Just over half of the Group matches of the 2021 IPL had been played when it was suspended back in early May. And with just over half of the matches played, the odds for online cricket betting on the winner market have changed drastically since before the tournament started. That’s why I’ve updated my IPL 2021 winner prediction for the second half.
The break in the IPL has of course given us plenty of time to think about what’s happened so far and re-assess. So if you haven’t yet had a bet on the winner market and are looking for some IPL betting tips, these are the two teams I’d advise you to put your money on!
IPL 2021 Winner Prediction for Chennai Super Kings
Best place to bet: Pure Win
Chennai Super Kings won’t have been pleased about the interruption because they were absolutely flying, with five wins from seven, meaning they’re second in the table, ahead of RCB (who are also on 10 points) on net run rate.
And two points behind Delhi, who they have a game in hand on. Their start was in stark contrast to last year where they struggled badly in the UAE, famously missing out on the Playoffs for the first time ever.
Under MS Dhoni, CSK were back to their old tricks that included fielding as many as four top-class all-rounders- Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja-, changing their batting order all the time during matches with success, and hitting plenty of sixes.
Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis hit 13 each and Moeen Ali hit 12. Very much the CSK way.
The job of an all-rounder in any form of cricket is to contribute with both bat and ball, while you’re also expected to be a good fielder.
It won’t always be possible to shine in both disciplines but you really want to be making an impact in one of them in most games.
Moeen Ali has certainly made a huge impact with the bat, hitting just the one fifty admittedly, but always scoring his runs quickly enough.
He’s striking at 157, which is superb, and has 206 runs to his name from six games.
In addition, five wickets with the ball in six matches is solid rather than spectacular; but an economy rate of 6.16 is top drawer.
Star Player: Faf du Plessis
Playing as an opener once again, Du Plessis has hit four fifties among his 320 runs to currently be ranked third on the list of top run scorers in the IPL. He has a high score of 95 not out.
He’s striking at 145, which is superb, and the fact he’s soring so quickly at the top of the order is why CSK have got off to such good starts.
There may however be a problem. Having recovered from a concussion at last to captain the Saint Lucia Kings in the CPL (where he scored a century), he then picked up a groin strain that caused him to miss the remainder of the tournament.
No one knows whether he’ll play any further part in the IPL as it depends on his recovery time.
What we like about CSK
They’re one of just two teams (Mumbai are the other) who have made no changes at all because all the players who were available the first time round, are still available.
That is of course, dependent on Du Plessis being fit at some stage.
But everyone else is around and a lack of chopping and changing can only be a good thing.
As is so often the case, CSK have a side where just about everyone bats and where MS Dhoni generally has at least seven bowlers available to him, so no shortage of options in both disciplines.
It’s also worth remembering their record when it comes to making the Playoffs.
In the 11 seasons that they played the IPL (they were suspended for two of them) they made the final in eight of them and won the final in three of those eight.
Fly in the ointment
If they think Du Plessis will play some part in the latter stages, they’ll keep him on. But if he’s ruled out entirely, they’ll have to look for a similar overseas replacement. And it won’t be so easy this late in the day.
It’s also worth remembering they struggled in the UAE last year and the second half of the season is played there.
But then again, it was a weaker squad they had last year so maybe that was the problem rather than the venue.
Leave it to MS Dhoni and the men in yellow to handle the pressure of the Playoffs and possibly go all the way. In terms of online betting, they are the favourites to bet on!
Mumbai Indians had a decent rather than spectacular start to the IPL season with four wins from seven matches, having absolutely bossed the Group Stages last year and going on to win the whole thing convincingly.
They suffered a somewhat embarrassing defeat to Punjab, scoring just 131, which the Kings chased with ease.
But in their last match before the interruption, they beat CSK after successfully chasing 219, scoring two off the last ball to win the match by a single run. The big hero was Kieron Pollard, who hit 87 off 34.
Sharma may be one of the most successful captains in the history of the IPL but he hasn’t always been one of the most consistent batsmen.
It’s been a somewhat different story this year. Seven innings have yielded just one fifty for his 250 runs but he’s made strong starts most of the time, averaging 35 at a decent strike rate of 128.
These aren’t spectacular numbers but they’re good enough.
Star Play: Rahul Chahar
It’s not easy being a leg spinner in the IPL.
Good wickets, the world’s biggest hitters up against you and short boundaries at most of the grounds.
But try telling that to Rahul Chahar. He’s taken 11 wickets in six matches with a strike rate of 15 (he takes a wicket on average every 2.5 overs) and is going at just 7.21 an over so far.
That puts him in fourth on the list of most wickets this season and in a campaign where Mumbai should go far in the tournament, it will only increase his chances of being even higher.
What we like about Mumbai
As we know only too well, no-one can match Mumbai for most IPL titles: their five is two more than anyone else (CSK) has managed, also remembering that no-one other than them, CSK and KKR have won it more than once.
They’ve also won the last two editions and crucially, in the season where they were most impressive of all, last year, it was of course played in the UAE.
So they clearly like it out here.
So when they make the Playoffs, which they’re likely to do, they tend to go on and win it.
As mentioned already, they’ve had no disruptions in terms of personnel and that can only be a good thing because they’ve mostly stuck to the same XI year after year in these last few years where they’ve had so much success.
Another positive is the form of Kieron Pollard, who was mighty impressive in the CPL as captain of Trinbago.
It seemed like every time he got to the crease, he played a match-winning knock, or at least scored extremely quickly.
Fly in the ointment
Some of the players who were key last year weren’t in the greatest of form back in April-May. Ishan Kishan was having a hard time of it with just 28 runs in five games and ended up being dropped.
Given how well he played last year, they’ll be desperate for him to have used the break to try and regain some form. They’ll also be wanting more from Trent Boult. Seven wickets in seven games is ok but he’s a better bowler than that and his economy rate of 8.46 is far too high.
IPL 2021 Winner Prediction Verdict
Unlike last year where they won the Group Stages and were just one match away from making the final, they may have to do it the hard way this time round. Which means playing an extra game just to make the final.
Then again, they may still finish Top 2 anyway, especially given it’s in the UAE. And if that happens, they’ll be hot favourites to win it once again.