Much to the relief of IPL fans and various stakeholders, the high-profile T20 tournament has resumed with the remaining 31 matches being played in the UAE.
The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League had to be cut short in early May as the second wave of Covid-19 devastated India. The tournament was delicately poised before it was suspended mid-way.
Cricket betting site Betway predicted that with just half of the tournament done with, there is enough time for the bottom-placed teams to bounce back into contention. At the same time, teams sitting at the top cannot take their spots for granted and could well slip out of contention if they show any complacency.
The betting website is rating the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings to be the favourites to win the tournament.
However, results from the matches played in the first leg in India do provide us some hints on the most probable outcomes on 15 October when the IPL 2021 will see its grand finale.
Considering data from the last six editions of the IPL, we can safely say that the first 29 matches indicate which teams are highly likely to qualify for the play-offs and win the final, and which players are safe bets for bagging the Orange and Purple Caps.
Interestingly, the last six years had shown that the eighth-placed team after 29 matches could never go on to finish the league stage in the top four. Just ahead of the second leg, the unfortunate team occupying the eighth spot is Sunrisers Hyderabad, which is highly unlikely to make it to the top four at the end of the league stage.
The other seven teams are very much in reckoning to win the tournament. Mumbai Indians serves as the best example of this. In 2015, the team seemed down and out in the seventh place with just a couple of wins and as many as five losses after match 29. However, the Mumbai Indians went on to win six of their next seven matches to finish second in the league table before they eventually lifted the trophy.