The 2022 season of Indian Premier League (IPL) has been unusual, with two of the most successful franchises in the league’s history - Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) - finishing last. CSK are at the ninth place with only one win in six games, while MI are yet to win this season in as many as six attempts.
Along with CSK and MI, the Delhi Capitals (DC) have had a difficult season. Despite winning two of their five games, their team has appeared out of sorts. Delhi are now ranked eighth in the points stable, barely ahead of CSK.
What's the equation?
Mumbai Indians yet to open account with NRR of -1.048
Mumbai Indians have played six games and have lost each one of them. Their net run rate is a negative 1.048 as well. Even though they have performed miracles in previous editions, it will be difficult for them to return to the championship, especially with the transition phase on the horizon.
Mumbai's performance is clearly showing that they didn't have a great mega auction this time around. It's evident from their recent performances that they haven't clicked as a unit so far in the tournament. Except for Jasprit Bumrah in the bowling unit, there aren't many faces who could give you some good overs in death and with new ball. Barring some good bowling from Jaydev Unadkat in the game against LSG, they are yet to find their perfect XI.
The optimum scenario for MI is to win all of their remaining games (8) to give themselves the best opportunity of making the playoffs with 16 points. However, given skipper Rohit Sharma's recent form and an uncertain bowling line-up, it appears like Rohit's army will face a difficult assignment.
Chennai Super Kings only have two points after 6 games
In their fifth match, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), giving them new optimism for the season. However, CSK, like MI have a slew of issues to contend with.
The Yellow Army's biggest problem right now is skipper Ravindra Jadeja's form, both with the bat and with the ball although he did make a 12-ball 22 and took 1-25 against Gujarat Titans in CSK’s sixth game in a losing cause.
With Ruturaj Gaikwad's return in form, might provide solidarity at the top but, a lot of work needed in bowling department for CSK. Deepak Chahar's unavailability for the entire season is one of the the biggest losses for CSK and that has also highlighted their weakness in bowling. Except for Dwayne Bravo their aren't many options Jadeja could reply on in middle and death overs. Lack of a strong pacer requires them to rely on someone like Shivam Dube as their sixth bowling option.
CSK also need to up the ante and win at least seven of their remaining eight games to qualify for the playoffs. Though their performance isn't indicating that one must bet on them for playoff qualification.
Delhi Capitals at eight place with 4 points
Yes, Delhi Capitals are in a far better situation than Chennai and Mumbai, but things will be difficult for them as well. With nine games remaining, DC have four points and poor performances from Rovman Powell and skipper Rishabh Pant have given head coach Ricky Ponting a worry.
Delhi Capitals's middle order needs to step up and find the ways to finish games and put big total on the board. On few occasions they have been brilliant but, in tournament like IPL, consistency matters. Delhi Capitals have potential to put detractors aside and make a strong comeback from this situation.
DC openers - Prithvi Shaw and David Warner - as well as Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, have been their most encouraging performers this season but these individual bursts of brilliance may not be enough to carry them through in the business end of the tournament.