IPL 2024: How Can RCB Still Secure a Top-Four Finish?

As of now, Royal Challengers Bengaluru are at the bottom of the IPL 2024 standings, with just one win from their eight-season matches. This puts their chances of making it to the IPL 2024 playoffs in a precarious position, especially when most teams have already completed eight games, which means they are past the halfway mark of the league stages.

RCB’s fate for this season, in terms of making it to the playoffs, was largely sealed with their narrow loss to the Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday. In a 10-team league, a minimum of 16 points is usually the threshold for a playoff spot. While a glimmer of hope remains, RCB, with six games left, must win all of them to accumulate 14 points and keep their playoff dreams alive. The challenges they are facing are significant, but not insurmountable.

Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, a team that has had its fair share of ups and downs, is facing a race against time. Having managed to break their playoff drought in 2020 after three consecutive years of missing the cut, it seems that their streak of making it to the playoffs every year since then is likely to end this season.

Falling Short Versus KKR

On Sunday, in an exciting match at the Eden Gardens Stadium, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) lost a heartbreaking one-run game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Batting first, KKR scored 226/6 in their 20 overs, thanks to brilliant batting from opener Phil Salt and skipper Shreyas Iyer. RCB gallantly pursued the aim in response, with notable contributions from Will Jacks and Rajat Patidar. But in the end, they lost by only one run, so victory was elusive, as the playoff chase became almost impossible with this result.

Despite Faf du Plessis’s best efforts, RCB has struggled this season and is now in last place in the IPL points standings after losing seven of their eight matches. However, they are still in the hunt for a postseason berth with six crucial games to go. Winning all of these matches is a daunting task, but it’s not impossible, and it could be the key to RCB’s playoff dreams.

IPL 2024 Top-Four Finish Betting Odds

From a betting perspective, oddsmakers are not optimistic about RCB’s chances of achieving a top-four finish. Whether you’re placing future wagers or making game-to-game predictions, popular IPL betting apps in India display a landslide set of prices on an RCB top-four finish, indicating the perceived difficulty of this feat.

Royal Challengers Bangalore to Finish in the Top Four


The Playoff Mountain RCB Must Climb

Before 2021, when the league consisted of eight teams, accumulating about 14 points often guaranteed qualification for the playoffs unless there was a rare scenario when many teams were tied on points and your net run rate was lower than those teams.

In the 2019 edition, SRH successfully reached the playoffs with a total of 12 points. However, in the previous two editions, when two more teams were included, the club that finished in fourth place (the last team to qualify for the playoffs) needed 16 points to be among the top four. To secure a spot in the IPL playoffs, winning eight games throughout the league rounds is necessary. However, even if you do this, it may not guarantee qualification if you are tied on points with other teams.

It seems very unlikely that Faf du Plessis’s RCB team, who can only finish with 14 points, will be able to qualify for the playoffs, regardless of how well they play. To still be mathematically in the playoff hunt, RCB will need to do more than stage an unbelievable comeback; they’ll also need other outcomes from other matches to go their way.

The Indian Premier League is known for its unpredictability, and it’s too early to predict which clubs will advance to the playoffs. Six games remain until the Rajasthan Royals can achieve 16 points, while the Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad are currently two victories away from the same mark. Seven more matches are remaining for both teams, adding to the suspense and unpredictability of the league.

Repeating the 2009 Season

Even if they collect 14 points from their remaining matches, RCB will have a tough task making it to the playoffs. Because of the heightened level of competition, the chances are slim. But if RCB can win their last games and become flawless, there’s a slight statistical chance.

RCB’s journey in the 2009 Indian Premier League season is a testament to their resilience. Despite a challenging start, winning only one of their first five matches and falling to the bottom of the points standings, the team staged a remarkable turnaround. They won seven of their next nine matches, advancing to the semi-finals and then the championship. This historical context reminds us that RCB has the potential to overcome its current situation and secure a top-four finish.

The great Anil Kumble captained RCB to an admiral level of tenacity all season long. Unfortunately, they were defeated in Johannesburg by the now-defunct Deccan Chargers, despite their best efforts in the last match, and they could not secure the championship.

Possible, But Unlikely

With 16 points, Mumbai Indians clinched fourth place in the 2023 Indian Premier League, two points ahead of second-place Rajasthan Royals. Similarly, RCB finished with 16 points in the 2022 IPL, good enough for fourth place; they were only two points ahead of Delhi Capitals.

So, an RCB top-four finish is certainly possible. However, their upcoming matches involve formidable obstacles since they will be playing four former championship-winning teams, thus making the postseason push even more daunting.

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