Which teams have qualified for IPL 2024 playoffs and which sides are eliminated?

Rajasthan Royals at top of table with eight wins from nine matches

Rajasthan Royals, captained by Sanju Samson, left, have all but qualified for the IPL 2024 playoffs. AFP
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The Indian Premier League is nearly two-thirds done and the real action begins now. With 14 league matches, all teams have enough time to make mistakes, try out combinations and still be in a position to make the cut for the playoffs.

However, like every year, a few teams have stood out from the very start, either for their brilliance or near hopelessness.

Rajasthan Royals have stormed to the lead in the points table, and it is clear why. The Sanju Samson-led Royals have one of the more balanced sides of the tournament and not a single batsman in their line-up plays the role of an "anchor", giving them success home and away.

At the other end of the table, Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Mumbai Indians seemed destined to finish last from the start.

Bengaluru are at the bottom of the table with seven defeats from 10 matches, and they only have themselves to blame.

A non-existent bowling line-up and too many players at the top of the order taking their time has made RCB this season's punchbags.

The only reason Mumbai Indians are not at the bottom is because they have too much quality in their side, and have only been held back because of poor leadership from Hardik Pandya and total lack of direction and unity following the unceremonious ousting of Rohit Sharma as captain, which resulted in a serious backlash from fans.

However, all is not lost. Here is where teams stand in the playoffs race.

Have Rajasthan Royals qualified for IPL 2024 playoffs?

With 16 points in the bag, Rajasthan are all but guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. In a 10-team league phase with 14 matches each, eight wins is generally seen as a safe point. However, as Rajasthan would themselves know, there is a mathematical chance of it not being enough.

Last year, Mumbai qualified for the playoffs with eight wins, while Rajasthan missed the cut with seven victories. Had the Royals not lost their penultimate match to RCB, who themselves failed to qualify, Rajasthan and Mumbai would been tied in fourth spot with eight wins. The Royals would have then qualified for the playoffs due to a superior net run rate.

All Rajasthan now need to ensure qualification is to win one from their next five matches.

Are Bengaluru out of playoffs race?

Realistically, yes. With seven defeats to their name, RCB can only rise to 14 points. But for that to happen, they will have to win four of their remaining matches. Even then, they will require other results to go their way and force a multiple-team tie where net run rate will come into play.

If two more teams make it to eight wins, that will more or less mean the end of the road for RCB.

However, they at least seem to have got their act together. Virat Kohli continued his run-scoring form in their last match against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad, helping RCB chase down 201.

Kohli, who hit an unbeaten 70 off 44 balls, put on an unbeaten stand of 166 with young England all-rounder Will Jacks to steer his team home.

It was Jacks, however, who stole the show with a belligerent 41-ball 100 as RCB won by a huge margin of nine wickets with four overs to spare.

Jacks, who is one of the most devastating T20 players in the world, was promoted up the order and showed Bengaluru fans and management a glimpse of his potential.

It was only against Gujarat on Sunday that RCB picked their best line-up, and in the correct order. Fans hope they will back their batting strength for the remainder of the season, so that there are at least a few positives ahead of the mega auction next year where all players, barring a few, will go back into the central pool.

Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, still have a glimmer of hope. Their batting packs a punch and they also have the best T20 bowler in the world – Jasprit Bumrah. Plus, they have won three and lost six matches so far, which means if they win their next five matches, Mumbai will almost certainly make the playoffs.

The rest of the teams have a good chance of qualification, provided they crack the impact player code. This season has already witnessed a world-record chase of 261, with eight scores in excess of 250, under the new rule, which means teams can use an additional batsman late in the innings, allowing the top order to keep on hitting.

However, as Chennai Super Kings have shown, having a potent bowling attack is the only way to counter teams that seem set on breaching the 300-run mark this season. Teams with stronger bowling attacks, therefore, are most likely to qualify for the next stage.

Updated: April 29, 2024, 1:09 PM