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IPL 2022: Who Will Make The Playoffs?

By SHAILESH KARKERA
April 28, 2022 13:29 IST
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With 40 out of 70 IPL 2022 games completed, the crucial playoff spots are slowly starting to take shape.
Shailesh Karkera finds out how teams may fare in the crucial second half of IPL 2022.

The second part of a two-part series:

IMAGE: Rashid Khan, left, and Rahul Tewatia, right, flank Gujarat Titans Captain Hardik Pandya after their last ball victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede stadium on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. All Photographs: BCCI/IPL
 

IMAGE: The Royal Challengers Bangalore huddle before a game.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

On paper RCB are a championship side although if results are a metric for team performance, then Faf du Plessis are definitely under-performing.

Will Virat Kohli get his mojo back in the second half of the season?

Will Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik keeping bailing out their team-mates with strong middle order performances?

Here's what's coming up for RCB in the coming weeks:

vs Gujarat Titans, April 30

RCB are capable of beating the best on their day although Hardik Pandya's men are in scorching form at the moment and will have the edge in this contest.

vs Chennai Super Kings, May 4

A crucial stage for RCB who are just outside of the play-off places presently at the halfway stage and will go into this tie as slight favourites.

vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 8

RCB are still trying to find their groove as they wait for their star players to return to form. Hyderabad will have a marginal advantage in this one.

vs Punjab Kings, May 13

A crucial tie at the business end of the season as far as the playoffs are concerned. Punjab will have a slight edge on this one.

vs Gujarat Titans, May 19

Another crucial tie which will decide the final playoff structure and expect a cracker of a contest. Gujarat will be slight favourites going into this one.

Bangalore are just outside the playoff places at the moment. A team with that amount of sheer quality cannot be dismissed and it will be interesting to see how they respond in the second half of the season.

Though Faf and his boys will be coming up against some of the in-form teams in the league including current league leaders Gujarat twice, expect RCB to pull off a few surprises!

IMAGE: Delhi Capital Skipper Rishabh Pant.

Delhi Capitals

In David Warner and Prithvi Shaw, Delhi possess one of the strongest opening pairs in the league and Captain Rishabh Pant will be looking to see more from his openers in the coming matches.

Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel have put in some good bowling performances although more will be required if DC want to improve on their current 7th place standing with six points.

A look at what's coming up:

vs Kolkata Knight Riders, April 28

A balanced tie that can go either way and given that KKR have lost four in a row, Capitals will have a slight edge in this one.

vs Lucknow Super Giants, May 1

K L Rahul's Lucknow are in top form at the moment and their consistency may just be what sees them through in this tie

vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 5

Based on momentum and form alone, Hyderabad have the edge on this one.

vs Chennai Super Kings, May 8

An evenly balanced tie as both teams have been erratic this season. Expect Chennai to scrape through on this one.

vs Rajasthan Royals, May 11

Pant and Co have had an erratic run in the first half of the season and Royals will be looking to finish strong coming towards playoff qualification.

vs Punjab Kings, May 16

Two evenly balanced teams, both of whom will be in with a chance of making it into the playoffs and will go all out in what promises to be a cracking contest. Head to head, Punjab holds a slight edge.

vs Mumbai Indians, May 21

Pant's leadership has proven to be a tad erratic this season although in Warner and Shaw, the Capitals have a solid opening pair and will have an edge over Mumbai going into the tie.

Along with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi look to be the team to spring the surprises in the closing stages and stage a comeback.

Again, a lot more will be required from the entire squad to make that happen especially in the games against the Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings at the end of the season.

IMAGE: Punjab King Skipper Mayank Agarwal flashes the victory sign after the win over the Chennai Super Kings.

Punjab Kings

After 8 games, Punjab have a 50% record with 4 wins and 4 losses, not exactly ideal for a team vying for a title.

Mayank Agarwal's side has shown some quality this season, but at the same time, have put in some ordinary performances as well.

A big plus is their bowling at the death which will prove crucial while defending totals.

