The IPL 2021 playoff lineups were confirmed after the end of the thrilling round-robin league phase on Friday (October 8). The table-topping Delhi Capitals are one of the early favorites to win the Indian Premier League's 14th edition. Probably, this is the final season of veteran cricketer MS Dhoni. Not to mention, all of Chennai's players would be keen to give Dhoni a proper farewell by winning the Indian Premier League. In Qualifier 1, both teams will compete for a spot in the final. On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the elimination match. Let's take a look at the favorites of the playoffs round.
IPL 2021: Lineups for the Playoffs
Qualifier 1 (DC vs. CSK)
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium | Date: October 10 | Time (BST): 8 pm
Verdict: Delhi favourite to beat CSK
At the end of the IPL 2021 round-robin league stage, Delhi Capitals came out on top of the point table. Delhi gained 20 points in the league phase by winning 10 games and losing four. Importantly, Delhi defeated Chennai in both of their league matches. In comparison to Chennai, Delhi's squad contains more talented young players and a good number of them are in tremendous forms. As a result, team Capitals will be more confident against the Super Kings ahead of the qualifier 1 encounter on Sunday. On the other side, Chennai have some experienced players who are expected to outperform the opponent in terms of game strategy and on-field displays.
Delhi Capitals probable playing XI
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Anrich Nortje, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (Captain & wicket-keeper), Ripal Patel, Shimron Hetmyer,
Chennai Super Kings probable playing XI
Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali.
Eliminator (KKR vs. RCB)
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium | Date: October 11 | Time (BST): 8 pm
Verdict: Kolkata favourite to beat RCB
Shakib Al Hasan played in the last two Kolkata's round-robin league fixtures, helping his side to finish fourth in the points standings. Kolkata squad is now on a roll, and they have found a winning formula that they can rely on. Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore would be the Kolkata Knight Riders' eliminator opponent. The Bangalore team is also formidable enough to crush the opposite bowling lineups on any given day. Both teams have some extraordinary players and they won a round-robin league match against each other once. Therefore, this fixture promises to be fascinating.
Kolkata Knight Riders probable playing XI
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper)
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s probable playing XI
Virat Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, AB de Villiers, Dan Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed, George Garton, KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Glenn Maxwell, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Qualifier 2 (DC/CSK vs. KKR/RCB)
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium | Date: October 13 | Time (BST): 8 pm
The winner of the eliminator and the loser of qualifier 1 will compete for a final spot in the qualifier 2 match. Chennai and Delhi are the two most consistent teams in this year's IPL. Interestingly, whoever wins qualifier 2 will be the favorite to win the competition, because playing two playoffs will make them stronger heading to the final.
Despite having some quality players in the squad, Kolkata and Bangalore have failed to maintain consistency in this campaign and this could halt them to advance to the final. However, it will be a knockout game, and the competing teams will try their best to reach the final.
According to the playoff schedule, the Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings are the two hot favorites to advance to the IPL 2021 championship match. Meanwhile, if Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore can effectively execute their strategies on the field, they will have a chance. Both Kolkata and Bangalore teams can lose momentum at crucial stages of a game, which can put a halt to their progress. Fans of the Indian Premier League are anticipating an entertaining playoff round this year.