IPL 2019 playoffs scenario as five teams battle it out for two remaining spots

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SRH are one of the five teams in the fray. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

The race for the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) playoff spots remains as hot as ever with as many as five teams vying for two remaining berths.

With Royal Challengers Bangalore’s clash against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday being washed out due to rain, the former have become the first team to officially be ruled out of the running for the play-offs.

So far, defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals are the two teams which have confirmed their qualification.

As the business end of IPL 2019 approaches, we look at how the five other teams are placed with regards to their playoff ambitions.

MUMBAI INDIANS (14 POINTS FROM 12 GAMES)

Remaining fixtures

Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad (Wednesday, May 1)

Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders (Sunday, May 5)

Of the five remaining teams, Mumbai are best-placed to advance to the playoffs with Rohit Sharma and his men requiring just one more victory in their remaining two league fixtures to finish in the top-four.

Both their games are at home and this should hold them in good stead. If Mumbai win both matches, they will likely finish in the top-two and qualify for Qualifier 1. Even if they lose both their matches, Mumbai can still advance to the play-offs but then it will come down to net run-rate.

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD (12 POINTS FROM 12 GAMES)

Remaining fixtures

Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad (Wednesday, May 1)

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad (Saturday, May 4)

After Mumbai, it is Sunrisers Hyderabad who are in prime position to make the play-offs. With two games remaining, two victories will guarantee Sunrisers a place in the play-offs although both their clashes are away.

Even if they manage just the one win from two games, Hyderabad will qualify for the play-offs should KKR and KXIP fail to win each of their remaining clashes.

Such is their superior net run-rate (0.709) compared to the other seven teams in the competition that SRH might sneak into the top-four even if they lose both their remaining games. In that case, however, Rajasthan will need to lose their final fixture while KKR and KXIP will need to lose at least one game each from the remainder of their campaigns.

David Warner has played his final IPL 2019 innings.

David Warner has played his final IPL 2019 innings.

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS (10 POINTS FROM 12 GAMES)

Remaining fixtures

Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders (Friday, May 3)

Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders (Sunday, May 5)

KKR and the KXIP are the two teams who have it all to do. With two games remaining for Kolkata, Dinesh Karthik and his men will need to win both and even then, qualification will not be assured.

Their saving grace is a positive net run-rate and should they find themselves tied on 14 points with another team, it could come in handy. What KKR want is for SRH and KXIP to lose both their remaining fixtures and for Rajasthan to suffer a defeat against Delhi. In that case, two wins for Kolkata will guarantee a top-four finish.

Should they win just the one match from their two away clashes, Kolkata can still hope to qualify should SRH, KXIP and Rajasthan fail to register any more wins in the competition. In that case too, they will be tied with SRH on points but their net run-rate (0.10) is inferior to the Hyderabad side.

The only way KKR can qualify without depending on the net run-rate is for Mumbai to defeat SRH and for KXIP to taste one defeat at least in their two remaining games. In that case, two victories will assure KKR of progression.

Russell (r) is in scorching form. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Russell (r) is in scorching form. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

KINGS XI PUNJAB (10 POINTS ROM 12 GAMES)

Remaining fixtures

Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders (Friday, May 3)

Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings (Sunday, May 5)

King XI are in the same boat as Kolkata but are further handicapped by a negative net run-rate (-0.296). They too, need to win both their remaining fixtures but that would be moot should SRH record at least one more victory.

In that case, SRH and KXIP will be tied on points but such is the difference in their respective net run-rates that the latter will still crash out.

Hence, what Ravi Ashwin and his men need is two victories in the upcoming matches while Hyderabad taste as many defeats. Should they win just one of their remaining two games, Punjab will require SRH and KKR to lose both their games along with Rajasthan going down to Delhi.

In that case too, KXIP will be fighting an uphill battle against SRH when it comes to net run-rate.

KXIP openers Gayle and Rahul. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

KXIP openers Gayle and Rahul. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS (11 POINTS FROM 13 GAMES)

Remaining fixtures

Delhi Capitals v Rajasthan Royals (Saturday, May 4)

While the washed out clash against RCB might have ended all hopes for Virat Kohli and his men, it also took the winds out of the sails of Rajasthan’s campaign.

The Jaipur-based franchise desperately needed the win at Bangalore but the shared point has done little to help them in their play-off aspirations.

Should SRH beat Mumbai on Thursday, then Rajasthan are out of the running even before they have played their last match.

The equation for Rajasthan now is pretty simple. They need to win at any cost against Delhi and then hope that SRH lose both their encounters while KKR and KXIP taste one defeat each at least in their remaining fixtures.

In that case, the Royals will sneak into the play-offs with just 13 points.

Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

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IPL 2019 Fantasy: Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan among top picks for Mumbai Indians v SRH

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Pandya is the man in form. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season heads into match 51 with Mumbai Indians set to play host Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.

As fans, watching the action is not the only thing to look forward to – IPL fantasy games mean you have the opportunity to get involved as well.

As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.

Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the former.

BATSMAN

Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians (9.5 credits)

It hasn’t really been a prolific season for Mumbai skipper Rohit so far despite returning to his favoured opening position.

The right-handed batsman has managed to register just the sole half-century so far in 11 innings with his average a modest 27.90.

The only reason Rohit gets our nod as the batting pick is due to the absence of David Warner whose campaign has come to an end. While Rohit has failed to really get going this season, his quality has never been in doubt and it should show up on the pith sooner rather than later.

