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It seems an age since the 2021 version of the Indian Premier League started way back on April 9. When it was all brought to a halt due to the massive issues around Covid in India on the first weekend of May it wasn’t looking like the season could continue, but alas money talks and the IPL made its way to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and then Sharjah to finish off the campaign.
And now here we are with Chennai Super Kings taking on Kolkata Knight Riders in Friday’s final. Let’s dip into the best bets.
Friday 15:00 – Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders
These two have actually met each other previously in a final. That was way back in 2012 when Kolkata won by five wickets. Incredibly nine years on, some of the same faces are still appearing.
Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and Suresh Raina are still there for Chennai, while Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine are back in Kolkata colours. Again, with the IPL being a bit of a soap opera, you just can’t kill off some of the characters, no matter how long they’ve been there.
So, in a final, do you look at form or does momentum play too much of a factor? Chennai finished second overall in the group stages, and steam-rolled Delhi to get to the final with very little fuss. Kolkata, on the other hand, scrapped into the play-offs on Net Run Rate, and have since beaten RCB (The Darlings of Indian Cricket) and took down Delhi with the second-last ball of the game in Wednesday’s qualifier.
Chennai have won the two meetings between the sides this year, and they have both been very high scoring, so I fully expect another barnstormer tomorrow. I reckon the wily old veterans of Chennai have too much knowledge in the muscle memory bank. Jadeja, Dhoni, Bravo and Co have been here and done it so many times.
In Ruturaj Gaikwad, they have an incredible opening batter and Shardul Thakur has been a revelation with the ball this season with the most wickets on the team. He’s also just been called up to the India World Cup team, which should prove the cherry on the cake.
Kolkata aren’t to be underestimated, but they’ve been falling over the line winning games rather than blowing teams away. Their captain Eoin Morgan is in horrid form, and I believe they come up short this time. Don’t be surprised to see Dwayne Bravo pick up the Man Of The Match gong at the end of this one too.
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