RCB can still make it to playoffs. However, they have to rely on results of other teams.
Royal Challengers Bangalore is having a yet another disappointing season in the Indian Premier League this year. In the initial weeks of the season, their bowling in death overs let them down. However, over the course of the IPL, their batsmen failed to soak the pressure in crunch match situations.
Lack of effective team combination and their shortcomings in finishing the game has led to the team struggling at seventh position in the IPL table. With only four games remaining for RCB at this point, they will not only need strong performances, but a huge luck factor to qualify for play-offs.
We look at the possibilities which can see Royal Challengers through to the play-offs for the IPL this season:
If Royal Challengers win all their matches:
RCB have only four games remaining in the league stages of IPL. They play against Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals. Even if they win all the games, they will still need favor from other teams to ensure a berth in the knock-out stages of IPL.
With top-three teams in the table in a strong run of form, it is highly unlikely that teams like Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings will drop consistent points. Even in such an occurrence, RCB would need Kings XI to lose four of their remaining five matches. Royal Challengers will need a lot of luck for that to happen, notwithstanding winning their own games in the process.
In this scenario, RCB would need favor from Kolkata Knight Riders. With Mumbai Indians having a chance to end up with 16 points, RCB will need KKR and RR to beat them in order to negate NRR complications with Mumbai.
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) May 8, 2018
In a different scenario, if CSK loses all their games, RCB will fight with them on equal points with NRR calculations for a place in play-offs. RCB will also have a chance to finish among the top two in such a case, but they will need a lot of luck for that to happen.
Royal Challengers would need the results of matches concerning Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab to go their way. In such a case, there is a high possibility that as many as six teams may finish the IPL with 14 points.
In both the cases, however, Royal Challengers would need to ensure that they win all their games with a huge margin in such a case.
The most realistic chance for RCB of making the play-offs, hence, comes from KKR’s erratic run of form. A series of inconsistent performances from Kolkata Knight Riders has provided RCB the window to make a sensational comeback. KKR are currently fourth in the table, with ten points in as many games. If KKR loses two or more games out of their remaining four, RCB can have a chance of reaching play-offs. A lot would also depend on the Net Run-Rate (NRR) calculation; hence RCB needs to ensure big wins from their four games.
In such a situation, RCB would also need Rajasthan Royals to beat Mumbai Indians, as MI can still end up with 16 points in the IPL table.
If Royal Challengers lose one match:
Surprisingly, RCB can still qualify for the play-offs if they lose one of their remaining four games. Even then, they should hope that they win their three games against DD, KXIP and RR, that too with a huge margin, to qualify with NRR calculations.
As in the previous scenario, RCB best-chance of reaching the next round comes from KKR’s shortcomings. RCB would need KKR to lose at least three of their remaining four games. At the same time, they should also hope that Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals lose at least two matches. In this case, the top three positions would be occupied by SRH, CSK and Kings XI Punjab, with RCB, MI and RR competing for the fourth position on NRR calculations.
In another possibility, RCB will require Kings XI Punjab to lose all their games. In this scenario, if KKR ends up with 14 points, RCB would also need the results of Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals’ matches to go their way. This would give them a chance to qualify, again, on NRR calculations.
In both the scenarios, Royal Challengers need to ensure that they win their games with a huge margin. With two of their four games against struggling bottom-table teams DD and RR, RCB have a great chance to boost their Net Run-Rate towards the end of the season.