8 franchises face 8 challenges as the title race resumes tomorrow
IPL 2021: 8 franchises facing 8 challenges – After a long hiatus, the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League returns with the familiar parameters of the United Arab Emirates and eight franchises face unique challenges. If MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) want to defeat the 2020 UAE ghosts, Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are still chasing an IPL title while Rohit Sharma’s Indians (MI) aim for the consistency of the intermediate order.
For others, there is no shortage of problems. The Punjab Kings’ heaviest hitting roster didn’t help as their bowling left a lot to be desired. For Delhi Capitals, everything seems perfect but they too have had inconsistencies in the average order. For Rajasthan Royals, it’s about preparing a new team for the big challenge.
SRH and KKR both found themselves in uncharted territory. While SRH had controversially dropped its best player David Warner off the bench, KKR captain Eoin Morgan failed to shoot as their strike at batting and Andre Russell’s batting form left a lot unanswered questions.
Also read: CSK vs MI IPL 2021: Chennai CEO on availability of Faf Du Plessis, “After quarantine we will access his injury and take the call”
But before the resumption of IPL 2021, InsideSport looks at 8 team issues.
Capitals of Delhi (DC): Inconsistent intermediate order: At the top of the table, despite the absence of their captain Shreyas Iyer in the first half, it may seem like a good comeback, but they are not without problems. Iyer’s return creates a selection conundrum for Rishabh Pant. He will have to choose between his former captain and one of the best drummers of the generation Steve Smith. But it is the inconsistency of the intermediate order that will have to be corrected.
- In the absence of Shreyas Iyer, in 8 games the No. 3 and 4 batsmen have scored 312 points combined with 5 batsmen trying out positions.
- Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith and even Rishabh Pant’s inconsistency in both positions didn’t help.
- But with Iyer returning, DC’s headache will be who to bench and whether Steve Smith can be brought in at the expense of a bowler.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK): Form of MS Dhoni: Placed second in the points table, CSK led by MS Dhoni has regained its form after a terrible 2020 campaign. But it is the form of their captain that worries the team. Dhoni scored at an average of just 12.33. The lack of confidence in his stick is evident as the former Indian skipper chose to strike at No.7 instead of promoting himself in order. As Dhoni takes longer to settle in he can no longer play the role of finisher and this is where CSK struggled.
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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): 4 new foreign players: The RCB led by Virat Kohli started well to be placed at No 3, but they have a history of inconsistency. In addition, in the second phase, they will have four new foreign players who will have to settle quickly in just three days.
Mumbai Indians (MI): Hardik Pandya mystery: The Mumbai Indians led by Rohit Sharma have not been affected by the midseason transfers. But it is the form and physical form of Hardik Pandya that remains the biggest challenge. He didn’t knock down a single one in Phase 1 of the 2021 IPL when he failed with the bat. He has since returned to bowling but struggled with the bat. The others in the middle ranks also didn’t shoot consistently and that could have an impact on their title defense.
Calendar / Teams / Live / IPL 2021 points table / Orange cap / Purple cap
Royals of Rajasthan (RR): Inconsistency everywhere: While they will have 3 new foreign players in the Playing XI, it will be their inconsistency that will concern them the most. Sanju Samson has consistently beaten in the second half of Phase 1 of the 2021 IPL, but they will be missed Jos Buttler as the bowling department will have a new face in Tabraiz Shasmi with the return of Liam Livingstone. The new opening combination will need to freeze early while a lot of consistent results will be needed in their remaining 7 games..
Punjab Kings (PBKS): heaviest hitter: Take out KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal and the Punjab Kings’ tracks dry up considerably. There will be no Dawid Malan or the two pointers and PBKS is looking at yet another disappointing campaign. The likes of Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Shahrukh Khan have not had a successful season while with the ball aside from Mohammed Shami there is not much to write about.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Bad form: The Eoin Morgan-led KKR suffered from poor player form. Not only opener Shubman Gill, skipper Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi inconsistent, but Shakib Al Hasan all had a bad campaign as well. In addition, they will be without Pat Cummins and will lack batting depth. To turn around, Eoin Morgan must first get back into shape with Shubman Gill and Andre Russell to have any chance of a turnaround.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Strange Decisions: Firing skipper David Warner is one decision, but dropping their top batsman is another. The feud between Warner and SRH management has reached a boiling point. While Kane Williamson offered a balm, their poor show on the pitch didn’t help. David Warner must return to the top while closing the gap for Jonny Bairstow will be the other challenge.
Also read: Sam curran और Faf du Plessis का पहले मैच से बाहर होना तय, जानिए क्या हो सकती है Chennai Super Kings की Play XI