The 14th Edition of the Indian Premier League moved to UAE after covid outbreaks in many camps that led to interruption in the middle of the tournament. However, UAE leg wasn’t really affected by the virus and the IPL went on smoothly. As we saw many low scoring thrillers and a few one-sided matches too in this year’s tournament, the top-4 teams displayed immense grit and skills to quality for the playoff stages. DC, CSK, KKR & RCB are the four teams that are now in contention to lay their hand on the silverware.
Much like the previous season, Delhi Capitals have had a sublime run of form throughout the tournament. While it was their openers Shaw and Dhawan that lead from the front in the Indian leg, it was their bowlers mainly Nortje and Avesh dominated the UAE leg. Captain Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer too played important innings to ensure that DC qualify at the top spot this year with 10 wins (20 points) from 14 matches.
Also Read: One Key Player for Each IPL Team for UAE Leg
After recording their worst run in IPL 2020 CSK have roared back loud and were the first team to qualify for the playoffs. Their openers Ruturaj and Du Plessis have done bulk of damage to the opposition while their all-rounders Jadeja and Bravo have contributed with both bat and ball to lend CSK a top-2 finish on the points table with 18 points from 14 matches. However, the hat trick of losses during the final stages of league games have hampered their winning momentum but captain MS Dhoni & coach Fleming will make sure that team stays motivated.
The third team to qualify for playoffs stage is Virat Kohli led RCB. Their star performer this season with the bat has been Glenn Maxwell. At an average of 45.27 and strike rate of 140+, Maxwell has amassed 498 runs this season. However, Harshal Patel has been their standout performer in this year’s IPL with 30 wickets at an average of 14.7 & economy of under 9. The purple cap holder has been pivotal in their majestic run & they are going into final stages with huge momentum after beating DC in the last game of the league stage.
The team that made late entry into the final-4 is KKR. With only 2 wins out of 7 games at the halfway mark, many cricket experts thought that KKR will not qualify for the playoffs. But their impressive turnaround since the start of the UAE leg has made them a force to reckon in the league. All their Indian batter – Gill, Tripathi, Karthik & especially Venkatesh Iyer have performed consistently while their bowling is working like a well-oiled machine. The two time champions KKR are well placed to win their third title.
By finishing in the top-2, DC & CSK will play the first Qualifier (Q1) on 10th of October 2021. The winner of the match will move directly into the final, while, the loser will get a second chance and will play against the winner of Eliminator match between KKR & RCB which will be played on 11th. Qualifier 2 will be played on 13th October while the final match of Indian Premier League 2021 will be on 15th October 2021 at Dubai International Stadium.
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