CSK among four teams who will qualify for IPL 2024 playoffs, MI to get knocked out: A statistical prediction | Crickit
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CSK among four teams who will qualify for IPL 2024 playoffs, MI to get knocked out: A statistical prediction

Apr 23, 2024 12:49 PM IST

The top four teams at the halfway mark will consolidate their positions even further and dominate their remaining fixtures, breaking away from the bottom six.

It is just mid-season in the 17th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but already the qualitative gap between the top four teams on the points table and the others is quite visible. The Rajasthan Royals have been the most consistent and best all-round team with five players putting in top-notch performances throughout the season. Sunrisers Hyderabad have revolutionized their batting at the top of the order and at the death and have set the tournament on fire breaking one record after another. Kolkata Knight Riders have followed suit and also found massive success with this new-found positive batting template. Chennai Super Kings have done what they have always done. They have dominated in suitable conditions at home.

Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni (L), Ravindra Jadeja (R) and Deepak Chahar(AFP)
Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni (L), Ravindra Jadeja (R) and Deepak Chahar(AFP)

Now here is a remarkable statistic: The top 4 teams thus far this season are also the best four in terms of batting averages and are closely stacked in one cluster. While SRH are the top of the pack with a combined batting average of 37.7, they are followed by CSK (36.5), the Royals (36.2) and the Knight Riders (35.3). However, there is a big difference between them and number 5 – Mumbai Indians – who have a batting average of 30.6. This is interesting as historically, it is the teams with the best bowling units that end up ahead in the race for the playoffs. Given the carnage that the batters have produced this season, it seems that 2024 is a bit different!

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As we approach the business end of the tournament, the million-dollar question which then emerges is – who will make the playoffs?

Here is the big prediction - The top four teams at the halfway mark will consolidate their positions even further and dominate their remaining fixtures, breaking away from the bottom six. The current scuffle in the middle of the points table is just temporary. On the evidence of their performances this season and given that 2024 is a tournament for the batters – the Royals, SRH, KKR and CSK will make it to the playoffs.

1. Sunrisers Hyderabad

SRH have led a batting revolution this year. They have gone all-out on the rampage in the powerplay and not looked back. SRH not only have the highest run-rate of 11.2 overall but also the best scoring rate in all the phases of play! They have overhauled the highest team total – not once, but twice – in the tournament and also set the record for the highest team score in the powerplay in any encounter in T20 history! No pair has added more runs than the 404 by Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma this season – and they have done so at a stunning strike rate of 254 including two hundred partnerships! Heinrich Klaasen has lived up to his billing of the most feared finisher in limited-overs’ cricket smashing 268 runs at a strike rate of 198.5.

Pat Cummins and T Natarajan have been the two standout bowlers for SRH. They have taken a combined 19 wickets at an economy of 8.2 when the other bowlers have been hammered at 11.3 per over.

SRH have redefined the norms of T20 batting in this season of the IPL on a scale which has been unprecedented in the history of the format. Don’t be surprised if they go all the way in the tournament!

2. Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR have matched the batting firepower of SRH and are a close second on that count in the competition. They have the second-best run rate of 10.6 this season and like SRH, have unleashed carnage at the top of the order through their opening pair of Sunil Narine and Phil Salt. While Narine has blasted 286 runs at a strike rate of 176.5, Salt is not far behind with an aggregate of 249 at 169.4. Interestingly, it is Narine who has also been the pick of the bowlers for KKR. Not only is he their joint highest wicket-taker with nine scalps but has also conceded at an economy of just 7.1 which places him amongst the five most restrictive bowlers of the tournament.

3. Rajasthan Royals

Despite the continuous failure of Yashasvi Jaiswal, the Royals have still been brilliantly consistent, both, with the bat and ball, and sit pretty at the top of the points table with six wins from seven matches. RR’s success this year can largely be credited to high impact performances by five of its players. Riyan Parag led the charge with the bat in the initial quarter of the competition when both the RR openers failed at the top of the order. Along with skipper Sanju Samson, he gave the Royals the early impetus in their campaign. Since then, it is Jos Buttler who has taken over the mantle smashing two hundreds in his last three innings.

Trent Boult has led RR’s charge in the powerplay – he has bagged six wickets with the new ball and in a season when the powerplay run-rates have soared at an all-time high, also been brilliantly restrictive with an economy of 6.36 – which is the second-best after Jasprit Bumrah. Yuzvendra Chahal has been the playmaker with the ball for the Royals in the middle overs. He is the leading wicket-taker amongst spinners with 12 dismissals in seven matches at an economy of 8.34.

4. Chennai Super Kings

CSK have done what CSK does best! They have dominated their home encounters winning three out of three at Chepauk and although they haven’t been at their efficient best this season, still managed to find a top-four position at the halfway mark in the tournament. CSK’s top-order hasn’t been firing on all cylinders and haven’t gone helter-skelter in the powerplay like some of the other top units in the tournament. However, they have some firepower in the middle order - Shivam Dube has been their outstanding batter with an aggregate of 245 runs at a strike rate of 157 while MSD has produced the cameos at the death and has a strike rate of 256 in the final 4 overs!

CSK have also made optimal use of the conditions at home with their bowlers leading the charge. Matheesha Pathirana has been their highest impact performer of the season with nine dismissals at a strike rate of 10.6 and economy of 7.3. Mustafizur Raham has used his variations and slower ones well and returned with 11 wickets – the most for CSK this season. While the spinners haven’t made many inroads, they have stemmed the flow of runs in the middle overs where CSK has been the most restrictive bowling unit of the season.

The Mumbai Indians have a brilliant batting unit on paper too but have not reached anywhere near their full potential this season. However, they have another problem ailing their performance - and that is with their bowling unit. There has been no support for Jasprit Bumrah who has been the best bowler of the tournament.

CSK, GT, RR and LSG were the top 4 mid-way last season. MI made a dash in the second half and spoilt the party for the Royals.

There should be no such surprise this season.

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