Indian Premier League, since its very inception in 2008, has remained a craze among cricket lovers. While some teams have excelled from the very first season, there were few that emerged as surprise winners in the upcoming seasons. Out of all the IPL franchises, Mumbai Indians was considered the most successful one given a series of unexpected victories that it recorded, starting in 2013.
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Defeating Chennai Super Kings, the team that won the title for two consecutive years i.e., 2010 and 2011 brought a huge appreciation for MI. Mumbai Indians won by a 23-run margin at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. MI opted to bat first and scored 148 while making CSK stop at 125.
Since its first outstanding win, Mumbai Indians never looked back and recorded four more wins, including the last two seasons of 2019 and 2020. In fact, the IPL season 2020 gave fans an opportunity to witness the strengths of Mumbai Indians one more time, which they already proved in the last few matches. Each time they were seen in trouble, there was always one or the other player to help the entire team get out of the situation and survive.
The back-to-back wins and consistent performances of the Rohit Sharma-led team, however, has made it the most deserving contender for the title in 2021 as well, according to CricTracker. Well, as we are talking about the latest season ready to commence on April 9 where MI has the chance to top the points table once again, fantasy cricket players are all set to choose their favourite cricketers from the respective teams to start with the game on https://www.mpl.live/fantasy-cricket/.
With MI already being considered as one of the teams to qualify for the finals in the upcoming IPL season, predictions on which of the IPL franchises would be the toughest competition for the team are being frequently made and changed.
To serve the curiosity of fans and followers, however, here is a list of 3 teams that are likely to give a tough fight to Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021.
Chennai Super Kings
Watching Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians together on the field is a retreat. The two competitors, their strategies, and their way of taking the game forward hardly allow spectators to take their eyes off the field. Given the brilliant performance of CSK in multiple IPL seasons, it is quite obvious for it to qualify for the finals with MI that has been defending the title for two consecutive years now.
These two teams have faced each other 32 times since the inception of the IPL format. While CSK won 13 times, Mumbai Indians recorded a victory for the rest 19. So far as the title is concerned, the yellow team won the title thrice whereas MI became the IPL winner five times in total. IPL 2021 could be the final IPL instalment where MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina would be seen.
CSK could be the toughest competition of all for MI as the franchise efficiently combines young as well as experienced players to take the game forward. Though it remained a consistent performer in all the IPL seasons, it failed to make it to the playoff in 2020 and stopped at rank 7 on the points table. Still, it is believed that if any team is capable enough to defeat Mumbai Indians, it is most likely to be CSK.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Surprised why RCB is on the list? Though the team didn’t come up as a winner yet, the way it qualified for multiple playoffs is enough to show the calibre of the team members. The team managed to get into the finals in 2009, 2011, and 2016 only to be defeated by Deccan Chargers, Chennai Super Kings, and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively. Despite having the best players in the group, the Virat Kohli-led IPL franchise has been found lacking round-up squares.
In fact, most of the time, the over-dependence on star players worsened the situation, thereby making them lose matches one after the other. The team, however, seems to have prepared itself well for the upcoming season, overcoming the elements that lacked in the previous matches. Moreover, the addition of two highly experienced players – Glenn Maxwell and Daniel Christian – has increased the chances of a win for RCB to a great extent.
Mumbai Indians and RCB have played a total of 29 matches to date where the former won 19 matches while Bangalore recorded a victory for 10 of them. Let’s see if these two teams meet at the finals this time and if so, whether RCB is successful in overcoming its weaknesses to perform as a winner.
With the balance of both young and experienced players, Delhi Capitals serves to be one of the strongest IPL franchises. It’s true that they have never made it to the title, but in the last season, it reached the finals with Mumbai Indians. Though the former was defeated, it is likely that this time too i.e., in IPL 2021, both the teams are going to play against each other, raising the level of competition.
Formerly known as Delhi Daredevils, the team changed its name in 2018. With the proven captaincy skills of Shreyas Iyer, the team seems ready to set new standards. With players like Australia’s Steve Smith, England’s Sam Billings, and Tom Curran, Delhi Capitals is having the best team with the most efficient players. The newly added players along with the already existing ones like Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, and the captain himself, this team has the best batting order, which is an added advantage.
It is expected that Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians might be seen sharing the field as competitors once again with both of them having a balanced team of both young and experienced players altogether.
Though there are other teams too that have the possibility of being a tough competition to Mumbai Indians, the above-mentioned three teams are the ones that are most likely to be on the list. April 9 is the day when IPL 2021 will hit your TV screens. Let’s see which two teams make it to the finals and which among them appear as the winner of the season.