The group stage matches of Indian Premier League 2023 are coming to a close soon, but three places are still open for the playoffs stage. Gujarat Titans became the first team in IPL 2023 to qualify for the playoffs with 18 points in the group stage. Every IPL team plays 14 games in the group stage. The remaining three slots will be filled with the teams playing their matches in the upcoming five days. Let’s look at all the top teams who are strong contenders to qualify for the playoffs stage.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings is the 2nd best team in IPL 2023 as far as the points are concerned. Chennai Super Kings played 13 games in IPL 2023 so far and won 7 and lost five. A game between Chennai Super Kings and Lucknow Super Giants was called off due to heavy rain, and the points were equally divided between the two teams. After 13 games, Chennai Super Kings has 15 points on the table. Chennai Super Kings will play its last match against Delhi Capitals on May 20, 2023. It will be a must-win game for Chennai Super Kings, who will qualify for the playoffs with a victory in that game. CSK will still have a chance even if it loses the match, but that depends upon the performance of other teams. Captain MS Dhoni knows how to qualify for the playoffs because CSK has played most playoffs in the IPL history.
Lucknow Super Giants
Lucknow Super Giants is the 3rd best team in IPL 2023 with 15 points. Lucknow Super Giants won seven games in IPL 2023 and lost 5. Lucknow Super Giants will play its last game against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 20, 2023. Lucknow has a good net run rate compared to other teams in the playoff contention. If Lucknow loses this game, there will be a fight among teams on the net run rate issue. So, LSG must maintain its positive net run rate to remain a strong contender for the playoffs. Lucknow Super Giants did not have their regular Captain on the team because of an injury. So, it will be challenging for the LSG team to qualify for the playoffs. However, a victory will guarantee their qualification in the top four teams.
Mumbai Indians is the most successful team in IPL history, winning four titles in 15 seasons. Mumbai Indians currently stands at number 4 in the points table. The team has made a remarkable recovery after losing the first two games. Mumbai Indians participated in 13 games in IPL 2023 and won seven. The team has 14 points on the table. Mumbai Indians will play against Sunrisers Hyderabad in its last group match on May 21, 2023. One more concerning factor for Mumbai Indians is their negative run rate. The team must improve its net run rate to extend its qualification chances. There is a strong chance that LSG and CSK will win their respective games and get 17 points to enter the playoffs automatically. So, the team with a good net run rate will qualify for the playoffs from the remaining teams.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the most popular teams in IPL, but it has yet to win an IPL title. The team won six games this season and has 12 points on the board. The good thing about the RCB team is that it still has two matches left in its group stage quota. So, two victories in two games will be good for RCB as the team will get 16 points. RCB also has a good Net Run Rate, which will help them in this scenario. If RCB loses one of these two matches, the team will have very little chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Three more teams have 12 points but have already played 13 games. So, RCB must have a good net run rate if the team loses one of the two remaining matches. RCB will play against SRH on May 18 and face Gujarat Titans on May 21.
Rajasthan Royals is another team standing on the verge of qualifying as well as going out of the IPL. Rajasthan Royals also has 12 points like RCB, but their net run rate is slightly low. Rajasthan Royals has played 13 games so far. Rajasthan Royals will play against Punjab Kings in their final match. Both these teams are struggling hard to find a place in the playoffs. However, Rajasthan is the favorite team to gain that spot if they win this game. Punjab has negligible chances of qualification even if the team manages to win this game. Rajasthan Royals will have to win with a great margin to surpass Royal Challengers Bangalore in net run rate. Otherwise, RCB will qualify if both teams have equal points.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings
These teams have won six games and 12 points on the table. However, their chances of qualification are very low. It is only possible if both teams get miraculous victories with a big margin to take their net run rate above other teams. There is more complexity even if they win their respective games. Both Rajasthan and Bangalore must lose their remaining games by a big margin. On the other side, Mumbai Indians will also lose its last game. Then there is a chance for one of these two teams to qualify. Otherwise, there are almost out of the tournament already. Punjab and Rajasthan will play against each other, which means one of these teams will go home after losing.
Gujarat Titans have already qualified for the playoffs. So, LSG and CSK are the most likely teams to go into the playoffs. But, if one loses their respective games, someone like Mumbai Indians or Royal Challengers Bangalore will take the remaining spots. Rajasthan Royals can also qualify if Mumbai Indians will lose its match. Hence, we predict Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, and Rajasthan Royals as the other three teams to qualify for the playoffs.