By News Team
Last Updated: 17th September 2021
After a four-month delay, the IPL resumes on Sunday with the Chennai Super Kings facing holders Mumbai Indians in Dubai.
With half of the group matches still yet to play and the fight for a spot in the play-offs still in the hands of virtually any team, it’s set to be a thrilling finish to the world’s glitziest franchise tournament.
We look back at what has happened so far as well as who could impress in the remainder of the tournament.
The story so far
The Delhi Capitals have been the team of the tournament so far and currently lead the standings with six wins from their eight games to date. They have an excellent blend of experienced international players in the likes of Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis and Sam Billings as well as some of India’s premier talents such Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw and Umesh Yadav. The experienced Shikhar Dhawan is currently the leading run scorer in the competition, having blasted 380 runs in the eight matches so far at an average of 54 and a strike rate of 136.21. As it stands, they are currently 5/2 to go all the way this year.
At the opposite end of the table are Sunrisers Hyderabad who have managed just one win from their eight matches so far. They have lots of firepower with the bat, boasting David Warner, Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy in a top order that is capable of much more than we have seen thus far. It’s Bairstow that has performed best with the bat, averaging a little over 40 but despite this they have failed to score consistently good enough whether batting first or second to support their relatively light bowling attack. The pick of their bowlers is undoubtedly Rashid Khan, and the Sunrisers will certainly need him to continue the form he showed during the English summer if they are somehow to go from the bottom to the play-offs and even win the tournament at 50/1.
Who could impress in the rest of the tournament?
Winners of the competition in both 2019 and 2020, Mumbai Indians have started modestly in their search for unprecedented third consecutive title and currently sit in fourth position. They have in previous years played their best cricket when the pressure was on in the latter stages, and we could see them continue to up the ante as the tournament progresses. Their bowling attack is led by Jasprit Bumrah, arguably the standout fast bowler in all forms of the game, with the likes of Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Rahul Chahar providing sufficient support. With the bat they have been a little over-reliant on Rohit Sharma to score their runs, but if the likes of Quinton De Kock and Kieron Pollard can find some form, they have more than enough to challenge any team. They are currently 10/3 to land another historic IPL win.
The in-form team before the break was undoubtedly Chennai Super Kings, who have won each of their last four matches. Their challenge has been spearheaded by South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis, who is averaging a whopping 64 so far in the tournament at a strike rate of 145.45. The variety of their bowling attack is arguably their biggest strength, with Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali providing spin bowling options, Sam Curran offering a change of angle and Josh Hazelwood providing the pace alongside Lungi Ngidi. They have everything they need to be serious contenders this year and are 5/2 to be crowned champions.