Best value players Dream11 fantasy IPL 2021

The Dream11 fantasy game for IPL 2021 is now live and fans can begin to select their teams in time for the start of the tournament next week. As usual, you are limited in your spending to 100 credits so finding the best value players in Dream11 IPL 2021 on a budget is a must. Here we consider the best players in Dream11 fantasy cricket whose price is 8 credits or less.

Given that the big star names in Dream11 fantasy cricket IPL 2021 will all cost you a minimum of 10 credits and maximum of 12 then it’s essential that you balance out your team selection and budget with a few bargain picks. Here we consider 11 players who will all cost you 8 credits or less in IPL 2021 and therefore can be considered the the best value players in the Dream11 fantasy game this season.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Batsman, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 8.0 credits

Gaikwad had a brilliant finish to last season’s IPL with 3 half centuries as CSK closed out what had been a disappointing campaign with a late flourish. With Shane Watson having retired, a permanent spot has now opened at the top of the CSK order and Gaikwad is likely to be given first crack at nailing down a regular place in the starting XI. By default, players who usually bat in the top 3 should be more expensive so picking up Gaikwad at 8.0 credits for the Dream11 IPL 2021 season is definitely great value!

Rahul Tripathi – IPL 2021 Dream11 price 7.0 credits

Very much along the same lines as Gaikwad, Tripathi’s value as Dream11 pick is all the greater because if he does play it will be at the top of the order. I say “if” because there are no guarantees of his spot in the KKR side this season. Having left Rajasthan a couple of seasons ago, Tripathi has failed to really cement his place in the KKR line-up but the fact that they’ve not brought in reinforcements during the auction suggests that Tripathi will get some chances throughout the season. At the very least, picking Tripathi will free up funds to go for a couple more star names and therefore he is deserving of a mention in a list of bargain buys for Dream11 fantasy IPL 2021.

Priyam Garg, batsman, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 7.0 credits

The 20-year-old is yet another batting prodigy fresh off the Indian production line and he has already shown his skill at this level with a couple of knocks in the IPL including an unbeaten maiden fifty from just 23 balls in last season’s competition. SRH look likely to give him further opportunities in this year’s tournament and he comes into IPL 2021 off the back of some good form in domestic limited overs cricket. At a cost of just 7.0 credits in Dream11 IPL 2021 then he is certainly a good budget buy.

Abdul Samad, batsman, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 6.5 credits

Garg’s teammate at SRH and another precocious talent is Abdul Samad. He made his IPL debut last season at the age of just 18 and again SRH look keen to invest time in him with the hope that they can reap the rewards later down the line. As well as being an explosive batsman, Samad also offers a handy alternative with his wrist spin which may see him picking up a few bonus Dream11 points along the way. His price of 6.5 credits makes him one of the cheapest Dream11 fantasy players available in IPL 2021.

Vijay Shankar, all-rounder, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 8.0 credits

Another SRH player who appears to be undervalued but then again this franchise as a whole seems to enjoy flying under the radar. Shankar’s career has stalled somewhat over the last couple of years thanks to a series of unfortunate injuries. He was part of India’s 2019 World Cup squad before an injury to his toe and was just starting to find form in the IPL last year when a hamstring injury ruled him out of the rest of the tournament. With Mitch Marsh unavailable for the season and Jason Holder currently with the West Indies squad, SRH will be looking to Shankar to provide both experience to a young middle/lower order and balance to the side with his medium fast bowling. Picking up a genuine all-rounder for 8.0 credits is one of the best value buys you can make in the IPL 2021 Dream11 fantasy game.

Harbhajan Singh, bowler, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 8.0 credits

Having considered a couple of young guns as cheap batting options in IPL2021 Dream11, we move onto to cast our eye over a player over twice their age! Harbhajan wasn’t involved in the IPL last year and his lack of cricket over the last 18 months does mean that his selection comes with a bit of risk. However, with KKR playing their first few games on the turning pitches of Chennai where ‘The Turbinator’ has proved effective in the past, then if he is to get a run of games in IPL 2021 it will surely be at this venue. On a credit by years basis he is definitely the cheapest player in the Dream11 IPL 2021 fantasy game!

Lungi Ngidi, bowler, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 8.0 credits

While Harbhajan might stand to benefit from fixtures in Chennai, Ngidi looks set to be a bowler who will be overjoyed that CSK will not be playing any of their games at home this season. In the 3 years that the South African pace bowler has been with the Super Kings he has never made an appearance at their home venue of the MA Chidambaram Stadium. When Ngidi has played it has usually been on bouncier tracks that will favour his style of bowling and with all games moving to neutral venues for IPL 2021 and Josh Hazlewood pulling out of the tournament, Ngidi could be primed to take on more of a staring role for CSK this year. Given his incredible strike rate in T20 cricket he is definitely one of the best value players in Dream11 IPL 2021.

Prasidh Krishna, bowler, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 8.0 credits

As seen in the recent 50 overs series against England Prasidh Krishna is a fast bowler whose stock is on the rise at the moment. He picked up wickets in clutches against England which is no bad trait when trying to pick a Dream11 fantasy team but I think the thing that impressed me most was his ability to come back from being given a working over by England’s explosive top order. Many players would have let their heads drop and tried to hide out of the captain’s sight but Krishna returned with a vengeance particularly at the death where his yorkers were too good for the likes of Jos Buttler. It’s at the death that KKR are most likely to use him and as a result, his chances of picking up wickets and points are all the better. A cost of 8.0 credits to get him in your Dream11 side for IPL 2021 seems like a cheap price!

Mohammed Siraj, bowler, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 8.0 credits

Siraj has had a great period for the Indian Test side and his record in last year’s IPL was pretty good when he played. I’d expect him to be a first choice player this year with RCB looking to him to take wickets in the powerplay and then again at the death. Picking up a bolwer of his calibre for just 8.0 credits seems like a bit of no brainer and he certainly represents one of the best value buys in Dream11 IPL 2021.

Piyush Chawla, bowler, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 7.5 credits

Piyush Chawla has had a curious couple of years in the IPL. He was the most expensive Indian player to be purchased at the auction that was held at the end of 2019 with CSK no doubt keen to deploy him on the turning tracks of Chennai where they felt he’d be most effective. Shortly after their purchase, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the tournament to be played in the UAE where Chawla didn’t have the best time of it. Ironically, he was then purchased by Mumbai Indians who will begin IPL 2021 by playing their first 5 games in Chennai. Chawla will be vying for 1 spot in a very settled Mumbai team but the reigning champions must be tempted to deploy him alongside Rahul Chahar for those early games and if they do then 7.5 credits will seem like one of the best fantasy bargains of Dream11 2021.

Murugan Ashwin, bowler, IPL 2021 Dream11 price 7.0 credits

Another budget option for a leg-spinner is PBKS’s Murugan Ashwin. While Ashwin might not be the big spinning wicket taking phenomena of some of the more illustrious names you can choose from, he is still a mighty effective operator and with Punjab Kings strengthening their fast bowling options for this season he may yet find himself bowling in match situations which are more favourable. At the very least, you want players in your Dream11 side who are likely to feature and Ashwin has been a regular starter over the last couple of seasons making him a good value Dream11 pick for IPL 2021.

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IPL 2021 SRH vs KKR Preview

IPL 2021, Match 03, April 11th SRH vs KKR, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Preview SRH vs KKR in IPL 2021, head to head player stats, records of both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders at this venue plus the best Dream11 predictions.

SRH vs KKR head to head player stats

SRH bowling vs KKR batting

I’m prertty excited about Sunrisers chances in IPL 2021. I keep reading people describing them as “dark horses” for the title but to me it’s more the case that they aren’t quite as fashionable a franchise as say RCB who seem to garner pre-season excitement every season of the IPL regardless of the squad they have. SRH have a much more balanced side and their bowling in particular will be strong versus whoever they play in IPL 2021.

The return to form and fitness of Buvi is a massive plus for SRH this year and he will spearhead the bowling attack and look to strike early in the powerplay. One of the concerns I would have about KKR’s top order is that they lack that real gun player to get them off to a flyer during the powerplay as shown below.

KKR batting stats in the powerplay

In previous year’s they’ve relied on the pinch hitting of Sunil Narine but his returns have fallen over the past couple of season’s and Rahul Tripathi failed to really capitalise on the chances he was given at the top of the order since moving from Rajasthan.

When you couple that with the accuracy and economy of SRH’s powerplay bowling particularly in the form of Buvi and left-armer Sandeep Sharma then there is the chance that KKR will be behind the 8-ball from the off.

SRH’s new ball options

Of course if you are behind the game versus this SRH bowling attack then chances are that you may need to take risks against Rashid Khan in the middle overs and the could spell disaster! The Afghan wrist spinner’s record against this current KKR squad is shown below

Rashid Khan head to head vs KKR

A lot of sides in the IPL seem to favour playing Rashid at about a run a ball and simply not losing wickets against him but I’m not sure that KKR can afford both a cautious approach at the start of the innings and then again during the middle overs. Something is going to have to give!

KKR certainly have the batsmen to make up the difference at the back end and they’ll be hoping for significantly better returns from the likes of Dre Russell and Dinesh Karthik this year. The big plus for Russell and perhaps the one weakness in the SRH attack is that they lack a bowler of genuine pace to give the big Jamaican a bit of a working over early in his innings – a tactic that has proved successful for many IPL sides in the past. Against regulation right-arm fast medium he tends to smash it!

Dre Russell head to head vs SRH right-arm fast medium bowlers

KKR bowling vs SRH batting

KKR’s bowling line-up, much like their batting line-up, is one where a few of the players in IPL 2021 need to perform on a par with their reputations. In particular, the KKR spin department seems to have more options than you could shake a stick at. Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, Harbhajan Singh and Shakib Al Hasan are all on KKR’s books for IPL 2021 and particularly at this venue (see below) they could prove a handful if they get it right!

Certainly KKR would be tempted to open with spin vs the likes of Warner and Bairstow who would generally favour the ball coming onto the bat early in their innings. Narine has been their go to man in that regard but his IPL record vs David Warner is pretty poor.

Narine head to head record vs Warner

If KKR are looking for a man to counter Warner’s threat at the top of the order then Harbhajan has an excellent head to head vs the Aussie but at 40-years-old and with so little cricket behind him of late how much of an on-field impact can he make?

KKR’s best chance in this match will be to make early in roads and then put pressure on what is likely to be an exciting but fairly inexperienced SRH middle order. Indeed, while there is some ball striking capability in the SRH team from youngsters like Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad it’s not comparable to what KKR can muster when they are on song at the death.

BatsmanDeath Overs S/RBalls per boundary at the death
Russell (KKR)209.203.02
Morgan (KKR)173.194.45
Garg (SRH)172.974.11
Karthik (KKR)167.924.30
Samad (SRH)162.265.30
Sharma (SRH)160.005.00
Shankar (SRH)157.385.38
Pandey (SRH)151.255.80
Strike rates of SRH and KKR middle orders at the death in the IPL

Death bowling was an issue for KKR at times during last season’s IPL so it’ll be fascinating to see what are arguably the 2 teams weaker suits go head to head in this fixture.

SRH stats at the MA Chidambaram Stadium

As described in our overall preview of the SRH team for IPL 2021, one of the major concerns for them will be the record of their captain and star batsmen David Warner across several of the venues they have been drawn to play at. Here is Warner’s record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Warner IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

The fact of the matter is that Warner is not alone in his struggles at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The slow surface in Chennai is not conducive to big or fast scoring and therefore it’s likely to be the accumulators who are best suited to this venue.

Manish Pandey has a decent overall record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and played a gem of an innings the last time SRH played here back in IPL 2019. These could be the ideal conditions for him again and his quiet consistency over the last couple of seasons was enough to get him back into the Indian limited overs squad for the tour to Australia last year. With a strong IPL 2021 he can push for a place in the T20 World Cup squad.

Pandey IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

None of SRH’s bowlers can point to having much of a prior record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Buvi’s 3 wickets at an average of 31 are the most of any of their players and the last time that Rashid Khan played here he was taken for 44 from his 4 overs. In general, Rashid is a more effective bowler when there is a bit of pace and bounce in the pitch so while the pitch in Chennai will likely offer some turn, there is no guarantee that it will particularly suit the Afghan leggie.

KKR stats at the MA Chidambaram Stadium

KKR’s desire for Dre Russell to come good during IPL 2021 is even more pronounced when considering his record at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Again, this can perhaps be explained by that lack of bounce in the pitch here and the general absence of a really quick bowler for CSK who is able to hit the splice of the bat.

Russell IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

The big question for me is whether KKR opt to utilise the Turbinator at a venue where he’s been pretty much unplayable in the past. During CSK’s run to the final in IPL 2109, Harbhajan played 11 matches most of which came at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and took 19 wickets. He did for both Jonny Bairstow and David Warner the last time either of them played an IPL match here.

Harbhajan IPL stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Not to the labour the point too much but the MA Chidambaram Stadium is a pitch where CSK have shown that having a variety of slow and change up bowlers is a very effective weapon. I’d expect KKR to field 3 front line spinners in this fixture to control the game in exactly the same manner.

Impact of spin by IPL venue
Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Based on the above our best Dream11 predictions for SRH vs KKR are as follows.

Form and fitness are the big question marks for Andre Russell coming into IPL 2021 but his record at this ground and the lack of a genuine fast bowler for SRH mean that he is still worth consideration as a pick for Dream11 captain SRH vs KKR. If KKR do opt to go for the 3 front line spinners then his importance as a death bowler will also become more pronounced and those allrounder points could be crucial for Dream11 fantasy players.

Elsewhere we’ve seen that Manish Pandey has a decent record at this venue and Buvi comes into the game off the back of some impressive form for the national side and seems a must for most Dream11 SRH v KKR teams. If we assume that the MA Chidambaram Stadium is very much a horses for courses type of venue then picking slower bowlers in your Dream11 side for the SRH vs KKR match seems to be the way go and a selection out of left field would be to go for 40-year-old Harbhajan Singh.

Andre Russell – Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Buvi Kumar – Dream 11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Harbhajan Singh – Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

Manish Pandey – Dream11 predictions SRH vs KKR

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IPL 2021 CSK vs DC preview

IPL 2021, Match 02, April 10th CSK vs DC, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Preview CSK vs DC in IPL 2021, head to head player stats, records of both Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals at this venue plus the best Dream11 predictions.

CSK v DC head to head player stats

Delhi Capitals bowlers v Chennai Super Kings batsmen

Delhi’s balanced bowling attack is one of the primary reasons that they have been transformed from perennial no hopers to genuine title challengers so in previewing the CSK vs DC fixture it’ll be key to consider how the men in yellow will front up to a such multi faceted bowling unit.

We’ll start with the pace bowlers vs CSK’s top order and it’s going to be very much South Africa vs South Africa with Nortje and Rabada up against Faf du Plessis. Faf in general has a strong record against right arm quick bowlers but he’s been coming off 2nd best against Rabada in their recent IPL meetings

Rabada head to head record vs du Plessis

Similarly young Ruturaj Gaikwad has a good record against right arm fast-medium bowling averaging as he does 106 in his relatively short career.

With a host of right-handers at the top of the order, DC may well be tempted to bowl Axar Patel early on. However du Plessis actually has a very good record against left arm spin and while Patel has limited his scoring in previous meetings to a strike rate of 116, he’s only managed to dismiss him once at a cost of 70 runs. Similarly, Ambati Rayudu is happy to take on the left arm spinner as shown below.

Axar Patel head to head record vs Rayudu

Considering those spinners, Ashwin and Mishra both have favourable records vs Robin Uthappa although it remains to be seen whether he will feature in CSK’s starting XI. MS Dhoni meanwhile has a good record against this DC bowling attack with the exception of the 2 South African quicks who have troubled him in previous meetings.

Chennai Super Kings bowlers v Delhi Capitals batsmen

Prithvi Shaw comes into this year’s IPL off the back of a brilliant season in domestic cricket but waiting to bring him back down to earth is CSK’s opening bowler Deepak Chahar. If previous games are anything to go by then Chahar is likely to bowl 2 or 3 overs up front so Shaw will certainly be seeing plenty of him again in this fixture and you can bet that in the team preview of this match both sides will have highlighted this match-up

Chahar head to head record vs Prithvi Shaw

Chahar’s record is even better vs Ajinke Rahane but whether he will play in this fixture remains to be seen. With Iyer out injured, DC have the choice over whether to play Rahane or whether to go for Steve Smith. If it is the later then i’d image that CSK will bring on at least one of their left-arm options against him. Sam Curran has dismissed the Aussie cheaply on a couple of occasions but Ravi Jadeja has an even better record vs the former Royals captain.

Jadeja head to head record vs Steve Smith

However with DC having plenty of left handed batsmen including Dhawan, Pant, Axar Patel and possibly Shimron Hetmyer as well then the impact of Jadeja may be curbed. Indeed against the first 3 batsmen named above he averages 98 with the ball and has an economy rate just shy of 10 an over!

Leg spin against these left-hander is likely to be Dhoni’s preferred option and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod in that department with Imran Tahir having had so little cricket of late.

CSK stats at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Both Ambati Rayudu and DJ Bravo know this venue very well from their time at MI. In general it’s a pitch where CSK’s wrist spinners have found success in previous visits and CSK may well be dependent on the likes of Tahir and Bravo rolling back the years to once again deliver at the Wankhede Stadium.

