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Scenarios - How Super Kings can still make the playoffs

It doesn't look good, but it is possible. Here's how.

Chennai Super Kings are in a heap of trouble this IPL... but all is not lost yet  •  BCCI

Chennai Super Kings are in a heap of trouble this IPL... but all is not lost yet  •  BCCI

How CSK can make the playoffs
Chennai Super Kings have qualified for the playoffs in every single season they have taken part. However, 2020 has other plans. They are in last position with a poor net run rate (NRR). Not all is lost though. They still can qualify if certain results go their way. We look at a couple of scenarios in which Super Kings can make the final four.
Without NRR coming into play
CSK to win all the four matches
Remaining fixtures - Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab
For starters the Super Kings need to start winning. They need to win all the four games they have remaining. They also need to hope that the top three teams currently (Mumbai, Royal Challengers and Delhi Capitals) continue with their winning ways. The results of the matches between the top three teams do not really matter to the Super Kings.
They can still get to the fourth spot if the top three teams keep winning, and the Knight Riders win just one of their next four games and Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI and Rajasthan Royals don't win more than two games.
In such a scenario, Super Kings would finish with 14 points alongside Capitals, Mumbai and Royal Challengers. Net Run Rate would not come into play.
With NRR coming into play
There is another scenario where Super Kings could be tied with multiple teams on 14 and go through on net run rate. In such a scenario Super Kings need to ensure they win a couple of matches by big margins to move to a positive net run rate since teams like Sunrisers are well placed with a positive run rate.
CSK loses to Mumbai
If Super Kings lose to Mumbai, they wouldn't still be out of the competition. They can qualify with 12 points similar to Sunrisers last season. But, this scenario is very far-fetched. Knight Riders need to win just one match while Kings XI, Royals and Sunrisers should win at the most two matches. Since Super Kings' net run rate is in the negative (-0.463) they will have to beat the other teams pretty heavily to go through in this scenario as their competing teams such as Sunrisers have a positive net run rate at 0.092.
Mumbai's chances
Mumbai are sitting pretty with 12 points. If they beat Super Kings, they would go to 14 points and top the table. If they lose, they still have four more matches to try and reach the top two positions.
Remaining Fixtures: Super Kings, Royals, Royal Challengers, Capitals and Sunrisers

Gaurav Sundararaman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo