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Seven Bold Indian Premier League Predictions for 2021

| March 19, 2021 7:57 am PDT

With the new Indian Premier League campaign set to commence on April 9, now feels like the perfect time to make some bold predictions for the 2021 IPL season.

Sure, I could bore you with my sensible Indian Premier League predictions for 2021. But where’s the fun in that? I mean, we all know that MI is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the title again.

Below, I pick a surprise MVP contender, a new title winner, a shock Orange Cap candidate, and more.

Without further ado, here are my bold IPL predictions for 2021.

Rashid Kahn Will Win the 2021 IPL MVP Award

Let’s be honest, Rashid Kahn certainly has the ability to win the IPL MVP at some point in his career. After all, the electric Afghanistan international was recently named the ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Decade.

At just 22, I don’t think too many people will be backing him to be the standout performer in the Indian Premier League this year. But I can see him taking the competition by storm.

Not only is Kahn a phenomenal bowler, but he can also score runs. We all know what he can do with the ball, yet his batting capabilities could give him the edge over some of the MVP frontrunners.

RASHID KAHN IN THE IPL (BOWLING STATS)
Season Matches Wickets Best Figures Economy
2020 16 20 3/7 5.37
2019 15 17 3/21 6.28
2018 17 21 3/19 6.73
2017 14 17 3/19 6.62
Overall 62 75 3/7 6.24

Having taken 17+ wickets in each of his four seasons as an IPL player, Kahn is bound to challenge for the Purple Cup in 2021. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he scoops the tournament’s biggest individual accolade.

The Sunrisers’ squad is full of world-class overseas players, with stars like David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, and Kane Williamson among the best in the league. Still, Kahn has the potential to outshine his SH team-mates and achieve greatness this year.

I just couldn’t make my bold predictions for the 2021 IPL season without including Kahn.

Delhi Capitals Clinch Their First IPL Title

The Capitals finally ended their 12-year wait for an IPL final appearance last year, only to fall to MI at the last hurdle.

With 30 wickets to his name, Kagiso Rabada clinched the 2020 Purple Cap, while Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer both scored enough runs to finish second and fourth on the Orange Cap leaderboard, respectively.

DC’s squad was strong enough to challenge for the title last season. But after making a number of high-profile acquisitions at the 2021 IPL auction, it feels as though the Delhi franchise stands an even better chance of lifting the trophy this year.

Evaluating the Delhi Capitals 2021 IPL Squad

The Capitals broke a 12-year jinx by reaching their very first IPL final last season, only to fall to the Mumbai Indians at the last hurdle. The Delhi franchise released some high-profile players soon after, with overseas stars such as Jason Roy, Alex Carey,...

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Steve Smith, Sam Billings, and Vishnu Vinod have been added to DC’s batting roster, while Ripal Patel and Tom Curran join the likes of Axar Patel, Chris Woakes, and Marcus Stoinis in the all-rounder department.

On top of that, Umesh Yadav has been brought in to bolster the Capitals’ bowling options, with Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, and Ravichandran Ashwin already at the club.

Ricky Ponting’s men threw away their chance to win the Indian Premier League in 2020, yet I’m backing them to go one better this year.

Virat Kohli Won’t Be RCB’s Top Run-Scorer

I know what you’re thinking – who would be crazy enough to predict that the highest run-getter in IPL history won’t finish as his team’s top scorer this year?

Well, it may seem stupid. But hear me out.

Virat Kohli has been RCB’s most prolific batsman in four of the past five seasons. In 2016, he even secured the Orange Cap in record-breaking style – smashing an unrivalled 973 runs in a single campaign.

However, the Royal Challengers’ captain let his ludicrously high standards slip last year. Kohli ended up finishing ninth in the 2020 run-scoring charts, with Devdutt Padikkal finishing the season as RCB’s leading batsman.

Let’s face it, Kohli could easily prove me wrong – and this could turn out to be one of my poorer 2021 IPL predictions. But I can see the Bangalore icon enduring another below-par campaign this year.

A Player Will Bowl 200+ Dot Balls

Since T20 cricket began, bowlers have continuously had to adapt their game to the shorter format. In fact, during the early years, T20 cricket was very much a batsman’s game.

But in recent times, more and more bowlers have been able to get the better of their opponents, with an increased number of dot balls being delivered year after year.

