New Delhi. The second phase of IPL 2021 (IPL) is going to start in UAE from 19 September. Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore have performed brilliantly in the first phase of IPL. On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings had to fight for a good performance. In the IPL points table, Rajasthan is at 5th place, Punjab is 6th and Kolkata team is at 7th place. They have to win at least 5 matches to enter the knockouts. The teams of Rajasthan and Kolkata have failed to make it to the playoffs in the last two IPLs while Punjab last made it in the year 2014.
Rajasthan’s troubles increased
Rajasthan has won three out of seven matches in the first leg while losing four. At present, the problems of Rajasthan have increased. Fast bowler Jofra Archer will not play due to injury while Jos Buttler has withdrawn his name from the IPL. The team’s main all-rounder Ben Stokes is on an indefinite break due to mental health issues. Rajasthan have included New Zealand player Glenn Phillips as Butler’s replacement. Apart from this, the team has added South African left-arm wrist spinner Tabrez Shamsi. Shamsi is currently the number one bowler in the T20 rankings. At the same time, explosive batsman Evin Lewis, who scored the most runs in CPL 2021, has also become a part of Rajasthan.
Captain Sanju Samson scored the highest 277 runs for Rajasthan in the first phase. The team will have high hopes from him. At the same time, Chris Morris, the most expensive player of IPL 2021, has taken 14 wickets in 7 matches. Apart from these players, the team will expect a big innings from England player Liam Livingstone, who has batted tremendously in ‘The Hundred’.
KL Rahul will be responsible for Punjab
Rahul has been performing tremendously in the IPL for the last four years. This batsman has scored 2253 runs in the last 49 matches. During this, this batsman has scored 2 centuries and 21 half-centuries. Rahul has also scored 331 runs in the first leg with the help of four half-centuries. However, except for Rahul, Punjab’s batting is very weak. Mayank Agarwal has scored runs but there is no consistency in his performance. Gayle is not playing up to his laurels though the explosive T20 batsman has played some decent innings in the recently concluded CPL. The Punjab team has suffered a setback due to the exclusion of David Malan.
Apart from this, the bowling of Punjab is also looking weak. Australian fast bowlers Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith have not declared themselves available for the second half of IPL 14. Punjab has added Australian fast bowler Nathan Ellis to his team, who has taken a hat-trick in the debut T20 match. In place of David Malan, the team included South African opener Aiden Markram, who has become a part of the IPL for the first time. Markram has shown excellent form in T20 cricket in recent times. The team of Punjab has played eight matches in the first phase, in which the team has won only three times while losing 5 matches.
Even changing the captain did not change the fate of Kolkata
The condition of Kolkata is worst. In the first phase of IPL, Kolkata team lost 5 out of seven matches while winning only two matches. Last year, in the middle of the IPL, Dinesh Karthik was replaced by Eoin Morgan as the captain of the team but he could not change the fate of the team. Morgan is not able to contribute even in batting. Morgan has scored only 92 runs in 7 matches of this IPL. Apart from this, KKR’s most expensive player Pat Cummins has withdrawn his name from IPL due to personal reasons. In place of Cummins, two-time champion KKR has added New Zealand pacer Tim Southee.
It is a matter of relief for Kolkata that Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have performed very well in the CPL. At the same time, Shakib Al Hasan has also returned to form after playing against New Zealand and Zimbabwe. The team will have high hopes from Varun Chakraborty, selected in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup. Chakraborty took 17 wickets in 15 matches in the IPL held in UAE last year.