How does the IPL points system work?
The top four from the group stage qualify for the IPL playoffs. The teams finishing in the top two get two shots at the final. They clash in Qualifier 1. On the other hand, the team in the third spot and the fourth position face off in an eliminator. How many points are required to qualify for the IPL playoffs?
The losing team from that match bids farewell to the tournament, while those who win take on the loser from Qualifier one in a virtual semi-final, called Qualifier 2.
How many points should a team have?
Such are the complexities of the points table that on different seasons, we have seen different minimum cutoff points for qualification in the playoffs. so how many points needed to qualify for IPL playoffs?
Generally, 16 points are taken as the benchmark, as a team having 16 points is almost certain to qualify. It also sometimes comes down to the net run rate. Like in 2019, Hyderabad out qualified Kolkata because of a superior NRR.
Let us have a look at the minimum points required for qualification by considering a year-by-year scenario:
In the inaugural season of the IPL, 15 points proved to be the cutoff mark. The erstwhile Delhi Daredevils was the fourth team to qualify with 15 points, while the fifth team on the points table, Mumbai missed out.
In IPL 2009, the fight for a playoff berth came all the way down to net run rate. Two teams in Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab were tied on the same points.
Both teams had 14 points in their account. The Chargers qualified for the playoffs because of a better NRR than the Kings XI Punjab.
Like the last season, two teams in Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings were tied on 14 points after the league stage. But this time around, it did not have a say in determining the roster for the playoffs.
They both managed to qualify, as the fifth-placed team, Delhi only had won 6 matches and had 12 points to their name.
As we mentioned previously, there is no fixed number of points to determine qualification. In this season, Kings XI Punjab won 7 matches and had 14 points, but still didn’t qualify for the IPL playoffs.
The three teams who finished in the top 3 were – Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Kolkata Knight Riders were the fourth on the table, with 16 points.
In this season once again, IPL playoffs were decided on the basis of net run rate. The fourth and fifth-placed teams, Chennai and Bangalore, were tied on 12 points. The Super Kings qualified for the playoffs because of their better NRR.
There were nine teams in this edition, and it was one of the most competitive editions we have had thus far. Bangalore failed to qualify despite winning nine matches and accumulating 18 points, as Hyderabad went through as the fourth team with 20 points.
Returning to the 8-team format, this edition saw Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals tied after the league stage with 14 points. Mumbai qualified for the playoffs because of their healthier NRR.
16 points were the benchmark in this season. Kolkata Knight Riders accumulated 15 points in the league stage but narrowly missed out on qualification, as Bangalore and Rajasthan went through as the third and fourth team. Chennai and Mumbai occupied the top two spots.
In this season, once again, 16 points were required to get a place in the playoffs. The fifth-placed team, Mumbai, won seven matches and had 14 points, just like IPL 2014. But this time, it was not enough.
The 2017 edition was another one where 7 wins weren’t enough to warrant qualification. Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata were the teams who occupied the top four places in the table, as Punjab missed out with 14 points.
Unlike the previous two seasons, Rajasthan qualified for the playoffs despite winning only seven matches. The top four teams were – Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Rajasthan.
The 2019 edition was a rare season; when led by David Warner, the Sunrisers Hyderabad qualified for the next round with only six wins to their name. Kolkata Knight Riders also had the same points, but their NRR was inferior.
In the last edition, the third, fourth and fifth-placed teams on the points table were tied on 14 points. Hyderabad and Bangalore made it to the next round, while NRR cost Kolkata Knight Riders a place once again.
What is the scenario in IPL 2021?
Considering the scenario in the points table at the time of writing this, three teams in Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals have already secured their playoff berth.
Besides them, there are four teams who are in contention for the third playoff berth. There is hardly anything to separate those four teams – Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings. Kolkata are on 12 points, while the remaining three contenders have 10 points to their name. The current points table proves what a competitive season this has been.