IPL 2022: How Will Second Half Play Out?

IPL 2022 has passed the halfway mark after a month of high action and drama.
So how will the second half play out for the teams still in contention for the playoffs?
Shailesh Karkera finds out.

As we come towards the halfway stage in the Indian Premier League 2022 season, the race for the crucial playoff spots is slowly starting to take shape.

Although as with previous seasons where every team plays each other twice in a round-robin format, the road to qualification will differ for each team in the league this season.

While the IPL underwent an expansion this season with the addition of two new franchises in the form of Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, they were faced with a predicament of accommodating the extra fixtures into an already congested IPL window — which runs from March 26 and May 29 this year.

To tackle this issue, the BCCI took a leaf out of league structures in American professional sports leagues where teams, spread out across the country and hence separated by vast distances, are broken up into geographical regions known as divisions and/or conferences.

Over the course of the season, American sports teams end up playing more games against opponents from their own conference/division as compared to teams from the other competing conference/divisions in the league.

In the context of the Indian Premier League, the BCCI has broken the competing ten teams into two groups of five based on their historical performance in the IPL throughout its fifteen-year run since inception.

Naturally, with success as the ultimate barometer, Mumbai Indians (5 IPL titles) and Chennai Super Kings (4 titles) were given the top slots in Group A and B respectively.

Kolkata Knight Riders (2 titles) and Rajasthan Royals (1 title) were given the next two slots in Group A while Sunrisers Hyderabad (1 title) and Royal Challengers Bangalore were given the corresponding slots in Group B.

Closing out the field were Delhi Capitals and newcomers Lucknow Super Kings as the final two teams in Group A while Punjab Kings and Gujarat Lions completed the Group B line-up.

As per the competition format, all teams are slated to play twice against teams from their own group and once against teams from the other group.

Apart from this, they were to play once more against the team having the corresponding seeding from the other group meaning Mumbai Indians will play Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata will play Rajasthan and so on, thereby completing their quota of 14 league matches.

Let’s take a closer look at how this format is going to affect individual teams and their quest for a playoff spot in the business end of the season.

The first of a two-part series:

Mumbai Indians

For a team seeded in first place, Mumbai’s run of eight losses in as many games has kept them rooted at the bottom of the standings from opening day.

Given their current form, we can safely conclude that they are also least likely to make it into the post-season.

A look at how things could span out in their remaining matches:

vs Rajasthan Royals, April 30

The Royals will come into the tie as favourites, given that Mumbai are struggling currently both with ball and bat.

vs Gujarat Titans, May 6

Hardik Pandya’s team is currently in first place in their debut season and will definitely have the upper hand over Mumbai in this tie.

vs Kolkata Knight Riders, May 9

KKR are on a four-match losing streak at present and performing erratically and this may just finally be the game where Mumbai breaks their duck. 50-50.

vs CSK, May 12

MSD had pulled off a last-ball win the last time these two giants had met, expect Mumbai to be gunning for revenge in this return fixture and going all out for a win.

vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 17

Hyderabad has arguably one of the best bowling attacks in the IPL this season and will be firm favourites going into this tie.

vs Delhi Capitals, May 21

Rishabh Pant’s leadership has been a tad erratic this season although in David Warner and Prithvi Shaw, the Capitals have a solid opening pair and will have an edge over Mumbai going into the tie.

Overall, Mumbai probably are destined to finish in last place in this edition of the IPL.

The second half of the season is going to test the team’s resolve, patience and character in the face of adversity, humiliation and countless memes based around their failed season.

Rest assured, the MI management will have their work cut out rebuilding the team for the next season.

Chennai Super Kings

Just like Mumbai, defending champions Chennai have had an absolute nightmare of a season so far given their high standards and sheer quality in the dugout as Captain Ravindra Jadeja’s baptism by fire extends into the back-end of their campaign.

The team currently lies second from bottom in the standings with only two wins out of their first eight games.

A quick look at the upcoming fixtures:

vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 1

Kane Williamson’s men are in red-hot form on the back of a five-match winning streak and will have the edge over CSK in this encounter.

vs Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 4

A crucial stage for RCB who are just outside of the play-off places presently at the halfway stage and will go into this tie as slight favourites.

vs Delhi Capitals, May 8

An evenly balanced tie as both have been erratic this season. However, expect Chennai to scrape through on this one.

vs Mumbai Indians, May 12

Mr Dhoni had pulled off a last-ball win the last time these two giants had met, expect Mumbai to be gunning for revenge in this return fixture and going all out for a win.

vs Gujarat Titans, May 15

The debutant will be favourites entering into the business end of the season, with an eye on securing top spot in the standings.

vs Rajasthan Royals, May 20

Jos Buttler has been in scorching form this season and expect the Royals to have the edge over a fading CSK considering that they will have a final push to make to secure a playoff berth.

