Ahead of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is set to begin on April 9 in Chennai, here are the next few rivalries to look at.
The Boss himself has tasted the biggest IPL rivalries at first hand! And now we are ready to share his exclusive insights with you…
Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad (MI v SRH)
- If Mumbai are arguably the best batting side in the competition, then SRH are the best bowling one. A fascinating contrasting of styles makes compelling viewing
Hyderabad, an undeservedly underrated franchise, has equal number of wins and losses against the greatest IPL franchise ever. The sides have shared a fabulous history and some outstanding games in the past including the 2019 game where Mumbai defended 136 with a 6-wicket haul from Alzarri Joseph as Sunrisers were bowled out for 96.
Despite the strong side Sunrisers are, Mumbai have a well-rounded outfit with some extraordinary players and are better placed to win the head-to-head games.
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders (RCB v KKR)
- Virat Kohli and Eoin Morgan recently captained their countries in a fine T20I and ODI series just before the IPL. Now in charge of RCB and KKR respectively in the IPL, they go to battle once again. Not to miss out…
The last few matches between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders have been dominated by the Andre Russell factor. The Kolkata big-hitter is a genuine threat in the Chinnaswamy, but this year RCB play a large chunk of their games in Eden in Kolkata’s backyard.
A strong batting line-up makes RCB powerful but Kolkata have the counter for them with some depth and big-hitters. It will be a tough contest, one that could go 1-1 in the two games.
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Delhi Capitals v Punjab Kings (DC v PBKS)
- Delhi beat Punjab Kings in a Super Over last year in their first game of the IPL and that set the tone for each team’s fortunes. The Kings are out for revenge
PBKS lead the head-to-head by 15-11, with both sides claiming a win against each other last year. Ahead of the upcoming edition, Punjab are in a better position, having won five out of their eight previous meetings. With the addition of Jhye Richardson, Dawid Malan, Sharukh Khan, and Moises Henriques, PBKS have enough options to experiment in their playing XIs. Delhi are well prepared too, having secured Steven Smith, Umesh Yadav, and Sam Billings in the auction.
Among the current players of both sides, DC captain Shreyas Iyer has the best record in their encounters, having scored 298 runs in 11 games.
When DC and PBKS come face to face, Delhi will hope their senior batsman Shikhar Dhawan continue his form against Punjab’s pacing ace, Mohammed Shami, who is yet to dismiss the batsman in as many as nine innings.
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Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals (CSK v RR)
- CSK have had the upper hand over the years, but when the Royals won the first-ever IPL, it was Chennai that they beat in the final. Since then, every match has been incredibly intense and highly entertaining
These teams have shared one of the best ever overseas players in the league: Shane Watson. The Australian spent time with Rajasthan before moving to Chennai to win a title in 2018 and retired after the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League.
Rajasthan focused on building a good squad while Chennai were emotional with their picks in the auction. As such, Rajasthan have great chances of winning the head-to-head games this season.
Delhi Capitals v Mumbai Indians (DC v MI)
- These were the two teams who contested last year’s IPL final, which Mumbai won comfortably. Will it be different his time round?
Defending champions Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals have met a total of 28 times, with MI leading in the head-to-head with 16-12. MI and DC played each other a total of four times last season and Rohit Sharma-led MI won all the games, including the final. In their last six meetings, DC have managed to clinch just one win. Hence, when the two sides lock horns in IPL 2021, MI will certainly have the upper hand. The skippers of both the teams have done well in these games, with Rohit leading with 633 runs and Shreyas Iyer next with 326 runs.
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Punjab Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad (PBKS v SRH)
- Jonny Bairstow hit a brilliant 97 against Punjab last year. The English opener will be eyeing up a century this time, the Kings will be eyeing up revenge
SRH have won 11 games while Punjab have won just five in head-to-head games between these sides. The battle between the world’s best leg-spinner, Rashid Khan, and Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, makes this a great rivalry.
Punjab have bolstered their squad with some great additions this auction, and are better placed to win their head-to-head against Hyderabad despite the overwhelming record in the past.
Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings (KKR v CSK)
- KKR beat CSK in the 2012 final by five wickets to win their first-ever IPL title. So, there’s no love lost between these two
Once again, it is CSK who lead the head-to-head with 15-9. In their last eight meetings, both sides have claimed four wins each, so the results could go either way in IPL 2021. Once again, Raina has the best record among CSK batters against KKR, with 736 runs. Only two sides have defeated CSK in an IPL final – Mumbai Indians and KKR. The Kolkata side had chased down CSK’s target of 191 to clinch the title in 2012.
Spinner Sunil Narine has been KKR’s best vs CSK, having picked 15 wickets so far in the purple jersey. With all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan back to their camp apart from the additions of Harbhajan Singh and Ben Cutting, KKR will hope to dominate over CSK and other sides in IPL 2021.
Dinesh Karthik will have everyone’s eyes on him when he’ll face CSK’s Imran Tahir. One of the key batters of KKR, DK has thoroughly struggled against Tahir, scoring just 31 runs in six innings and has got out to the Proteas bowler three times so far.
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Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals (RCB v RR)
- Kohli and co beat the Royals in both Group Stage matches last year. Will history repeat itself or will the shoe be on the other foot in 2021?
The most iconic game between these sides came in the second edition of the IPL in 2009. Defending a low total, Anil Kumble ran riot with the ball, picking up a fifer on the Cape Town deck as RR were bundled out for just 58 runs.
Rajasthan have a better squad for IPL 2021 with better overseas buys at the auction, and have greater chances of winning the head-to-head against Bangalore.
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