IPL 2021 is the 14th season of the world’s premier T20 competition and it’s all set to begin on the 9th of April. The Indian Team will now return to their respective IPL teams.
MI stretched the record for most IPL titles with their fifth triumph last year and will be looking to do the same in IPL 2021. Rohit Sharma will once again lead a well-set team. Last year they already achieved what they were looking for, to win the IPL in an even year, and will be eyeing another milestone as they look to make it a hat-trick of IPL titles this year. Players like Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock, and the Pandya brothers – Hardik & Krunal – were in tremendous form throughout the tournament which was the main reason behind their success.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS:
The Yellow Army looked completely off-color in the previous season played in UAE. They struggled throughout the season and failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. CSK will enter IPL 2021 without their dynamic opener Shane Watson who has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Harbhajan was released by the franchise as CSK roped in two quality all-rounders in Krishnappa Gowtham and Moeen Ali at the auction. . Curran, Jadeja, Bravo, and Gowtham are four names who are likely to feature in most of the matches for CSK in IPL 2021.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS:
Kolkata Knight Riders had a suspect IPL 2020. Struggling to make impactful performances, even making a captaincy switch mid-season. Kolkata Knight Riders came to the auction table hoping to get in two major backup players for Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. They managed to accomplish both with the signings of Shakib Al Hasan and Ben Cutting. On top of that, they also added more domestic experience and some younger crop of players to plug more holes in the line-up.
In IPL 2020, SRH started the tournament on a positive note but midway through the season Warner and his band went off track which prevented them from finishing amongst the top two. SRH will begin their campaign in IPL 2021 against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 11 and the franchise would be looking to start on a winning note. In Warner and Bairstow, SRH have one of the most feared opening combinations in the tournament. The team’s middle-order in IPL 2020 failed to click more often than not and that was a major setback for them. Also, the inexperienced middle-order cost them dearly in the previous edition and the team couldn’t afford a similar mistake this time around.
Rajasthan Royals will hope to put an end to their title drought under the leadership of newly appointed skipper Sanju Samson in the 14th season. While Rahul Tewatia smoked five massive sixes off Sheldon Cottrell in the high-scoring thriller against Punjab, Riyan Parag introduced the ‘Bihu’ dance after his match-winning knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad as Royals discovered several homegrown match-winners in the 2020 edition of the IPL. RR signed Morris for a record fee of Rs 16.25 crore at the Chennai auction. Former RCB all-rounder Shivam Dube also joined RR by signing a lucrative deal with Rajasthan-based franchise at the IPL auction.
Punjab Kings remains one such team to have not won the title to date, despite finishing as runner-up. Although the squad is evenly balanced, its bowling is tide strong, owing to the possession of the most capped players in this department. Moises Henriques and Mohammed Shami are the big names in this department, there are other capped talents as well, who might not be big T20 players but do have the ammunition to make an effect. Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan, Mayank Agarwal, K. L. Rahul, and Nicholas Pooran. However, its eight-man-man all-around department gives a heavy strength to the side and can bat deep, besides giving bowling options to Rahul.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE:
Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to lay their hands on the championship trophy for the first time. RCB has suffered from one glaring problem — an over-dependence on captain Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers. The franchise invested heavily in Glenn Maxwell. There were more good picks in the auction, with Dan Christian, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudesai, and Mohammed Azharuddin. Classy opener Devdutt Padikkal could prove the bright spot in this batting line-up. The bowling attack has a familiar feel to it. Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini.
Delhi Capitals had a sensational season last year as they finished runners-up under the leadership of their young and dynamic skipper Shreyas Iyer. The Delhi franchise, however were dealt with a major blow ahead of IPL 2021 as their captain was ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. The team management appointed young Rishabh Pant as the captain for this season. Pant has had a phenomenal 2021 so far and the wicketkeeper-batsman would be aiming to add another feather in his cap. During the IPL 2021 Auction, Delhi Capitals made some interesting buys and acquired international stars like Steve Smith, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, and Umesh Yadav.