With 3 wins (6 points) in 10 matches, defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are languishing at the 9th position in the IPL 2022 points table. They are sitting only above Mumbai Indians who have 2 victories in 10 games and were the first team to be eliminated from the playoff race.
Following just 2 wins in 8 games, and his own underwhelming form, Ravindra Jadeja gave back the CSK captaincy to the mystical MS Dhoni.
On Dhoni’s first game as the captain this season, as CSK defeated the Sunrisers Hyderabad, it felt that the former India captain could once again unfurl his magic and take the Yellow Army through to the playoffs. However, that dream bubble was busted by the Royal Challengers Bangalore who defeated the four-time champions on Wednesday in Pune by 13 runs, and have virtually knocked out the defending champions.
Well, the rather optimistic news for the CSK fans is that MS Dhoni’s unit is still not completely out of the playoff race and stands an outside mathematical chance to sneak into the top four at the end of the league stage.
So, here is how CSK can still qualify for the playoffs:
First the numbers: CSK have 6 points in 10 matches, and the maximum they can reach, if they win their remaining 4 games, is 14 points. While in the previous years with 8 teams, a team could have finished at third or fourth position with 14 points and a healthy net run rate, this will not be enough for this season where 10 teams are competing and three of which already have 14 or more points with three games in their hand.
So, CSK not only needs to win their remaining four matches, they need it to do with big margins because their net run rate at the moment is -0.431. Plus, they will also have to pray for plenty of other results to go their way in a way that not all of the top four teams reach 16 points.
It will be a miracle if CSK reaches 14 points with a handsome net run-rate while all other results too go in their favour. They are hanging by a thin thread, but there are still some mathematical permutations and combinations that can take them through to the playoffs.
CSK will face Delhi Capitals in their next game on Sunday (May 08) before meeting with arch-rivals Mumbai Indians, followed by their last couple of league games against Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals.