Five-time champions Mumbai Indians will have to beat bottom-ranked Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last league match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday. .
Courtesy of their eight-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals, the defending champions are currently fifth with 12 points from 13 matches with a net run rate of -0.048.
But, Kolkata Knight Riders, with a net run rate of +0.294, are fourth with 12 points from 13 matches and will play Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah on Thursday evening.
KKR’s win against RR will take them to 14 points and further improve their net run rate. In that scenario, it could be very difficult for MI to qualify for the play-offs even if they beat SRH as the difference in their NRR with KKR is not small.
Asked if playing a team like SRH is an advantage on the final day, the MI skipper Rohit Sharma He had said, ‘All eight teams are capable of defeating each other. But the good thing is that KKR plays in front of us, so we will know what to do
If KKR loses, a win will be enough for MI to seal a fourth play-off spot as they have 14 points after that.
In any case, Rohit (363 runs) will have to take the lead again. He’s got starts, but hasn’t been able to convert them, and the great white-ball exponent will be itching for big scores.
And so will his opening partner Ishan Kishan (157 runs), whose confidence will be boosted by his unbeaten half-century against RR.
Sunrisers, who are already out of the play-off spot, will look to finish the tournament on a high.
captain Kane Williamson Was back between runs and would be keen to start from where he left off on Wednesday.
Also, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder’s contribution with both bat and ball could be decisive.
RCB eyes formidable DC before going into play-offs
Ensuring a play-off spot, Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to recover quickly from their loss in the previous game and finish the league stage on a high when they take on table-toppers Delhi Capitals in their final IPL round-robin game.
While Delhi’s team (20 points from 13 matches) have ensured a place in the top two, a defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday night has reduced the chances of RCB finishing second in the points table.
With 16 points and a shoddy net run-rate from second-placed Chennai Super Kings, RCB’s hopes of a top-two spot after losing to SRH have dwindled.
captain Virat KohliHowever, on Thursday, CSK-Punjab Kings will be keeping an eye on the result of the match to make it clear how to go in their final match to snatch the second spot, which appears to be an uphill task to say the least.
Despite having a formidable batting line-up that includes AB de Villiershandjob Glen Maxwell And devdutt padikkal Apart from Kohli, RCB could not chase down 141-7 against SRH and would have to settle their batting before entering the knockout stage.
Maxwell has been in terrific form for RCB after a moderate run in 2020 and can single-handedly turn things around like de Villiers.
The Australian power-hitter has 447 runs with five 50s and would like to continue the good run, while de Villiers didn’t have the impact he would have liked.
If Kohli can get off to a strong start at the top with an impressive Padikkal, the mighty middle order can do a lot of damage.
In the spin department, Yuzvendra Chahali This season has surpassed their previous struggles with some very impressive spells, while Shahbaz Ahmed has also kept things under control for his team.
NS Rishabh PantThe Delhi-led side, on the other hand, are in terrific form with four wins out of the last five matches and will look to end things on a high in the league stage before moving into the qualifiers.
Captain Pant has come under criticism for being overly aggressive and it remains to be seen if he shows a sense of restraint and makes a big contribution.
Shreyas Iyer And Pant has also saved the team a few times but they will be looking for more consistency.
Delhi has a strong bowling attack.