We look forward to yet another season of quality and exciting IPL cricket where the Mumbai Indians are favourites to defend their trophy. Other teams will be looking to have much more improved seasons and loosen MI’s grip on the IPL trophy.
Mumbai Indians – 3.60
The Mumbai Indians will be looking to become the first team in IPL history to win three IPL trophies on the trot. Mahela Jayawardene’s men head into the competition as firm favourites after managing to keep many of their core players for this season. They have the likes of captain, Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah to rely on.
They have also added Australian all-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile and two New Zealanders in James Neesham and Adam Milne to an already strong squad. What the Mumbai Indians have had on their side in the last two years is consistency in performances and in team selection, so they will have to do the same if they are to win a third consecutive title.
Delhi Capitals – 6.00
Along with the Mumbai Indians, the Delhi Capitals have the strongest and most balanced side in this year’s IPL. They will be led by wicket-keeper batsman Rishab Pant, who will be looking to continue his rich vein of form from the recent matches against England. Their key players will be Kagiso Rabada, Ravichandran Ashiwn, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishab Pant and Steve Smith.
Their notable additions this season include Steve Smith, Sam Billings and Tom Curran. The extremely talented Shimron Heytmer will be hoping to have a much more improved season after a disappointing 2020 campaign. Under the stewardship of Ricky Ponting, this team has improved a lot and will be hoping to go one step further this season and win their first IPL trophy after losing last year’s final to the Mumbai Indians
Royal Challengers Bangalore – 6.50
Unlike the previous two teams, this is a team that lacks genuine match-winners apart from Virat Kolhi and AB de Villiers. The addition of Glenn Maxwell for this year’s edition is an interesting one as he hasn’t quite lived up to his potential in both International cricket and in the IPL. There is a chance of Kolhi opening the batting this year, last time he opened in an IPL season he scored close to 1000 runs.
They have Chahal to lead a relatively inexperienced bowling attack in IPL cricket which consists of the likes of Adam Zampa, Kyle Jamieson and Daniel Sams. This is a team that has relied too much on Virat Kolhi and de Villiers in the past. They will need the other batsmen to come to the party if they are to win their first ever IPL title.
Punjab Kings – 3.60
The Punjab Kings have been one of the most inconsistent teams in this competition in the past seasons and will be hoping that the change of name will bring about a change in fortune.
Captain, KL Rahul will be hoping to continue where he left off last season after scoring 670 runs and topping the run standings. Despite KL Rahul’s efforts, the Kings finished in sixth place.
They have made a couple of interesting additions to their side, they have added T20I number one ranked batsmen in Dawid Malan and Australian Jhyye Richardson. They also have some explosive T20 batsmen in Chris Gayle, Mayank Argawal and Nicholas Pooran. The Kings have a relatively inexperienced bowling lineup led by Mohammad Shami.
They will be hoping that this season will be one of their better seasons and avoid finishing last. Their strong top order will have to play a key role if the Kings are to have a successful season.
Rajasthan Royals – 5.00
The Rajasthan Royals last won this competition in 2008, which is the only time they did it. They have struggled to click in recent seasons despite having some world-class talent in their ranks. They also struggled to settle on an opening pair with all-rounder Ben Stokes opening the batting in a few matches last year. You feel that finding the best position for Stokes will go a long way in determining how the Royals do this season.
They have some good players in captain, Sanju Samson, Jos Butler, Jofra Archer and have made some interesting acquisitions in David Miller (only played one match and faced one ball last season) and Chris Morris who could both prove to be just what the Royals need to avoid another dreadful season which saw them finish last in the previous campaign.
Jofra Archer will miss the first four games due to injury but the Royals will be hoping that players like Morris and Jaydev Unadkat raise their games to fill the void left by the Royal’s best bowler last season.
Chennai Super Kings – 6.00
The Chennai Super Kings Kings have won this competition on three occasions (2010,2011 and 2018) and have been one of the most consistent teams in the past seasons. They had a season to forget last season finishing seventh which is one of the reasons why they could finish last this season. Another reason could be the fact that they have an ageing squad with the likes of MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina in the twilight of their careers. They do however have some young talent in Sam Curran and Lungi Ngidi who could play a pivotal role in their bowling attack with the likes of Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir.
They will also be looking to be less rigid in their batting lineup which was one of the negatives from last season. The Super Kings have added Krishnappa Gowtham, Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali to their team who will all undoubtedly strengthen their batting lineup. Stephen Fleming’s men will have to utilise Jadeja’s batting ability considering the form that he was in in the Australian series.
This is a team that relies on experience and will be hoping that their experienced players will perform to a level that will enable them to have a much better season and avoid finishing last this season.