Just like Mumbai, Chennai are playing for pride at this stage. Many of the senior players are reaching the twilight of the careers and while they occasionally remind us of their impressive legacy and class, it is now the end of a glorious era for CSK and some much needed rebuilding will be needed in the off-season.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Shreyas Iyer’s leadership this season has provided irregular results and the team is sitting in seventh place.

The big stars have not delivered up to their potential and while Andre Russell has bailed them out on a few occasions this season, it has not been good enough.

Here’s what’s coming up for them in the second half of the season:

vs Delhi Capitals, April 28

A balanced tie that can go either way and given that KKR have lost four in a row, Capitals will have a slight edge in this one.

vs Rajasthan Royals, May 2

Sanju Samson’s men are in excellent form and will definitely come into the tie as favourites.

vs Lucknow Super Giants, May 7

Sitting nicely in the top four at the halfway stage of the league, Lucknow will have the edge over KKR.

vs Mumbai Indians, May 9

KKR are on a four-match losing streak at present and performing erratically. This may just finally be the game where Mumbai breaks their duck. 50-50

vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 14

Hyderabad will be looking to book their playoff slot at this stage and will have the momentum on their side going into this tie.

vs Lucknow Super Giants, May 18

Again, a tough run of games for KKR and Lucknow will be favourites for this one.

KKR’s final run of games sees them playing against Lucknow twice and Hyderabad once — a tough closing run and it will be unlikely that they make the playoffs this season.

Rajasthan Royals

Sanju Samson has in his ranks some of the hottest properties in IPL 2022 in Jos Buttler (Orange Cap holder for the most runs scored) and Yuzvendra Chahal (Purple Cap holder for the most wickets taken) alongside a team that is currently billing up to be one of the finest in the competition.

With six wins from eight matches, they are on top of the points table after winning the game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday, April 26, with 12 points and only getting better with each game.

Here’s how the remainder of the season lines up for them:

vs Mumbai Indians, April 30

The Royals will come into the tie as favourites, given that Mumbai are struggling currently both with ball and bat.

vs Kolkata Knight Riders, May 2

Samson’s men are in excellent form and will definitely come into the tie as favourites.

vs Punjab Kings, May 7

This one will be a close encounter and Royals will have a slight edge, given their current form.

vs Delhi Capitals, May 11

Pant and co have had an erratic run in the first half of the season and Royals will be looking to finish strong coming towards playoff qualification.

vs Lucknow Super Giants, May 15

This has all the ingredients of being one of the key games of the season in the battle for the playoffs. 50-50 chance of this going either way.

vs Chennai Super Kings, May 20

Buttler has been in scorching form this season and expect the Royals to have the edge over a fading CSK considering that they will have a final push to make to secure a playoff berth.

The Royals’ have an excellent chance to make it into the playoffs this season and if lady luck is on their side — go all the way. Expect them to win a majority of their games in the second half of the season.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

With five consecutive wins on the trot, Hyderabad are one of the top performing teams in the league at present. Kane Williamson has led from the front and his men have reciprocated with some excellent individual contributions.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan and Marco Jansen are in devastating form and the team is slowly showing championship quality material.

vs Gujarat Titans, April 27

Top of the table clash with two of the finest sides in the league this season.

vs Chennai Super Kings, May 1

Kane Williamson’s men are in red-hot form on the back of a five-match winning streak and will have the edge over CSK in this encounter.

vs Delhi Capitals, May 5

Based on momentum and form alone, it is Hyderabad again who have the edge on this one.

vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, May 8

RCB are still trying to find their groove as they wait for their star players to return to form and Hyderabad will have a marginal advantage in this one.

vs Kolkata Knight Riders, May 14

Hyderabad will be looking to book their playoff slot at this stage and will have the momentum on their side going into this tie.

vs Mumbai Indians, May 17

Hyderabad has arguably one of the best bowling attacks in the IPL this season and will be firm favourites going into this tie

vs Punjab Kings, May 22

Yet another tight encounter which may prove to be crucial in the final push for the playoffs. A high stakes encounter with Hyderabad having a slight edge.

Hyderabad look to go the distance this season and expect them to go on yet another extended winning as we head into the closing stages.

  • IPL 2022
  • IPL 2022 Points Table
  • IPL 2022 Schedule

Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com

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