Chennai seek fourth IPL crown, bit of revenge in final against Kolkata

This year's final is a repeat of the 2012 finale, which the Kolkata Knight Riders claimed.

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni. Picture: @ChennaiIPL/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Nearly four months after the original date for the Indian Premier League (IPL) final, cricket's premier tournament wraps up on Friday, 15 October when the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) meet the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the finale.

The tournament went on hiatus after India faced a surge in COVID-19 cases at the beginning of April. It got under way last month in the United Arab Emirates.

This year's final is a repeat of the 2012 finale, which the KKR claimed.

CSK have found themselves in the final due to some stunning displays with the bat. In fact, their players hold two of the top five highest-run scorers in the tournament, namely Ruturaj Gaikward and South Africa’s Faf du Plessis.

Following a breakthrough season last term, Gaikward has taken it to the next level as the second-highest run scorer, with 603 runs at a strike rate of 137.35 and an average of 46.38. Former Proteas captain, Du Plessis, has continued his form from the last two IPL seasons, scoring a personal best of 547 runs at an average of 42.07 and a decent strike rate of 137.09.

If the pair fail to hit it off, the three-time IPL champions have seen a return to form of captain, MS Dhoni, as well as all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who is striking at a tournament best of 75.66.

KKR have snuck their way into the final after finishing fourth in the regular season thanks to a marginally better net run rate than the Mumbai Indians and then backing themselves to chase down totals set by heavy hitters the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Capitals.

Having last won the title in 2014, this term they have functioned at their best as a collective. Only Varun Chakaravarthy features in the top 10 wicket takers, in fifth place with 18 and an average of 20.77.

Likewise, they only feature one player in the top 10 batters, Shubman Gill, with 427 runs in ninth place.

In the 25 matches that the pair have played, CSK has won 16 to KKR's eight and there has been one no result.

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