The Indian cricket board’s hottest property, the Indian Premier League, has seen 13 complete seasons. It has been replete with entertainment, nail-biting finishes and has been thoroughly enjoyed by the fans. The business end of the tournament throws up all sorts of combinations for teams to qualify and each game becomes a potential qualifier.
However, once the league matches come to an end is when the tournament climaxes into serious transactions. Each team is attempting to win every game in the playoff to reach the finals and lift the trophy. The IPL council in 2012 transitioned towards a more pragmatic qualification structure. The first two games got a shot to reach the finals twice. The loser of the top two teams had to play a second qualifier against the winner of the third and fourth-placed teams to go to the finals.
This structure has thrown up many interesting permutation combinations over the years. Today we look at 5 teams who have lost the maximum number of times in the IPL playoffs.
1. Chennai Super Kings
MS Dhoni’s team has lifted the trophy thrice and has been one of the most celebrated teams in the history of IPL. However, the lesser-known fact is that it has lost 9 times in IPL playoffs and is in pole position in this list. In the inaugural IPL, it lost the finals to Rajasthan Royals. It lost the semi-finals in 2009 to Royal Challengers Bangalore by 6 wickets. In 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2019, too, it reached the finals but lost all of them. CSK has made it to the finals most number of times without translating it into trophies.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore
The franchise with one of the most passionate and loyal fans has been struck with horrible luck in play-offs. It has lost in play-offs 7 times in the 13 seasons of IPL. In 2009 and 2017, it made it to the finals but lost both times to different franchises of Hyderabad. It lost to Deccan Chargers in 2009 by 6 runs in a close contest. In a similar fate of events, in 2016 it was inches away from an IPL trophy but lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 runs.
3. Sunrisers Hyderabad
A new entrant which was previously known as Deccan Chargers till 2012, they have won the IPL twice in 2009 and 2016. However, in the list of losing matches in play-offs they are tied in third position with 6 losses. Hyderabad have the distinction of making it to the third or fourth position but then crashing out in the eliminators. In 2013, 2017 and 2019 they were knocked off in the eliminators. They made it to the finals in 2018 but lost to CSK in a comprehensive thrashing.
4. Mumbai Indians
Tied with Hyderabad in the 3 position is Mumbai Indians who have lost in the playoffs 6 times. This fact is easily overshadowed by the fact that they are current reigning champions and have lifted the trophy 5 times. The franchise has the habit of losing the first qualifier but then come back into the finals and win the trophy. They lost the first qualifier in 2013 and 2017 but went onto win the second qualifier and then won the finals to win the trophy. Only once, i.e. in 2010 when they reached the finals that they lost. They have an incredible record of converting their finals into trophies, unlike Chennai Super Kings.
5. Kolkata Knight Riders
They are the franchise with incredible star value, thanks to the king of Bollywood. They have made it to the playoffs multiple times but lost there a total of 4 times. They were knocked out in the eliminators in 2011 and 2016. In 2018 and 2019, they went onto lose the second qualifier after finishing in the top 2 of the table in both seasons. In 2012 and 2014, KKR had clean wins from qualifier 1 and finals.