Who Could Win This Year's IPL
Post on 02,April 2021   3:50 AM
By - PolyEyes Staff
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The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will start on 9 April 2021. After a stint in the United Arab Emirates in 2020, the tournament is back in India this year.

Eight franchises will compete for the title. Three of those have never won the tournament. Three or more have won it twice or more. 

February's player auction saw some big changes to the squads. Glenn Maxwell's departure from the Punjab Kings to the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rajasthan Royals' record price for South African all-rounder Chris Morris made headlines.

The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions and the most successful team in the history of the IPL. They have five titles and are in pursuit of a sixth. They have retained several international stars, including South African Quinton de Kock, New Zealander Trent Boult and West Indian Kieron Pollard. They have also recruited New Zealanders Jimmy Neesham and Adam Milne. Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who is among the highest wicket-takers in the tournament's rich history, has also joined Mumbai. All this makes them firm favourites in the outright IPL winner markets on the best betting sites in India such as bet365, who have Mumbai priced at 4.0 for the title.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore are offered at 6.5 with Mr Play. Bangalore have reached three IPL finals. But they have not one won. The addition of Maxwell, New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Jamieson and Australian all-rounder Daniel Christian, in theory, should help their bid for a maiden title. The recruitment of Christian is interesting. He has won T20 titles around the world, most recently with Nottinghamshire in the United Kingdom's T20 Blast and the Sydney Sixers in Australia's Big Bash League.

The Rajasthan Royals won the first IPL in 2008. They've not come close since, collecting a string of finishes in the bottom half of the standings. They have put a lot of hope in the arrival of Morris, who has been a kingpin for the Chennai Super Kings, Delhi and Bangalore in the past. There is effectively a lot riding on Morris' performances - with bat and ball. If he gets this very right, Rajasthan might overcome longer odds of 9.0 with Parimatch to take the title.

Other teams to have not yet won the IPL are the Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings. Delhi played in the 2020 final and Punjab did the same in 2014. Neither, of course, won. Delhi invested heavily in former Australian captain Steven Smith and England duo Sam Billings and Tom Curran this season. Punjab could have a definitive Australian flair to their approach in 2021, with trio Moises Henriques, Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson set to play for the franchise. Richardson and Meredith were particularly impressive in the 2020-21 BBL.

Chennai are the second-most successful franchise in the history of the tournament. They have three titles. Despite a disappointing 2020 campaign, in which they finished at the bottom of the eight-team standings, the Super Kings are showing plenty of promise this time. Their retention of Mahendra Singh Dhoni bodes well. The acquisitions of England all-rounder Moeen Ali and Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara might yield solid results. Chennai's rivalry with RCB could be especially entertaining.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders have won the IPL once and twice, respectively. The Knight Riders were in peak form during the 2012 and 2014 campaigns, when they claimed two titles in three years. It has been somewhat of a struggle for them since. Hyderabad beat Bangalore in the 2016 final. They then lost to Chennai in the 2018 final. Whether they appoint Kane Williamson, David Warner or someone else captain this season remains in the balance.

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