The 2021 Indian Premier League season will reach a conclusion in Dubai on Friday, but will Chennai Super Kings or Kolkata Knight Riders be crowned champions? (Knight Riders 10/11, Super Kings 10/11 – Match Winner).
The Super Kings are seeking their fourth IPL title, having last triumphed in 2018, and after finishing second in the regular season standings they booked their place in the final with a four-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals in Sunday’s preliminary qualifier.
The Knight Riders have also enjoyed plenty of success in the IPL, claiming two titles in 2012 and 2014, the first of which came after they beat Chennai in the final.
Eoin Morgan’s side made a slow start to the 2021 campaign and were second-bottom when the season was suspended in May, but a run of five wins from their final seven matches was enough to secure a top-four finish.
Kolkata then went on to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator before they booked their place in the showpiece by overcoming the Capitals in the final qualifier on Wednesday.
Recent history has favoured the Super Kings when these two sides have met, as they have won five of the last six meetings between the two sides, including both encounters this season.
The most recent clash in September was particularly memorable, as Chennai secured a final ball two-wicket victory thanks largely to a quickfire 22 off just eight balls from Ravindra Jadeja (8/1 – Super Kings Top Run Scorer).
Friday’s final will also pit two legendary IPL captains against each other, with Chennai skipper MS Dhoni (10/1 – Super Kings Top Run Scorer) looking to lead his side to a fourth title, while he has hinted that he could retire regardless of how the match pans out.
Kolkata captain Morgan (11/2 – Knight Riders Top Run Scorer) is also aiming for multiple IPL successes, having been part of the KKR side that beat Chennai in the final nine years ago.
Neither skipper has been at their very best in the IPL this season, with Dhoni averaging 16.28 with the bat from 11 knocks, while Morgan’s average is even lower at 11.72, with 47 of his 129 runs coming before the tournament was delayed back in April.