New Delhi. In IPL 2023, out of the 70 league stage matches, 66 have already been played. However, the playoff picture is still unclear. Only the defending champions, Gujarat Titans, have secured their ticket so far. Three spots are still vacant, and six teams are competing for them. Chennai Super Kings are considered the favorites for the title this time. However, a recent loss at home to the Kolkata Knight Riders dealt a major blow to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team’s playoff hopes.
Now, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s return home will be from Delhi. In the first match of IPL 2023 on Saturday, his CSK will clash with the Delhi Capitals. Delhi has nothing to lose as they are the first team to be eliminated from the playoff race this season. In such a scenario, they would want to win this match to salvage their pride. However, Dhoni wouldn’t want that to happen because this one match will determine the path to the playoffs for his team.
Chennai must defeat Delhi at all costs.
Chennai Super Kings are currently in second place in the IPL 2023 points table with 15 points. They are tied with Lucknow Super Giants in terms of points. However, due to a better net run rate, Dhoni’s team holds the second spot. On Saturday, both Chennai and Lucknow have their final league match. If CSK wants to secure a place in the playoffs, the straightforward way is to defeat Delhi. After winning against the Delhi Capitals, Chennai will have 17 points and will book their ticket to the playoffs.
What will happen to Chennai if Delhi wins?
If the Chennai Super Kings lose this encounter, they will have to rely on the results of other teams for their further journey. Then, Chennai Super Kings will have to hope that either Royal Challengers Bangalore or Mumbai Indians loses their final league match. If Chennai defeats Delhi and Lucknow Super Giants lose their match against KKR, then Dhoni’s team will play Qualifier 1 in Chennai. Who can make it to the top 2?
If Chennai Super Kings and Lucknow Super Giants both win their respective final league matches on Saturday, then the decision for the second spot will be based on net run rate. If CSK wins the match by ten runs, then to surpass Chennai in net run rate, KKR will have to defeat them by 29 runs (considering a score of 180 in the first innings).