The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 suddenly had a week that looked like what was normal for most of the other editions. Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) both won in the same weekend, something that was so normal previously but unheard of in IPL 2022. It was quite a relief for the fans of both the franchises to see points the first for MI on the table. While it may well be that Mumbai won’t be in the race for the knockout stages, they at least will be rid of the hoodoo of an unprecedented string of defeats.

As for CSK, it was as if they never lost. The change at the top, with MS Dhoni returning to the helm, seemed to have boosted them beyond recognition, and they, in just one match, became the fighting force that was the fear of all rivals over the years.

There was never any doubt that MI would post a win. It was just a matter of time, but unfortunately for them, things didn’t fall into place at the relevant times. Eight straight losses were never going to be easy to recover from and with some of the franchises showing burgeoning form, getting back to the top tier looks close to impossible now.

As for CSK, they now have the chance to put the cat among the proverbial pigeons, but for that to happen, they have to repeat their Sunday performance against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) many times over.

However, what both these franchises can do over the coming days is to dent the fortunes of other teams, which could well make a telling difference to the whole IPL 2022 points table at the end of the league.

Take Rajasthan Royals for example. They would be looking to take their points’ tally to 14 with a win over MI, but that fell by the wayside.

Similarly, SRH, having quite a rejuvenation, came up cropper against CSK and lost two crucial points.

As the weeks wind up, each of these matches will have a telling effect on the final tally of who makes it to the knockouts.

Gujarat Titans (GT) seem to have no such worries at this time, but one can never get away from the feeling that they have been fortunate in the way the matches have gone their way, since at least on a couple of occasions they were definitely in the corner.

Nevertheless, winning, like losing, seems to be a habit and GT won’t be complaining as they sit atop the table with 16 points.

Lucknow Super Giants have kept themselves in a good position for the knockouts with a series of fluent wins, while SRH have lost two in a row, which won’t be a happy place, especially since they had recovered so fluently from their hesitant start.

Royal Challengers Bangalore are again struggling, Virat Kohli getting a half-century in the last match notwithstanding. There seem to be holes galore in their ship, and three straight losses won’t help at all.

As for the rest, all eyes seem to be on CSK, now that MS Dhoni is back as skipper and they showed the same aggression and effect against SRH. The Yellow Army are hoping for a miraculous revival, but let no one jump the gun. Its still a long way from qualification for CSK.

Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings are finding the going tough while Kolkata Knight Riders seems to have given up the ghost already.

The distance between the toppers andthe rest is increasing rapidly, and irrespective of what the CSK fans hope for, this will be quite a climb for them and the rest.

(This article was first published on india.com)