CSK bowling stats at the Wankhede Stadium

While having had less playing time here than a few of the others noted above, this is a venue that Moeen Ali has enjoyed playing at with both bat and ball. On his last visit to the Wankhede Stadium, Mo hit 50 from 32 balls and took 2 for 14 from his 4 overs! You can watch the match highlights here

DC Stats at the Wankhede Stadium

Newly anointed DC captain Rishabh Pant is definitely a man who enjoys his trips to the Wankhede Stadium as his record below shows.

Pant batting stats at the Wankhede Stadium

A good chunk of the runs he has scored here in the past came during this blistering knock of 72 back in IPL 2019. It’ll be interesting to see how the burden of captaincy impacts his game and whether his care free spirit is suited to the top job.

On the other hand, the man who was making noises to suggest that he was open to being offered the DC captaincy, Steve Smith, has a pretty lousy record at the Wankhede managing just 92 runs in his last 5 visits at an average of 18.

The choice that DC will then need to make is who to play as their 5th frontline bowler. They have the options of Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra who we can see from the stats below both have good records at the Wankhede or they could opt for Praven Dubey or Umesh Yadav. It is indeed a strong bowling attack both in regards the playing XI and bench depth.

DC bowling stats at the Wankhede stadium
Dream11 predictions CSK v DC

Based on the above our best Dream11 predictions for CSK v DC are as follows.

Rishabh Pant or Kagiso Rabada look like that best Dream11 predictions to be captain for CSK v DC. Pant’s recent form in the white ball series against England also mean that he’ll hit the ground running in this fixture.

Chahar, Ashwin and Bravo also have good enough head to head records and or favourable stats at the Wankhede to warrant selection as core players for those selecting multiple Dream11 teams. Moeen Ali’s good finish to the ODI series, his previous performances at the Wankhede and the fact that DC will have 3 or 4 left handers in their top 7 mean that he too is a smart pick for Dream11 fantasy teams.

Rishabh Pant

Kagiso Rabada

Ravi Ashwin

Deepak Chahar

Moeen Ali

Dwayne Bravo

All the stats used in the CSK vs DC IPL 2021 preview can found at t20headtohead.com

IPL 2021 MI vs RCB preview head to head player and venue stats

IPL 2021, Match 01, April 9th MI vs RCB, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Preview MI vs RCB in IPL 2021, head to head player stats, records of both Mumbai Indians and RCB at this venue plus best Dream11 predictions for MI vs RCB.

MI v RCB head to head player stats

RCB bowlers v MI batsmen

In any T20 game, delivering key match ups of batsmen vs bowlers is the role of any on field captain and the plethora of coaching staff that back them up. Here we consider the head to head stats of Mumbai Indians and RCB to show where those match-ups will be during the game itself

Spin, as we’ll examine in greater detail below, will be a key feture of the games played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium and RCB’s main threat with ball, Yuzvendra Chahal has an excellent head to head record against several of the Mumbai Indians batsmen

Chahal head to head record vs de Kock

As we can see, Chahal certainly has the better of Quinton de Kock in previous IPL encounters and in general, de Kock’s record against wrist spinners is fairly poor particularly for a left-hander.

de Kock’s head to head record vs wrist spin

We saw in the recent T20 series between India and England that Eoin Morgan usually opened the bowling with Adil Rashid against India’s right-handers, one of whom was Rohit Sharma whose strike rate vs Chahal in the IPL is just 93. Might RCB consider doing the same against Mumbai especially given that de Kock has a weakness against him? RCB could also opt to play Adam Zampa if they wish to bolster their spin options and not leave themselves short in the middle overs.

Chahal’s IPL record bowling in the powerplay

Indeed, MI’s batting line-up has a much better head to head record vs the right-arm seamers that RCB are likely to play with. Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini have just a single IPL wicket between them vs MI’s first choice top 4. Even if they lack the penetration against the MI batsmen that the spinners may have, it will be crucial that RCB’s seamers at the very least maintain pressure and ensure that Mumbai are forced to take risks against the likes of Chahal.

Of course another slow bowling option at the top of the order for RCB is Washington Sundar and again his record vs Mumbai’s openers is impressive. As well as the stats vs Rohit below, de Kock has struggled to get him away in the past, with an IPL career strike rate of just 64 vs the off-spinner!

Sundar head to head record vs Rohit Sharma

MI bowlers vs RCB batsmen

In general, RCB’s top order have an excellent record vs Mumbai’s main strike bowler in Jasprit Bumrah. Virat Kohli averages 40 against his international colleague while AB de Villiers averages 53! The man Bumrah certainly holds the wood over though is Glenn Maxwell whom he’s dismissed 4 times in his IPL career and as such I’d expect that MI will hold Bumrah back for at least 2 overs towards the death so that they can bring this match-up in to play if necessary.

Maxwell head to head stats v MI

In fact, Maxwell’s head to head record in the IPL against this current MI bowling line-up is pretty poor and you’d imagine that after commanding another hefty fee in this year’s auction the pressure will be on the Australian to deliver early.

Some of the most intriguing head to head battles in this match will involve AB de Villiers. His IPL stats against some of Mumbai’s seamers are very impressive while equally against their spinners he has struggled. My guess would be when he comes to the crease, he’s not going to face a huge amount of pace at least early in his innings.

Boult head to head vs de Villiers

While de Villiers hasn’t faced a great deal of bowling from Boult his record vs left-arm seamers in general is very impressive and you’d imagine that he’ll be targeting the Kiwi if he gets a chance.

de Villiers vs left-arm fast medium bowling in the IPL
Hardik Pandya head to head vs de Villiers

Similarly, expect Hardik Pandya to fain another back injury when AB walks out to bat. The South African has nearly a century of runs vs Mumbai’s number 1 all-rounder.

Of course, Hardik can always rely on his brother for a helping hand. Krunal Pandya’s record vs AB de Villiers is very good and as we’ll see below he has been particularly effective at this venue.

Krunal Pandya head to head vs de Villiers

Furthermore, Mumbai Indians may opt to play Piyush Chawla who equally has a very good record vs AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell. Chawla is a curious case having been the most expensive Indian purchase in the auction for IPL 2020. CSK undoubtedly believed that they would be able to utlise him to good effect at this very ground before COVID-19 intervened and by happy coincidence, Chawla will get the chance to play in Chennai albeit for Mumbai as a result of the way the fixtures have fallen in IPL 2021.

Mumbai Indians stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Really, with the exception of Trent Boult who has taken just a single wicket in his previous 2 visits here at a cost of 71 runs, the rest of the Mumbai Indians bowling attack enjoys playing at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

MI bowling record at MA Chidambaram Stadium

2 players stand out, as much for their economy rate as for their wicket taking here and that is the spin duo of Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar. If RCB fail to get off to a quick start, then it seems likely that these 2 will strangle them in the middle overs at this ground.

Krunal Pandya bowling stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium
Rahul Chahar bowling stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium

Batting wise, the MA Chidambaram’s slow nature has never been conducive to big or fast scoring matches in the IPL. Suryakumar Yadav averages 87 batting here but has a strike rate of just 109 suggesting it will be a venue that favours accumulation through the middle overs. The advantage for Mumbai Indians will be their big hitters in the middle order. If the top order can build a platform then the likes of Pollard and Pandya will be able to push them on during the back end of the innings. In that regards, Hardik has scored at a strike rate of 154 at this ground and never been dismissed here in the IPL.

The big concern again for MI would be the record of Quinton de Kock at the MA Chidambaram Stadium as shown below.

de Kock batting stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium
RCB stats at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

As for RCB, the fact that they have a largely inexperienced team means that the data we have particularly for their bowlers at the MA Chidambaram Stadium is fairly limited and their records are of no particular note. Chahal has a couple of wickets here on his last 2 visits and much like we saw with MI’s spinners, he is particularly difficult to score off on this pitch going for just 5.3 runs an over.

RCB batting record at MA Chidambaram Stadium

Batting wise, Kohli and de Villiers have the best records of any established players at this venue. Again you feel that it’ll be down to the top order to get RCB off to a solid start if they are to make a competitive total in this game. While Devdutt Padikkal may not have ever played an IPL match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium he has shown in his early career that he is very good player of slow bowling, averaging as he does 54.33 vs spin. I we assume that this match will ultimately be a trial by spin then he would appear to have the game to combat it.

Dream11 predictions MI v RCB

Based on the above, our top 5 picks for your Dream11 teams for the opening fixture of IPL 2021 are as follows.

Krunal Pandya

Yuzvendra Chahal

Kieron Pollard

Virat Kohli

Rahul Chahar

If you are predicting multiple Dream11 teams then these 5 players should make up your core picks and captain selection with others rotated in and out as you see fit.

