IPL 2023 Playoff Race Scenario: MS Dhoni's CSK Can Still Bow Out Of The League Phase
In case of a loss to Delhi Capitals, things might get a bit trickier for Chennai Super Kings
The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings are in a good position in the IPL 2023 points table. Going into their last league phase game against Delhi Capitals in an away fixture on Saturday, they are placed second with 15 points from 13 games. They have a healthy run-rate of +0.381. A win against DC will see them qualify for the playoffs. However, in case of a loss things might get tricky for the four-time champions. In that scenario, a qualification to the play-offs may not be a certainty if some other results don't go their way.
Here's how that can happen:
If CSK lose to DC, and the third-placed Lucknow Super Giants (currently on 15 points, 13 games) beat Kolkata Knight Riders in the second match of Saturday, the Krunal Pandya-led LSG will advance. CSK will then have to follow these two matches closely - Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Titans and Mumbai Indians vs SunRisers Hyderabad.
If MI (14 points, 13 games) and RCB (14 points, 13 games) win their respective games, both of them will move to 16 (one point more than CSK, in case Dhoni's team loses their game vs DC). In that case CSK will be out of top-4.
There is another scenario in which CSK can go out:
# Both LSG and CSK lose their respective games but the former lose by a smaller margin. There is not much difference between CSK's current NRR +0.381 and LSG's NRR +0.304. In case LSG lose by a smaller margin they might be better-placed than CSK due to having a better run-rate.
# After that if MI and RCB win their games, CSK will be out of top four.