One of the most awaited events of Indian cricket’s calendar year, the Indian Premier League is all set to start from the 9th of April with the Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore locking horns in the first match of the tournament. The fans, players, and management of every team would want their team to make it into the playoffs, but there are certain teams who might not qualify for the playoffs of IPL 2021. So, here’s a look at the names of 5 such teams.
1. Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals even though may seem to be a relatively strong team on paper, with their fans rooting for their qualification into the playoffs, but their chances, in reality, are actually grim. One of their bigger strengths was their performance at their home ground, which this time around is going to be absent in totality. Jofra Archer, the team’s ace bowler, often comes in to shoulder the responsibility of spearheading their bowling attack.
But he would be missing out on the first 4 matches of the tournament, adding to the worries of their captain, Sanju Samson, who himself has a couple of things to look into. He did have a good start to the last season but faltered as it moved forward and by the end of it was finding it hard to score runs as his team’s management would have wanted to, and to add to this is the responsibility of captaincy which is a newfound role that he has been assigned. All of this combined could make them a part of teams who might not qualify for the playoffs, in IPL 2021.
2. Punjab Kings
The erstwhile Kings XI Punjab, coming into IPL 2021, rebranded themselves, to be the Punjab Kings, in the hope to flip their fortunes around and make it into the finals and come out as the champions of the tournament. But, as things stand, it might not be the case in this edition of the Indian Premier League
One of the biggest points of weakness in their team has been their top-heavy batting attack, with a lot of star power pumped into their top order, leaving their middle and bottom order exposed in case of a collapse. In the last season of IPL, KL Rahul virtually carried the team’s batting attack throughout the tournament, as the team failed to make it into the playoffs. This is a thing that every team would look to attack and if they are successful in taking wickets early, the match would be very well over for the team.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore
COVID-19 struck hard on the Bangalore-based franchise, after two of its players tested positive, making their start in IPL 2021, not the best that they would have wanted. Even though Devdutt Padikkal has tested negative and is back with the team, Daniel Sams, the Australian all-rounder is still undergoing treatment for the viral infection and is likely to miss out on the first few matches of the tournament at least.
Apart from this, their inexperienced bowling attack, especially the pacers leaving a gaping hole for the opposition to exploit. The teams keep their opponents from scoring runs in bulk in the first 10 overs of a match, with their fast bowlers. But, a lack of firepower in that department could cost the team dearly. And, adding to that is the fact that the team will not be playing in their back yard, where their batsmen have tended to score the most number of runs. All of this brings them dangerously close to being one of the teams who might not qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2021.
4. Kolkata Knight Riders
With IPL 2021 all set to start from the 9th of April and the teams ready with their lineups to play for in the matches, the Kolkata Knight Riders have a few problems to address before they can expect to win matches the way they would ideally want to. First up is their problem of plenty in the overseas all-rounder’s section of their team.
Shakib al Hasan was bought by the team in the auction of IPL 2021, and this must have added to the worries of the team management for sure. Having Andre Russell and Sunil Narine already in the fray, the team management will have to consider a substantial amount of time, chalking out their playing XIs. And their captain too will have a lot to work on since it is his first season with the franchise as their captain in India, where they have been stripped off of what could have been their rescue boat in case of some dull phase.