IPL 2021: Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi in a league of their own, writes Ramiz Raja

Ramiz Raja/Lahore
Filed on May 2, 2021
Mumbai Indians need perfect pitches to dazzle as a team. — IPL

The successful opening pair of Ruturaj and Faf du Plessis has granted freedom to the strikers down the order

The top teams in the IPL are pulling away from the rest of the field. The Chennai Super Kings may have failed to defend 218 the other day against the Kieron Pollard-inspired Mumbai Indians, but MS Dhoni’s team possess an array of winners.

They seem to have different performers for different conditions that not only builds confidence in the team, but allows for flexible plans to take shape, taking pressure off the captain.

To change gear and reset GPS midway through a game is such a luxury for a side and CSK this year have the bases covered to be that team.

Unlike the non-performing teams like the Sunrisers Hyderabad who have made over 20 changes in their first six matches, Chennai have a defined combination backed by astute leadership.

Dhoni has triumphed in finding the best slots for players to bring out their potential and hasn’t shied from backing talent. His choice of Moeen Ali at number three has been a master-stroke, and Ruturaj Gaikwad’s retention in the playing eleven even after a no-show in his first three games, has been vindicated through some brilliant batting.

The successful opening pair of Ruturaj and Faf du Plessis has granted freedom to the strikers down the order and, for the first time in many years, we are seeing a happy CSK.

The Mumbai Indians need perfect pitches to dazzle as a team and their time, it seems, has come as the IPL caravan has now moved to Delhi and Ahmedabad, where tracks are ideal for batsmen to produce luminous strokeplay.

They have two outstanding defense bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult who on most times can block power strikers and their gunslingers will have spotless pitches on which to annihilate bowlers.

They are a team full of match-winners and head-turners which means they can win from any position. All they need is to find few more wickets in the power play to set them on their way to another title.

Delhi are the other team that seem to have a sorted combination and their winning graph has gone up majorly because their prodigy Prithvi Shaw has woken up from a slumber.

While Rishabh Pant has promoted himself up the order to control the innings, Shikhar Dhawan has continued his rich vein of form.

And with the splendid yorker exponent Kagiso Rabada in the line-up, the Delhi Capitals are a serious contender for the throne.

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