During the inaugural IPL season back in 2008, Shane Watson claimed the most dot balls, although he only managed to bowl 158. Last season, Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah both bowled 175 dot balls, with only three players in IPL history achieving more in a single campaign.

Dale Steyn is the only man to have bowled over 200 dot balls in one Indian Premier League season, while Lasith Malinga (183) and Deepak Chahar (190) have both come close to reaching the milestone over the years.

Granted, it is difficult to imagine anyone ever breaking Steyn’s record. But you can’t completely write off guys like Archer and Bumrah doing it in 2021.

Chennai Super Kings Finish Bottom of the Table

The Super Kings are officially the second-most successful team in IPL history. Only MI (5) has won more titles than CSK (3), while the Chennai franchise also holds the records for most final appearances (8) and most playoff appearances (10).

But last season, the Super Kings failed to reach the playoffs for the very first time.

No Chennai player made it into the top ten on the 2020 run-scoring leaderboard, while Sam Curran was CSK’s leading wicket-taker last year – finishing fifteenth in the Purple Cap charts. In my eyes, the Super Kings are on the decline.

Assessing the Chennai Super Kings IPL Squad for 2021

Having missed out on the playoffs for the first time in the franchise’s history last year, Chennai Super Kings’ squad for the 2021 IPL season has been given a makeover. Indian Premier League legends like Shane Watson and Harbhajan Singh left the...

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With Shane Watson retiring at the end of last season, along with players like Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh, and Piyush Chawla getting released, CSK’s squad is arguably weaker now than it was last year.

To make matters worse for CSK, MS Dhoni (39), Faf du Plessis (36), and Suresh Raina (34) are now all over the age of 33, meaning that many of Chennai’s best players are past their best.

I wanted to include the Super Kings in my predictions for the 2021 Indian Premier League, although I don’t think many people would have expected me to foresee them finishing rock bottom of the table this year.

Rishab Pant Will Claim the 2021 IPL Orange Cap

Believe it or not – Rishab Pant is still just 23.

Since making his IPL debut back in 2016, the highly rated wicketkeeper-batsman has already racked up 2079 runs across five seasons, although he hasn’t been able to challenge the Orange Cap frontrunners so far.

However, I can see the DC left-hander mounting a serious Orange Cap charge in 2021.

Since the previous IPL campaign, Pant has continued to enhance his glowing reputation. He starred in India’s Test triumphs over Australia and England – and I believe that he is now ready to become the top run-scorer in the Indian Premier League this year.

Of course, this is a brave prediction for the 2021 IPL season. KL Rahul – last season’s Orange Cap winner – smashed 670 runs, while Pant only scored 343.

World-class batsmen such as Kohli, Dhawan, and Warner are among the bookmakers’ top run-scorer favorites for the new campaign. But Pant has showed that he has the ability to upset the odds this year.

Chawla Breaks Malinga’s All-Time Wickets Record

When Piyush Chawla was released by CSK at the end of last season, there was a sense that his IPL career was over. The leg-spinner was used sparingly by the Super Kings in 2020, taking six wickets in just seven matches.

But the veteran bowler was picked up by MI in the auction, giving him the opportunity to become the leading wicket-taker in IPL history.

LEADING WICKET-TAKERS IN IPL HISTORY
Player Matches Wickets
Lasith Malinga 122 170
Amit Mishra 150 160
Piyush Chawla 163 156

As you can see from the table above, Chawla currently sits third in the Indian Premier League’s all-time wicket-taking charts – 14 wickets behind Lasith Malinga. But if Mumbai chose to use the experienced spinner on a regular basis, he could eclipse Malinga’s record.

Chawla has only managed to pick up 14+ wickets in three of his 13 seasons as an IPL player. Still, now that he belongs to the defending champions, it feels like he has been given a new lease of life.

If he wants to overtake Malinga this year, the new MI bowler will have to produce one of his best IPL campaigns to date. It won’t be easy, although he does stand an outside chance of achieving the feat.

Looking Ahead to the 2021 IPL Season

That concludes my bold predictions for the 2021 IPL season.

Remember – the new Indian Premier League campaign gets underway on April 9. With IPL cricket now only a matter of weeks away, you don’t have much time to make your pre-season predictions.

If you want to bet on the winner of the Indian Premier League in 2021, make sure you check out every team’s odds for the new season.

Also, if you’re looking for more content like this, you can always keep up to date with all the latest cricket developments over in our cricket blog.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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