Previewing the IPL 2021 Restart
10th August 2021
The Indian Premier League will resume in September 2021. The tournament had been suspended in May. It has also been relocated, from India to the United Arab Emirates. The same three cities - Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi - that hosted the 2020 IPL will be used for the completion of this season, too.
Which teams will restart the IPL?
The Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians will play the opening match of the restart, in Dubai on 19 September. Mumbai are the reigning champions and the most successful team in the history of the tournament with five titles. Chennai are the second most successful team with three titles.
The Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be in action against each other the very next day, in Abu Dhabi. Kolkata are chasing a third title, while Bangalore are still searching for a first. KKR are captained by England batsman Eoin Morgan. He has confirmed his availability for the restart, which has boosted the Knight Riders' odds on the best IPL betting sites. Betway has Kolkata priced at 11.0 to win the tournament and bet365 10.0 in the same market.
What are the current standings?
The Delhi Capitals will be at the top of the eight-team table when the IPL 2021 restarts. They have won six matches in eight attempts and have 12 points to second-placed Chennai's 10. Bangalore also have 10, followed by Mumbai's eight. That completes the top half of the table. Across the bottom half, the Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings have six points each. Kolkata and the Sunrisers Hyderabad have four and two, respectively. Hyderabad, in particular, will face a tough task in trying to claw their way into the top four teams and perhaps win a second title.
Who is the top batsman in IPL 2021?
Delhi Capitals opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently the leading run-scorer in the IPL 2021. He has gathered 380 in eight innings. Delhi have another batsman among the top five in opener Prithvi Shaw, who was recently recalled to India's Test squad. Dhawan, meanwhile, has gathered valuable experience by captaining India's limited-overs XI against Sri Lanka in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli.
Who is the top bowler in the IPL 2021?
Bangalore seamer Harshal Patel is a relatively surprise leader in the IPL 2021 wicket-taking charts. He has taken 17 wickets in seven matches. In second place is Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Chris Morris, who has 14 in seven. Morris was the most expensive purchase in the history of the IPL before the 2021 tournament. He has plenty of expectations to meet.
What could the location change bring?
The IPL not being hosted in India is not new for many players. The tournament has been played in the UAE in the past - and even had a stint in South Africa in 2009. Batsman, bowlers, wicketkeepers and all-rounders of such high-profile expertise and experience are well versed in adapting to different conditions. The small dimensions of the boundaries in Abu Dhabi could make it tough for the bowlers to cope. The two-paced pitch in Sharjah might have the batsmen struggling initially. Dubai has traditionally offered solid contests between bat and ball. The UAE will also host the 2021 T20 World Cup, along with Oman. The IPL 2021 is a great opportunity for players who will later represent their countries in the T20I showpiece to gain insight into the conditions and circumstances expected mere weeks later.
Participation of Australian players
It will be interesting to see if the Australian stars previously involved in the IPL 2021 return. Travel restrictions and other factors might make it difficult for Kolkata fast bowler Pat Cummins and other Australian recruits to commit to returning.