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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: CSK vs KKR- Key Matchups To Watch Out For

The Chennai Super Kings are all set to take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in a juicy matchup for the grand finale of IPL 2021

Ruturaj Gaikwad IPL
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Ruturaj Gaikwad will look to lead his side to the title [Source: IPL]

By

Ananth Narasimman

Published: 15 Oct 2021 11:35 AM GMT

We are all set to witness a juicy matchup for the grand finale after witnessing a rollercoaster second leg of the tournament, filled with nail-biting matches and thoroughly entertaining cricket. The Chennai Super Kings are all set to take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in a clash of two of the most in-form teams in the second leg of the tournament.

The Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off one of the biggest comebacks, to be counted out at the start of the second leg only to show tremendous grit and 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.

Kolkata's marvellous 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 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 Dubai International Cricket Stadium is set to facilitate a run-fest yet again, with the pitch being an ideal batting pitch, which is great news for the likes of Gaikwad and Iyer.

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

Key matchups to watch out for

1) Ruturaj Gaikwad vs Varun Chakravarthy

Gaikwad has been a revelation for the Chennai Super Kings, amassing an astonishing total of more than 600 runs in 15 innings and will look to finish the tournament on a high with yet another huge knock to guide his team to the title. He will, however, face stiff opposition from the in-form Varun Chakravarthy, who will look to add Gaikwad to his list of victims after picking up 18 scalps this season. The pitch is conducive to help spinners post the middle overs while also serving as a very good batting mitch, making this a matchup that can decide the outcome of the match.

2) Shubman Gill vs Shardul Thakur

Gill has come up clutch for Kolkata and has been a key reason for their brilliant comeback this season with multiple huge knocks at various crucial junctures. Thakur has been equally clutch for CSK and will look to cause maximum damage against a potent KKR batting unit. Both players are equally poised, with the matchup having the capability of tilting either way.

3) Venkatesh Iyer vs Ravinder Jadeja

With the pitch aiding spinners post the middle over, which is a great sign for the likes of Ravinder Jadeja to let loose on the KKR batting unit. He will go up against KKR's golden boy Venkatesh Iyer, who has been the find of the tournament since he made his debut in the UAE leg. Iyer has piled on the runs in a consistent manner with various crucial knocks to bail his team out in different points.


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