How can defending champions Mumbai Indians still qualify for IPL 2021 Playoffs

  • What Kolkata Knight Riders' massive win against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday has done is make the equation extremely stiff for Mumbai Indians, next to impossible.
Mumbai Indians are up against all odds here. (MI/Twitter)
Mumbai Indians are up against all odds here. (MI/Twitter)
Updated on Oct 08, 2021 07:18 PM IST
Copy Link, New Delhi

For the most part of IPL 2021, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore seemed favourites to make it to the Playoffs, and that's exactly how things have panned out to be. CSK became the first team to qualify, later joined by DC. 

However, once RCB entered the top three, the hunt for the fourth and final spot remained a mystery. Due to a four-way clash between Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings. With back-and-forth battles, and a mix of wins and losses ensured that the fourth place will not be decided until the penultimate league matches.

Now, with a handsome 86-run win over RR on Thursday night in Sharjah, KKR have all but made it to the Playoffs; however, it won't be finalised until the outcome of the Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad match on Friday in Abu Dhabi.

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October 8 will mark the first time that two IPL matches will be taking place simultaneously, but one match promises to garner more interest than the other. While DC taking on RCB is expected to be a brilliant encounter, all eyes will be on the MI vs SRH contest with a place in the Playoffs up for grabs. Defending Champions MI can still qualify but they need to pull off a miraculous result if they are to join CSK, DC and RCB in the top four.

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What KKR's massive win against RR on Thursday did is make the equation extremely stiff for MI, next to impossible. Prior to the KKR vs RR match, all MI needed was a win and hoped that the Knight Riders lost. But KKR's win made it all the more tricky for MI. KKR's NRR jumped to +0.587 win a win over RR, which means that MI now will not only have to win, but do it comprehensively to make it to the Playoffs. How comprehensively, you ask? That numbers suggest that they will have to beat SRH by a margin of at least 171 runs or more to do the impossible.

Sure enough, SRH have been the most out of form team in IPL 2021 with just three wins from 13 games, but even to beat them by this big a margin will take some doing. Rest assured, if MI do this, they will create history. The biggest margin of win in the IPL is 146 runs, which incidentally was achieved by MI against Delhi Capitals in IPL 2017.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021