Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face each other for the summit clash of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The MS Dhoni-led side has had a splendid run in this season after having a dismaying IPL 2020. The team not only bounced back stronger this year but also became the first side to qualify for the play-offs.
In what was a last-over thriller, CSK emerged triumphant against Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 1 to book their seat in the final. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf Du Plessis have been instrumental in the team’s journey by providing flying starts to the side. The only area where the Men in Yellow seem to have struggled is their middle-order batting. Though there is enough depth and belief in their batting lineup, the middle order will have to take up the responsibility to hold the fort of the side.
Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, have had a special stint in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. The team that was struggling to find winning ways in the Indian leg of the tournament was able to shift their fortunes in the second half of the tournament. They beat RCB in the Eliminator and then DC in the Qualifier 2 to book a slot in the final.
The top order of KKR has looked pretty dominating in the season so far. Their bowling unit also has a good mix of pace and spin that has helped the team to present itself as one of the toughest contenders of this edition of the IPL.
The pitch of the Dubai International Stadium is expected to assist the batters. But it has been witnessed that the track has slowed down a bit as the game progresses which can make chasing a bit difficult.
Chennai Super Kings
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (c, wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Dwayne Bravo, Josh Hazlewood
Kolkata Knight Riders
Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan/Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy
One of the players that have stood out for CSK is Ruturaj Gaikwad. He has been exceptional for the side this season. The batter has chipped in 603 runs at an average of 46.38 and is currently the second-highest run-getter of the tournament. His contributions at the top order will be pivotal for CSK in this crucial encounter.
Iyer has exuded his fiefdom in the UAE leg of the IPL. He did not get to play a single game in the first half of the tournament but when he got the opportunity, he made most of it. In the tournament so far, he has chipped in 320 runs from just nine matches at an average of 40.00. The team will pin a lot of hope on him to perform for the side.