All of the stats used to create this blog are available on t20headtohead.com

IPL 2021 Top wicket taker predictions for every team

Having provided tips on the best picks for the most wickets in the tournament overall, we turn our attention to predictions for the top wicket taker at each of the 8 IPL 2021 teams including CSK, DC, KKR, MI, PBKS, RCB, RR and SRH.

Once again we are faced with most IPL teams having 2 or 3 realistic options to be their top wicket taker in 2021 and therefore this article looks to establish which of those options presents the best value tip and where in some cases hedging your bets across multiple bowlers might be the best way to go when considering who a franchise’s leading wicket taker will be this year.

CSK top wicket taker predictions IPL 2021

Shardul Thakar

The man with the golden arm or more yellow I guess when it comes to playing for CSK! Thakar has been a potent wicket taker for India in white ball cricket these past couple of years and CSK will hope that he can take that form into IPL 2021 as they look to climb back up the table. His ability to bowl into the surface and make batsmen hit cross batted shots to fielders waiting in the deep is his primary strength and with CSK not having a huge number of options at the death, he may well get the chance to pick up wickets during a phase of the game when risk taking is at its highest. The best thing about Thakar is you can back him at very generous odds of 7.0 to be CSK’s top wicket taker in IPL 2021!

Thakur has been a potent wicket taker for India in all forms of cricket over the last few months
Delhi Capitals top wicket taker predictions IPL 2021

Kagiso Rabada

Rabada is of course the favourite both to be Delhi’s top wicket taker in IPL 2021 and to defend his purple cap from last season. His potency at the death is well known and he has the added bonus this year of playing on pitches that are likely to suit quick bowlers. He already has an excellent record at the Wankhede and Eden Garden where DC play 8 of their matches and we saw from the recently completed T20 series between India and England that the new stadium in Ahmedabad also offers something for the quicks. As such he definitely deserves his favourite tag and you back him to be DC’s leading wicket taker in 2021 at odds of 2.20.

KKR top wicket taker predictions IPL 2021

Pat Cummins is the favourite to be KKR’s top wicket taker but we saw him struggle to live up to his price tag last season and in general I think that picking bowlers who bowl their overs at the death is the way to go when trying to find value and with Cummins he’s likely to be used primarily in the powerplay.

Prasidh Krishna

As such Prasidh Krishna who impressed on debut for India recently and demonstrated an ability to hit a good yorker could yet be the man to back as KKR’s top wicket taker in IPL 2021. Even in his fledgling career to date he strikes at a wicket every 2 overs at the death compared to Cummins who is closer to 3 in that regard. You can also get very good value on him topping the wicket taking charts for his team at odds of 9.0

Varun Chakravarthy

If backing a youngster like Prasidh to be leading wicket taker is a little bit of a long shot for you then you might consider hedging your bets with some money on Varun Chakravarthy. Chakravarthy was sent home from India’s T20 squad for failing a fitness test but the fact that he was invited in the first place in a country not short on spin options shows what a rare talent he his. Having a bowler capable of spinning the balls both ways is a must in T20 cricket and KKR are likely to see Chakravarthy as their main man in that respect during IPL 2021. With their opening 3 games on the spinning tracks of Chennai, Chakravarthy has a great chance to get ahead in the race to be KKR’s top wicket taker and you can back him at odds of 4.5

Chakravarthy has had a meteoric rise to the IPL
Mumbai Indians top wicket taker predictions IPL 2021

Jasprit Bumrah

Again, we are offering a prediction for a bowler here who will be delivering the bulk of his overs at the business ends of the innings where statistically the most wickets will fall. Of course, Bumrah has a rich pedigree as a specialist death bowler and it’s no great surprise that he is the favourite to be Mumbai Indians leading wicket taker again in IPL 2021. You can back him to regain that crown at odds of 2.10

Rahul Chahar

Smart money will also be staked on young Rahul Chahar who as a wrist spinner has the luxury of bowling in part of an attack that he knows will offer very few freebies to the opposition batsmen. As a result, teams will be forced to go after Chahar and that is where he is at his most dangerous. Mumbai will also be starting their tournament with 5 matches on the turning tracks of Chennai where Chahar should be in his element. You can back him to finish at MI’s top wicket taker in IPL 2021 at odds of 4.5

Punjab Kings top wicket taker predictions IPL 2021

PBKS are a tricky one to provide a prediction for because their bowling attack has undergone such radical changes in the close season and it’s difficult to tell who will be first choice amongst their overseas seam options. As such it’s probably best to stick to the home grown bowler options of Mohammed Shami at odds of 2.75 or Ravi Bishnoi at 4.50 to be their top wicket taker of IPL 2021 for the simple reason that they are likely to play all the games! At the same time, I don’t believe that either represents fantastic value for money for a team that had problems taking regular wicket throughout last year’s tournament.

RCB top wicket taker predictions IPL 2021

Yuzvendra Chahal

The little leggie has been way out in front as RCB’s leading wicket taker for the past 2 IPL seasons and with RCB making few real changes to that bowling line-up it’s difficult to see who will prevent Chahal making it 3 years in a row. You can back him to continue to be his team’s top wicket taker in IPL 2021 at odds of 2.10.

Mohammed Siraj

If you do fancy at outsider to take Chahal’s top wicket taker crown at RCB then Siraj may be the man to back. He only played 9 IPL matches last season but managed to take 11 wickets in that time at a better strike rate than Chahal. If he gets more overs this year then he certainly should at the very least close the gap between the rest of the attack and Chahal and as such backing him at odds of 6.0 to be RCB’s leading wicket taker in IPL 2021 looks like good value.

Rajasthan Royals top wicket predictions IPL 2021

With last season’s MVP Jofra Archer likely to miss most it not all of IPL 2021, the field to be The Royals top wicket taker for IPL 2021 has been thrown wide opn.

Chris Morris

The Royals paid a record sum at auction for Chris Morris because he has real pedigree as a death bowler who strikes once every 11 deliveries during the final 5 overs of matches in the IPL. Of course, he would have been most effective in a side that had Archer’s wicket taking prowess in the powerplay and it remains to be seen whether RR will look to replace their injured star man and help to balance the attack. Still you can back Morris to be Rajasthan’s top wicket taker in IPL 2021 at odds of 5.0

Morris picked up wickets in clutches last IPL season for RCB. Can he be more consistent for the Royals?
SRH top wicket taker predictions IPL 2021

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Buvi was also our number 1 prediction to win the purple cap in IPL 2021 and again for SRH he represents great value at odds of 4.33 to continue his return to form and fitness and finish the season as the team’s top wicket taker. Dangerous with the new ball and brilliant at the death, Buvi is primed to lead a strong SRH attack that could yet challenge for the title in IPL 2021.

Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan is the favourite to be SRH’s leading wicket taker in the IPL at odds of 2.20 and given his consistency over the past few seasons you can see why. Even where many teams have been happy to sit on Rashid and see his 4 overs out, the Afghan master spinner has been able to break through and with Buvi back in the attack it’s debatable as to whether sides will have the luxury of seeming him out this year. As such even at the relatively short odds on offer, he represents a good bet to be his team’s top wicket taker in IPL 2021.

IPL 2021 Top run scorer predictions for every team

Having provided tips on the odds for the highest run getter overall, we turn our attention to predictions for the top run scorer at all 8 IPL 2021 teams including CSK, DC, KKR, MI, PBKS, RCB, RR and SRH.

Of course the field for the orange cap is very large and competitive but as we shift our analysis to consider each teams leading batsmen we are generally left with 2 or 3 plausible candidates to be each franchise’s top run scorer in IPL 2021 making predictions that much easier and once again enabling savvy gamblers a chance of hedging their bets across multiple players.

CSK top run scorer predictions IPL 2021

It appears their are 3 viable candidates at the top of the order for CSK to be their top run scorer in IPL 2021.

Faf du Plessis

The South African has been a stalwart in this CSK side for some time and with other experienced players now hanging up their boots much of the run scoring responsibility will fall upon his broad shoulders during IPL 2021. Despite CSK having a disappointing season last time out, Faf still managed to contribute 449 runs to the cause finishing 11th in the overall contest for leading run scorer and comfortably clear of anyone else in a yellow shirt. It is that consistency both on a season by season basis and across all conditions that makes du Plessis the favourite to once again be CSK’s top run scorer in this season’s IPL and you can back him at generous odds of 3.75 to do just that.

Faf du Plessis will once again be a key batsmen for CSK source

Ambati Rayudu

You can back Rayudu to lead the scoring charts for CSK this year at odds of 4.5. Rayudu never quite got over his snub for India’s World Cup squad in 2019 having had a stellar IPL season in the 2018 tournament when largely speaking he opened the batting. At the very least he may find himself handed the opportunity to bat number 3 in IPL 2021 and he is coming off the back of runs in domestic cricket. CSK start their campaign with 5 games at the Wankhede Stadium, a venue that Rayudu knows well from his time with Mumbai Indians

Delhi Capitals top run scorer predictions IPL 2021

With such a strong top order, picking a top run scorer for DC this year will be a tough task and it’s likely to come down to 4 batsmen on their books 3 of whom we have also tipped to be challenging for the orange cap at the end of the season!

Steve Smith

The former Rajasthan Royals captain certainly has a point to prove during IPL 2021 having been released by his former franchise and then failing to attract very much attention during the auction that followed. Still, this is a batsmen capable of scoring runs on a truly monumental scale and while there may have been a few raised eyebrows at his signing by DC, with the injury to Shreyas Iyer likely to keep him out all season, Smith’s favoured number 3 spot in T20 cricket has suddenly become available. At odds of 3.75 for him to be the Capitals’ top run scorer in IPL 2021 he is certainly worth a bet.

Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan is likely to play as the more conservative opener next to Prithvi Shaw, a role that suited him well last season as he finally got his first IPL hundred and then immediately followed it up with another. Despite being dropped from India’s T20 squad early in the series vs England, he returned to the 50 over team and looked in very good form throughout. His experience in this competition makes him a good bet to once again be Delhi Capitals top run scorer in IPL 2021 and you can back him to that at odds of 3.75

Rishabh Pant

Having been left out of India’s squad for the 1st Test against Australia, Pant has since returned and can rightly claim to have been India’s best batsmen across all forms of the game over the last few months. T20 cricket is where he first made his name with IPL 2018 seeing him hit an incredible 684 runs to lead his side’s scoring charts. He’s likely to bat most of the season outside the top 3 and this will work against him being able to consistently face enough balls to rack up the really big scores. However, as Pant has shown in the past, he doesn’t need many balls to influence a game of cricket and you can back him as DC’s top run scorer in IPL 2021 at odds of 4.5

Pant has been in fine form in all forms of cricket for India lately source
KKR top run scorer predictions IPL 2021

Who will score the top order runs for KKR is a pressing concern for the franchise in general but one name stands out as a player who could provide that much needed stability at the start of games.

Shubman Gill

While there are some question marks over Gill’s style of play and tempo as to whether he is really suited to T20, what he certainly offers is a classy stroke playing option at the top of the order that can anchor the innings. His 440 runs last season were crucial to KKR’s challenge for a playoff place and you’d image he will need to offer similar consistency this year if KKR are to improve on a topsy turvy season in 2020. You can back him to be KKR’s top run scorer in IPL 2021 at odds of 3.5 which seems very good value given the lack of alternatives the Knight Riders possess.

Eoin Morgan

KKR’s new captain had an excellent season despite his team’s struggles. Again, as a batsmen generally playing outside the top 3, the chances for him to score big runs on a consistent basis may be limited albeit that last the KKR top order failed so regularly that Morgan did see enough action to pass the 400 run mark. You can back him to be KKR’s top run scorer in IPL 2021 at odds of 7.0

Mumbai Indians top run scorer predictions IPL 2021

Rohit Sharma is once again the favourite to top MI’s scoring charts this season but his form over the last couple of IPL seasons suggest his price of 3.25 may be poor value while alternatives could yet prove a good bet.

Suyakumar Yadav

That better value to be MI’s top run scorer in IPL 2021 can surely be found in the form of Suryakumar Yadav who also appears in our list of predictions for Orange Cap winner. Yadav finshed as the franchise’s leading run scorer in 2018 and has been within touching distance the past couple of seasons too. His debut for India shows that his career is very much on the up and up and he’ll be looking for a strong IPL to cement his place in the World Cup squad. You can back him to score more runs than any of his celebrated teammates at very generous odds of 6.0

Quinton de Kock

Again better value than Rohit can be found in the odds of his opening partner de Kock. Since arrivng at the franchise the South African left hander has scored more runs than anyone else at Mumbai Indians and I’d be surprised if he is finished there. You can back him to once again be Mumbai’s top run scorer at odds of 4.0.

Ishan Kishan

The explosive left hander was Mumbai Indian’s top scorer last season and there is nothing to suggest that he can’t be as effective again this season. Batting at number 4 might limit his chances at times but equally we have seen Mumbai be flexible with their line-up in the past and if that is the case again and Kishan gets more time at the top of the order then his odds of 5.0 will seem very generous.

Punjab Kings top run scorer predictions in IPL 2021

KL Rahul

KL Rahul has topped the run scoring chart for Punjab Kings for the last 3 IPL seasons and given that no one has finished within 100 runs of him during that time, it’s difficult to see past him as the franchise’s top run scorer once again. As you’d imagine the odds on him to do so are pretty short at 2.10 but to be honest I can’t see any particular value in regards his closest challengers so a bet on the favourite is the way to go.

RCB top run scorer predictions in IPL 2021
Young Padikkal was RCB’s top run scorer in IPL 2020 source

Virat Kohli is the favourite to be RCB’s top run scorer and he was our number 1 prediction to win the Orange Cap following his announcement that he plans to open the batting this year. While his odds for tournament top run scorer seemed a good price his value to lead RCB on that front isn’t so great at odds of just 1.8. It’s true that there are holes in this RCB line-up but in regards top-order batsmen there is still some others to consider

Devdutt Padikkal

The left handed opener out scored both Kohli and AB in last season’s IPL and he comes into this tournament off the back of some very good form in domestic cricket. The second season for any youngster can be a difficult one but he represents good value at odds of 5.0 to repeat his efforts of 2020 and finish as RCB’s top run scorer.

Rajasthan Royals top run scorer predictions in IPL 2021

Consistency of runs from the top order is going to be one of the main challenges for the Royals in this IPL. Their big 3 players in that regard are Buttler, Stokes and new captain Sanju Sampson. All 3 blew a little hot and cold last year and Buttler’s poor run of form ultimately saw him pushed down the order. I’d imagine he’ll be given another chance in that role which is why he is the favourite to lead the scoring charts at odds of 2.5 but there is possibly better value to be had on the other 2

Sanju Samson

There is no doubting Samson’s talent and it’s not too late for him to push for a place in India’s World Cup squad if he has a strong IPL 2021. It will also be interesting to see how the captaincy impacts him. Will it bring the kind of focus for him to add consistency to his game or will it shackle his natural ability and scoring,? However at odds of 3.5 he is probably worth a small stake to be RR’s top run scorer in IPL 2021

Ben Stokes

There seems to be a clamour for Stokes to be moved up the order at both club and international level and on the occasions that he has been given that opportunity over the past 6 months he has shown why. His odds of 4.0 to be RR’s top run scorer are more generous simply because he hasn’t ever had a consistent run of games in the top 3 but that appears likely to change in 2021 and as such he represents good value for money.

Stokes’ chance of being RR’s top run scorer are enhanced by his likely promotion up the order source
Sunrisers Hyderabad top run scorer predictions in IPL 2021

David Warner

Predicting a top run scorer for SRH in IPL 2021 is a tricky one. David Warner seems the logical choice and his brilliant record in this tournament over the years does mean that his odds of 2.62 are good value. At the same time, SRH have some other very talented top order batsmen to chose from. The big question in regards Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow is will they play every game or might SRH rotate the pair alongside some of their overseas all-rounder options? If that is the case then then Warner’s odds look even better but we may need to wait and see how they choose to line-up in their first couple of games before we know more.

IPL 2021 top four teams playoff predictions

In such a highly competitive league as IPL 2021, predicting the four teams that will finish in the top half of the table and earn a playoff place is a difficult task. At the same time, SkyBet is offering boosted odds to do just that and therefore it is well worth making those predictions based on detailed analysis of the 8 teams involved.

For the previous 3 seasons, 14 points or the equivalent of 7 wins from the 14 round robin games has been enough to finish in the top four and secure a place in the playoffs so in essence what we are trying to predict is which team can win half or more of their games in IPL 2021.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @2.10

As indicated in our previous article predicting the outright winner of IPL 2021, SRH represent a good shout as dark horses for the title itself and therefore I think their odds of better than evens to make the playoffs represent excellent value for money.

The Sunrisers have finished in the top four for the past 4 IPL seasons with their consistency largely thanks to the settled and balanced squad that they have assembled during that period. Last year saw them overcome injuries to several key players to still make it into the playoffs and with those players now returning to form and fitness there is no reason to believe they cannot at the very least match last season’s achievement if not better it.

Form wise SRH could well hit the ground running with Buvi and Jonny Bairstow both looking in good knick during the India vs England white ball games that have proceeded this year’s IPL. They’ll be joined a couple of the world’s top T20 players in David Warner and Rashid Khan as well as whole host of cricketers who have experience of playing and winning in the IPL. Backing SRH to finish in the top four at odds of 2.1 seems a safe prediction at a very good price.

Chennai Super Kings

Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @2.20

It’s been a while since you’ve been able to back CSK at longer than even odds to finish in the top 4 and make it to the playoffs but following a poor IPL season last year and the perception that a few of their star players are now a little bit long in the tooth the markets at least have turned against them.

Still, CSK ended just 1 win off a playoff place last year and finished the season with 3 back to back victories suggesting that they are far from done as a squad just yet. Indeed, those games at the end gave CSK a chance to showcase some of the young talent that is coming through that may be able to have an impact on this year’s tournament. It’s also worth noting that their coaching and back room set-up is as good as any other franchise meaning that a poor season is more likely to be a blip rather than an overall trend towards becoming weak side.

Another interesting fact from last year is that out of the 6 matches they did win, 3 of them came against the sides who ulitmately finished in the top 4 with CSK running Delhi Capitals very close in the other fixture. It suggests that while this team may not have been at their peak last season they still have the winning mentality and street smarts to know how to close out victories in the IPL and at odds of 2.20 they shouldn’t be underestimated to make a quick return to the upper half of the table in 2021.

Mumbai Indians

Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @2.10

The favourites to win IPL 2021 and make it 3 in a row and 4 out of the last 5 years as champions are the Mumbai Indians. Understandably their odds on making the playoffs are much shorter than the two sides that we’ve already considered but for good reason.

If as we’ve discussed above, a side needs a minimum 50% win rate to qualify for the playoffs then this Mumbai Indians side which is largely unchanged over the last couple of years, is delivering a 69% win rate which in a tournament as competitive as the IPL is a phenomenal stat.

Mumbai Indians celebrate during the IPL 2017 playoffs source

While there is no guarantee that previous form impacts future predictions, I feel that the relatively quick turn around between the 2020 IPL which was delayed by 6 months and this year’s competition which starts less that half a year later, means that momentum from last season is far more likely to be carried forward into this year. It would be a major shock if Mumbai Indians didn’t make into the top 4 in IPL 2021 and as such I’m predicting they will do so at reasonable odds of 1.29.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @1.80

Once again I’m going to say that RCB are poor value to be a success in IPL 2021. I would personally rate their chance of a top 4 finish at about 50/50 and as such my tip here is to lay against them on an exchange at a price of 2.2. Betfair is offering this market so you can jump in early to lay against them making the playoffs and get a very good price.

In general, RCB are one of the best supported and most overhyped franchises in T20 cricket with a collection of the world’s biggest stars but without the foundations to back up consistent success. It’s that lack of consistency which would concern me about backing them at shorter than even odds.

Delhi Capitals

Odds on a top four finish and playoff place in IPL 2021 @1.57

The Capitals have been a steadily improving side over the past few years and in the round robin stage of the tournament they have won only one less game than the Mumbai Indians have over the last couple of seasons.

Again that is the sort of consistency that you should be looking for when placing a bet and with Delhi having largely kept the same side together that reached last season’s final there is no reason to suspect that they won’t at the very least make the playoffs again this year and you can back them to do so at decent odds of 1.57

The others

Kolkata Knight Riders – You can bet on KKR to reach the playoffs at odds of 2.20 which I would say is about right but doesn’t offer particularly great value. While they only missed out on a top four finish last season on net run rate, there are a few too many question marks over some of their star players coming into the tournament to be particularly confident as to how they will perform.

Rajasthan Royals – I can only assume that Ben Stokes’ heroics in the 2nd ODI v India have contributed to some money moving towards the Royals and pushing their odds shorter. However, the injury to Jofra Archer and a few too many gaps in their squad don’t justify their price of 2.10 to make the playoffs this year.

Punjab Kings – The big outsiders for a top four finish, PBKS haven’t managed to reach the playoffs for the past 6 seasons and there seems to be very little confidence in them breaking that run during IPL2021. At the same time, we are talking about a league where anyone can beat anyone and if the odds drift much longer than 2.75 then they might be worth taking a look at to sneak a top 4 finish.

IPL 2021 Top wicket taker purple cap predictions

Having previewed the candidates for leading run scorer we now offer predictions on the bowlers who have a chance of being the top wicker in IPL 2021. Once again the battle for the purple cap will involve many of the world’s top T20 bowlers and so picking one or several from this crowded field that offer good value takes time and careful analysis.

Again, our predictions for top wicket taker in IPL 2021 will factor in the neutral venues that the tournament will be played at this year as this is likely to have a significant impact on the success of certain bowlers who favour the conditions they’ve been drawn to play in.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Odds to be top wicket taker in IPL 2021 @12.0

Buvi is back and at odds this generous he is our number 1 tip to be the top wicket taker in IPL 2021. The last couple of years have seen SRH’s lead seamer beset by injuries but following his return to fitness he has demonstrated his worth as a T20 bowler with some stunning displays for India over the last few weeks.

Buvi is a proven IPL wicket taker throughout matches

Of course it wouldn’t be the first time that Bhuvneshwar Kumar has won the purple cap in the IPL as he achieved the feat in both 2016 and 2017. Buvi’s brilliance is built off the back of his ability to pick up wickets both in the powerplay where he can nip the new ball off the seam and move it through the air and at the death where his accuracy and subtle variations make him a dangerous operator.

He will be the spearhead of what looks likely to be a very complete bowling line-up for SRH this year and as stated in my predictions for the outright winner, I believe that the Sunrisers are dark horses to win the IPL in 2021. As such, odds of 12.0 for Buvi to be the league’s top wicket taker are far too good to turn down

Kagiso Rabada

Odds to be top wicket taker in IPL 2021 @6.0

The South African fast bowler has been at the heart of Delhi Capitals revival over the past couple of seasons finishing as the leading wicket taker in last year’s IPL and coming second only to Imran Tahir the year before that. To date, Rabada has been most effective at the death with nearly two thirds of his wickets coming in the final 5 overs of IPL matches.

Rabada’s wicket taking ability at the death delivered him the purple cap last season

His potency as a wicket taker is enhanced by the strong supporting cast that he has at DC that includes a South African connection with Anrich Nortje as well as Delhi’s twin spin attack in the form of Test match heroes Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel.

This season Rabada’s chances of defending his purple cap will be increased by the fact that he will play the majority of his games on helpful wickets for seamers including the Wankhede Stadium, Eden Gardens and the stadium at Ahmedabad which we’ve already seen from the T20i matches recently completed there can assist bowlers with genuine pace. At odds of 6.0 he is the favourite to be leading wicket taker once again but given his recent record in the IPL that price is fully justified and he warrants having money riding on him.

Jasprit Bumrah

Odds to be top wicket taker in IPL 2021 @6.0

Much like with Rabada this is not a bold prediction for top wicket taker during IPL 2021 but it’s difficult to ignore Bumrah and his consistency. He has developed into arguably the best multi-format fast bowler in world cricket but it was in T20 that he first made his name with his slingy action being difficult for batsmen to pick up and his uncanny ability to hit his yorkers.

When Bumrah gets the yorker right he is unplayable

Bumrah has never claimed the purple cap in the IPL, however, he has been in the mix for it in each of the last 5 years finishing at the very least as one of the top 10 wicket takers in that given season. Last year he delivered a personal best of 27 wickets in an IPL season only to see Rabada trump him by claiming 30 scalps. I would expect the pair to once again push each other to new heights this time around as they both chase personal and team honours.

When predicting the top wicket taker in an IPL season it is also worth taking into consideration which players are likely to make it through to the playoffs with their respective teams and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the last 2 winners of the purple cap have come from sides who have played those extra 2 or 3 games at the end of the season. As such odds of @6.0 for Bumrah to be the top wicket taker is a sound tip

Rahul Chahar

Odds to be top wicket taker in IPL 2021 @25.0

The young wrist spinner has established himself as first choice at Mumbai Indians over the last couple of years and is now pushing to do the same with the Indian national side. He’s been an effective wicket taking option during his sides back to back title wins and the way the fixtures have fallen this year may see him take on even greater importance with ball in hand.

Interestingly Chahar has only ever taken 1 wicket in the IPL while playing at the Mumbai Indian’s home ground of the Wankhede Stadium but with all his matches this year being played at neutral venues, the young leggie will the get the opportunity to bowl on some slower turning pitches that could well see him pick up additional wickets.

Chahar will benefit from playing early matches on helpful surface during IPL 2021

Let’s not forget that the last time the IPL took place on Indian soil back in 2019, the top wicket taker and purple cap went to Imran Tahir, a wrist spinner who played the bulk of his games in Chennai which by happy coincidence is where Mumbai start their campaign with 5 back to back matches. Chahar has already shown during his previous visits to MA Chidambaram stadium that he is a tricky customer in these conditions and his odds of 20.0 to be the leading wicket taker in IPL 2021 could fall very sharply if he comes away from that venue with a clutch of wickets.

Lungi Ngidi

Odds to be top wicket taker in IPL 2021 @20.0

Ngidi’s chances of being the top wicket taker in IPL 2021 are done no end of good by the fact that CSK won’t be playing at home this season. Incredibly, Ngidi has never played a game for CSK at the MA Chidambaram ground despite being at the franchise for 3 years. Where CSK have deployed the young South African is on their travels, at grounds where they believe his hit the deck style will be more effective.

With CSK now forced to play there games on pitches that will favour Ngidi then his chances of simply playing will shoot up dramatically and with it you’d expect his odds to be leading wicket taker to tumble as well. He is certainly a long shot for the purple cap this year but as with Chahar it could well be a case that those odds shorten after the first few rounds of the IPL allowing those who backed him early to take some profit.

Ngidi blasts through Sri Lanka’s top order

Despite having had limited opportunity in the IPL his strike rate in the competition when he does play is incredible taking a wicket once every 12.6 deliveries. This wicket taking ability isn’t just restricted to the IPL, Ngidi has an even better strike rate in international T20 cricket, claiming a victim every 11.4 balls he bowls for South Africa. At long odds of @20.0 backing a player who has a happy knack of picking up wickets seems like a very good bet.

Virat Kohli record as an opener in T20 cricket

The debate over whether Virat Kohli should open the batting in T20 cricket will rage on. Here we consider his record and stats as an opener inc. his average, strike rate, record in the powerplay and the influence that Kohli opening the batting has on his team as a whole.

Let’s begin with the top line stats for Kohli as an opener in T20 cricket – this includes T20i and IPL matches that Kohli has played in.

Total innings268
Innings as an opener71
Career average33.72
Average as an opener 46.24
Virat Kohli record opening the batting in T20 cricket

From the outset we can see that Virat Kohli’s record as an opener in T20 cricket is impressive and his average is certainly a lot higher than that when he bats in any other position. The vast majority of the games that he has played as an opener have come in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore while for India he has played the role only 8 times and until he opened for his team vs England on 20th March 2021, he hadn’t opened the batting for his country for almost 3 years going back to a T20 game vs Ireland in 2018 when he was dismissed for just 9.

Those who argue that Kohli should open the batting in T20 cricket will point to his ability to score big when leading from the front.

Career 100s / 50s5 / 67
Opening 100s / 50s5 / 18
Kohli’s record of 50s and 100s opening the batting in T20 cricket

As you can see, all 5 of Kohli’s T20 centuries have come when he opens the batting. He passess the 50 run mark once every 3.09 innings as an opener compared to once every 3.86 innings when he doesn’t open. These stats are probably not that surprising given that in any limited overs format, batsmen coming in higher up the order will have a greater opportunity to build an innings and make a big score.

Strike rate is all important in T20 cricket and particularly so during the powerplay. Below is Kohli’s record as an opener in that regard.

Career Strike Rate133.54
Strike Rate Opening the batting139.76
Career Powerplay Strike Rate*115.06
Powerplay Strike Rate when Opening*124.44
*IPL Stats only

Time at the crease undoubtedly contributes to Kohli’s ability to score faster during the later stages of a T20 innings and therefore in that regard allowing him to open the batting makes sense. Still his strike rate, particularly in the powerplay, as an opening batsman is not spectacular.

To put that into context let’s look at the powerplay strike rates of other established opening batsmen in T20 cricket. As Kohli hasn’t played many games as an opening batsman in T20i cricket for us to make a fair comparison , we’ll only be considering his powerplay run rate opening the batting in the IPL v the other 10 most prolific opening batsmen who are still playing in the tournament.

BatsmanStrike Rate in the Powerplay as an opener
JC Buttler162.19
DA Warner139.87
KL Rahul135.42
CH Gayle135.24
Q de Kock131.30
F du Plessis130.98
RV Uthappa128.74
RG Sharma125.13
S Dhawan125.12
AM Rahane118.76
Records of the 10 most prolific opening batsmen still playing in IPL 2021

Of the 10 other players playing in IPL 2021 who have scored the most runs opening the batting, all of them have a better strike rate than Kohli during the powerplay with the exception of Ajinke Rahane, a player who has pretty much been deemed surplus to requirement at the highest levels of T20 cricket and is unlikely to be opening the batting for Delhi this year.

A higher strike rate by opening batsmen in the powerplay is usually driven by hitting boundaries while the field is up. Kohli’s record as an opener in T20 cricket (IPL only) in this regard is shown below

Balls per 4 hit in the powerplay6.84
Balls per 6 hit in the powerplay 29.48
Balls per boundary (4 or 6) in the powerplay5.55
Kohli balls per boundary during the powerplay while opening the batting in T20 cricket

Kohli the opener in T20 cricket hits a boundary about once every over that he faces in the powerplay. Again, let’s see how that compares with his peers in the IPL

Batsman Balls per boundary (4 or 6) in the powerplay
JC Buttler3.52
CH Gayle4.32
DA Warner4.48
KL Rahul4.80
F du Plessis4.90
Q de Kock4.96
RG Sharma5.05
S Dhawan5.17
RV Uthappa5.23
AM Rahane5.52

As we can see from the above table, every single one of the 10 other most prolific opening batsmen still playing in the IPL scores a boundary (4 or 6) more often than Kohli does during the powerplay.

Does this make Kohli a bad option to open the batting in T20? Not at all. However what it does mean is that he needs to be paired with an opening batsmen who starts their innings faster and is better able to utilise the field being up during the powerplay. Let’s look at who Kohli has opened with in the past and how that has impacted his performance and RCB’s performance in the IPL.

Below we look at the batsmen that Kohli has opened with in IPL T20 cricket and how that has impacted his record and the RCB’s record.

Opening PartnerInningsKohli AveKohli S/RWin %
CH Gayle2854.76148.3957.7%
PA Patel1434.92138.8450.0%
KL Rahul563.75134.9260.0%
Q de Kock2110.0142.860%
Mandeep Singh224.00145.450%
J Arunkummar212.0082.760%
All others*843.43125.1014.3%
Kohli’s record as an opener in T20 cricket by opening partner. *There are 8 players that Kohli has opened the batting with on one occasion

Gayle and Kohli’s opening partnership stands out and if you look back at the record books for the years that they played most together (2015 & 2016) you can see just how effective Kohli was as an opening batsmen when paired with a bigger hitting and faster scoring partner. The trend continues when Kohli opens with KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock whom we’ve seen in the stats above both start their innings as openers at a faster pace than he does.

The most recent period that Kohli played as a regular opener in T20 cricket was the 2019 IPL where he primarily partnered Partiv Patel and as we can see from the stats above was far less successful. Patel had significant experience as an opener in T20 cricket but his Strike Rate in the powerplay when opening was just 121.54, pretty pedestrian compared to some of the others we’ve considered. The impact on Kohli’s record that season is clear as no doubt the scoreboard pressure built on the RCB captain, forcing him to play in a manner that he is unaccustomed too.

It’s perhaps also evident from the above that Kohli and RCB as a whole benefit from a settled opening partnership in T20 cricket. His record with anyone that he opens the batting with 5 times or more has helped deliver a good win % in what is a very competitive league. Of the more experimental opening partnerships throughout the years, Kohli and RCB’s record in T20 is played 14, won 1, lost 12, 1 no result which I think we can all agree is pretty awful!

Going forward then, for Kohli, RCB and India to be successful with their captain opening the batting in T20 cricket, they will require him to form a settled partnership with a player who has more of a power game in the first 6 overs, allowing Kohli to play 2nd fiddle and anchor the innings through the middle period before exploding at the death.

In the 5th T20i against England when we saw Kohli and Rohit Sharma open the batting, I think we saw a perfect example of what is required with Rohit playing the role of the aggressor and Kohli ticking along at just over a run a ball. Kohli was further helped by the fact that Suryakumar Yadav came in at 3 and took over from Rohit meaning that Kohli could keep accumulating and laying a platform for later in the innings. This is surely the blue print that India will look to build on for the T20 World Cup if they are determined for Kohli to open during the tournament.

As for the IPL, RCB may find that they don’t have an opener with the record or experience that Rohit Sharma possesses in this form of the game. Devddut Padikkal is the man who will likely open with Kohli this season and while the youngster made an impressive start to his T20 career with 473 runs opening the batting in IPL 2020, his strike rate and overall power game does not seem compatible with that of Kohli’s to suggest that RCB or the player himself will benefit from this partnership.

Padikkal’s record as an opener in IPL cricket has him with a strike rate in the powerplay of 121.43, lower than Kohli’s and lower than most of the established batsmen we’ve considered before. In fact it’s unnervingly similar to that of Partiv Patel’s and for Kohli and RCB that was not a partnership that bore fruit.

IPL 2021 Leading Run Scorer Predictions and Betting Tips

One of the most popular outright markets to bet on in any IPL season is the leading run scorer. Here we preview the odds and offer predictions on who will be the top tournament batsmen in IPL 2021.

As with every year, the contest to don the Orange Cap as the IPL’s top run scorer for the season will be a fierce one with some of the biggest names in the history of T20 cricket going toe to toe over the course of the 14 match IPL season and the playoffs that follow.

When making predictions on who is going to be the leading run scorer in the IPL, it’s always worth considering that in limited overs cricket, the players coming in at the top of the order will get the most time in the middle and therefore are likely to be the ones with the greatest chance of making the consistent big scores that are necessary to be ranked as the highest run scorer come the end of an IPL season.

As such our tips for the IPL top tournament batsmen will generally focus on those players who will are likely to spend most of their time batting in the top 3 spots for their chosen franchise.

Equally, the decision to play all the IPL 2021 fixtures at neutral venues throws an extra dimension into any predictions for how successful a batsmen is going to be this season. Our stats by IPL venue gives us a great advantage when considering how certain conditions are likely to impact the race for top tournament run scorer this year and we’ll be factoring it into all of our tips below.

Virat Kohli

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer 9.0

We’ll start with our top tip for the this year’s leading batsmen in the IPL and to be honest it’s not a very surprising prediction! Virat Kohli is arguably the greatest white ball cricketer to have played the game and he is the leading all time run scorer in the IPL.

While it’s been a little while since Kohli finished an IPL season as the top batsmen, his announcement that he will be opening the batting for RCB this year should be a clear indication that he plans to bat long and bat big in the 2021 tournament.

While the debate about whether Kohli should open the batting in T20 cricket will rage on for the duration of the IPL and probably the World Cup to follow, it’s worth taking a moment to consider then man’s record in that regard. Here are a few of the top line stats for Kohli as an opener in T20 cricket and you can also read our full analysis here

Average opening the batting in T20s46.24
100s / 50s opening the batting in T20s5 / 18
Innings per half-century opening the batting in T20s3.09
Kohli’s chances of being the leading run scorer in IPL 2021 are enhanced by his decision to open the batting

As you can see, Kohli’s record at the top of the order is mighty impressive and therefore having some money riding on him to be the leading run scorer at odds of 9.0 seems a no brainer.

KL Rahul

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer 8.0

Last seasons leading run scorer in the IPL is once again favourite for the Orange Cap in 2021. Despite playing just 14 matches as his KXIP failed to make the playoffs, KL Rahul still managed to finish 52 runs clear of his nearest rivals who all played 2 or 3 games more.

While, KL Rahul is coming off a shocking T20 series with India where his form eventually led to him being dropped there is hope still hope he can recapture last season’s heroics after a decent cameo in the 1st ODI that followed and the fact that he averages over 80 batting at the Wankhede Stadium where PBKS will play their first 3 games.

KL Rahul could get off to a fast start at the Wankhede as he looks to defend his Orange Cap

If money starts to flow away from KL Rahul and towards a few others on this list (as I think it might) then we may yet see his odds of 8.0 to be the top tournament batsmen begin to drift and that could be the time to strike.

David Warner

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer: 9.0

The Sunriser’s captain is a machine when it comes to run scoring in the IPL and a solid prediction as top tournament batsmen for any year. Last year, Warner didn’t quite manage to emulate the consistency that he showed in IPL 2019 when he won the Orange Cap by passing 50 on 9 out of the 12 occasions he batted but he wasn’t far off the pace in 2020.

Still this is a batsmen who has been the leading run scorer in the IPL on 3 separate occasions and since 2014 has never finished outside the top 5 highest run scorers for any IPL season that he has played in.

Warner will have to overcome slower pitches at the start of the tournament to be this year’s leading run scorer

The one niggling doubt about Warner for this year is the way the fixtures have fallen for him and how that might impact his run getting in IPL 2021. SRH start off their campaign with 9 games played on the slower tracks of Chennai and Delhi, pitches on which Warner’s record is not quite as good. Despite this, Warner has sufficient experience and class to overcome such obstacles and a bet at odds of 9.0 on him betting the top tournament batsmen is still good value for money.

Shikhar Dhawan

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer: 13.0

Another opener and another player with a record in the IPL to suggest that he will be there or thereabouts as leading runs scorer during the 2021 tournament. Shikhar Dhawan made 2 of the 5 centuries to be scored in last season’s IPL and he’s very likely to be the man tasked with batting through the innings once again as Delhi Capitals look to go one better than their final appearance in 2020.

Excellent against pace and with a superb record against spin, Dhawan is the complete T20 batsmen and it looks as though he’ll come into the 2021 version of the IPL off the back of some good form following his match winning innings vs England in the 1st ODI of the series. You can back him as top tournament batsmen at generous odds of 13.0

Steve Smith

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer: 19.0

Moving now to consider some real outsider predictions for top run scorer in IPL 2021 although perhaps a player with Smith’s pedigree should never be entirely written off. The Australian master batsmen has something of a point to prove having been shown the door at previous franchise Rajasthan Royals.

There is no doubt that T20 cricket is Smith’s weakest form but as a once in generation talent, I wouldn’t bet against him working it out. I probably would have avoided adding Smith to this list of tips for top batsmen had it not have been for the injury sustained by DC captain Shreyas Iyer which looks certain to limit his action in the IPL this year.

While there were a few eyebrows raised at Smith’s acquisition by Delhi during the auction given that they have a very strong top order already, the gap left by Iyer who was probably due to bat at number 3 suddenly presents the perfect opportunity for Smith to rebuild his reputation in the IPL. Working with former Aussie captain Ricky Ponting, I expect Smith to get the full backing of his new side and at long odds of 19.0 to be the top tournament batsmen there is value to be had on a small stake.

Kane Williamson

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer: 21.0

One of my favourite players to watch in any form of cricket and a man who optimises everything that is good about the sport is Kiwi captain Kane Williamson. Williamson finished as the IPL’s top batsmen in the 2017 season, topping the 700 run mark a feat that hasn’t been bettered by anyone since.

Beyond his obvious class and run scoring ability, Williamson’s chances of finishing this IPL season as the leading run scorer are enhanced by the fact that his record at several of the venues SRH will play their games at this year is superb!

Williamson has enjoyed previous visits to Bangalore and Delhi

Why then are Williamson’s odds of 21.0 to be top tournament batsmen so long? Well the one concern would be whether he is an automatic pick for SRH who have plenty of overseas talent to choose from at the top of their order and will need to make some tough decisions about how to balance their team. However, if Williamson gets the nod early in the tournament and scores runs then he’s going to be very difficult to leave out and those long odds will look like a real bargin!

Devdutt Padikkal

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer: 21.0

The youngest and least experienced player on this list of predictions for IPL leading run scorer in 2021. However, Padikkal can already boast the fact that he outscored Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in last year’s IPL (his maiden tournament) and he comes into this year’s version off the back of some very impressive form in 20 and 50 over cricket.

Second season syndrome is of course a concern for any young player and you can bet that opposition bowlers will know more about this young superstar in the making than they did 6 months ago. Still, Padikkal has shown throughout his fledgling career that he has the talent and temperament to overcome any obstacle and at odds of 21.0 to be the top tournament batsmen he represents good value for money as an outside bet.

Suryakumar Yadav

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer 26.0

Here is a batsmen brimming with form and confidence ahead of IPL 2021 and at the price being offered, he represents a really good tip to be top run scorer for the tournament ahead. Suryakumar Yadav may be new to international cricket but he is certainly not new to the IPL where he has been a consistent run scorer for the most successful franchise in history for some time.

After bursting onto the international stage this month with a couple of fantastic knocks vs England he’ll be looking to cement his place in India’s white ball plans for the foreseeable future by scoring big runs in IPL 2021. He’s finished each of the last 3 seasons with a min 400 runs and on one occasion has breached the 500 mark. He’ll need to push above the 600 mark to have a realistic chance of being the leading run scorer and you can back him to do just that at odds of 26.0

Prithvi Shaw

Odds to be IPL leading run scorer 26.0

Our final prediction for leading run scorer in the 2021 IPL is another exciting young Indian batsmen in the form of Prithvi Shaw. The 21-year-old right-hander is something of a cricketing prodigy and has already won caps for his national team despite his tender age. While he was dropped during the winter tour of Australia, his response has been to smash bowling attacks up and down the country for century after century on his way to a record breaking domestic season.

Both Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal broke records in the domestic season and will hope to carry that form into IPL 2021 as they chase top run scorer once again.

With India having so many talented young batsmen to choose from, Shaw knows he must carry on that run scoring form on the big stage provided by the IPL to have a chance of re-entering the fold. Since his school days in Mumbai, many in India have tipped Shaw to be Sachin Tendulkar’s heir apparent and 2021 could be the year that he finally delivers on that promise. Odds of 26.0 to be the top tournament batsmen are good value for a player in red hot form!