It's time for the IPL 2021 final and Chennai Super Kings, the 3-time champions are set to clash against two champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. KKR are on a 4-match winning run, while CSK have more goods news with MS Dhoni also back in form.
Chennai Super Kings to beat Kolkata Knight Riders @ 1.9
Three-time defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have won their last three encounters against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). However, Eoin Morgan's are on a 4-match winning run, and also the side has never lost after entering the final.
Chennai, on the other hand, are in an IPL final for the ninth time overall and for the first time after 2019 when they lost to Mumbai Indians.
The middle-order batsmen of both teams have given under-par performances and failed to capitalize on the good starts given by their openers. KKR's lower middle-order struggled in their Qualifier 2 match against Delhi Capitals as well. From 96 for 0 in 12.1 overs the team collapsed to 130 for 7 in 19.4 overs before winning the match by a whisker. On the flip side, CSK batsmen including their MS Dhoni have peaked just in time for the all-important final.
In the high-voltage clash, KKR can have the upper hand if Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan fire with the bat. Without any shade of a doubt, KKR's bowling line-up is far superior than CSK's.
Eoin Morgan to score over 13.5 runs @ 1.89
129 runs from 16 matches is what Eoin Morgan has managed so far in a forgettable IPL 2021 season for him. Quite a few cricket pundits have suggested that Morgan should be removed from the captaincy. The World Cup-winning captain has found it really difficult to find his feet on the UAE wickets. In Qualifier 2 against DC on Wednesday, he was castled for a 3-ball duck to leave KKR reeling at 129 for 5.
There is no doubt that the southpaw is a match-winner but his average of 11.72 in the IPL 14 suggests a different story. The T20 World Cup 2021 is set to get underway from October 17. The venues and conditions will also be the same. A lot is at stake for the England and KKR captain. He is expected to leave no stone unturned against CSK on Friday.
Ruturaj Gaikwad to score over 22.5 runs @ 1.89
The 24-year-old scored his maiden T20 and IPL hundred at the beginning of the month against Delhi Capitals (DC). Ruturaj Gaikwad was stranded on 95 with a ball left in the CSK innings but he maintained his cool and slammed a six over deep midwicket to reach the milestone. Currently, he is only the second batsman to score over 600 runs in the 2021 edition of the IPL. The Maharashtra star has scored 603 runs in 15 matches at an average of 46.38. Apart from a hundred, the opener has also scored four fifties.
India debut against Sri Lanka earlier this year, has given the right-hand batsman confidence which has put him on a different pedestal. In his five innings in UAE in the second, the opener has scored 70, 12, 13, 101* and 45. The going will not be easy for Gaikwad against the likes of Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson, and Shakib Al Hasan, but the same will be the case for these KKR bowlers.