A quick look at their coming games:

vs Lucknow Super Giants, April 29

A cracking encounter with two evenly matched team, but given their current run, Lucknow have a slight advantage in this one.

vs Gujarat Titans, May 3

Hardik Pandya's team is currently in first place in their debut season and will definitely have the upper hand in this tie.

vs Rajasthan Royals, May 7

Royals will have a slight edge, given their current form.

vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, May 13

A crucial tie at the business end of the season as far as the playoffs are concerned. Punjab will have a slight edge on this one.

vs Delhi Capitals, May 16

Two evenly balanced teams, both of whom will be in with a chance of making it into the playoffs and will go all out in what promises to be a cracking contest. Head to head, Punjab holds a slight edge.

vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 22

Yet another tight encounter which may prove to be crucial in the final push for the playoffs. High stakes encounter with Hyderabad having a slight edge.

Punjab may end up winning 2-3 games from the remainder of their quota although that would not be enough given their current standing.

As the race for fourth place heats up, they will really need to step it up to be in with a chance to change their fortunes around in the second half of the season.

IMAGE: Lucknow Super Giants Captain K L Rahul acknowledges the applause at the Wankhede stadium for his century against the Mumbai Indians.

Lucknow Super Giants

Newcomers Lucknow have had an excellent debut season under the captaincy of the ever-dependent K L Rahul, who flanked alongside Quinton de Kock, Dushmantha Chameera, Jason Holder and Krunal Pandya find themselves currently in fourth place with ten points.

If there's one trait that is evident in LSG performances is that the team chemistry is excellent which will hopefully to better results in the second half of the season.

Here are their remaining fixtures:

vs Punjab Kings, April 29

A cracking encounter with two evenly matched team, but given their current run, Lucknow have a slight advantage.

vs Delhi Capitals, May 1

Lucknow are in top form at the moment and their consistency may just be what sees them through in this tie.

vs Kolkata Knight Riders, May 7

Sitting nicely in the top four at the halfway stage of the league, Lucknow will have the edge over KKR.

vs Gujarat Titans, May 10

Another cracking encounter with a place in the playoffs at stake. Gujarat will hold a slight advantage in this one.

vs Rajasthan Royals, May 15

This has all the ingredients of being one of the key games of the season in the battle for the playoffs. 50-50 chance of this going either way.

vs Kolkata Knight Riders, May 18

Again, a tough run of games for KKR and Lucknow will be favourites for this one.

Except Lucknow to win at least 3-4 games out of their remaining quota and make a strong challenge for a playoff spot -- with fierce competition from Bangalore, Punjab and Delhi.

IMAGE: Gujarat Titans's Mohammed Shami celebrate with team-mates after taking Sunrisers Hyderabad Captain Kane Williamson's wicket at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday April 27, 2022.

Gujarat Titans

Sitting pretty at the top of the standings at the halfway stage of their debut season in the IPL, the Titans have definitely been the surprise package of the competition so far.

Captaincy has seemed to bring out the best in Hardik Pandya and with Mohammed Shami and Rashid Khan spearheading the bowling, they are getting better with each game.

Let's take a quick look at who they are up against:

vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, April 30

RCB are capable of beating the best on their day although Hardik's men are in scorching form at the moment and will have the edge in this contest.

vs Punjab Kings, May 3

Pandya's team is currently in first place in their debut season and will definitely have the upper hand in this tie.

vs Mumbai Indians, May 6

The debutant Titans will be definite favourites entering into the business end of the season, with an eye on securing top spot in the standings.

vs Lucknow Super Giants, May 10

Another cracking encounter with a place in the playoffs at stake and Gujarat will hold a slight advantage in this one.

vs Chennai Super Kings, May 15

The debutant Titans will be definite favourites.

vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, May 19

Another crucial tie which will decide the final playoff structure. Expect a cracker of a contest. Gujarat will be slight favourites.

Expect Gujarat to win a majority of their remaining games and book a playoff spot this season. The games against Hyderabad and Punjab will be crucial if they hope to secure the top spot and expect them to make a finish on a high.

Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com

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SHAILESH KARKERA

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