IPL 2021 refresher: DC lead, SRH hit rock bottom, what each team has to do to seal playoff berth – all you need to know

IPL 2021: DC, CSK, RCB, MI, RR, PBKS, 8 franchises facing 8 challenges as race for IPL title resumes tomorrow in Dubai
IPL 2021: DC, CSK, RCB, MI, RR, PBKS, 8 franchises facing 8 challenges as race for IPL title resumes tomorrow in Dubai

IPL 2021 refresher: What each franchise need to do to seal playoff berth? Next Sunday, IPL 2021 will return after a five-month break. It was suspended midway through the season following a COVID-19 outbreak inside the bio-bubble. With Rishabh Pant led Delhi Capitals leading the points table, newly-appointed skipper Kane Williamson will have to turn things around for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2021 Phase 2. But it’s the break in momentum that will be crucial.

With just seven days left and not all stars joining their team practice, it will be a difficult task for all the franchises especially for them with Indian players who are coming straight from the UK. All of them will have to spend six days in quarantine, meaning they will only join the team’s practice just three days ahead of the first match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians on September 19.

As it stands, let’s look at the points table and what each franchise could do to enter the playoff stage.

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Delhi Capitals (1st, 12 points): With six wins and two losses, Delhi Capitals are currently the leaders. Under Rishabh Pant’s captaincy, DC have done well and with Shreyas Iyer’s return, the team will be even stronger.

IPL 2021 refresher: What do Delhi Capitals need to do?

  • With six matches left, DC will need to win at least two more and get four points to stay afloat in the playoff battle.
  • Having 16 points have been the cut-off for play-off but Net-Run-Rate will also come into the picture.
  • DC face SRH, RR, CSK, RCB, KKR and MI in their last six games and winning three will see them directly in the playoffs.
  • But they will need to sort out the bowling attack with Chris Woakes out and also the middle-order. Both Steve Smith and Shreyas Iyer are returning from injuries while Ajinkya Rahane is out of form.

IPL 2021 refresher: DC lead, SRH hit rock bottom, what each team has to do to seal playoff berth – all you need to know

Chennai Super Kings (2nd, 10 points): At second place, MS Dhoni-led CSK have done well to turn around things. After a disappointing IPL 2020, they have found the rhythm. But they are going back to UAE where things didn’t go as per plans. CSK have traditionally done well on slower pitches like the Chepauk and it could hinder their performance.

IPL 2021 refresher: What do Chennai Super Kings need to do?

  • CSK will need to win at least three more matches out of seven to be in contention.
  • They face MI, RCB, RR, DC, PBKS, KKR and SRH in their last seven outings and they need to beat at least three of them.
  • However, CSK need to sort out their batting a bit. Opener Faf Du Plessis hasn’t been in great form even though he scored a century in the CPL. Furthermore, skipper MS Dhoni has also struggled with the bat.
  • It is their lower-order that will give them confidence with R Jadeja, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar all doing well with the bat.

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Royal Challengers Bangalore (3rd, 10 points): Sitting at 3rd place, Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) started well and then fumbled against CSK. All they have to do is to win three more matches out of seven and they can find themselves in playoffs. But they have to be consistent. In IPL 2020, despite starting well, RCB lost steam and managed 4th place finish before bowing out in the eliminator. RCB face PBKS, SRH, DC, KKR, CSK, MI and RR.

IPL 2021 refresher: What do Royal Challengers Bangalore need to do?

  • They need to be consistent. RCB have again shown the signs of inconsistency and that could haunt them.
  • Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers who starred in Phase 1, hasn’t played any match since IPL Phase 1 and that could be problematic.
  • Skipper Virat is also out of form and he needs to address that.
  • However, the inclusion of Wanindu Hasaranga could be a blessing as the pitches could assist spinners and the Sri Lankan is in prime form.

Mumbai Indians (4th, 8 points): Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians always play catch-up game and that is evident in their current season. With four losses and three wins, they are placed 4th with 8 points and need to win at least four games to be in contention. Mumbai Indians will face CSK, KKR, DC, RR, SRH, RCB, and PBKS.

IPL 2021 refresher: What do Mumbai Indians need to do?

  • Their inconsistency is down to their middle-order. The likes of Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya have all been inconsistent and that has to be sorted.
  • In the top-order, Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma too haven’t done wonders and it is their bowling that have won them games.
  • The batsmen must return to form and both Rohit Sharma and de Kock have shown they are in good touch.

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Rajasthan Royals (5th, 6 points): Another season another inconsistent performance. But their inconsistency is mostly down to the unavailability of players. They have missed Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer greatly. They have won three and lost four and that has to be the opposite in the last phase. RR face PBKS, RCB, CSK, MI, KKR, DC, SRH in their last seven matches and need to win at least five.

IPL 2021 refresher: What do Rajasthan Royals need to do?

  • They need to sort out the squad first. They will miss Jos Buttler and that will be a blow.
  • Sanju Samson has done well but needs consistency while in the bowling department, Mustafizur Rahman could play a leading role with the kind of form he is in.
  • They need five wins and it won’t be easy but they could still qualify with some good performances.
  • The replacement players and Liam Livingstone will have to come good.

Punjab Kings (6th, 6 points): Despite skipper KL Rahul’s fantastic form, Punjab Kings have won just three of their 8 matches. But with five wins from the last six could see them in the playoffs. They face RR, KKR, RCB, CSK, SRH and MI in the last six matches.

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  • Missing Dawid Malan would be a blow but Aiden Markram has done well at the South Africa top-order and will aim to fire ahead of the T20 WC.
  • They need the middle-order to score runs as PBKS have a top-heavy batting order.
  • The likes of Shahrukh Khan, Chris Gayle, Fabian Allen and Nicholas Pooran all have to contribute.

Kolkata Knight Riders (7th, 4 points): Mathematically, KKR are still in the game and need six wins out of seven matches to qualify. They have won just two games and lost five and that will need to reverse to have a chance to seal playoff berths. KKR face RCB, DC, PBKS, SRH, RR, MI and CSK in their last seven.

IPL 2021 refresher: What Kolkata Knight Riders need to do?

  • KKR need their batsmen to fire. All have done poorly.
  • Opener Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, and skipper Eoin Morgan must return to form for KKR to be in the playoffs.
  • Andre Russell is another puzzle. He hasn’t been consistent with the bat and that has to change.
  • Shakib Al Hasan could play a bigger role in place of Sunil Narine aas he has been in good form.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (8th, 2 points): Like KKR, Kane Williamson’s SRH could still qualify provided everything fall in place. They need to win all seven matches to be in contention and that will be a difficult proposition. SRH face DC, PBKS, RR, RCB, MI, CSK and KKR in their last 7 games.

IPL 2021 refresher: What Sunrisers Hyderabad need to do?

  • David Warner must return to the Playing XI. Benching the former captain hasn’t been a good idea. The Australian has been the most consistent performer of IPL and needs to return to Playing XI.
  • The batsmen have to fire. With Jonny Bairstow out, SRH will find it difficult to score but they have enough batting quality in Kane Williamson, Warner, Manish Pandey. All of them have to fire.
  • In bowling, missing T Natarajan was a blow while out of form Bhuvneshwar Kumar didn’t do any favour. The youngster and Bhuvneshwar both have to return to form for them to have a chance.