IPL 2021 March 31st Highlights: IPL teams begin training session ahead of season opener on April 9

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 March 31st Highlights: There will be a total of 56 league matches in the 14th edition of the league.

IPL 2021
The foreigners involved in the lucrative league are concerned about returning to their respective countries due to travel restrictions imposed in the wake of a deadly resurgence of the pandemic in India.

Latest News and Updates on IPL 2021: The upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League is all set to begin from April 9. The season opener will be played between Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore and defending champions Mumbai Indians. In the 14th edition of the T20 league, there will be a total of 56 league matches. These matches will be played behind closed doors in six cities and no spectators will be allowed. The six cities are – Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi Ahmedabad.

Last year, the league was shifted to the UAE because of the coronavirus outbreak and all the matches were played behind closed doors.

This will be the first time when IPL teams will be playing their all matches at a neutral venue. Al the eight franchises will play at four out of the six venues. The tournament will conclude on May 30 and the summit clash will be played at the newly furbished Narendra Modi Stadium.

Meanwhile, players of several teams took part in their first nets session. For all the latest updates on IPL 2021, keep following our live blog.

Live Blog

IPL 2021 IPL Schedule IPL Teams 2021 IPL News IPL Latest IPL Squads RCB CSK DC RR SRH KP KKR MI

15:38 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: Strengths of five-time champions Mumbai Indians

After lifting the trophy in 2019, Mumbai once again won in 2020 when the lucrative league was shifted to UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The win was built on the team’s strength — their core has remained the same over the years and this is one of the biggest reasons for the side’s dominant run. MI’s batting is their biggest strength and they possess a solid opening duo in the form of skipper Rohit Sharma and South African Quinton De Kock, and if needed, have an option in Australian hard-hitting batsman Chris Lynn. The ever-improving Suryakumar Yadav, young Ishan Kishan, both of whom starred on their India debuts, the Pandya brothers — all-rounders Hardik and Krunal — and West Indian Kieron Pollard, make for a very strong middle-order. On the fast bowling front, the team possesses one of the finest in Jasprit Bumrah, and the India pacer would be raring to go once again after a break from the game. Last season’s new addition, New Zealand’s Trent Boult proved his worth by taking wickets in the powerplay, including in the big final. Add Australia’s Nathan Coulter-Nile to the mix and it becomes a superb pace attack. (PTI) 

14:56 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: Coaches have told me to work on my batting, says leg-spinner Amit Mishra

Delhi Capitals’ seasoned leg-spinner Amit Mishra on Wednesday said he is working on improving his batting ahead of the upcoming IPL, preparing himself for situations where he might be required to use the willow to good effect. A few members of the Delhi Capitals team, who have assembled in the city, carried out their first practice session at the Cricket Club of India on Tuesday. Mishra said that everyone looked terrific during the practice session. “All the boys are looking good here on the field. They are all ready to put in the hard yards and it’s nice to see the youngsters practicing hard as well,” Mishra said. The 38-year-old added that apart from honing his bowling prowess, he is focussing on improving his batting as well. (PTI)

14:47 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: Dhoni helps players improve their game, says CSK all-rounder Moeen Ali

Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Moeen Ali on Wednesday vouched for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy and said most cricketers look forward to play under him as he helps them improve their game. Dhoni is gearing up to lead the CSK franchise in the upcoming edition of the IPL starting April 9. “I’ve spoken to players who have played under MS and they tell me how he improves their game. I believe a great captain does that,” the England all-rounder was quoted as saying by the CSK website. “I think it’s something on every player’s wish list to play under MS. I think it’s the confidence and the clarity he gives people. It’s exciting,” he added. (PTI)

14:23 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: Five-time champions Mumbai Indians eye encore but some spin worries in way

A batting line-up dotted with power-hitters coupled with a solid pack of death bowlers make five-time champions Mumbai Indians a formidable unit in the upcoming IPL. But the absence of quality spinners could hurt them in pursuit of a hat-trick of title wins. Here is a look at what works and what doesn’t for the outfit led by Rohit Sharma, which opens its campaign by taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on April 9. (PTI)

14:03 (IST)31 Mar 2021
Don’t want to go toe-to-toe with players on IPL participation, may lose our best: ECB’s Ashley Giles

England’s director of cricket Ashley Giles says the ECB would like to stay away from any conflict with players on their participation in the IPL as it could well mean losing the top ones if they are forced to choose between franchise and national duty. The former spinner, who played 54 Tests, 62 ODIs between 1997-2006, feels any standoff with the players on the matter could have dangerous implications for England cricket. “Right now I think our players love playing for England,” Giles said on BBC’s ‘Tuffers and Vaughan’ show. “I don’t want that to be a kiss of death. I think we have to understand that it could be a danger in the future. “We don’t particularly want to go toe-to-toe with our players over IPL participation in the long run because we may face losing some of our best players,” he added. England rotated their all-format players for the tour of Sri Lanka and India, keeping in mind the busy schedule throughout the year. (PTI)

