The IPL season has reached it's crescendo as the Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders will square off in the final on Saturday morning from 1.00am! Mr.Cricket has you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Remember, the IPL Final kicks off a monster few months of cricket including the T20 World Cup, the Ashes and the Big Bash League season! Remember to follow us on Twitter and check our Cricket Tips page for regular updates.
Dubai International Stadium, Saturday 1.00am (AEST)
It's been a long road, filled with COVID-19 postponements and relocations but we are finally here! The Dubai International Stadium will host the final of the IPL season on Saturday morning as the Chennai Super Kings face off against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Likely XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni, Ravi Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
The Super Kings have been arguably the best team in the league since the season restarted in the Middle East. They won their first four games after the restart, before going into cruise control towards the end of the season when they had their finals berth wrapped up.
Channai captured a fantastic win over the Delhi Capitals in the qualifier, chasing down 172 with two balls to spare on the back of brilliant batting performances from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa.
The Super Kings are strong from top to bottom, and the form of their Indian batters has really been the catalyst and allowed them to play three bowling internationals from Bravo, Hazlewood, Ali and Curran throughout the season.
Likely XI: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy
What an impressive result it would be for the Knight Riders if they were to win the IPL Championship on Saturday morning. At the start of the season, they were predicted to be one of the bottom teams in the league, and their task was made even harder when they lost star all-rounder Andre Russel shortly after the restart.
Russel has been rumoured to be in the mix for selection for the final, but given the severity of his hamstring tear and his need to recover before the T20 World Cup, I'm basing my picks on him missing this game.
Skipper Eoin Morgan has had one of the all-time horror IPL seasons, averaging just 7.4 for the entire season. It's a testament to his captaincy and T20 strategy that he has been able to lead his team to the final while playing so poorly himself.
What will certainly hinder the Knight Riders heading into this final is the change of venue from Sharjah Cricket Stadium, where their spin bowling was so dominant in the two playoff games. They held the Challengers and Capitals to just 138 and 135 respectively in their two wins, a feat that will be tough to accomplish for a third time against a CSK team that piled on 173 in their last game in Dubai.
Hard for me to look past the Super Kings here. I picked them to win the IPL when the season restarted at odds of $3.50 so I can't bet against them here. Coincidentally, in that same article, I picked the Knight Riders to finish the season on the bottom of the ladder. While they have certainly proven me wrong on that account, I still have some real reservations about their squad and their lack of a genuine matchwinner without Russel.
Compare that to the Super Kings, and they have match winners across the board. Ravi Jadeja is arguably the best cricket player in the world at the moment and he was hardly required to contribute against the Capitals in their playoff game. They have so many avenues to win, especially with the bat, and should get the W here.
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