The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season starts on 9th April, when defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai. Fifty-two games of the most exciting T20 cricket later, who will emerge triumphant in Ahmedabad on the 30th of May? We checked out the outright winner odds on the Mr Green betting site, and this is what we found (all prices valid as of the 10th of March).
Mumbai Indians (4.33)
The current holders of the trophy, Mumbai had a quiet 2021 auction, spending just 70% of their budget. Will the ageing squad and lack of quality off-spinners take its toll? The bookies don’t believe so, clearly taking the view that Rohit Sharma’s experience and Arjun Tendulkar’s youth will be enough to seal a sixth title.
Delhi Capitals (6.50)
The Capitals finished runners-up last year, after several years of steady progress up the standings. Can Delhi go one step further and take the top spot in 2021? Their core of batting stars from the national team knows each other very well, and their two South African fast bowlers pick up wickets aplenty, which means Delhi Capitals have a great chance.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (6.50)
Despite losing Chris Morris to the Rajasthan Royals in the 2021 auction, Bangalore look a more balanced side than the one that finished fourth last year. The addition of Glenn Maxwell suggests the Royal Challengers should qualify for the play-offs once more, at the very least.
Kolkata Knight Riders (7.00)
They may be named after David Hasselhoff’s car, but the team from Kolkata had an impressive auction. The purchase of expert batter Karun Nair should see them improve on their fifth-place finish in 2020. Will they have enough firepower in the bowling department to win the whole shebang? Probably not.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (8.00)
If the Sunrisers are to have any chance of winning the IPL in 2021, then much depends on their bowler Natarajan. He had a superb 2020 season and went on to represent India in all 3 formats, so should be full of confidence. But does the team have enough quality in the batting department?
Chennai Super Kings (8.00)
CSK is the most successful franchise in the IPL after Mumbai, with three titles. They had a bad 2020 season, though, failing to make the play-offs for the first time in their history. Can the Super Kings bounce back this time? The bookmakers don’t give them much chance, but the team is well suited to Indian conditions and should perform better than they did in the UAE. Chennai also still has MS Dhoni and the bulk of the team which dominated the IPL for several years. We think 2020 was an aberration, and the Super Kings will be back to their imperious best this time around.
Rajasthan Royals (10.00)
They may have recently signed the most expensive player in IPL history, but the Rajasthan Royals’ chances of winning the 2021 competition depend very much on the fitness of bowler Jofra Archer. They can still call on Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson, but with other teams significantly bolstering their squads, it looks like the trophy won’t be heading back to Jaipur.
Punjab Kings (10.00)
A name change is in store for the Punjabis in 2021, as well as the shrewd (and rather cheap) purchase of T20 batting star Dawid Malan. The Kings finished the 2020 season very strongly, and if they can gel the new players into their strong squad, then they might surprise people. The bookies don’t rate them too highly, though.
The most striking thing we see from the odds above is just how tight the range is. There are no overwhelming favourites, and even the underdogs have a decent chance of ending up the victors. That illustrates just how exciting and unpredictable the 2021 IPL season should be (and perhaps is a good advert for the auction system). Who do you think will win the IPL 2021 season? Leave a comment below.