IPL 2021: How can Mumbai Indians qualify for playoffs despite being seventh on points table?

Five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians’ chances for qualifying for IPL 2021 playoffs suffered a major setback when they lost to Delhi Capitals on Saturday (October 2).

DC edged out defending champions MI with a four-wicket win at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Mumbai Indians, playing their first game at Sharjah, put up 129/8 in 20 overs, which Delhi Capitals chased down in 19.1 overs.

This result leaves Mumbai Indians’ qualification chances dependent on other teams’ performances. MI are seventh on the table with 10 points from 12 games and have won only one of their previous five games.

Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have already qualified for the play-offs with 18 points each, while Royal Challengers Bangalore, on 14 points, have one foot in the play-offs and need to win only one of their remaining three matches to seal a berth.

Notably, four teams — Kolkata Knight Riders (10 points, Net Run Rate +0.302), Punjab Kings (10 points, NRR -0.236), Rajasthan Royals (10 points, NRR -0.337 and Mumbai Indians (10 points, -0.453) — are on 10 points each but the five-time champions’ Net Run Rate is the lowest among the five teams in contention for two play-off berths.

Here’s what Mumbai Indians need to qualify for the IPL 2021 playoffs:

  • For MI to secure a play-offs berth, they need to beat both Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming matches and hope the KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings lose at least one of their remaining games.
  • Rohit Sharma-led MI would also hope Rajasthan Royals get the better of Kolkata Knight Riders if the two-time champions beat SRH.
  • A loss for Mumbai Indians in any of the two remaining matches will send them out of the IPL 2021.

MI in dire straits, but coach Bond says ‘we are still in the competition’

Despite the uphill task of qualifying for the playoffs, Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond said the side will not give up hope.

“We know we’re still in the competition even though we’ve lost today. We are looking at an opportunity to win the next game and hope it comes down to the last game for us. Look, we’re playing okay, we know we are not playing nearly to our best, but we’re still in the competition even though we’ve had five wins (overall this season). So, all going well, two wins under our belt and a few results going our way can change things,” Bond said.

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Sagar Biswas

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