Chennai beat Delhi by four wickets in Qualifier 1 in Dubai and became the first team to reach the IPL final this season. Kolkata also defeated the same team by three wickets in a closely-fought Qualifier 2 to finally book the finals berth after seven years. The title clash will perhaps be a battle between two best white-ball captains and tactical geniuses -- MS Dhoni and Eoin Morgan. Both the skippers, however, will be concerned about the lack of runs.
It will be a record ninth final appearance in 12 editions for Chennai, who have won three titles in 2010, 2011, and 2018. Kolkata, on the other hand, have won the title in 2012 and 2014 under Gautam Gambhir. They will play their third final. It will also be a repeat of the 2012 IPL final, where both teams faced each other.
Predicted Playing XI
Let's take a look at what can be the strongest Dream 11 team in CSK vs KKR IPL 2021 Final match:
Wicket-keeper (MS Dhoni)
MS Dhoni averages 16.28 in this tournament but one can't rule out the Chennai skipper. After a match-winning 18* off 6 deliveries against Delhi, Dhoni himself would like to finish it off in style and help Chennai grab their fourth IPL title.
Batters (Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Robin Uthappa, Ruturaj Gaikwad)
Shubman Gill has been impressive at the top along with his partner Venkatesh Iyer. The Punjab batter had hit 46 against Delhi Capitals in the second Qualifier, setting the tone for Kolkata to hunt down the 136-run target. Overall, Gill is Kolkata's leading run-scorer, having scored 427 runs in 16 matches this season.
Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana have also chipped in with useful cameos. Tripathi, who hit a six off Ashwin in the second Qualifier, will be itching to deliver another match-winning performance for his franchise. A bulk of Kolkata's success in the UAE leg has been due to their top order.
Similarly, Chennai will be relying on Ruturaj Gaikwad at the top. He has scored an astounding 600 plus runs in the tournament with a match to go. CSK's batting will likely revolve around Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa, who had hit 63 off 44 deliveries against Delhi in Qualifier 2.
All-rounders (Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja)
Venkatesh Iyer has been the star performer in the second leg for KKR. In nine games so far, the left-hander has scored 320 runs including three half-centuries. He has also picked three wickets. Sunil Narine will be beaming with confidence after working his magic against Bangalore and helping Kolkata book a place in the second Qualifier.
In the ongoing IPL edition, Ravindra Jadeja has picked up 11 wickets at an economy of 6.86 and scored 227 runs with the bat at an average of 75.66.
Bowlers (Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Shardul Thakur)
Varun Chakravarthy can also spin out Chennai, having taken 18 scalps so far and being his side's leading wicket-taker. Pacer Lockie Ferguson is third on the list behind Chakravarthy and Narine (14 wickets) with 13 plucks. For Chennai, Shardul Thakur, who has replaced Axar Patel in India's T20 World Cup squad, can be the key in the summit clash. He has picked up 18 wickets so far in the tournament.
Anything above 160 hasn't been easy to chase down this season. Bowlers, with pace variations, often excel in such conditions while slow bowlers have often contained runs in the middle overs.
The weather will remain clear and warm with the temperature fluctuating around 27 degrees Celsius during the evening game.
You can watch the IPL 2021 Final CSK vs KKR Live Online on Hotstar and TV Telecast on Star Sports Network.