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IPL format: No time to relax

The new format of the IPL's last phase, termed play-offs, has meant there is no room for complacency even for a team like Mumbai Indians who have assured themselves of a play-off berth with four league games remaining. Amol Karhadkar reports.

india Updated: May 09, 2011 00:50 IST
Amol Karhadkar

The new format of the Indian Premier League's (IPL's) last phase, termed play-offs, has meant there is no room for complacency even for a team like Mumbai Indians who have assured themselves of a play-off berth with four league games remaining.

According to the format, the top two teams in the league face each other in the first game, with the winner sailing into the final. The loser of that game then plays the winner of the 'eliminator' - the tie between the third and fourth teams in the points table after the league stage - in a virtual semi-final.

This means the first and second teams get an additional game to make it to the final, even if they lose their first game in the play-offs. No wonder the Mumbai Indians aren't taking it easy after clinching a play-off berth.

“We can't take it easy as we want to be right at the top till we go into the semis. We have four more games to go and the rest of the teams are also competing,” Rohit Sharma, who starred with a breezy 49 and then took an important catch to see the back of Daredevils' skipper Virender Sehwag, said.

“So we don't want to be complacent at any point of time. We just want to go and play our best cricket. The remaining four games will be crucial to be at the top.”

While Mumbai Indians had every reason to lift themselves for the business end of the league, their Delhi counterparts seemed to have given up on a play-offs spot after Saturday's loss. "Even if we win all three, we get six points. If our luck is very good then it's a different thing, but otherwise no," a downcast Sehwag said when asked whether he still saw a chance for the Daredevils to feature in the play-offs.