them a Chennai Senior Kings side as the average age of the players is well above 30. But as M.S.Dhoni has repeatedly talked about this also resulting in them being the most experienced side, it is apparently coming in handy and match after match some or the other player takes responsibility and take them to the end line and through. The CSK have also lost only twice in their 7 matches, and they have the best Net Run Rate of +0.538 and have 10 points.
The Dhoni-led CSK is one of the 3 teams who will most certainly qualify for the playoffs as they have in every other season. This isn’t the side who will give it all their in fielding to save the 1’s and 2’s, but they will make it up in their batting and bowling. The Lions are certainly one of the favorites to win the IPL the 3rd time.
Kings XI Punjab
Like CSK, the Ashwin led KXIP also have won 5 out of 7 matches with 10 points and a Net Run Rate of +0.228 they are the 3rd of the 3 teams who will most likely qualify. With spinners Ashwin, Mujeeb chipping in along with Andrew Tye and the batting line-up consisting of K.L.Rahul, Gayle and Finch KXIP are one of the favorites to win their maiden title in IPL 2018.
They have 2 matches with Mumbai Indians who will be riding on the momentum after defeating CSK. They still have a task in front of them, they have done well in the first half, they will most likely continue to do so in the second half.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata had a convincing win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore when they defeated them by 6 wickets. This is a team who everyone never gave a chance due to their shallow squad or lack of replacements. But they have more than made-up by playing well with their first XI. With Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik in a good nick and the bowlers like Narine, Kuldeep giving the batsman troubles KKR are a front-runner for the 4th spot. They have won 4 and lost 4, a record they will certainly look to improve having 8 points at a Net Run Rate of +0.110.
Ever since the arrival of Jofra Archer, the Pace attack of Rajasthan looks formidable. With Archer consistently clocking over 140+ and Jaydev Unadkat, Stokes and the new addition to the spin department Ish Sodhi along with Gowtham, RR look like a decent bowling side. The likes of Rahane, Stokes, Tripathi, Buttler haven’t set the IPL alive with RR riding solely on Sanju Samson’s back.
They have won 3 of their 7 matches have 6 points with a Net Run Rate of -0.751 which is the worst of any team in the IPL 2018. They will fight for the 4th position alongside KKR.
Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Delhi Daredevils
The trademarked slow starters of the IPL, Mumbai Indians have surely got a big task ahead of them along with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils. All 3 of the teams have won 2 out of the 7 matches although Mumbai has the edge with the Net Run Rate.
They have 4 points on the board with Net Run Rate +0.033, -0.447, -0.482 of MI, RCB, DD respectively. They have a tough task ahead as they will compete with KKR and RR for the 4th spot although KKR and RR have the edge, we all know the comeback stories in the IPL.
The comeback kings aka Mumbai Indians will surely look to repeat their 2014 feet where they lost in a similar manner, they were 5 down in 6 matches but they managed to somehow qualify. These 3 teams have to win 6 out of their 7 remaining matches to qualify. This isn’t impossible because this has been done before, and it can happen again.
That’s it for this article, please write down in the comments below whether I missed some important points or rather failed to point them out, this is style assault signing off.