The stage is set and the finals of the two months old intense competition will be played today at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Two times defending champions and the hosts, Chennai Super Kings will take on Kolkata Knight Riders, who will be playing their first final of the five-year-old tournament.
Both the teams are on a roll and it is expected to be one tough competition. Chennai have done it all, but that won’t mean that they will relax in the finals. They have had a tough time in the competion and will like to finish once again on the top.
KKR have everything to play for. They had three bad opening seasons, qualified for the playoffs last season, but have never played for the title. This is their chance and they will give it their all.
Let’s have a look at some of the duals that will be very interesting for the viewers in this final.
Gautam Gambhir vs Ben Hilfenhaus: Gambhir has been the best batsmen of KKR and is one of the leading run-scorers of the tournament. He has played beautifully and is a key member for this Kolkata side. Gambhir however, will have his task cut as he will have to face the Australian fast bowler Hilfenhaus upfront. Hilfenhaus has been one of the main reasons why Chennai are in the finals and the best thing about his bowling is that he takes important wickets. Gambhir had a torrid time against Hilfenhaus in Australia and he will be looking to set the equation straight.
MS Dhoni vs Sunil Narine: Dhoni has promoted himself in the past few matches and the move has done wonders. He attacks the bowler right from the moment go and has been very successful at that. But this time, things will be different for him as he will be facing the best bowler of this tournament, Suni Narine. No one has picked Narine till now and he has the best economy of the tournament. How he bowls to Dhoni, and how Dhoni tackles him will be a treat to watch.
R Ashwin vs Yusuf Pathan: Ashwin has played a pivotal role in Chennai being the most successful team in the history of IPL. He bowls at tough situations and delivers most of the time, but in this match he will be a bit worried as he will bowl to Pathan, who is a big hitter against spin bowling. Pathan struggled throughout the tournament but found his touch against Delhi and won the man of the match award in the match that placed KKR in the finals. It will be an interesting battle and can decide the fate of the match.
Gambhir vs Dhoni: Both these players are outstanding leaders and have been inspirational for their teams. Both Dhoni and Gambhir shows a lot of faith in their players and their faith have paid off as two struggling players, Vijay and Pathan put their team into the finals. There is one more similarity in these two players and that is that they are big match players and likes to lead the charge. Two men who won India the world cup are up against each other and it is a challenge to look forward to.
By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News