It’s time for the blockbuster T20 cricket tournament of the world – the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) arrives this weekend! The premier franchise T20 competition returns to India, albeit in a reduced manner in the new Covid environment. Instead of the usual home and away format, the eight franchises are set to play in six different venues over the next 50-odd days.
The 14th edition of the IPL will see the eight franchises - Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad will fight out across venues in Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata.
While COVID-19 continues to be the outlying factor, the teams will look to make the most of their squads in reaching the playoffs and eventually winning the title. So, which side looks the best?
Two-time defending champions Mumbai Indians have won the title four times in the last six seasons and look extremely competitive to make it a three-peat.
Rohit Sharma’s side boasts of two Aussie T20 stars in Chris Lynn and Nathan Coulter-Nile, although both remain backups in the squad and do not have great chances of game time. Keep an eye on Coulter-Nile, though, who has been impressive for Mumbai whenever he got a chance.
One team that is expected to challenge Mumbai all the way is Delhi Capitals. With new captain Rishabh Pant at the helm, the Capitals have high expectations of doing better than being losing finalists last year. Their hopes will revolve around all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. The Aussie bulwark scored 352 runs (SR 148.52) and picked up 13 wickets last season and has been the cynosure of their campaign. The Capitals have landed Steve Smith in the player auction and the former Aussie captain could make a difference to their fortunes – at least in vital matches.
Among other Aussies, Pat Cummins and Ben Cutting in the Kolkata Knight Riders stable provide an interesting combo. Cummins was KKR’s second-best bowler last season (12 wickets), but has been equally impressive with the bat (146 runs, Avg. 20.85). Ben Cutting may not get too many games, although his versatility and experience could be a game changer.
Similarly, among the Aussie outliers are Moises Henriques at the Punjab Kings and Andrew Tye at Rajasthan Royals. While Henriques may struggle for game time, Tye could be a starter for the Royals – at least for the start of the tournament. However, the biggest attraction from down under will be in the form of Glenn Maxwell for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The all-rounder struggled for Kings XI Punjab last season, but is gunning for a redemption season.
The biggest opportunity from those down under may be reserved for David Warner. The aggressive Aussie opener will be back leading the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who remain one of the biggest underdogs of the season. With three ‘Orange Cap’ wins in the last six years, Warner remains one of the biggest players in this year’s competition. Expect the opener to be close to the top of the run charts once again!
Considering the consistency of Sunrisers Hyderabad – they have reached the playoffs in each of the last five seasons – they can be backed to reach the last four once again.
For a pick for the outright winner, it’s hard to go past the consistency of the Mumbai Indians. They are going to be thereabouts when the finals roll around, and we can expect their experience to shine through. The ones to beat!
The conference semi-finals in the NBA are almost done and dusted at the time of writing, and by Monday just four teams will remain in the hunt for the 2020-21 NBA title. Check out our full preview and betting tips for the Conference Semis, beginning on Monday, here read more
The 2021 NBL Grand Final series between Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats continues on Sunday night. Catch our match prediction and best player prop bet for this crucial Game 2 right here! read more
Just the one game on Sunday in the AFL this week and while it’s not a blockbuster, it’s all we’ve got. PuntingInDanger is here to guide you through the game in full and give his preview and AFL tips here. read more
The best Australian sports betting sites ensure safe and successful online betting for punters. Here's our list of the best sports betting options in Australia. read more
Julian Vallance from Sportsbet takes us through some of the key factors which he uses with pricing upcoming horse races such as performance ratings. Check out his video from Sportsbet here. read more
Over-Round is an important concept for both punters and sportsbooks. It's how Australian sportsbooks make money! All punters should understand over-round, how to spot it, and how to find better value on the Betfair Exchange. read more
Ever wondered why you can get such great odds at Betfair in comparison to other online bookmakers? We break down why that is the case and why Betfair isn't just for professional punters here read more
The bye rounds continued over the long Queen's Birthday weekend with just the six games across five days for Round 13. Check out our analysis, Brownlow vote predictions for Round 13 and our current Brownlow leaderboard here! read more
Just the six games of AFL during Round 12 of the 2021 AFL season but that was enough for the likes of Marcus Bontempelli, Dustin Martin, Darcy Parish and Clayton Oliver to add to their Brownlow Medal tallies. Who got the Round 12 Brownlow votes? Find out here... read more
We have a new leader in our 2021 Brownlow Medal leaderboard. After an amazing month, Melbourne's Clayton Oliver is now on top of our counts after Round 11. Check out who got our Brownlow votes and all the analysis from Round 11 here! read more
Some interesting games in Round 10 of the AFL season where the best players arguably came from the losing teams. Will the umpires see it the same as we did? Read on to find out our Brownlow vote predictions for Round 10. read more