Published:15 October 2021
Another fantastic edition of the IPL is coming to an end after 59 thrilling games. On Friday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will face the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Vivo IPL 2021 final.
While CSK advanced directly to the final by defeating Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 1, KKR defeat RCB in the Eliminator before squeaking into the final against DC in a nail-biting Qualifier 2.
After a poor 2020 campaign, the Chennai Super Kings have had a strong IPL season, much to the delight of fans. While their bowling assault has been successful, their batting has been particularly impressive this season. Their aggressive attitude with the bat contrasts sharply with their ineffectiveness last season.
They've made the most of their batting depth, allowing their batters to go full throttle from the first pitch. This season's IPL season has been a massive success for their starting pair.
While Faf Du Plessis has been reliable throughout the IPL 2021 season, Ruturaj Gaikwad has been the match-winner. After overcoming a difficult start to the season, the kid has put on a batting masterclass in the UAE. He's the favourite to win the Orange Cap, needing only 23 runs to overtake KL Rahul's total.
Other CSK players who have had successful IPL seasons include Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur. After finishing in the top two, CSK will capture their fourth IPL title to cap off a successful season.
Meanwhile, KKR qualified for the IPL Final, making it one of the most memorable comebacks in IPL history. They had an uphill battle to make the playoffs after a terrible first half of the season in which little went their way.
However, they won five of their seven games in the UAE to finish in the top four on the NRR before easily defeating RCB and DC. KKR have controlled most of their matches in the UAE, except a tense conclusion to Qualifier 2.
The offensive batting of Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi has helped them dominate most teams' attacks. Venkatesh Iyer has led KKR's resurgence, but their middle-overs bowling has been crucial to their success. On the other hand, Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson, and Sunil Narine have been incredibly consistent with the ball.
Predicting the result of an IPL final is difficult, given the number of upsets we've seen in the league's history. Any club that makes it to the final has a lot of talent on its roster. This year is no exception, as there isn't much between CSK and KKR.
Because form and winning momentum are more important than history and experience, we should expect a level playing field. CSK, on the other hand, would like their chances of winning their fourth IPL title with a rested team led by MS Dhoni. Given their stronger league standing than KKR, this shouldn't come as a surprise.