Ever since COVID-19 struck the 2021 edition of Indian Premier League, fans have been waiting eagerly for the resumption of this cash-rich league. After a lot deliberation and changes in the International schedule, BCCI have finally found a window to conduct the remaining leg of this edition. Although it is still remained to be seen how BCCI manage the availability issues with various International players.
The first half of the competition in India produced some of the most enthralling Cricket in Indian summer. With the remainder set to be moved to UAE, teams will have to adjust accordingly in order to have their chances unharmed for the play-offs. As of now, Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians are forming the top half of the points table. Unless anything dramatic happens in UAE, these 4 sides are likely to make their ways into the play-offs.
BCCI have announced that they will be conducting the remaining part of IPL 2021 in the UAE during September-October this year. This will carry even more importance now with T20 World Cup set to be held in UAE just after IPL finishes. The final schedule is not out yet but Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are the likely venues just like last year’s edition. It is understood that BCCI have confirmed the window between 18th September and 12th October for the same in their recently concluded meetings.
We are in for an entertaining second half of this year’s IPL edition. Over the years, the gulf between these IPL teams have narrowed and with that, seasons have become closer and tighter. This year is going to be no different as there will be a battle for every inch. Apart from the usual suspects of CSK and MI, Delhi Capitals would want to go that one step further after last year’s final appearance. Also, Royal Challengers Bangalore have looked all set to bid for their first ever title this year from what we have seen so far in India.
After a disappointing season last year when they missed out on IPL Play-offs for the very first time, Chennai Super Kings have come soaring back in this edition so far. They have won 5 of their first 7 matches and sitting comfortably at the second position in the points table. But they are going back to UAE again where they struggled to adapt last time around. But knowing MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming, they would be ready with some counter plans this year. Another important factor for CSK to be considered would be the availability of their star English players – Moeen Ali and Sam Curran. If they are not available, it will be interesting to see who CSK team management brings up as their replacements.
You can feel right from the start of last year that Mike Hesson has brought something different to the table for Royal Challengers Bangalore. His efforts have began to earn fruits this season with RCB starting strongly by winning 5 of their first 7 games in the league. Two notable buys for RCB were Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson. And both players made important contributions during the first half of the season. With most of their overseas players likely to be available for the second half as well, RCB won’t face combination issues like others. It’s all about adapting to the UAE conditions and delivering goods on the big nights.
Current table-toppers and last year’s finalists – Delhi Capitals would be eager to attempt another shy at the glory once the tournament restarts in UAE. With winning 6 matches from first 8, they are all set to make it to another play-offs this year. Under Rishabh Pant, they have gone strength to strength this year. With Shreyas Iyer likely to be available for the second half, it will be interesting to see how they handle the captaincy situation. Ideally, they would like to give Rishabh Pant a full season. Apart from that, Delhi Capitals wouldn’t be sweating too much over the availability of English players as they anyway don’t form the core at DC.
As usual, cricket fans can’t wait to watch how this part of the season unfolds in UAE. Come September, they would be cheering for their favourite teams in front of TV. Don’t forget to catch up with all the latest about IPL 2021 as we will be continuing our build-up to this season with various insightful articles. We will be also covering daily fantasy content on all our portals.
As mentioned earlier, IPL’s governing body – BCCI have officially announced that IPL will go ahead in UAE during September-October window. Official announcement of schedule is still pending but there is very little doubt about the season going ahead just before the T20 World Cup. With top BCCI officials currently in Oman and UAE, one can expect that final shapes to be given to this season very soon.
With the confirmation of the season being held in UAE, it would mostly depict the picture about the venues there. Just like last year, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah would mostly remain the primary venues for this year as well. Though there were many complications with T20 WC being held just after the IPL, most of them are settled now with the qualifying rounds of WC moving to Oman.
With UAE avoiding the worst of the recent COVID waves, it is highly likely that we may see some spectators at an IPL game very soon. Apart from that, vaccination drives are also in full throttle in the Emirates. Keeping all these things in mind, BCCI are likely to allow vaccinated fans in the stands after the approval from UAE governments.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have done many things right in past couple of seasons. And at some point, they would be reaping the rewards of that after all those years of disappointments. Nobody can predict the exact winner but with Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers in full flow with enough support from the bowlers, RCB are one of the contenders for this year.