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CSK vs KKR Final IPL 2021 Preview: 15th Oct - If anyone can stop the unstoppable KKR, it's Dhoni's Chennai


The Final being played in Dubai, and not Sharjah, will offset Kolkata's advantage and level the playing field for Chennai who will compete in their ninth IPL Final.

Live Scores and Stats - CSK vs KKR Final IPL 2021

KKR shine in the UAE

Kolkata have won 7 of their 9 matches in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 and have looked a class apart. For a team which finished at the seventh spot at the end of phase 1 to not only go on to qualify for the playoffs but then beat a strong Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator and then get the better of Delhi Capitals, the best team in the tournament, has been sensational.

While the captaincy of Eoin Morgan and the skill of young Kolkata players has taken them to where they are, one cannot also neglect the fact that most of their success has come in Sharjah.

Can KKR replicate Sharjah success elsewhere?

For the uninitiated, the Sharjah pitch was relaid before the beginning of this leg of the IPL and the big runs that were on offer in the last season were nowhere to be seen. Kolkata have been unfortunate in the fact that they have played both their Eliminator and Qualifier 2 matches at Sharjah - a venue which is particularly suited to their type of attack.

In Qualifier 2 as well, the ball was hardly bouncing and both their pace bowlers Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi bowled hard lengths and targeted the stumps. On a pitch where there is uneven bounce, it is very tough to get these balls away. Try to swipe across the line and you have a big threat of losing your pegs.

The Kolkata spinners, Varun Chakravarty and Sunil Narine, in particular are difficult to tackle on any pitch but in the conducive conditions of Sharjah, they become 10 times more lethal.

Dubai more suited to CSK

It will level the field for Chennai Super Kings, who have made their ninth Final in the history of the IPL, that the match is being played at the Dubai International Stadium.

Dubai is the venue where the Qualifier 1 was held. The pitch had a lot of runs to offer with Chennai Super Kings chasing down Delhi's total of 172 in the last over.

Chennai Super Kings will remain unchanged with Robin Uthappa also proving his worth in the last match.

Andre Russell to replace Shakib?

Kolkata might bring in the fit-again Andre Russell in place of Shakib Al Hasan with the pitch in Dubai not suiting the spinner's style of play. 

Whatever happens in the Final, Kolkata can be mighty pleased with their effort and the form of Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi. If Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan also chip in on the big night, KKR certainly have a splendid bowling attack to create history.

Predicted playing XIs

Chennai Super Kings
- Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood

Kolkata Knight Riders - Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell/Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi

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