IPL 2021 Final: CSK vs KKR Preview, Playing XI, Live Streaming Details & Updates
Can MS Dhoni and his men clinch their 4th IPL title, or will KKR’s fairytale run in the UAE leg culminate in their 3rd IPL trophy?
Updated - Oct 15, 2021 11:10 am
If someone had told that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) side would be playing the final of the 14th edition of the IPL when the tournament was suspended in May, then even the staunchest KKR fan would have shrugged it off as a ‘near impossible’ event. At the end of IPL Phase 1, the KKR side was helplessly languishing at the 7th spot in the points table and had mustered just 2 wins in 7 matches.
And, fast forward five months to October, and the Eoin Morgan-led side has sealed its spot in the IPL final. The remarkable turnaround that the KKR side has managed to achieve in IPL Phase 2 will go down as arguably one of the greatest comebacks in IPL history.
In the second half of the IPL, the KKR side has fired as a unit. Venkatesh Iyer has announced his arrival in the IPL in style, has thrown caution to the winds with the willow at the top of the order and has scored 320 runs in 9 innings at an average of 40.0 in the UAE leg. The left-hander has also plundered 3 fifties in the UAE leg as well.
His opening partner Shubman Gill has also scored 427 runs in IPL 2021, at an average in excess of 25. More importantly, Gill has clicked during the ‘crunch time’ of the IPL and has scored 2 fifties in his last 3 IPL innings. And then, Rahul Tripathi. Well, if not for Tripathi, the KKR side might not have qualified for the final in the first place.
Chasing a target of 136 set by the Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2, the KKR side slipped from 96/1 to 130/7 and needed 6 runs from the last 2 deliveries to book their spot in the final. Tripathi came down the track and hoisted Ravichandran Ashwin for a superb six to power his side to the final against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
The form of KKR skipper Eoin Morgan is a concern though. Morgan has endured an abysmal run in IPL 2021 and has scored just 129 runs in 15 innings at an average of 11.73. Dinesh Karthik has blown hot and cold in the tournament as well.
On the bowling front, the likes of Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi, and Sunil Narine have been amongst the wickets. While Chakravarthy has scalped 18 wickets in IPL 2021, Mavi and Narine have picked up 10 and 14 wickets respectively.
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) took the shortest route to book their place in the final, beating the Delhi Capitals (DC) side with 4 wickets to spare in Qualifier 1. The Super Kings from Chennai were set a target of 173 for victory, and the ‘Men in Yellow’ romped home with 2 deliveries remaining.
For Chennai, Ruturaj Gaikwad has been the ‘brightest spark’ in the batting department. The right-hander is the second-highest run-scorer in IPL 2021 and has amassed 603 runs at an average of 46.38. Faf du Plessis too has been in good form and has aggregated 547 runs in the competition.
Robin Uthappa stepped up for Chennai in Qualifier 1, slamming 63 off 44 deliveries, while MS Dhoni gave fans a throwback to the ‘good old days’, by smashing a 6-ball 18* to allow his side to beat Delhi Capitals. And then, there is the ubiquitous Ravindra Jadeja, who has fired for CSK in every department of the game this season.
Shardul Thakur has scalped 18 wickets with the ball, while Josh Hazlewood has picked up 9 wickets in the UAE leg. Deepak Chahar has picked up 13 wickets as well for the MS Dhoni-led outfit.
So, it all comes down to 15th October 2021. The IPL trophy is up for grabs. Can MS Dhoni and his men clinch their 4th IPL title, or will KKR’s fairytale run in the UAE leg culminate in their 3rd IPL trophy?
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Dubai is a good one for batting. The willow wielders will get value for their shots on this surface. The chasing team has won the last 8 matches played at this venue. So, both teams might look to win the toss and insert the opposition in.
Playing Combinations for CSK vs KKR
Chennai Super Kings
After a win in the first Qualifier, the CSK side will not chop and change too much. Expect them to go with the same playing XI from their previous match.
Predicted XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Josh Hazlewood
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders too, are not expected to make any changes to their playing XI.
Predicted XI: Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy
CSK vs KKR Head-to-Head
Played – 25 | Chennai Super Kings – 16 | Kolkata Knight Riders – 8 | N/R – 1
CSK vs KKR Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 07:30 PM IST
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar