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IPL 2020: How many wins would guarantee a playoffs berth?

KL Rahul and KXIP have lost their previous three games (Image Credits: IPLT20.com)
KL Rahul and KXIP have lost their previous three games (Image Credits: IPLT20.com)
ANALYST
Modified 09 Oct 2020, 00:55 IST
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Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) are currently placed at the bottom of the IPL 2020 points table having won just 1 of the 5 games played. They will get a chance to improve their tally when they face the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Dubai on Thursday.

A glance at the standings would give the feeling that the KL Rahul-led side is far behind in the race for a spot in the top 4 considering there are teams which have already won 4 matches. But just like how fast-paced T20 cricket can change in moments, the look of the points table too can change in a matter of few matches.

Notably, apart from winning matches, what is equally important is the margin of the victory or loss. In that sense, KXIP is in a better position for they are among the only four teams to have  a positive NRR (net run-rate) this season.

A win percentage of 50 should do, reveals previous IPL editions

MI won IPL 2015 after finishing fourth in the league stage (Image Credits: Twitter)
MI won IPL 2015 after finishing fourth in the league stage (Image Credits: Twitter)

12 completed editions of the IPL are equally split between the fourth-placed team in the league having won 7 games or less, and more than that.

However, if we don’t take into account the five editions (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017) in which more than eight franchises participated, the data goes on to prove that winning 7 of the 14 matches while maintaining a positive NRR should be enough to earn a playoff berth.

The only two IPL editions which had teams qualifying with negative NRRs were in 2015 and 2018. While eventual champions Mumbai Indians (MI) qualified for the IPL 2015 knockout stage having won 8 of the 14 games played, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) qualified in 2018 because fifth-placed MI had just managed to win 6 games in the league stage.

The only other exception to the rule happened in IPL 2019 when both Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) were tied on 6 wins, but the Hyderabad-based franchise eventually went through on virtue of having a better NRR.

So a better way to look at KXIP's chances of qualification this season would be to say that they need to win 6 of their remaining 9 games. But winning 5 of them could also work since they have the third-best NRR in the league.

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Published 08 Oct 2020, 15:58 IST
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