Wednesday, May 11, 2011

IPL: Race to the Top 4

Bangalore is a mercurial side even before the commencement of the edition. They were a forerunner for a spot in the Top 4. Gayle signing will only affirm this.

Few more games left at the league stage; here are my forecasts for the Race to the Top 4. Wish it is only better than the weather bug.

Chennai and Mumbai are sure shot for the playoffs. Don’t wish to take out this notion unless proved wrong.

That leaves Knight Riders, Bangalore and Rajasthan to fight for the remaining two spots. Knight Riders standing on 14 points has 3 games to play each against Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai. In the current form of Bangalore it does not look like Knight Riders are going to beat them. Against Pune, they are surely a better side on paper. But the odds are heavily stacked against them considering Ganguly will be taking guard for Pune only for one reason the whole India knows. The last outing is against the mighty Mumbai.  By law of probability we can assume Knight Riders win one of the 3 to finish at 16 points and make it to top 4 on better NRR or on Rajasthan's failure. But the law of reality could stop Knight Riders at 14 points. I’m surely not the one to give the benefit of doubt to Knight Riders to win all 3 games to finish 20 points.

Bangalore currently at 13 points is left to play Rajasthan, Knight Riders, Punjab and Chennai. In the current form they should win all 4. But this is highly unlikely. So if this is unlikely then we are forced to guess who could beat them. The answer is straight and simple. Teams that have better captains are likely to have the last laugh over Bangalore. In this case Bangalore has to contend the likes of Shane Warne at his home turf and Mahindra Singh Dhoni.  Chances are good that Bangalore will lose out either of these affairs if not both and finish at 17 points still sealing a spot in top 4.

Rajasthan is currently at 11 points left to play Bangalore, Kochi and Mumbai. Though Bangalore is a superior opponent, Rajasthan still has a home advantage. After the recent mayhem over Jaipur pitch, hope the advantage is restored back to Royals. In my opinion the Jaipur wicket is way better than the one produced by Kochi against Delhi. If they beat Bangalore and Kochi they are finally left to play Mighty Mumbai. To beat Mumbai they need little more than captaincy. Warne should be praying for Tendulkar downfall at the top of the order that set the MI debacle to ensure Royals win. If they win all 3 games they are sure shot for the Top 4 ahead of Knight Riders with 17 points. If not it is the end of Warne’s Saga.

Though Kochi Tuskers and Punjab has faint chance of making it to the playoff, I for one surely believe Kochi is not going to make it, while keeping a smallest ray of hope for Preity Boys.

Eventually it will boil down to who will make it Top 4 along with Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore?
I wish the answer is Rajasthan, if not Punjab. But chances are good that Shah Rukh Khan will have the last laugh.

Cricket Lover

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