IPL 2021 Final, Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders: The Big Battles To Look Out For
IPL 2021 Final, CSK vs KKR: Chennai Super Kings face Kolkata Knight Riders in the final on Friday, in Dubai. MS Dhoni-led CSK are looking to win their fourth IPL title while Eoin Morgan's KKR are aiming to win their third IPL crown.
- Chennai Super Kings face Kolkata Knight Riders in the final on Friday
- Many key battles can determine which way the decider goes towards
- MS Dhoni, Andre Russell remain crucial to their individual team's chances
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai, on Friday. The MS Dhoni-led outfit has been in fantastic form in IPL 2021 and defeated Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 2 by four wickets. CSK had finished second during the league phase. Meanwhile, KKR have been spectacular in UAE and finished in fourth spot during the league stage. The Eoin Morgan-led side defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Eliminator and then beat Delhi by three wickets in Qualifier 2. KKR will be relying a lot on Venkatesh Iyer, who has been a revelation in UAE. The all-rounder has smashed 320 runs in nine games and has also taken three wickets. During the chase in Qualifier 2, he smashed 55 runs off 41 balls for Kolkata.
All eyes will also be on young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has formed a great partnership at the top of the order with Faf du Plessis for CSK. The 24-year-old is second in the Orange Cap race with 603 runs from 15 fixtures.
Here are the five big clashes that we think can shape the way the match goes:
Varun Chakaravarthy (KKR) vs Faf du Plessis/Ruturaj Gaikwad (CSK)
Chakaravarthy has been crucial for KKR this season and has also been used to bowl in the opening overs. The spinner is his side's highest wicket-taker this season with 18 scalps from 16 matches. He will be tasked with breaking the opening partnership of Du Plessis and Gaikwad. Gaikwad is currently second in the Orange Cap race and Du Plessis is fourth. The duo's opening partnership has been a match-winner for CSK plenty of times.
Sunil Narine (KKR) vs MS Dhoni (CSK)
Narine was fantastic during the Eliminator against RCB and took four wickets in four overs. He could be Morgan's go-to bowler against Dhoni, who is also CSK's finisher in the batting order. During Qualifier 1 against DC, Dhoni played an unbeaten knock of 18 in six balls to help his side win the game by four wickets. He also slammed the winning boundary. Dhoni against Narine could be a pivotal battle if CSK lose early wickets.
Deepak Chahar (CSK) vs Shubman Gill (KKR)
Chahar has been Dhoni's choice to open the bowling in IPL 2021. The India international was in fantastic form during the tournament's first leg and saw his performances dip a little in UAE. He will be hoping to come out on top against KKR opener Gill. Gill was crucial during the win in Qualifier 2, registering 46 runs off 46 balls.
Josh Hazlewood (CSK) vs Venkatesh Iyer (KKR)
The Australian pacer was in top form against Delhi in Qualifier 1, taking two wickets and conceding 29 runs in four overs. Against KKR, he will be tasked with taking the wicket of Iyer, who has often given KKR a flying start. Hazlewood's deadly accuracy could be used by Dhoni to not allow the young Iyer to get off the blocks fast.
Dwayne Bravo (CSK) vs Shakib Al Hasan (KKR)
With Andre Russell not expected to feature in the final due to fitness issues, Shakib Al Hasan is the all-rounder expected to play for KKR. The Bangladesh cricketer got dismissed for a duck in his side's previous game and will be hoping to impress in the final. CSK's Bravo will be tasked to bowl in the death overs and will be up against Shakib, and this battle could be crucial one.