CSK Vs KKR, Match Preview
Even the most ardent fan wouldn’t have been too hopeful of Kolkata’s chances after seeing their performance in the first leg. The side was just too nervous back then. They couldn’t be aggressive with the bat, the bowlers had an edge over them, and the slow surfaces hurt them more.
They needed a miracle to comeback in the tournament, and are on their way to pulling off an incredible return. In the second phase, Kolkata has done well to invoke the spirit of 2014. Back in 2014, they didn’t get off to a good start as well, but a change in openers did the trick. It was Uthappa then, and Iyer now, who has done well to change Kolkata’s fortunes.
Ahead of the Kolkata Knight Riders are the Chennai Super Kings. Chennai Super Kings are back on familiar ground, after a poor season in 2020. They are in the finals, which is something they are used to being a part of. This will be their ninth final. Unlike last season, Chennai look far calmer this season, and the intent has been very strong.
The players know their roles well, just like the Kolkata Knight Riders. They have most bases covered, but will hope for some consistency as their players can have off days occasionally. With the mega auction taking place next season, this could be the last time we see the Dad’s Army together.
The captaincy match-up is another interesting point. Both captains are World Cup winning skippers, and both are very calm. The two leaders have not been among the runs, although Dhoni found some form in the Qualifier. With two brilliant captains, it will be interesting to see who will have the last laugh tomorrow night.
There are five players who were a part of the finals in 2012, with Suresh Raina being the sixth, but unlikely to play. The final was a thrilling encounter with some top-quality Cricket, and both sides will remember it well. The two sides also faced off in the 2014 CLT20 Finals, which saw CSK breaking KKRs win streak. Both sides were in red-hot form, and some magnificent Cricket was on display yet again. With two finals between both sides, there is a lot of history between the two teams.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have never lost an IPL final, after making the finals twice. Chennai on the other hand has one three out of eight, and will hope to improve their record. They have a tough ask ahead of them with KKR in raging form, and it will be tough for CSK to stop the Knight Riders. A win for KKR will allow them to equal CSK’s tally of wins, while a win for Chennai will take them one closer to Mumbai.
CSK Vs KKR, Team News
Shakib Al Hasan has been a part of both of KKRs title victories. His scoop shot in 2012 against the same side helped release the pressure on Manoj Tiwary for the final over. He will be available for the fixture, but has to leave for Oman soon after the final for the World T20. Andre Russell’s fitness is still not known, and in case he is fit KKR will have to pick between the two all-rounders.
With Uthappa finding form, Chennai could go into the next game unchanged.
CSK Vs KKR, Predicted XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Venkatesh Iyer, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Rahul Tripathi, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Shakib Al Hasan, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Shivam Mavi, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Lockie Ferguson
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Robin Uthappa, 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Josh Hazlewood
CSK Vs KKR, Players to Watch out for
Ravindra Jadeja is in wonderful batting form, and will have a key role to play in the finals. He has a good record against KKR, and his fearless approach could help counter Kolkata’s fearless style of play. His performance is crucial for CSK, and he could be the point of difference in the fixture. If KKR manage to nullify him early they could be a massive step closer to the title.
Sunil Narine was a part of the finals in 2012, and would remember the night well. He had a brilliant tournament up until the game, but ran in to a rampaging Suresh Raina. He went at more than nine an over, and was hit for 105 meters six. This season, Narine has been in similar form, and is doing well to pick up crucial wickets. He is tough to pick, but will know what can happen in a final. With a lot of memories, Narine will surely come prepared, and know what his job is in the final. He will be a tough bowler to get away, and his four overs are going to be crucial considering his record against some of the Chennai batters.
CSK Vs KKR, Pitch Report
Dubai has been among the easiest for batting among the three fixtures. There is some initial slowness, but the pitch flattens out as the game goes on. Dew is also going to be a factor. The toss will be important and the side batting second will have an advantage. Both sides are strong chasers, and will look to bowl first. However, the pressure of a final could make things tough for the side batting second, which may prompt captains to bat first as well. Going by conditions alone though, bowling is the right option.