IPL 2021 – Competition For Final Two Playoff Spots Intensifies
The second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) is currently taking place in the United Arab Emirates. Delhi Chargers (DC), which sat at the top of the points table before the second half of the IPL commenced, has done well and has now reached the important 16 points which are required to qualify for the playoffs.
There were some concerns about whether Chennai Super Kings (CSK) would play well in the UAE after their debacle in the 2021 IPL. However, CSK has played well so far and now has 14 points. They need to get 2 more points to qualify for the playoffs and have 5 games to do so.
Top Three Teams
While we are confident that DC and CSK will make it to the playoffs, we cannot predict whether they will finish in first and second place on the points table, as there are quite a few games left.
The competition for the remaining two IPL playoff spots is set to intensify in the next couple of weeks. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had a good run in India and went to 10 points, but after coming to the UAE, they look like a different team as they have lost their momentum. RCB will have to dig deep in the next couple of weeks if they are going to push for a place in the playoffs.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians struggled during the first part of the IPL in India and have also looked out of sorts in the UAE. The Mumbai Indians, after a long time look they are vulnerable and beatable but should be able to qualify and make the playoffs.
We believe that between RCB and Mumbai Indians, one of these teams will make the playoffs and book a place as the third team in the playoffs.
The bottom four teams on the IPL points table usually struggle as there is a big difference between the top and bottom four teams. That’s not the case for the 2021 IPL, as there is stiff competition between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), and Punjab Kings (PBKS).
The only team to get blown away during the 2021 IPL has been the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). They have had their worst season in IPL history with internal problems, a chance of captaincy during the 2021 IPL, and injuries that have caused them to plummet to the bottom of the table. Even if SRH does end up playing well, they are not going to make the playoffs.
We take a look at PBKS, RR, and KKR to see which team is likely to make it to the playoffs.
Kolkata Knight Riders: looks the strongest of the three teams on paper as they have a bunch of talented Indian players who can win a game on their own. KKR is doing well without getting big contributions from its overseas players in captain Eoin Morgan and all-rounder Andre Russell.
If the likes of S Gill, R Tripathi, and V Iyer can help the KKR top-order make big runs, KKR is going to make a strong run for the playoffs. They have a strong bowling attack with L Ferguson, S Narine, V Chakravarthy, and P Krishna.
Rajasthan Royals: The Royals don’t have a strong team as many overseas players are not available. The Royals are without Ben Stokes, Jos Butler, and J Archer, but they are rallying together as a team to fight for a spot in the playoffs.
We think the Royals don’t have enough firepower in their batting line-up and don’t have a great bowling attack to get the opposition out. While the Royals are still in with a chance to qualify for the playoffs, we think they will fall short as things will get more difficult for them as we approach the final few games.
Punjab Kings: The Kings have great depth in their batting line-up with captain KL Rahul opening the batting and the two big hitters from the West Indies in Chris Gayle and N Pooran. Throw in South African A Markram and M Agarwal, and you have a batting line-up that can make big scores.
The Kings are hurting because their batters are getting starts but not converting them. They are also struggling because they don’t have a lot of depth in their bowling. Their bowlers will struggle when they play the top teams like CSK and DC.
Teams That Make The Playoffs
Based on our final analysis, we predict that the four teams to make the playoffs will be the Delhi Charges, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians (MI), and KKR.