IPL 2019 | Road to the Playoffs - Top 4 Favourite Teams

The world's biggest T20 Tournament is almost nearing to the end of Knockout Stages and the run to play offs shall begin very soon. The 12th Season of Indian Premier League has not been an easy ride for any of the teams. They had to earn each and every win. It has arguably produced more last ball thrillers than any other season in comparison. At the beginning of the tournament, all teams looked well settled and were deemed worthy for claiming a spot in the playoffs. But, as the tournament progressed, some teams performed better than others, by holding on to game changing moments or rather, building those moments. 

Some teams have been driven by individual brilliance, like for instance - the Kolkata Knight Riders, where Andre Russell has single handedly won them some matches. However, no great contributions from others has resulted in KKR sliding towards lower half of the points table, and losing 6 games on a trot. Whereas some teams like Chennai Super Kings have found a new Superhero to rescue the day. All said and done, only 4 teams can make it to the Playoffs. Here's our prediction of the top four, based on current standings and form:

Chennai Super Kings 
One simply cannot imagine the Top 4 points table to be complete without CSK on the list. Right since the inception of this tournament, they have always been in the playoffs, which is a big achievement in itself, as many other teams continue to thrive, in order to achieve this feat. Led by the charismatic Mahendra Singh Dhoni, CSK has always found ways to improve their game and individual performances has been key to this team. After all, it's a team game, and each player knows their role as well as requirement for contribution. They have been assigned specific tasks, and each time, it's incredible to see a player rise to the occasion, in order to fulfil his part of the duties. This time, things are no different, as CSK has won 8 out of the 12 games they have played so far. One more win in the remaining fixtures, and they are assured of securing a top 2 finish in the points table.

Delhi Capitals 
This can be termed as the best year for the Delhi based franchise. It is rightly said, "Progress is not possible without change." And, the Delhi owners have understood this logic quite well. This year, the owners changed the franchise name, jersey and also upped their game with fresh faces, which in turn has changed their fortunes all over. They have the perfect mixture of young Indian core - Shreyas Iyer,  Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw; all of whom have been at their best this season. The addition of Dhawan at top of the order has been like a cherry on the cake. Foreign recruits like Rabada, Morris have made major impact, with former also being the Purple Cap holder. DC has already qualified for the playoffs, with 8 wins in 12 games. One more win could guarantee them a top 2 finish in the league stages.

Mumbai Indians 
Duniyaa Hila Denge Hum has been their anthem, and it seems they have lived up to these words, and that too with a big bang. MI is always known to have a slow start in the initial stage, and then, bounces back in the second half. Well, this time around the trends have changed, as the team has already won 7 out of the 12 matches played so far. Hence, they look set to book a ticket for the playoffs! The batting unit has fired most of the times, and helped chase down massive totals with ease. Each player has played their part very well. The unit looks like a well settled one with Quinton De Cock and Rohit Sharma providing promising starts for the likes of Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya and Keiron Pollard to build on and go for those mighty big shots in end overs. Jasprit Bumrah has done what he does best. Malinga, Rahul Chahar, Alzarri Joseph among others have played their part with the ball as well. Their only worry will be the form of their Captain - Sharma, who has blown hot and cold in the season so far, But as they say - Big players rise to the occasion. So, we look forward to seeing a twist in Hitman's form as well. 

Sunrisers Hyderabad 
The Hyderabad based franchise has faced a rather tricky road this season. Winning and losing 6 games each, they stand on the 4th place currently in the points table. They have banked heavily on their openers - David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, who have accounted for 50% of the overall runs scored by SRH this year. The Warner -  Bairstow partnership has hardly failed, thus giving their middle order less exposure, which may be the only cause of worry for SRH. However, with the return of Manish Pandey, things look a bit sorted, as he has impressed with some good consistency and form. Bowling has never been a caution area for SRH with Rashid Khan, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Khalel Ahmed doing major damage to the opposition. They are well supported by Mohammad Nabi, Sandeep Sharma, and Siddhart Kaul. Since KKR, KXIP and KKR need to win all their remaining matches, in order to make an impact and finish in the top 4, it looks like SRH has a decent edge over them.

What are your thoughts on the ongoing IPL season? Which team are your supporting?
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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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