With more than half of the IPL season now over, it’s finally becoming clearer which teams are going to qualify for the playoffs. Teams like Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have almost secured their spot in the playoffs. While on the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Punjab Kings are at the bottom of the table and are going to need to do everything in their power to qualify as both teams are now set to clash.
After qualifying for the playoffs for the last 5 years in a row, former IPL champions Sunrisers Hyderabad has lost 7 out of its 8 matches in 2021 and is going to have to win all of its remaining matches to have a chance at qualifying.
Punjab Kings, on the other hand, is on a 2-match losing streak and has won just 3 out of its 9 matches. However, unlike Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab almost definitely will qualify for the playoffs if its wins all of its last 5 matches. Punjab won 5 in a row in 2020, ultimately losing its last match and missing out on a spot in the playoffs.
In the past, teams have made it to the playoffs after being at the bottom of the points table in the first half. Kolkata Knight Riders had won just 2 out of their first 7 matches in 2014. KKR won all of its next 7 matches, ultimately qualifying for the playoffs, and winning that year’s tournament. Mumbai Indians, who also had won 2 out of its first 7 in 2015 qualified for the playoffs after being at the bottom of the table, winning 7 out of its last 8 matches before ultimately capturing the IPL trophy.
Despite Punjab and Hyderabad being at the bottom of the points table at the moment, one can always expect them to bounce back. After all, it’s the IPL, and anything can happen here.
Both teams are stacked with a lot of talented young players on each side. The most expected players for each side are:
For Punjab Kings, captain KL Rahul is expected to continue batting, as he has been in great form over the past year, winning the orange cap in 2020 for being the highest run scorer. This year he’s the second highest run scorer so far. Mayank Agarwal is also expected to bat well, as he scored 99 against Delhi Capitals earlier this year. Arshdeep Singh is the player to look out for, as he took 5 wickets in his last match. Mohammed Shami is known for his consistency and is expected to take wickets as well.
For the Sunrisers Hyderabad, record 3-time orange cap winner David Warner is expected to play well, along with Kane Williamson. Rashid Khan and 2-time purple cap winner Bhuvaneshwar Kumar are expected to take some wickets.