The IPL 2021 has concluded after a lot of hardships and breaks. Normally a timeout in the IPL is for 150 seconds, however, this one lasted for 140 days. But it was worth the effort. The only season which happened in two instalments was eventually clinched for the 4th time by the Chennai Super Kings.
Author:- Ashwin Jangam (Cricket Analyst, host, poet, entertainer)
Insta I'd:- cricket_creativity
The first leg of IPL 2021 had RCB, CSK and DC in the hunt for the top 3. While the other teams were not in the top 3, they were contributing with the young Indian talent to look forward to the future.
The first season had amazing matches, most of which were low scoring. But one match to remember was between CSK and MI, which was high-scoring as well as breathtaking. The 5 times champion won the match, chasing 222 with the big Man Pollard sending ball and the confidence of bowlers outside the park.
The big break due to COVID halted the season but gave India new debutants. The likes of Sakariya, Gaikwad, Paddikal, Nitish Rana, Chakraborty, Rahul Chahar , K Gowtham made their debut in the Sri Lanka series in July owing to their performance in the first leg of IPL.
The second leg started with CSK beating MI. It followed a lot of interesting matches and was also an emotional one for the fans as it was the last season of king Virat as a captain. While the top three teams in the first leg kept dominating the tournament, there was a mystery to follow for KKR. In a tale of resurrection, KKR, who had won only 2 matches in the first leg, won six matches in the second leg to qualify for the playoffs.
While Sunrisers Hyderabad was already out of the tournament, the other 4 teams viz, PBKS, MI, RR, KKR were fighting hard for the playoffs. Out of the four, RR was inconsistent with their performance, PBKS heavily depended on their skipper Rahul, MI was consistently playing bad cricket and KKR was playing as a proper team unit moving forward.
Competition became exciting in the last 4 days for the 4 th contender of the playoffs. It was in these matches, the last two of MI when the 5 times trophy winners played like a champion when it seemed almost impossible to make them to the playoffs. A victory in their penultimate game with 70 balls to spare against RR, kept their hoper alive, throwing RR and PBKS out of the hunt for playoffs. Then it was KKR who won the match against RR with a huge margin to almost secure their place. In the last game, MI amassed a total of 235 runs , winning the match, but failing to qualify thereby confirming the place of KKR in the playoffs.
The playoffs were nail-biting as CSK won the match against DC in the last over. KKR defeated RCB in the eliminator and, then DC in the second qualifier for the final. In the final, however, the experienced team CSK won the game against KKR comfortably, lifting the title for the 4th time.
This season of IPL was special for several reasons. But the most impressive thing about this IPL was the dominant performance of the Indian youngsters. The orange cap holder Ruturaj Gaikwad, who recovered from COVID before the first leg was outstanding in the season. Also the purple cap holder, Harshal Patel was a man to watch out for this season. Along with these youngsters, a flurry of youngsters, witl the likes of Venkatesh Iyer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Avesh Khan, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shahrukh Khan and many others along with the debutants in India Sri Lanka series for India, impressed everyone with their scintillating performances. In a nutshell, I would say, this IPL was true "Indian" Premier League dominated by the young Indian cricketers, who are stars of the future. Let's hope we see the same in the upcoming season of IPL.
This is all we have for this season.
Congratulations to the winners, Chennai Super Kings.
Thanks for your response to these columns.
We will bring such coverage for the next edition as well but there is a lot that is going to happen before that.
As we are excited about the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
So, see you there.