2021 IPL Tournament Preview & Prediction
IPL 2021 will resume following a 4-month delay mid season due to the pandemic. The remainder of the IPL season will be played in the UAE at the same venues that hosted the 2020 season. All eyes will be on the Indian young guns who showed great promise in the first half of this season. Find out how the teams are stacked up ahead of the UAE-leg and who are the match-winners to watch out for in the remaining season.
2021 IPL Team Previews:
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Kohli’s men had a royal start to the 2021 season with 4 consecutive wins. Maxwell’s return to form has been the highlight for Bangalore in IPL 2021. RCB will be confident coming to UAE and will back themselves to improve on their performance from last season at these venues.
There are now new match winners in the RCB squad other than Kohli and AB de Villiers. With the T20 World Cup just around the corner, the skipper will take these remaining 7 games as an opportunity to gain momentum and form ahead of the big event.
Mumbai Indians (MI)
The defending champions have new stars to look up to in their squad. After successful T20I debuts from Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, and Rahul Chahar, MI camp will be confident of staking their claim for a 6th IPL title.
Mumbai Indians have a great record in UAE and they will be looking to benefit from that. Hardik Pandya’s form, however, will be a major concern going into the remainder of the IPL. MI has one of the most balanced sides in IPL 2021 and have plenty of experience playing in knockouts.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
While MS Dhoni is yet to score a fifty in IPL 2021, Super Kings have been exceptional so far. Their only losses were against DC and MI, the other favourites in the race to win the title.
Gaikwad’s consistency, Rayudu’s attacking approach in the middle and Jadeja’s finishing skills are the driving factors in Chennai’s winning juggernaut this year. The only team with potential to beat CSK in the final is MI.
Delhi Capitals (DC)
Rishabh Pant has led Delhi Capitals brilliantly for a first-time captain. He has shown maturity in his approach to batting and with the experience of Dhawan and Smith, DC will be looking to improve their knockout performance.
The lower-order packs a strong punch with Hetmyer, Stoinis, and Axar Patel while Avesh Khan has emerged as an impact bowler for Delhi this season. The bench strength of Delhi Capitals will allow Ponting and Pant to try different combinations in case some of the overseas players are unavailable.
Punjab Kings (PBKS)
Punjab Kings haven’t managed to put together a well balanced side since the last few seasons. The new signings in the 2021 auction didn’t work out as well as expected. The bowling department is still a major concern for KL Rahul.
There is great potential in the batting lineup with Dawid Malan, Nicholas Pooran, and Deepak Hooda in the middle-order. However, Kings have struggled for consistency with the bat as well. Punjab’s chances of reaching the final aren’t bright.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
There are some very talented bowlers in this KKR squad and a World Cup captain to lead them. However, Knight Riders find themselves at number 7 in the points table with just 2 wins from 7 matches.
There are many big names in the squad like Russell, Morgan, Narine and some promising Indian players such as Gill and Tripathi. However, most of the big guns have failed when the occasions called for them to step up.
Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Rajasthan Royals signed Chris Morris for a record price and he has delivered with both bat and ball. There have been some good performances from the skipper as well. Nevertheless, this team is known for losing momentum as the league progresses.
With Ben Stokes taking an indefinite break from cricket, and doubts looming over the availability of England and South Africa players, Rajasthan Royals may not have their best squad for the remaining season.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
The 2016 champions have managed just 1 win so far in the 2021 season from 7 matches. The team management decided to change the captain considering Warner’s struggle with the bat.
Williamson is without a doubt a brilliant captain and an attacking T20 batsman, but the change didn’t work for SRH. Instead of nurturing the young Indian talent, Sunrisers are looking up to the overseas players for wins.
Top Players to Watch
1. Ravindra Jadeja (CSK)
Jadeja has looked in great touch as a bowling all-rounder for Chennai Super Kings. He has played the role of finisher in the lower middle order pretty well. The southpaw batsman has great experience in challenging situations and can make a big difference in the playoffs.
2. Rishabh Pant (DC)
The new role of captaincy hasn’t affected Rishabh’s batting. These 6 remaining IPL matches is the best kind of practice he can get before the World T20. And hence, Pant will be looking to shift gears and put on a big show for the selectors and fans alike.
3. Virat Kohli (RCB)
There have been questions around his performance at the big stage when the team requires him the most. There cannot be a better opportunity for Virat than the remainder of IPL 2021 to answer his critics with a brilliant performance in the playoffs.
4. Suryakumar Yadav (MI)
The MI batsman proved his ability to finish games in recent times and also impressed one and all on India’s recent tour of Sri Lanka. In a star-studded Mumbai lineup, Suryakumar has managed to grab the attention of the national selectors.
5. Rahul Chahar (MI)
The leg-break bowler has been a great find for both Mumbai Indians and team India. Rahul Chahar is a crucial bowler in the middle-overs. He can be a game changer in a low scoring match where MI need to defend a low total.
Overall 2021 Tournament Winner Prediction:
BCCI is working to get overseas players back for the remainder of the IPL 2021. While there is no certainty over the availability of England and South Africa players, it could change a lot of things for the franchises.
As such, teams with a strong core that consists of mostly Indian players will have a better chance at winning the title. MI, DC, and CSK are the frontrunners to win this season and our prediction is for MI to complete a hat-trick of IPL titles.
Check out our latest IPL match predictions by our experts for games in this years tournament.