#4 Chennai Super Kings - 6/10
If all the players on the CSK roster were in their prime, or even close to it, they'd probably be the best T20 team ever assembled. But with a number of players on the wrong side of 35 with very little match practice under their belt, MS Dhoni's side aren't among the heavily favoured sides in IPL 2021.
CSK have an extremely strong bench though, and it's simply impossible to write off a team that has Dhoni at the helm. The return of Suresh Raina will be a major boost for the 3-time IPL champions, who have most bases covered on paper at least.
CSK are an unknown entity entering IPL 2021, but they could pull off an upset and make a deep run into the playoffs.
#3 Delhi Capitals - 7/10
Despite the injury to captain Shreyas Iyer, DC are among the favourites to finish in the top two of the IPL 2021 points table. Like Samson, Pant's appointment as captain could go either way.
But despite a new face at the helm of operations for the side, DC have an ironclad core comprising of a number of experienced, proven Indian stars, apart from a world-class bowling attack.
The only issue DC need to fix is the batting positions of key players. If they manage to arrive at a reasonably consistent lineup, they could make the IPL final comfortably once again.
#2 Sunrisers Hyderabad - 8/10
SRH made it to Qualifier 2 in last year's IPL, and they could easily repeat the feat this season. A number of key players, including Jonny Bairstow and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, are in pristine form.
There is immense competition for places in the XI, especially in the pace, overseas and middle-order departments. If SRH are able to strike a meaningful combination early in the tournament, there'll be no stopping them.
SRH have an extremely well-rounded side that should be right at home in the venues they've been assigned. They are one of the overwhelming favourites, at least on paper, ahead of IPL 2021.
#1 Mumbai Indians - 9/10
Nothing needs to be said about MI's situation ahead of IPL 2021. Every single player in the team's playing XI is capable of playing international cricket for any country.
MI start as the resounding favourites once again, but they have to be wary of complacency creeping in. No team has ever won three IPL titles in a row. And with a mega auction scheduled ahead of the next edition of the league, this might be Rohit Sharma's best chance at achieving the feat.
MI will truly be THE team to beat in IPL 2021.