IPL 2023 | How Gujarat Titans can qualify for Indian Premier League Playoffs

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Gujarat Titans were written off in 2022, only to go on a stellar title-winning run under Hardik Pandya’s leadership. Few could thus question the side in the ongoing season albeit there were attempts, but the reigning champions responded in the only way they know – with another dominant campaign.

When the likes of Ashish Nehra, Gary Kirsten, Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan got together in Gujarat Titans’ debut season, the signs of promise looked as bright as ever. However, after the mega auction, the belief in the team suffered a steep decline with few, if anyone, truly envisioning the franchise as title contenders. A play-off finish was labelled a long shot and the apparent strength of fellow debutantes Lucknow Super Giants only made matters worse. Yet, the side knew that games are not won on paper and with a hungry skipper at the helm, the underdogs played a brand of cricket that soon made them the fan favourites. This story would have been good enough as it is of unlikely heroes taking off against the world’s might but Pandya and his men went on to script no less than a fairytale, lifting the coveted trophy by defying all odds.

When the 2023 season rolled around, everyone was cognizant of the potential of Gujarat Titans. Yet, many chose to turn a blind eye to their hard work and labelled the success a fluke. Unfettered, Gujarat Titans kept plugging away and lo and behold, they found themselves at the top of the standings again, with an impressive eight wins in 12 games. Their tally of 16 points means they are virtually through to the playoffs already, with a spot in Qualifier 1 right there for the taking.

If GT win any of their remaining fixtures

Gujarat Titans are slated to play struggling Sunrisers Hyderabad and belligerent Royal Challengers Bangalore to cap off the regular season, games they would be expected to win. Should they triumph in both, the Titans’ would guarantee themselves the top spot with an invincible 19 points, given the mark is no longer attainable for any other team except them.

Even if Gujarat ends up winning one of the two games, they are pretty much guaranteed to finish in the top two all the same, owing to a brilliant net run rate of 0.761. Chennai Super Kings are the only team that might overtake GT by winning their two remaining games, while Mumbai Indians could come level on points with GT by winning against LSG and SRH respectively. However, they are still bound to finish third since they have a much inferior net run rate of -0.117 compared to GT at the moment.

If GT lose both their remaining fixtures

As unlikely as it is, considering Gujarat Titans have never lost three games in a row since their establishment, let’s assume for a moment a disastrous finish to the season sees the side end on 16 points after 14 games. While a host of teams could go level on points with them in such a scenario, GT would be secure in the top four nevertheless, again thanks to a stellar net run rate. All the teams in the bottom half of the table, namely RCB, KKR, PBKS, SRH and DC respectively, have net run rates poorer than -0.345 and would need a miracle to surpass the defending champions with just a handful of games remaining in the season. Notably, DC and KKR are already eliminated from the running as far as the Titans are concerned since both can get to a maximum tally of just 14 points.

Moving to the top half of the table, both CSK and RR could end up leapfrogging GT but the saving grace for the team is the head-to-head encounter between LSG and MI. If the former win, Lucknow would not be able to match GT’s tally regardless of their other results while if LSG triumph over Mumbai, the latter’s net run rate would again let them down in the play-offs race.

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