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Scenarios - Can RCB still make it to the IPL 2024 playoffs?

It's not impossible, though rather improbable. Here's a look at how things might go

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
24-Apr-2024
Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli laid a steady platform for RCB, Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bengaluru, IPL 2024, Jaipur, April 6, 2024

Despite seven losses in eight games, RCB are not out of the running yet  •  AFP/Getty Images

Royal Challengers Bengaluru have lost seven of their eight IPL 2024 matches so far, including their last six, and are at the bottom of the points table. Remarkable as it may sound, though, they are not out of the playoffs race yet. In fact, they can still make without even bothering about net run rates.
How can RCB make the top four?
For a moment, however unlikely it might seem, let's assume that RCB win each of their remaining six matches, starting with the one against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday. They will then finish on 14 points. Then, if other results go their way, they could finish in the top four without going into an NRR scenario.
The best-case scenario for RCB will be if the top two or three teams run away with plenty of wins, leaving the rest of the teams fighting for the crumbs. Given the current IPL 2024 standings, it's most likely that those teams will be Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers.
If we assume that Royals will win four of their remaining six, and KKR and Sunrisers five of their remaining seven, then they will finish on 22, 20 and 20 points respectively. In that case, it is possible that RCB, with 14 points, will finish fourth with the other teams on 12 or fewer points.
Can RCB even make it to No. 3?
Since you - RCB fan - are being rather greedy, let's see.
Let's assume Sunrisers and KKR both suffer a sudden, and acute, slump in form and finish on 12 points - so just one win in the remaining seven matches. Let's also assume that one of the other teams, say Lucknow Super Giants, strike a purple patch and win five of their last six. Then LSG will get to 20, and finish in the top two along with Royals. RCB will then finish third on 14 points, with six teams tied on 12. That scenario is also possible if one of KKR and Sunrisers finish in the top two.
So RCB can make it - mathematically - even if they lose to Sunrisers
Yes. With 12 points - the maximum they can get then - they will still be in contention. In a bizarre points-distribution scenario, it's possible for eight teams to finish on 12 points, fighting for two spots.
However, for any of these scenarios to work for RCB, they will have to start winning, and keep winning, ideally by sizeable margins.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats