The Indian Premier League boasts some of the best stars in the world competing to be crowned champion. Few teams have had the success that the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings have had as the defending champion, 5-time winner, and the 3-time winner are on a collision course yet again as they are ranked 2nd and 4th on the table currently. However, there are teams like the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals, looking to come out on top with both seeking their maiden IPL title. The competition this time around is intense in the second leg as teams battle fiercely to either gain an upper hand in the playoffs or qualify for it. Here are the teams to keep an eye on as the tournament progresses.
Delhi are the frontrunners currently as they sit comfortably at the top of the table. The 201 semi-finalists have a balanced squad and can beat the best on any given day as long as they maintain their consistency. Big matches have always been a problem for Delhi as they were unable to get over the hurdle in their previous attempts. The right mixture of young stars and wily veterans gives the Capitals the perfect squad to finally capture their maiden IPL trophy. The return of Shreyas Iyer is surely a huge boost to the squad, as they now have the ideal top order to dismantle the best opposing bowling attacks. The presence of stars such as Steve Smith, R Ashwin and Shikhar Dhawan provides Delhi with ample experience to finally get over the hump.
Chennai Super Kings
The Chennai Super Kings led by 'Captain Cool' Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been a perennial fixture in the playoffs apart from the two years that they were suspended and a disappointing group-stage exit in 2020. CSK looks to turn things around this time and have the right tools in their arsenal to do so. The 3-time champions possess the deepest batting lineup in the league as they are capable of batting down to their 10th man. This gives them an added advantage while chasing down massive scores, allowing the batsmen to play a more aggressive free-flowing style without having to worry about losing their wicket. The return of Australian quickie Josh Hazlewood would provide the team with a more potent bowling attack. CSK has the squad and the ideal leader to go all the way and add yet another trophy to their cabinet.
The defending champions have one of the most complete rosters in the league and have the tools necessary to add a sixth IPL trophy to their cabinet. The firepower they possess is up there with the best in the league as they feature the likes of Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya among others. The experience of being the defending champions and the most successful team in the history of the league is sure to play in Mumbai's favour. Do not be surprised if you see Rohit Sharma lift yet another trophy on October 15th.
The Rajasthan Royals come into the second leg of the tournament as the dark horse. The Royals are currently fighting for the playoffs while being placed in 5th position, two points behind Mumbai. Ably captained by Sanju Samson, Rajasthan possesses one of the most potent bowling lineups in the league featuring the likes of the world's best t20 bowler in Tabraiz Shamsi, Mustafizur Rahman and Chris Morris. The Royals have ample opportunities to overtake Mumbai and land into the qualifiers, giving them a good chance to fight for the trophy.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, led by Virat Kohli, is still seeking their maiden IPL title. The Bengaluru based team has the ideal opportunity this time around as they possess a deep squad and are placed in a good situation to go all the way. RCB has an explosive top order that can rip apart the best opposing bowling attacks, as the likes of Virat Kohli, ABD, Glen Maxwell, and youngster Devdutt Padikall can wreak havoc at a moments notice. Bangalore also has an ex-factor in the form of ace Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga who can provide them with timely wickets and chip in with the bat when needed.