The race for the top-four finish is heating up. Few perennial under-performers such as RCB are in the top four currently, while Mumbai Indians are topping the table. But who will eventually bag the top four spots? Cricwizz makes a prediction of likely top four teams to qualify for playoffs.
1) Mumbai Indians
Mumbai have never successfully defended their title before. But it would be a mistake to rule Rohit Sharma and Co out for a place in the play-offs. They have lost games, but they have bounced back admirably to turn the tables in the next game. Unlike in their previous title defence, Mumbai have started this season well, and are among the table toppers. They look the most complete team in the tournament currently and are favourites to bag the top 2 spots.
2) Delhi Capitals
They are also the favourites to bag the 1st two spots in the table. They are batting, bowling and fielding with a mission, and complete focus. They look the best team on paper, and on the field, and look too good to go out all the way. They have a strong batting unit, with all players on form. They have Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer – all firing on all cylinders.
Their bowlers, led by Kagiso Rabada, are responding well to the flat decks of UAE, and are keeping hopes of a top 2 finish alive. However, they run the danger of losing out steam in the business end of the tournament. They must avoid complacency at all costs.
3) Chennai Super Kings
Even with an ageing squad, it would be a mistake to rule CSK out for a berth in the play-offs. They could raise their game at critical junctures of the tournament to steal a place in playoffs. They ended a 3-game winless run to record a 10-wicket win over Punjab. The win would pave the way for momentum, and CSK could then become a dangerous customer to contend with. Experience matters and CSK have always proved that. If not the top 2, the third or fourth spot could be taken up by CSK.
4) Sunrisers Hyderabad
SRH could beat stiff competition from KKR for the last spot in the play-offs. SRH have a dynamic leader in David Warner, and they have a reputation of making the most of the limited resources they have. They also peak well in the business end of the tournament and could sneak into the last four berths. KKR, on the other hand, may make it if they could play as a team, and not just rely on their foreign imports such as Andre Russell and Sunil Narine to take them through all the time. However, SRH look a better team to make it to the play-offs.
Cover Credits: IPLT20