The league stage of the IPL 2022 is into its second half, with all the teams having played at least 7 matches. New franchise Gujarat Titans are the table-topper for now, leading the way with 6 wins in 7 matches and have one foot in the playoffs.
Next, four teams – Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals, Lucknow Super Giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore – have 10 points each and are tight in the playoff race. The teams below them, though, will find it really challenging to sneak in the top four for a playoff berth.
Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Punjab Kings all have 6 points each with KKR having played one more match than the other two. Defending champions Chennai Super Kings are hanging on by a thread with just 4 points in 7 matches; five-time champions Mumbai Indians are virtually out of the playoff race with 8 losses in as many matches.
Here we look at two lower-ranked teams that have a chance to qualify for the playoffs:
WLLWLWL. Delhi Capitals have had a topsy-turvy season so far and the side hasn’t fired collectively. However, they haven’t lost any game badly, and have registered two emphatic wins over KKR – by 44 runs – and over PBKS – by 9 wickets – that has shot up their net run rate to +0.715, the best of all the 10 teams at the time of writing.
Shaw and Warner's last 5️⃣ partnerships in #IPL2022 👇🏼
6️⃣7️⃣ vs LSG
9️⃣3️⃣ vs KKR
5️⃣0️⃣ vs RCB
8️⃣3️⃣ vs PBKS
4️⃣3️⃣ vs RR
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 25, 2022
Further, Delhi are also missing their two key overseas players – Mitchell Marsh, who is down with covid-19, and Anrich Nortje, who played just one match and was forced out due to injury after seemingly being rushed in early. Once Nortje is fit and bowling to his strengths, DC become a much stronger unit that they are now.
With the healthy net run rate they have, four or five wins in their remaining 7 matches will see them through to the top four.
Chennai Super Kings
CSK had a poor start to their season with four straight losses before they pulled one up – against RCB – but then lost again, to Gujarat Titans. They recently got a major confidence-boosting win against Mumbai Indians, with MS Dhoni turning the clock back, winning the match on the last ball.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 25, 2022
What has been ailing CSK this season has been the absence of the injured Deepak Chahar, who’d regularly give them early wickets in the powerplay. Mukesh Choudhary stepped up to do that role against MI snapping three wickets with the new ball. WIth the inclusion of Dwaine Pretorius and some sort of form for Ruturaj Gaikwad, CSK could once again make a stunning comeback and get into the top four with a streak of victories.