Virender Sehwag Rates Mumbai Indians As Favourites To Win IPL 2021 In UAE
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Virender Sehwag Rates Mumbai Indians As Favourites To Win IPL 2021 In UAE

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag picked the favourite franchise to win IPL 2021. The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is being played in two parts due to the Covid-19 outbreak and bio bubble breaches in the middle of the season in May earlier this year. After 29 matches, BCCI was forced to postpone the tournament and shifted out of India and bring it to the UAE.

After a four-month-long gap, the remaining matches of IPL 2021 are slated to begin from Sunday with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Dubai. While MS Dhoni-led CSK has won three titles, Rohit Sharma-led MI has won the most — five trophies so far.
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians ©BCCI/IPL

Virender Sehwag Pucks Mumbai And Delhi As Contenders To Win IPL 2021

Before that, Virender Sehwag picked the two franchises- Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals – the finalists of the last year – as the favourites to win the IPL.

“Since the second half has been shifted to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I think Delhi and Mumbai will again be favourites and the five-time champions are slightly ahead,” Sehwag told PTI.

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians are currently at No.4 in the points table with 8 points from 7 matches. Delhi Capitals, on the other hand, is at the top of the table with 12 points in 8 games. Additionally, the second leg of IPL 2021 will also be a momentous occasion as the marquee tournament will welcome the fans back to the stadiums after the previous season.

Despite CSK’s consistent run under MS Dhoni, Mumbai is ahead in the overall head-to-head battle. Both sides have faced each other in 32 IPL matches with MI winning 19 times and losing 13 times so far.

Virender Sehwag: Chennai And Bangalore Might Face Problems In Slow Pitches In UAE

Virender Sehwag, who is ready to put his money on the five-time champions Mumbai Indians if he had to pick one team, reckons that pitches in UAE will be slower and thus Chennai and Bengaluru might face some problems. During the first leg of IPL 2021, MI has defeated CSK in a high-scoring match, where the defending champions Mumbai chased down the target of 219 and won the match by six wickets.

“Chennai’s average score in India was 201 during the first phase but I think when it comes to UAE tracks, they would be lacking a bit in batting firepower. If I have to pick one team, that will be Mumbai.”

Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo
Virender Sehwag Reuters Photo

He said that for Chennai, after such a long gap, it might take “some more matches” to settle down and get into the “groove”. Virender Sehwag believes that with ICC giving a window to change teams till October 10, there could still be room for some good performers, who have missed the bus.

“100%. We have around seven matches minimum left for the teams. That means you still have a platform to perform and those who are on the fringes could still impress the Indian selectors who would be watching the tournament closely. “

“Since ICC allows a window to change teams, I will not be surprised if there are some changes in the original squad,” the Nawab of Najafgarh said.

Virender Sehwag, who himself was one of the most explosive batsmen of his era, picked four young Indian cricketers he would look forward to watching in IPL. The 42-year-old named flamboyant Mumbai Indians batsman Ishan Kishan was his first choice amongst the four followed by the likes of Devdutt Padikkal, KL Rahul and Sanju Samson.

Virender Sehwag also made some bold claims and said unpicked players doing well in IPL 2021 might be drafted in the T20 World Cup as ICC allows a window to make changes into the squad. Virender Sehwag, who has worked with the Punjab Kings team (Kings XI Punjab then) as a mentor, said if Devdutt Padikkal can perform well for the RCB in these remaining 7-8 matches then he can be drafted into the Indian T20 World Cup squad.

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