DUBAI: IPL 2021 finals between KKR and CSK to start at 07:30PM IST.
Take a chance with the strategy
The partnership of Gaikwad and du Plessis, who have 1150 runs between them, is one of the reasons for the Super Kings’ comeback this season. The Knight Riders must find a means to sabotage this. So far this season, du Plessis has averaged 137.2 on the powerplay. In the first six overs, this strike rate rises to 141.86 against quick bowlers. Sunil Narine has a favourable match-up against du Plessis, having removed him twice recently while conceding at a strike rate of just 67 in the 9.1 overs he has bowled to him.
Gaikwad is having a breakout season, having been the only hitter to score 400 or more runs in the UAE leg of the competition, and is just 24 runs behind KL Rahul for the most runs this season. Isn’t it true that he can’t have too many flaws? There is one murky area, though, that hasn’t been fully explored. Only 19 short or short-of-length balls have been bowled to him, three of which have resulted in wickets. So, against Gaikwad, raw pace is the way to go, short and into the body, and the Knight Riders have a prepared alternative in Lockie Ferguson to try to exploit this vulnerability.
Stats that matters
In the UAE leg of the IPL 2021, the Knight Riders have held their opponents to under 140 in five of the six games in which they have bowled first.
In Dubai, the chasing team has won the last eight games.
Moeen Ali has been most cost-effective spinner so far in this season with an average of just 6.4 and outscoring the likes of Narine and Varun Chakravarthy.
This season, the Super Kings have a perfect chasing record, winning six out of six. Only the Mumbai Indians (2020) have never lost a chase in a complete season (barring one in Super Over).