2021 IPL guide and preview: Everything you need to know

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2021 IPL Guide and preview

Where is it taking place?

The IPL will be held in India in 2021. The tournament returns home after being held in the UAE in 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions.

Despite the fact that the IPL has returned to India, the 2021 edition will be somewhat different from previous editions.

Matches will be held at six different venues – Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Hyderabad has also been earmarked as a backup location.

With not all home stadiums being used, no team is scheduled to play at their home venue. This is to avoid unfair home advantage.

When is it taking place?

The 2021 IPL is scheduled to take place from 9 April to 30 May.

The group stage will end on May 23 and the playoffs will begin on May 25. The final will take place in Ahmedabad on May 30.

Who is taking part?

The tournament will feature eight franchises: Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Sunrisers Hyderabad, with no changes to the teams since the 2020 edition.

The only slight change to note is that Kings XI Punjab have changed their name to Punjab Kings from 2021 onwards.

How does it work?

The IPL starts with a round-robin league process, in which each team plays every other team twice.

When the league stage is concluded, the top four teams enter the playoffs.

In Qualifier 1, the first and second-placed teams compete, with the winner advancing to the final and the loser receiving a second chance in Qualifier 2.

The third and fourth-placed sides then face off in the Eliminator match. The Eliminator loser is eliminated, while the winner advances to Qualifier 2.

The winner of the Eliminator and the loser of Qualifier 1 compete in Qualifier 2 to decide the other finalist.

The two remaining sides then face off in the final, with the winner declared IPL champions.

Will spectators be allowed?

The IPL will start behind closed doors in 2021.

The BCCI can decide to allow spectators at a later stage of the tournament, depending on how the situation evolves during the tournament.

Team-by-team guide:


IPL 13: 7th
Coach: Stephen Fleming
Captain: MS Dhoni
Star players: Ravi Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Sam Curran

Three-time champions Chennai is one of the IPL’s powerhouses but endured a tough 2020 campaign as they finished seventh.

Since then, they’ve had a minor makeover, with IPL regulars Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla, Murali Vijay, and Shane Watson all being released.


IPL 13: Runners-up
Coach: Ricky Ponting
Captain: Rishabh Pant
Star players: Kagiso Rabada, Steve Smith, Ravi Ashwin

In 2020, Delhi had their best season yet, reaching their first-ever final in the franchise’s history. Despite falling short against Mumbai, expectations in the capital are high that they will improve this time.

The Capitals were dealt a major blow ahead of the tournament when captain Shreyas Iyer went down with a season-ending injury while on international duty, but stand-in captain Rishabh Pant is a promising replacement.


IPL 13: 5th
Coach: Brendon McCullum
Captain: Eoin Morgan
Star players: Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Shubman Gill

Kolkata was denied a place in the playoffs last year on net run rate but will be confident of making it out of the group stage after an active offseason.

After taking over from Dinesh Karthik during the 2020 tournament, Eoin Morgan will have a full season as captain, and the Knight Riders will be hoping he will convert his performance as England captain to the IPL.


IPL 13: Winners
Coach: Mahela Jayawardene
Captain: Rohit Sharma
Star players: Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Quinton de Kock

Mumbai underlined their status as the greatest team in IPL history with their fifth title last year – all coming under Rohit Sharma.

Since then, they’ve lost all-time IPL wicket leader Lasith Malinga, but a slew of smart additions, including Kiwi duo Adam Milne and Jimmy Neesham, have made Mumbai clear favourites to retain their title in 2021.


IPL 13: 6th
Coach: Anil Kumble
Captain: KL Rahul
Star players: Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Jhye Richardson

Punjab failed to reach the playoffs for the 11th time in 13 seasons after another disappointing campaign last year.

Since then, they’ve lost all-time IPL wicket leader Lasith Malinga, but a slew of smart additions, including Kiwi duo Adam Milne and Jimmy Neesham, have made Mumbai clear favourites to retain their title in 2021.


IPL 13: 8th
Coach: Andrew McDonald
Captain: Sanju Samson
Star players: Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler

Winners of the inaugural IPL Rajasthan struggled to live up to expectations last season, finishing in last place despite having a star-studded lineup.

Their decision to release captain Steve Smith ahead of the auction, as well as their record-breaking signing of Chris Morris for 14.25 crore, made headlines.


IPL 13: 4th
Coach: Simon Katich
Captain: Virat Kohli
Star players: AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal

Bangalore had a good tournament in 2020, reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2016, but they lived up to their status as underachievers by losing in the Eliminator.

Some big names were released in the offseason, including Aaron Finch, Moeen Ali and Dale Steyn, with the purchases of Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson adding some serious firepower to their lineup.


IPL 13: 3rd
Coach: Trevor Bayliss
Captain: David Warner
Star players: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Rashid Khan

The Sunrisers have reached the playoffs in five consecutive seasons, making them one of the most consistent teams in the IPL.

They’ve also made the fewest changes since the previous tournament, with just five players released and three signed, including Kedar Jhadav and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

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