With a win on Thursday guaranteeing Mumbai a play-off spot, Rohit should have the extra motivation to put up a strong display.

BOWLER

Rashid Khan – Sunrisers Hyderabad (9 credits)

Despite the presence of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga in the Mumbai line up, it is Hyderabad’s Rashid Khan who is our pick among bowlers.

The Afghanistan leg-spinner hasn’t quite taken the IPL by storm as he did in the previous two editions but has been making the difference for his side nevertheless.

His 12 matches have yielded 14 wickets so far with only six other bowlers having a more prolific campaign than him. What differentiates Rashid from the rest of the pack has been his excellent ability to control the flow of runs.

The No1 ranked T20 bowler in the world has maintained an economy-rate of just 6.18 this season which is the lowest among any players to have picked up at least 10 wickets.

That he comes into the clash on the back of his best performance in the campaign so far (3-21 against KXIP) is another reason to bank on Rashid’s leg-spin in the Fantasy line up.

ALL-ROUNDER

Hardik Pandya – Mumbai Indians (10 credits)

This category is a no-contest with Hardik Pandya blowing everyone else out of the water. The Mumbai all-rounder has been nothing short of sensational this campaign with his latest display easily one of the best innings so far in the competition.

Pandya struck the fastest fifty of the 2019 edition (17 balls) in a 34-ball 91 which came in a losing cause against Kolkata Knight Riders. His overall tally with the bat stands at 355 runs which have come at an average of 50.71 along with a strike-rate of nearly 200.

27 sixes have come off Pandya’s bat in just 12 matches which is extraordinary considering he has come in to bat mostly in the death overs. He has been mighty effective with the ball in hand too despite being a small bit expensive with his medium-pace fetching 10 wickets.

WICKETKEEPER

Quinton de Kock – Mumbai Indians (9.5 credits)

Although Wriddhiman Saha did play a fine cameo up top for SRH in their most recent outing, this slot is a no-contest as well with Quinton de Kock getting our nod.

The Proteas wicketkeeper batsman had a disappointing time at RCB last year but he has been a man transformed in the blue jersey of Mumbai. The South African has already registered three half-centuries so far this campaign while his strike-rate has been a healthy 136.

With 393 runs in 12 innings, de Kock is close to surpassing his best-ever IPL campaign in 2017 where he scored a total of 445 runs.

After being dismissed for a duck in his latest outing against KKR, de Kock will be eager to bounce back and regain the excellent form he has shown for a large part of the season.

CAPTAIN – Hardik Pandya

VICE CAPTAIN – Quinton de Kock

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IPL 2019: Hardik Pandya-powered Mumbai seek to seal play-off spot as SRH start life without Warner

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Pandya in sensational form for Mumbai. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Mumbai Indians could become the third team to book their 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) play-off berth when they host Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

With 14 points from 12 games so far, Mumbai will join Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals in the play-offs should they beat Hyderabad. SRH, meanwhile, currently hold on to the fourth and final play-off spot with 12 points and they could take a giant stride towards finishing in the top-four themselves should they end up on the winning side.

MUMBAI SEEK TO BOUNCE BACK FROM RECENT SETBACKS

After an indifferent start, Mumbai’s campaign had picked up steam with the team going on a strong run that saw them win five of their six games. However, that resurgent run has taken a beating of late with Andre Russell and Kolkata Knight Riders handing them a crushing 34-run loss in their most recent encounter.

That means Rohit Sharma and his men have lost two of three last three outings and are in danger of losing momentum at the most crucial stage of the tournament.

As such, the side will be glad that they are playing their final two league stage fixtures at home. While their home form this season in nothing to shout about, with three wins and two losses so far, Mumbai will now get two bites at the cherry with a sole victory in the remaining games – enough to confirm their play-off qualification.

SRH START LIFE WITHOUT WARNER

Thursday will see Sunrisers Hyderabad line up without David Warner for the first time this campaign, with the opening batsman having departed to join the Australian World Cup preparatory camp.

The Aussie signed off the competition in style with a fluent 81 to help his side beat Kings XI Punjab by 45 runs at Hyderabad. It was Warner’s ninth 50 plus score in the 2019 edition with the left-hander racking up a total of 692 runs in his 12 innings.

With his fellow opening partner Jonny Bairstow already having returned to England earlier, Sunrisers have now lost their two most prolific batsmen ahead of the business end of the tournament.

That means there will be added pressure on skipper Kane Williamson to step up after spending most this campaign on the bench. How Hyderabad cope with Warner’s absence will be interesting to see and it could very well be the deciding factor in the side’s play-off ambitions.

MUMBAI BANK ON PANDYA FIREPOWER

A big part of Mumbai’s resurgence this season after the disappointment of not making the play-offs in the 2018 edition has been the sensational form of Hardik Pandya.

After an international season blighted by injuries and controversies, the India all-rounder has been in full flow with his sublimely clean-hitting in the death overs paving the way for several Mumbai wins.

Pandya’s form, especially with the bat, has only been getting better with each passing game and it reached a crescendo in the clash against KKR where he struck 91 off just 34 deliveries while registering the fastest fifty (17 balls) of the IPL 2019 edition.

The right-armed all-rounder is averaging over 50 with the bat this season with a strike-rate of nearly 200. Throw in his bowling contributions where he has picked up 10 wickets and it is easy to see why Pandya has been Mumbai’s most valuable player and biggest game-changer.

LIKELY XIs

Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Barinder Sran, Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (c), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Vijay Shankar, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma.

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