It’s still early days in the Indian Premier League 2021 and here are the next iconic IPL rivalries to look at, while the action unfolds…
The Boss himself has tasted the biggest IPL rivalries at first hand! And now we are ready to share his exclusive insights with you.
Punjab Kings v Mumbai Indians (PBKS v MI)
- A Super Over was needed last year to separate the two in the second Group Game, which the Punjab Kings won. Champions Mumbai won’t want that to happen again. Let’s see…
MI lead 14-12 in the head-to-head against PBKS. Last season, both sides won a game against each other. MI all-rounder Kieron Pollard and Rohit will be key for MI as they have scored 498 and 423 runs against Punjab, while Punjab will want Rahul (383 runs) to continue his score runs against Mumbai. MI fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has tasted success against PBKS as he has picked 17 wickets in their games so far.
After playing what many called the best IPL game ever in 2020, every Punjab Kings and Mumbai Indians game promises to offer some top-notch cricket action.
Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders (RR v KKR)
- Kolkata have bossed this game recently, winning six out of the last seven between them. Will the tide turn this year, or will the Knight Riders come out on top again?
KKR lead the head-to-head by 12-10, while they also had won both their games against RR in the 2020 edition of IPL. Ahead of the upcoming IPL 2021, KKR clearly have an upper hand, having won six out of their previous eight matches against Rajasthan.
KKR’s Sunil Narine (10 wickets) and Shakib-Al-Hasan (9 wickets) have the best record among Kolkata’s bowlers against RR. With the new captain Sanju Samson and new squad additions in Chris Morris, Liam Livingstone, and all-rounder Shivam Dube, RR will hope to revive their run in the league, especially after they finished at the bottom of the table last year.
RR captain Samson has struggled against Narine as the wicketkeeper-batsman has managed to average just 13 against the spinner, getting out to him three times in nine innings.
Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Capitals (SRH v DC)
- Shikhar Dhawan scored a mountain of runs for SRH before moving to DC ahead of the 2019 IPL. Will it be Dhawan’s current team, or ex-team, who come out on top?
SRH have supremely dominated over DC over the years as they lead 11-7 in the head-to-head. In IPL 2020, these two teams faced off thrice, out of which SRH won two games. However, in their last six meetings, both sides have claimed three victories each. Having scored over 400 runs, David Warner and Kane Williamson will be crucial for SRH and their battle against Rabada will be interesting. For DC, Pant and Iyer have done well with the bat and will once again be key and SRH’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar will look to resume his battle with DC batsmen, having picked 13 wickets against Delhi so far.
Punjab Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders (PBKS v KKR)
- It’s pretty much been one-way traffic over the years with KKR winning 18 times to the Punjab Kings’ 9. Can the Kings at least get to 10? You bet!
KKR have defeated PK 18 times so far, including the IPL 2014 final, while PBKS have won just nine. In their previous six encounters, Punjab have managed just two wins and hence, KL Rahul and Co will look to better their record over these opponents in IPL 2021.
In very little time at PBKS, Chris Gayle has established a decent record against KKR, scoring 331 runs. But he and the rest of the PBKS batsmen will have to be well prepared to face Sunil Narine, who has picked a total of 28 wickets against Punjab over the years.
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Delhi Capitals v Royal Challengers Bangalore (DC v RCB)
- It’s sometimes forgotten that RCB skipper Virat Kohli is of course originally from Delhi, not Bangalore. Even more reason for Kohli to want to do well in this fixture!
Even though DC beat RCB in both their games last season, Virat Kohli and Co still lead 15-10 in the head-to-head. But DC could have an edge as they have won four out of their previous six matches against RCB. Delhi will be wary of the RCB’s explosive duo of Kohli and AB de Villiers as the have scored 921 and 589 runs respectively against DC over the years. DC pacer Kagiso Rabada, who has picked 12 wickets vs RCB so far, will be key for his side once again. RCB spinner Chahal, who has 14 wickets vs DC, will hope to once again trouble the Delhi batters.
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Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals (MI v RR)
- In 2020 MI won the tournament while Rajasthan finished rock bottom. The Royals will be desperate to try to reverse that this year
One of the most awaited encounters in the IPL is MI vs RCB that put two of India’s best limited-overs cricketers against each other – Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli. While Rohit has helped MI win five titles, the Indian captain Kohli has failed to win even one IPL trophy. Moreover, MI lead 19-10 in the head-to-head and have also won four out of their last six meetings in the IPL. MI pacer Bumrah has claimed 19 RCB wickets so far, while Kohli and de Villiers have scored 600-plus runs each against MI. It will be interesting to see who tastes success in MI vs RCB games in this edition of IPL.
Delhi Capitals v Kolkata Knight Riders (DC v KKR)
- With multiple high-performing Indian and international players, any and all northern derby clashes featuring these two teams are guaranteed to generate some incredible moments of world-class cricket action
Out of the 27 encounters between KKR and DC over the years, KKR have won 14 in comparison to DC’s 12 wins. KKR and DC claimed a win against each other in IPL 2020, while they have won four matches each in their last eight meetings.
Among current DC batters, Shreyas Iyer (425 runs) and Prithvi Shaw (241 runs) have done well against these opponents, while all-rounder Andre Russell (231 runs and 13 wickets) has performed well for KKR against Delhi. Both Russell and Shaw did not have a great run last term and their respective sides will hope to see the two back in form in time for IPL 2021.
One of the key battles to watch out for in this fixture is Delhi skipper Shreyas v Russell. The West Indian all-rounder has dismissed Iyer as many as five times in nine innings and Iyer averages less than 13 against Russell.
Rajasthan Royals v Sunrisers Hyderabad (RR v SRH)
- Manish Pandey top-scored for SRH in both games last season. Pandey loves playing the Royals, so they’ll have to stop him somehow if they’re to win the game
2018 remains the only year in IPL where head-to-head games between these sides saw no wins from any one side. Sunrisers Hyderabad won both matches in 2018 against Rajasthan Royals, whereas in no other year has either team not won a single game in head-to-head matches.
Rajasthan might have the stronger squad, but Hyderabad have the resources to keep the Rajasthan outfit silent: Rashid to counter Buttler and Warner and Williamson to keep Archer at bay.
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Punjab Kings (RCB v PBKS)
- North meets south as Punjab Kings, the most northerly side in the IPL, meet the most southern one in Virat Kohli’s RCB
Having faced off 26 times in the IPL, PBKS won 14 matches against RCB, while Virat Kohli’s side has won 12 against Punjab. RCB and PBKS played each other twice last year and it was KL Rahul’s Punjab, who had triumphed in both the games. Glenn Maxwell, who failed to hit a single six in IPL 2020, has switched from PBKS to RCB. Kohli and Co will hope Maxwell returns to form for the upcoming tournament.
PBKS acquired Jhye Richardson, Dawid Malan, Sharukh Khan, and Moises Henriques at the auction and will hope to challenge for the title this season. Some of RCB and Kohli’s best performances have come against PBKS. In IPL 2016, the rains had cut short a PBKS vs RCB game to 15 overs. Despite that Kohli had managed to score a century. His 50-ball 113 had helped RCB to put up 211 runs before PBKS were restricted to 120.
Among the interesting head to heads in PBKS vs RCB will be the battle between Mayank Agarwal and Yuzvendra Chahal, where Mayank has managed to score 56 runs off 27 balls against the spinner at an average of 18.7 and a strike-rate over 200. Chahal has managed to dismiss Mayank three times in six innings.
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