The flip side of an enlarged Indian Premier League is that now, instead of four, there will be six sides left unhappy after the end of the league. But the fun side is that the competitive edge stays for longer. As of Tuesday night, there are now three slots left to fight for in IPL 2022, with at least four teams realistically in with a chance to make it to the knockouts. However, if your imagination was really flying, you could visualise six sides that can still go through. Flights of fancy of some franchise followers even claim that their teams are not yet dead and buried. Quite a situation this, where even Gujarat Titans (GT), who have qualified, may still not end up as table toppers.

One look at the table and you can see the royal confusion that prevails. GT can get to 22 points if they win both their remaining matches each team plays 14 matches), while Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) can garner 20. If they win both games and GT lose, then LSG will be toppers.

After that, we have Rajasthan Royals (RR) with 14 points from 11 matches. They can also get to 20 with an all-win record hereon. They are followed by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), with 14 from 12, and they’ll be gunning at 18 points.

Four teams are at 10 points each, with Delhi Capitals (DC), SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) having played 11 matches each and Kolkata Knight Riders at 12 games. So, three teams can get to 16, and KKR to 14.

Even some Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans believe that their side (8 from 11) can win all three games, get to 14 and qualify!

Like we said, flights of fancy abound.

But definitely there will be a titanic struggle for the last three places, with CSK and Mumbai Indians definitely adding to the masala with their ability to trip up the hopefuls.

As the games continue, the position of many a side will get progressively more desperate. That makes for some fun and games for the objective ones on the side-lines, who can applaud the successes and get some vicarious pleasure from the fate of the losers.

So, the other Big ‘Q’ is the mix is the Question Mark. Who will make it? Who will fall by the wayside? Will there be a play-off?

All possibilities are alive. So, sit back and watch the fun.

(The article was first published on india.com)