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IPL 2017: Analysing the top 6 teams' chances of making the playoffs

The IPL is reaching its business end. Here's a data-based prediction on who could make the playoffs.


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Who will lift the coveted trophy this time around?

The most exciting, enthralling time of the IPL season is here: the final phase of group games leading up to the knockouts. This is the period when every match is important (well almost every match), every ball is critical, and an over has the potential to decide the fate of a team.

Will the leader hold on to the top spot? Will the 4th placed team scrape through? Can the 6th placed team somehow conjure the form of their lives to get into the knockouts? We kick off this drama filled phase, looking at the performances so far to predict the top four.

Runs Scored in IPL X

Kolkata Knight Riders

The data literally screams out the brilliance of Gambhir’s men. They have been consistently putting up runs on the board. Thanks to Lynn, Gambhir, Pandey, Uthappa & Narine, the KKR run machine has been churning out credible innings totals.

They are one of two teams in IPL X, that boasts of a higher average total in a losing cause (175 runs) than in a winning cause (only 167 runs). As is evident from the graph, they have developed quite some mastery on the art of chasing. Only the superhuman 59-ball 126 of David Warner, assisted with some sloppy fielding, cost KKR an otherwise perfect win record while chasing.

Going into the next phase, though, they would be worried about defending totals. They lost to both Mumbai & Gujarat despite posting scores in excess of 170.

In the run up to the knockouts, they host Mumbai and Pune, and visit Bangalore and Punjab. They should ideally put Mumbai to bat first when they visit Eden Gardens (owing to Mumbai’s poor record of defending totals and the fact that Mumbai are yet to win an away game batting first this season).

Kings XI are yet to win a home game batting first, thus putting them in should help them secure those 2 points as well. Given Bangalore’s horrible run and the fact that they are yet to win a game chasing, KKR could bat first and pocket these 2 points too. The game with Pune is too close to call, as Pune boast good spinners and good players of spin. Given the intellect of MS Dhoni & captaincy of Steven Smith, KKR could find this team a bit hard to beat.

Overall KKR seem to have the players, and the opportunity to lead the table come the playoffs. They should be able to secure 6 points from the remaining 4 games and end up with 20 points as well as a healthy net run rate.


Mumbai Indians

Mumbai typically languish at the 5th or 6th spot at this time of the season, however, in IPL X, they have turned things around in style to be perched at the number 2 spot. Mumbai came into the tournament as one of the most balanced teams, however, the critical contributions have come from the unlikeliest of sources in Nitish Rana & Krunal Pandya.

As a team, they have been consistent in posting competitive totals. They would have had a perfect win record this season but for one familiar foe, MS Dhoni. RPS won both ties against the Mumbai outfit and would pose the biggest challenge for Rohit Sharma’s men if they make it to the playoffs.

In their remaining fixtures, Mumbai are set to visit Kolkata, Hyderabad & Delhi. They host Punjab & Bangalore as well. Getting the points from Eden Gardens may prove tricky. The resolute Hyderabad and resurgent Punjab will also not be pushovers. However, batting first at the Wankhede should help Mumbai secure all four points in the home ties.  They would also hope the Daredevils’ poor form continues.

They could end up being tied for top spot with KKR with 20 points, and if they manage high totals on the flat Mumbai track, they could pip their Kolkata rivals based on net run rate.   


Sunrisers Hyderabad

The super captain, David Warner, has led from the front (and how). They are the only team in the top 4 to have posted 200+ scores thrice. The opening duo of Warner (459 runs) & Dhawan (341 runs) have scored 50% of the side’s total runs. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar manning the bowling attack (who has the purple cap with 20 wickets), the wily warhorse Nehra and the surprise package of Rashid Khan, Hyderabad seem like the team to beat this season.

The only concern is that most of their victories have come batting first. They average 187 runs batting first, and have plundered runs in both home & away grounds. They did suffer a horrible defeat when they tried to chase down a competitive total of 172 at the Eden Gardens but it could very well be a one-off case.

They host Mumbai & Pune at home and are set to visit Delhi & Gujarat in the remaining fixtures. If they bat first in all four games, they should comfortably end up with at least 4 points from these 4 outings. It should take them to 17 points and through to the knockouts.


Rising Pune Supergiant

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Pune have had a solid season thus far

After a forgettable first season, the Pune Supergiant finally seem to be ‘rising’. Smith & Dhoni seem to have found their groove, and this has worked extremely well in crunch games (like that against Mumbai).

While they are sorely missing India’s premier spinner, R Ashwin, Imran Tahir has done well to fill his shoes. With Rahane & Stokes coming good, they seem to be peaking at the right time. With enough momentum, they could easily crack the top 3, and may even make it to the finals.

One glance at their performance graph and you can tell that they have been one of the most consistent teams this season (rivalling the table toppers – KKR). While they are yet to chase in an away game, they are the only team to win and lose in all the other possible scenarios.

One major concern is that they failed to defend 170+ totals on two occasions, against KKR & GL, and that they bungled the chase of 205 set by Delhi. However, with finishers like Dhoni and Stokes, and batting masters like Rahane & Smith all finding form, they could change their stance and decide to bat second in the remaining games.

They are set to host Gujarat & Punjab and visit Kolkata, Hyderabad & Delhi. Their chances of qualification will be quite strong if they manage to see off challenges from Gujarat & Punjab at home. They could very well pull off four wins in the remaining five games, ending up with 18 points. 


Kings XI Punjab

If the performance of KXIP against Delhi Daredevils is anything to go by, the Punjab side may be on the cusp of a miraculous recovery. With Martin Guptill, Hashim Amla and Shaun Marsh amongst the runs, and the successful return of Varun Aaron, Punjab may just have an outside shot of making the playoffs.

As per the data, Punjab have not had a disastrous campaign. They average 185 batting first, but they have struggled to defend it on a couple of occasions. In the next few weeks, they are to visit Bangalore, Mumbai & Pune and host Gujarat & Kolkata. They could not have asked for a tougher run.

With eight points in nine matches, they will have to win every match going forward. The toughest fixture would be at the Wankhede. They have a better record while chasing this season, and may want to pursue that option in all the games, especially against KKR & MI. They would also pray that KKR & MI maintain their rampaging form, and win every other tie which would boost their own chances of cracking the top 4.


Gujarat Lions

Gujarat Lions are on the cusp of elimination. They have solid performers in Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja and Brendon McCullum, but they have been quite unlucky on occasions.

According to the stats, they have the poorest record batting first among the top four contenders. They visit Pune, Delhi, Punjab and host Delhi and Hyderabad in their remaining fixtures. While they will have to win every game henceforth and hope that KKR & MI win each of their other fixtures, they still have a mathematical chance of qualification. 


Teams

Bat First

Bat Second

Home

Away

Win

Loss

Avg. Runs Scored

Avg. Wickets Lost

Avg. Runs Scored

Avg. Wickets Lost

Avg.  Runs Scored

Avg. Wickets Lost

Avg. Runs Scored

Avg. Wickets Lost

Avg. Runs Scored

Avg. Wickets Lost

Avg. Runs Scored

Avg. Wickets Lost

DD

158

6

148

8

178

4

146

8

197

7

140

7

GL

162

5

170

6

172

5

159

6

165

7

167

5

KKR

167

7

172

6

164

7

175

6

167

6

175

7

KXIP

185

3

142

8

152

6

162

7

143

8

168

5

MI

163

5

167

5

163

3

170

7

167

5

165

5

RCB

159

5

113

4

142

5

136

6

185

7

125

5

RPS

166

8

158

6

163

7

164

7

169

6

156

8

SRH

187

5

148

9

181

5

174

6

186

5

163

8


Teams

Avg. Innings Total in Matches Won

Avg. Innings Total in Matches Lost

Away

Home

Away

Home

Bat First

Chase

Bat First

Chase

Bat First

Chase

Bat First

Chase

DD

205

 

188

 

114

148

168

 

GL

 

162

 

172

156

 

168

177

KKR

 

179

152

166

178

161

187

 

KXIP

188

  

127

170

146

198

181

MI

 

172

142

172

184

153

 

157

RCB

213

 

157

 

148

106

138

134

RPS

161

 

157

183

167

 

182

108

SRH

207

 

192

140

167

155

  
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