With group matches ending yesterday, the IPL 2019 has reached its playoff stage and final four teams to make the cut are Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals & Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Chennai, as always, reached the playoff and it was no surprise considering the kind of balance they have in their team aided by the spinning and dry track of Chepauk in Chennai. Last convincing loss to Kings XI Punjab notwithstanding, Chennai was the team to beat in the tournament and was the first team that confirmed its playoff birth this year.
Mumbai Indians, known to start slowly, started with a flourish this year and finished on top of the table thanks to some brilliant team efforts during last few matches. They will face Chennai Super Kings in the first eliminator and will be hoping to secure their final birth in the first attempt itself.
Delhi Capitals, changed from Daredevils to Capitals, played very good cricket with a young team throughout the tournament. They never let the momentum down and were the second team to confirm their playoff spot. The change of name has helped with a fresh start and they find themselves in the playoff for the first time after 2012!
Sunrisers Hyderabad, finalists of last year, had a lucky break and sneaked into the top four even with just 12 points which has happened for the first time in IPL history.
With bulk of the batting done by the 2 international players, Warner and Bairstow, the side’s middle order was always going to struggle in case the duo failed and after they departed for their national duties. Even though they lost the last 2 matches in the league phase, they have started playing some good cricket without Warner & Bairstow which will encourage them to perform better in the playoff match against the Delhi Capitals.
This IPL league phase was so intensely fought that the difference between fourth and last team was just 1 point. And with all top three teams finishing on the same points (18), the playoff is going to be a blockbuster too!