We have reached the end of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season as the finale is to be played now in Dubai on Friday. Match number 60 sees Qualifier win winner Chennai Super Kings take on a resurgent Kolkata Knight Riders, who won the Eliminator before edging past Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2.
CSK have played some amazing cricket in what has been a smooth ride for their experienced stars. The Super Kings are into their ninth final, having won the title thrice and being a runner-up on five occasions. They are aiming to win a first title since 2018. It would be a perfect gift for IPL’s most successful captain MS Dhoni, who isn’t sure of featuring in IPL 2022. The veteran legend is in his 10th IPL final.
KKR have been a force to be reckoned with and their journey this season can be considered as one of the best in IPL history. Languishing in the seventh place, KKR were written off after a poor first phase back in India before the coronavirus pandemic suspended the tournament. However, since resumption last month, KKR have won seven of their nine matches to reach the final. They are aiming to win a third trophy. This is also their third final in the competition.
Here we present all the concerned details to guide you through.
Key details of the match
The match is set to be held at the Dubai International Stadium. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription).
Here’s the preview
CSK have a superb top-order at their disposal and KKR need to be wary of the same. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis have enjoyed batting together as a pair. Former KKR star Robin Uthappa played a match-winning knock for CSK in Qualifier 1. He can be KKR’s nemesis given the character he brings. Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, MSD, and Dwayne Bravo bring plenty to the table for the side. CSK’s bowling is strong and Shardul Thakur holds the key in the final. He can turn things around. Josh Hazlewood and Deepak Chahar are handy customers. With CSK having the edge over KKR this season, the confidence will be riding high.
KKR are expected to field the same side which helped them get past the line against RCB and DC in the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 respectively. KKR boast of a champion spin unit and they can cause trouble in those middle overs. Lockie Ferguson needs to be praised for his contributions of late and leads the pace unit. KKR bat deep and their strength lies at the top. The middle-order can be vulnerable as seen on several occasions this season. However, Eoin Morgan has led the team well and the results will help KKR to believe.
Probable playing XIs: CSK vs KKR
CSK probable playing XI:
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, R Uthappa, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
KKR probable playing XI:
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi
Dream11 team prediction (option 1)
Batsmen: Dinesh Karthik, Faf du Plessis, R Gaikwad, Rahul Tripathi, S GillAll-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Sunil NarineBowlers: Lockie Ferguson, Josh Hazlewood, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy
Dream11 team prediction (option 2)
Batsmen: MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, R Gaikwad, Rahul Tripathi, S GillAll-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Sunil Narine, Venkatesh IyerBowlers: Lockie Ferguson, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy
Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?
Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad can be the ideal candidates in batting. Both players are key assets for their teams upfront and can lay a strong foundation. Gill has done well recently as Ruturaj has been CSK’s best batter this season.
In terms of all-rounders, Ravindra Jadeja and Sunil Narine can be the top picks. What you get from these players is plenty of experience and character on offer. They are consistent performers and know situations well.
In the bowling unit, Ferguson can be a top pick. He is bowling with great pace and energy and can promise wickets.
Dream11 fantasy: Captain choices
Ruturaj Gaikwad: With 603 runs from 15 matches at 46.38, CSK opener Gaikwad has been a top performer. He has smashed a century and four fifties this season. Gaikwad batted superbly in Qualifier 1 against DC and helped his side win. He can make the most out of his form.
Shubman Gill: The youngster has racked up 427 runs from 16 matches at 26.68. He has hit two fifties so far. Gill has been firing for KKR in the last three games and his ability to bat long gives KKR the confidence. He has a statement to make and what better than a final.
Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices
In terms of vice-captaincy, Varun can be a top pick. The mystery spinner has bowled superbly in the middle overs for KKR, claiming crucial wickets. He is the fifth-highest wicket-taker this season and did well in the previous match against CSK in UAE.
The surface in Dubai will aid both batters and bowlers alike. Batsmen will hope to be wise with their shot-making and be aggressive at the right moments. Pacers will want to mix things around and bowl with a plan. Spinners can be effective in the middle overs. 170-180 totals will be a challenging score here.
What happened in the previous meeting between the two?
The previous two meetings this season saw CSK beat KKR on both occasions.
The two teams have met each other on 25 occasions. KKR have sealed eight wins and CSK have pocketed 16, with one match ending with no result.
We feel KKR will get past the line here and win the finale. They are playing with a lot of confidence. CSK will be a tough nut to crack though.