How often does a team at the top of the table after the league stage win IPL?
It is the business end of the tournament in IPL 2021 with playoffs starting from 10th October 2021. The opposition of RCB in the eliminator is yet to be confirmed with it being either MI or KKR. While the top two spots are confirmed with DC Taking on CSK in qualifier 1. DC is on the top of the table with 20 points while CSK is in second with 18 points.
CSK is having a poor run of form in the last 3 matches. They have lost their last 3 matches going into the playoffs. This includes a loss against DC as well. While DC is yet to play their last match but has won 2 of their last 3 matches.
In this article, today we will analyse today that if actually being at the top of the table increases the probability of winning the IPL or not.
Further, we will look at how the teams who were on the top of the table after the league stage in previous IPL have performed and if they won the IPL or not. We will also look how was the momentum of teams at top of the table, winners and runners coming into the playoffs.
Previous IPL performances
*Green – Team at the top of the table after league stage was Winner
Red – Team at top of the table after league stage was not a winner or runners up
Yellow – Team at the top of the table after the league stage as runners up
Let us put the above table into context.
- The team who have been at the top of the table after the league stage has won IPL only 4 times from 13 editions.
- 6 times the team at the top of the table after the league have been runners up and 3 times the team didn’t end up either as a winner or runners up.
So now this brings us to the thought then in the other 9 editions of IPL where have the team been at the table after the league stage?
- 6 times the teams that were in the 2nd in the points table after the league stage has gone to win the IPL trophy.
- Twice it was the team at 3rd in the points table – CSK -2010, SRH -2016.
- Once the team at 4th position in points table Deccan Chargers won in 2009.
MI’s top of the table love affair
- The team who have been at the top of the table and winning IPL have come 3 times from the last 4 editions and that too from one team – MI.
- MI has been at top of the table after the league stage 4 times and has won IPL 3 times.
- The only other team to win IPL while being at the top of the table has been Rajasthan Royals in the opening edition.
- CSK have been at top of the table after the league stage twice and have not been able to lift the trophy. They have lifted the trophy on few occasions when they were 2nd in the points table.
So does it mean that it might not actually be as beneficial to be at top of the table after the league stage? Is runners up being more beneficial or it varies from team to team? We will continue to look at these questions.
- It is also important to note that before 2011 the knockout stage was just semifinal and final.
- The qualifiers and eliminators came into existence after 2011.
- So if the teams who were in the top 2 spots did not have any advantage over teams, not in the top 2.
- As a result for CSK in 2010 and Deccan Chargers in 2009, it was not more difficult to win the IPL trophy than the team at top 2 in the points table after reaching the playoffs.
- Post-2011 since the qualifier and eliminator have come into place only once the team, not in the top 2 at the points table have been able to lift the IPL trophy and that is SRH in 2016.
- The reason for that could be that the team that is 3rd or 4th have to win 3 consecutive matches in order to win the IPL. That too against the teams that have been in the top in the tournament.
- Now, it is very difficult for any team to win 3 matches in a row in a tournament as tough as IPL. So we can clearly say that being in the top 2 positions will surely give you an advantage.
We now look if there is a thing called momentum going into the playoffs. A lot of fans and experts say it is very necessary. To know more about momentum, we look at the last matches of winners of the last 13 editions in IPL in the image.
- It is always good to win the last match of the league stage but that does not guarantee anything. 6 times the team that has lost the last match of the league stage have gone on to win IPL.
- While obviously, 7 times the team that has won the last match of the league stage were not able to win the tournament.
- Further, it has been only once that a team has gone into playoffs losing the last 3 matches of their league stage and they ended as runners up.
- This can be a worrying sign for CSK as they have lost their last 3 matches on the league stage.
- In the end, we can come to a conclusion that being at the top of the table after the league stage does not guarantee you winning the IPL. But in recent times it has been beneficial.
- Further, we can come to the conclusion that being in a top-two gives you a very high probability of winning the tournament than being in 3rd and 4th position in the points table after the league stage.
- Also, will that mean that RCB will go without a trophy under the captainship era of Virat Kohli and the wait for RCB fans for a trophy will continue? We think yes since they possibly will not be able to achieve the 2nd spot in the points table.