Predictions have no place in cricket, the game of 'glorious uncertainty'. But certain facts-based calculations can bring some clarity.
Forty-nine matches have been completed in the 8th edition of the IPL. With just 7 more matches to go, the top four playoff spots are up for grabs to six out of the eight teams in contention.
Which teams will qualify for the playoffs? Which team will finish at top of the table? The answers lie in the numbers. Let us guess the outcome of the league stage using the playoff predictor.
The playoff predictor is a number cruncher. It uses 5 key statistics to determine the outcomes of the remaining matches.
Five statistics -- home/away win %, recent form, star players, head to head, net run rate -- were taken into consideration and points (minimum: 0, maximum: 3) were awarded. This, in turn, acts like a scientific method to determine the outcome of every match.
1) Home/Away win% points:
Home team- If the home win% is >= 50% ---- 1 point
>= 60% ---- 2 points
>= 70% ---- 3 points
Away team- If the away win% is >= 25% ---- 1 point
>= 40% ---- 2 points
>= 50% ---- 3 points
2) Recent form (last 5 matches)-
If 2/5 wins ---- 1 point
If 3/5 wins ---- 2 points
If 4/5 wins ---- 3 points
3) Star players (Consistent performers -- Top wicket takers, best enonomy, highest srike rate, etc.)
In case of a one star player ---- 1 point
In case of two star players ---- 2 points
In case of more than two star players ---- 3 points
4) Head to head (previous fixture between the two teams)
Whoever won the last encounter would get 1 point.
No result ---- 0 points
5) Net run rate
If NRR of home team > away team ---- 1 point to home team
If NRR of away team > home team ---- 1 point to away team
The final scores are calculated by adding all five scores and the team with the higher total is named the probable winner. In case of a tied score, head-to-head would be used to determine the result.
THE PREDICTED RESULTS
1) Match 50: KXIP vs RCB ---- RCB win (Predictor score KXIP 1-10 RCB)
2) Match 51: MI vs KKR ---- KKR win (Predictor core MI 7-9 KKR)
3) Match 52: SRH vs RCB ---- SRH win (Predictor score SRH 9-9 RCB: SRH beat RCB on the basis of head-to-head)
4) Match 53: KXIP vs CSK ---- CSK win (Predictor score KXIP 1-7 CSK)
5) Match 54: RR vs KKR ---- KKR win (Predictor score RR 4-8 KKR)
6) Match 55: RCB vs DD ---- RCB win (Predictor score RCB 7-4 DD)
7) Match 56: SRH vs MI ---- MI win (Predictor score 9-9: MI beat SRH on the basis of head-to-head)
HERE IS HOW THE FINAL IPL TABLE COULD SHAPE UP: (according to the predictor)
(* means better net run rate)
(** means more matches won)
IPL 2015 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS
#1 Chennai Super Kings
CSK take on the bottom-placed KXIP in their last match and should cruise to the top of the table with an easy win. Despite a dismal show against Delhi in their last match, CSK have shown a consistent form throughout the tournament and are well on their way to securing the first position on the table and a place in the first qualifer.
#2 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Having played 11 matches so far, RCB are currently placed fifth in the points table with 13 points. With three games in hand – against Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils --the Challengers look set to secure their playoff spot. They could finish second if they can win two of their remaining three matches.
#3 Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR can decide a lot in this year's IPL. If they are to win the remaining two games of the season -- against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, they can finish at the top of the table with 19 points. If they win against Rajasthan Royals (more probable outcome according to the predictor), they will finish third and would knock Steve Smith's team out.
#4 Sunrisers Hyderabad
SRH currently lie third in the table with two games remaining-- against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. They might need to win both games to qualify in a scenario where other results do not favour them.
#5 Rajasthan Royals
According to the predictor, RR would finish fifth after losing the crucial game against KKR, but this a close call. If they win their remaining game against KKR, they have a small chance of scraping through from the final playoff berth.
#6 Mumbai Indians
MI currently lie 6th in the table with two matches remaining-- against the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. They need to win both the remaining games to remain in contention for the fourth spot.
TEAMS OUT OF THE RACE
#7 Delhi Daredevils
Despite their emphatic win against CSK, DD are out of the race for the playoffs.
#8 Kings XI Punjab
KXIP, the perennial losers of this IPL, had sealed their fate in the early stages of the tournament with just two wins in their entire campaign. They can play the role of spoilsports at best in their remaining two fixtures against RCB and CSK.
IPL 2015 KNOCKOUT PHASE (according to the PREDICTOR)
Qualifier 1: 19th May- CSK vs RCB at Wankhede stadium, Mumbai
Eliminator: 20th May- KKR vs SRH at MCA stadium, Pune
Qualifier 2: 22nd May- Loser of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of eliminator at Raipur
Final: 24th May- Winner of Qualifier 2 vs Winner of Qualifier 1 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata