IPL 2021 - Story so far – Indomitable CSK and Tenacious Royal Challengers Bangalore

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stands at No. 2 and No. 3 position respectively in points table with five wins against their name from seven games.

IPL 2021: Story of CSK and RCB so far in IPL 2021, Position in Points Table, Player Transfers and Preparations. IPL 2021 News
CSK and RCB stands at second and third position in Points Table. (Photo: ©IPL)

The highly anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is all set to re-start on September 19. Inherently a domestic tournament, IPL captures attention from all over the cricketing world, not only due to it its cash-rich nature and inclusion of big-name players that go with it but moreover as a highly competitive series with games frequently going down the wire and top quality of play. So much so, that in the 29 matches so far, 4 matches have been won with less than 2 balls remaining and 3 games lost within 6 runs of the eventual target.


With the season being too early to call, two teams in Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) sit at 10 points each with an identical tally of 5 wins and two losses and very little to choose between them.

Chennai’s road back to fluency

CSK’s dismal performance in the 2020 season saw them finishing 7th on the points table and hence failing to qualify to the play-offs for the first time in the franchise’s history. With majority of their players not playing international cricket, the ageing warhorses from the southern metropolis’ franchise found it hard to shake off their rustiness and get going until too late in the tournament.


The Super Kings are the second-most successful franchise in the IPL with 3 wins and 5 runner-up finishes and the failure of last year’s season saw the champions approach the 14th edition of the IPL with much more flair and aggression, bouncing back to their fluent ways to sit 2nd on the points table with 5 wins in the seven matches played.


Faf Du Plessis is currently their highest run-scorer and third-highest in the tournament with 320 runs at an average of 45.7 and strike rate of 145. However, the recent news of Faf’s uncertainty to play in the IPL due to a groin injury picked up in the Caribbean Premier League can be a big blow to Chennai’s squad.


For the most part, the team would be hoping for an early recovery to see him back in action. If not then they will look at internal replacements in Robin Uthappa, Narayan Jagadeesan or Moeen Ali to fill the opening spot alongside youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad.


Although UAE hasn’t been favorable to MS Dhoni-led CSK in the past, the team would be hoping for the in-form bowling line-up in Sam Curran, Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur and Dwayne Bravo along with Ravindra Jadeja and Josh Hazlewood to put in impactful performances. Most of their batting arsenal arrived in the UAE a month in advance, helping them gear up for the upcoming second-half.

Read More: Top Five Performances of IPL 2021


Changing of the tides for Royal Challengers Bangalore

In the 13 years of IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore have captivated viewers with big-name players, top-notch sponsorship deals and a dedicated fan base. Yet the unlucky giants remain one of only three active sides to have not won the tournament in since its inception.

However, in the 2021 season the team seems to have found a combination of players and right approach placing them third in the current table rankings, behind CSK only on the virtue of net run rate.


They started their season in complete contrast to the previous years, winning 4 consecutive games and gaining confidence in every step progressed since. What has helped are players like Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell and Devdutt Padikkal coming into the side to put in impactful performances, relieving pressure and over-dependence on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.


Maxwell has been RCB’s highest run-scorer with 223 runs at a strike rate of 144.80 and an average of 37.1 while Harshal Patel has been the surprise of the season holding the purple cap for his 17 wickers in 7 matches.


Unfortunately, Adam Zampa, Daniel Sams, Finn Allen, Kane Richardson and Washington Sundar are all unavailable for the second leg of IPL due to varying reasons but RCB have managed to find suitable replacements in Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Tim David, George Garton and Akash Deep.


‘Replacements have great skillsets for the relevant conditions’ – Virat Kohli

“I have been in touch with everyone. We have had discussions over the last month or so, a little longer on replacements and who’s coming, who’s not. Eventually, we ended up replacing our key players with some top-quality cricketers. Our key players will be missed and they are a part of the family. But the people coming in have some great skillsets, especially in these conditions,” said RCB skipper Virat Kohli in a video posted on RCB’s official Twitter handle.


With RCB finally finding form and balance with recent player inclusions of Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel in the squad and developing the hugely talented Mohammed Siraj and Devdutt Padikkal, the question still remains. ‘Can they pull it off this time around?’

IPL 2021 restarts with the El Classico between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 19.


Read More: IPL 2021 - Story so far - DC's re-ramp, MI's traditional slow start, SRH in absolute shambles

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