The clock is ticking for the finals of IPL 2021 with Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders taking on in what would become a clash of titans. Both the teams will be locking horns with grit and tenacity, and of course, with the rivalry. Both of them are familiar with the title with CSK winning the trophy three times while KKR twice, one by beating the CSK in 2012. So, for CSK, it's a perfect time to pay the Knight Riders back for the defeat a decade ago.
The current edition of the IPL had reached its climax after episodes of twists, turns, turbulence, and a months-long halt in wake of the Covid-19 spread. The IPL final has always attracted a sense of excitement akin to the finals of ICC Cricket world cup and the battle, played by eight teams even when most of the global sporting events took a deferment in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, is going to end on Friday - October 15 with a final winner of the season.
The Dubai International Stadium will be hosting the final of IPL 2021 on Friday between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). With more expectations on both the teams, it is indeed going to become a match to cherish forever. Both the team had endured a hard trajectory in the league and playoffs to stand on the final. While the CSK was the first team to enter the playoffs this season, Dhoni's fleet had faced a hat-trick defeat in the league and came back strong to have a direct ticket to the finals by beating the Delhi capitals.
Chennai Super Kings had defeated the Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 1 and entered the finals directly and became the only team in the IPL to enter the finals more times. It's the ninth time that Dhoni's men in yellow had made it into the finals and will be entering the battlefield with the hope of winning the trophy for the fourth time. On the other hand, KKR has won the IPL trophy two times in its three appearances and it's been several years since both the teams had won the title and to put a break for an incessant battle for the title, both the teams would deliver an unequivocal fight till the last minute to bring back the trophy home.
As the toss is hours ahead, the social media platform has been flooded by the predictions that were made from across and beyond the borders. The fans put big predictions on the basis of the pitch, toss, the journey of both the teams, and head-to-head records. Besides fans, several cricketers and commentators have been expressing their predictions. Amid the flood of predictions, some of them have been attracting attention for being hilarious and interesting like the one that has been made by a former Indian cricketer.
Wasim Jaffer, who is the former Indian opener and current batting coach of the Punjab Kings, has made a humorous observation by comparing a similarity between both the captains. Jaffer took to Twitter on Friday and wrote, "Prediction: A World Cup winning captain and a Kiwi coach will lift the trophy tonight (sic)." Thanks for your diplomacy Jaffer, Lol. While most of you will think that Jaffer is predicting CSK will win the trophy as Dhoni is a world cup captain and the team is coached by Stephen Fleming, a New Zealander, there lies an important fact and that is: KKR's skipper Eoin Morgan is also a World Cup winning captain as England won the 2019 World Cup under his captaincy and KKR is also being coached by fellow New Zealander, Brendon McCullum.
Another similarity of both the teams is they are being coached by their former batsmen as Fleming and McCullum had played for CSK and KKR in their initial seasons. On the front of records in finals, CSK and KKR had clashed in the finals once in the IPL 2012 edition and KKR had won the trophy for the first time by defeating Dhoni's fleet at the latter's home ground in Chennai. While KKR would enter the finals of the current season in Dubai on Friday, it can pat itself with a record of defeating CSK once in the finals and with consecutive victories in the playoffs.
In head-to-head records, CSK had faced KKR in 26 matches overall in IPL in which CSK has won 17 matches while the rest were won by the KKR. One of the advantages of CSK is that Dhoni's team had defeated KKR in both the matches in the league of IPL 2021. The toss is a crucial factor in this final and we can expect that whoever wins the toss would choose to field first and the toss would be one of the decision-makers in the winning probability. As the CSK is going to decorate the final stand, the fans expect the captain-knock from MS Dhoni to finish the game big and win the crown. The batting and bowling line-ups are strong and unpredictable in both the teams, along with young and experienced hands.