13:57 (IST)31 Mar 2021
I am convinced that captaincy will make Pant a better player: Ponting

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting is convinced that leading the side in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League will make swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant an even better player. Pant was named the captain of Delhi Capitals for the upcoming IPL after regular skipper Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of the tournament after he injured his left shoulder during the recently-concluded England’s tour of India. “Unfortunate that Shreyas will miss the tournament, but looking forward to seeing @RishabhPant17 grab his opportunity. It’s well deserved for his recent performances and he’s coming in with a lot of confidence. I’m convinced captaincy will make him an even better player,” Ponting tweeted. (PTI)

13:12 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: Bumrah gets down to physical training for IPL after wedding break

Mumbai Indians pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has got down to physical training after returning from his wedding break, ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League season, beginning on April 9. Bumrah, who is currently serving the seven-day mandatory quarantine, was seen lifting weight inside his team hotel room in the picture uploaded by him on Twitter. “Quarantining and getting those reps in,” he wrote. The 27-year-old Bumrah missed the final two Tests and the whole of the white-ball leg of the series against England as he had taken leave for his marriage on March 15. (PTI) 

13:10 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: Pant named Delhi Capitals captain for IPL 2021

Star India batsman Rishabh Pant was on Tuesday named captain of Delhi Capitals in place of an injured Shreyas Iyer for the upcoming Indian Premier League season beginning on April 9. Iyer has been ruled out of the IPL after injuring his left shoulder during the recently-concluded India-England ODI series. ‘Under Shreyas’ captaincy, our team reached newer heights, and he is going to be missed immensely. In his absence, the franchise has collectively picked Rishabh to lead the team this year,’ DC Chairman and co-owner Kiran Kumar Gandhi said in a release. (PTI)

12:48 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: Delhi Capitals players undergo first training session

Members of Delhi Capitals squad, including the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, took part in their first nets session on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League season, beginning on April 9. The players had physical training as well as batting and bowling sessions at the Cricket Club of India here, according to the pictures uploaded on Twitter by the Delhi-based franchise. The squad members, including India star Rishabh Pant, senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, all-rounder Axar Patel as well as head coach Ricky Ponting on Monday assembled at their team hotel here. The group also included West Indian batsman Shimron Hetmyer, England players Sam Billings, Chris Woakes and Tom Curran, as well as bowling coach James Hopes. (PTI)

12:47 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: RCB begins training ahead of IPL

Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday started a nine-day conditioning camp here as part of its preparation for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League beginning on April 9. As many as 11 players, including spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, pacers Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj, began their training under the guidance of Mike Hesson, director of cricket operations and head coach Simon Katich. The rest of the players will join the camp after completing their seven day mandatory quarantine put in place by the IPL due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. RCB skipper Virat Kohli will join the squad on Thursday. He is also likely to undergo the mandatory week-long quarantine. “A nine-day conditioning camp has begun for Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Centre for Sports Science (CSS) facilities at Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Chennai…,” the franchise said in a release. (PTI)

12:34 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: KKR announce merchandise tie-up

Two-time Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday announced sportswear brand ‘WROGN ACTIVE’ as their official merchandise and lifestyle partner. ‘As fan interactions with live sport remain limited through the pandemic, the role of merchandise plays an even more critical role in maintaining emotional connect between fan and team,’ founder and director of USPL, the parent company of WROGN ACTIVE, Anjana Reddy said in a statement. WROGN is also official merchandise partner of IPL team Delhi Capitals and was kit partner of Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2020 season. (PTI)

12:30 (IST)31 Mar 2021
IPL 2021 Live Updates: Puma signs multi-year partnership deal with RCB, becomes official kit partner

Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday signed a strategic long-term partnership with global sports brand Puma. Under the terms of the deal, Puma will be the official kit partner of RCB from the upcoming season of the league. Puma already has an on-going association with RCB skipper Virat Kohli. ‘It’s great to welcome PUMA to the RCB family! A global brand with a strong sporting vision and great quality products, their extensive distribution network through offline and online channels will ensure fans have access to RCB merchandise across the country,’ Kohli was quoted as saying in a media release. Puma will now have exclusive retailing rights to RCB’s take down and replica jerseys, adding pan-India merchandise reach for the franchise across retail and e-commerce channels. (PTI)

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