The Chennai Super Kings are all set to face off against the Kolkata Knight Riders in a juicy Finals clash of two of the most in-form teams in the UAE leg of the tournament. We have seen nail-biters and blowout victories from both teams as they look evenly poised heading into the grand finale of IPL 2021.
The Chennai Super Kings led by 'Captain Cool' Mahendra Singh Dhoni hold an upper hand with more Finals appearances and three IPL titles to their name. Chennai will look to build on their good performances and see things through in what would most likely be MS Dhoni's last campaign as CSK captain, with the future being uncertain with the upcoming mega auction.
CSK have a stable batting unit that they will lean on in what is expected to be a high scoring game. Ruturaj Gaikwad has been a revelation for Chennai, scoring 603 runs in 15 innings. On the other hand, ace bowler Shardul Thakur has been vital for CSK, picking up 18 scalps which could have been more if not for a couple of fielding errors.
The Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off one of the biggest comebacks, to be counted out at the start of the second leg only to clinch the playoff spot in a tense three-way battle. KKR battled past both Delhi and RCB, two expected Finals contenders, to get to the finals. The side led by Eoin Morgan has shown tremendous grit and willpower to play some of the best cricket they have played and to beat the odds which clearly stacked against them.
Kolkata's marvelous comeback was aided by huge contributions from rather unknown or not highly touted youngsters who have carried the franchise through some testing, high-pressure moments.
Venkatesh Iyer is one of the finds of the tournament, as the young star has racked up the numbers since he made his debut during the second leg. Iyer has scored an impressive 320 runs in the nine matches played so far. Kolkata's bowling unit has equally stepped up, with Varun Chakravarthy leading the pack with 18 scalps to his name. Kolkata will look to end their fairytale run on a high note with a massive upset against title favourites CSK.
The Dubai International Cricket Stadium has always facilitated huge scores. Look out for the match to be a run-fest with both in-form batting units looking to pile on the runs.
Probable starting XI for both teams
Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (C & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy
1) Ruturaj Gaikwad- Captain- Chennai Super Kings- Batter- 9.5 credits
2) Faf du Plessis- Vice-Captain- Chennai Super Kings- Batter- 10 credits
3) Robin Uthappa- Batter- Chennai Super Kings- 8 credits
4) Dinesh Karthik- Wicket Keeper- Kolkata Knight Riders- 8.5 credits
5) Nitish Rana- Batter - Kolkata Knight Riders- 9 credits
6) Dwayne Bravo- All-Rounder - Chennai Super Kings- 9 credits
7) Sunil Narine- All-Rounder- Kolkata Knight Riders- 9.5 credits
8) Venkatesh Iyer- All-Rounder- Kolkata Knight Riders- 9.5 credits
9)Josh Hazlewood- bowler - Chennai Super Kings- 8.5 credits
10) Deepak Chahar - bowler - Chennai Super Kings- 8.5 credits
11) Lockie Ferguson- bowler - Kolkata Knight Riders- 9 credits