No 2 always tries harder (IPL)

Comparing the league table position with the final result of IPL from 2015 to 2018:

2015: The winner MI had come second in the league

2016: The winner RCB had come second in the league

2017: The winner MI had come first in the league

2018: The winner CSK had come second in the league

Reminds one of the famous advertising slogan of Avis which ran for a few decades:



IPL 2018 at the three-quarter stage

The SRH-DD match on May 10 was the 42nd of 56 matches in the league, thus completing 75% of the matches. At this stage the table is:

IPL 2018 three-quarter

There are various complicated scenarios which can be looked at. But to keep it simple, we look back at the IPL seasons in 2015, 2016 and 2017 where a team with 16 or more points qualified for the playoffs. There is no case of any team qualifying with less than 16 points.

The 16 points would generally mean 8 wins, though it could also mean 7 wins and 2 no-results.

From the above table we see:

SRH have qualified.

CSK needs 1 win from 4 matches-practically qualified.

KXIP needs 2 wins from 4 matches-practically qualfied.

MI needs 3 wins from 3 matches (difficult).

KKR as for MI (difficult).

RR needs 4 wins from 4 matches (more difficult).

RCB needs 5 wins but have only 4 matches left (impossible).

DD needs 5 wins but have only 3 matches left (impossible).

Unless something very peculiar happens now, SRH, CSK and KXIP will qualify and the fourth place is between MI and KKR while RR has very little chance. MI is probably better off due to their higher NRR.

Of course, the points table after all 56 league matches does not offer much guidance as to who will win the championship. The playoffs are even more unpredictable than in “regular” tournaments like the World Cup.


IPL League matches 2018-what lies ahead

At the time of writing (after the RR-SRH match on 29/4), when 28 of the 56 league matches were over the points table was:

IPL 2018 halfway

Now we look at the final points table for 2015, 2016 and 2017:


2015 IPL League


2016 IPL league table


2017 IPL League table

The main concern now is to predict who will be in the last four. We see that in the three seasons a team needed 16 points to qualify. This would correspond to 8 wins, or 7 wins and two no-results. Once you are in the last four it is even more of a lottery than in “normal” tournaments such as the World Cup.

A quick look at the half-time table for 2018 shows that the leader SRH has played 8 matches and have 12 points. To just scrape through they need just 2 wins in 6 matches.

Second-placed CSK have 7 matches and 10 points. They need 3 wins in 7 matches.

At the bottom end, DD have 7 matches and 4 points. They need 6 wins from 7 matches. But if you look at the history of the IPL, probably comebacks like this have happened on rare occasions.

Next to the bottom there is RCB with 6 matches and 4 points. They need 6 wins from 8 matches.