On one side, we have a team that has been on the top consistently since the IPL began back in 2008. The Chennai Super Kings have played a total of 8 finals, winning 3 of them. Dhoni’s side has always been hovering around the top 4 and has only missed 1 playoff in the 14 years of the IPL.
While on the other side, we have the underdogs, the comeback kings and one of the most popular franchises in league cricket history. The Kolkata Knight Riders, who started the IPL with McCullum’s unbeaten 158*. They have certainly come full circle with McCullum coaching the young team into the finals. The KKR side have never been consistent when it comes to staying on top, but have consistently proved that you can not count them out.
As KKR heads into the finals with a 100% win record in IPL finals, winning in 2012 and 2014, they look to win over the three time champions CSK, in a massive final.
With the Mega Auction next season, this might be Dhoni’s last chance to win another trophy with a balanced team. This may be Morgan’s last time captaining the purple giants.
With a 16-8 record against them, KKR are yet again the underdogs going into this final match. Can Dhoni’s CSK stay calm and win? Or will Captain Morgan’s KKR make this the season of the comeback?
Against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last match of the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates, Chennai Super Kings recorded a comprehensive six-wicket win against Virat Kohli and his team. In the same vein, MS Dhoni and his team CSK have climbed to the top of the points table and are all but guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian cricketer, has given an idea regarding Dhoni’s batting order in the playoffs.
Gambhir went on to say that if CSK makes it to the playoffs, the CSK captain should be elevated to the top of the batting order. It is well known that Dhoni often enters the field in the sixth or seventh position and promotes other players ahead of himself. According to the former cricketer, it doesn’t matter if CSK is chasing or batting first; Dhoni should come to bat at number 4 in any situation.
“MS Dhoni should bat at No.4 after Chennai Super Kings qualify for the playoffs, regardless of whether you are chasing or batting first, in order to be able to spend more time in the middle of the innings. I’ll be interested in seeing it, and I hope it occurs. The greatest thing about a captain is that he can bat anywhere he wants, and he can do it at his own discretion,” Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports.
Gambhir went on to say that three and four-number batsmen do not always come in and score runs and that Dhoni should take the initiative now and take the game to the opposition. Even in CSK’s most recent game against RCB, he appeared in great form and hit a four to add to his total.
It is not always the case that your No. 3 and No. 4 will score runs: Gautam Gambhir
“Your No. 3 and No. 4 hitters will not always be successful. You will have to come up with a bit of extra grit. The more runs you score, the simpler it will get to complete the target.” He said, “You will qualify for the playoffs, but it should not be that the burden rests on your shoulders, that you lose early wickets, and that you have to come in and score runs.”
When it comes to the game between CSK and RCB, although RCB could only muster 156 runs on the board, CSK put up a solid opening combination and went on to win the game by six wickets in the end. MS Dhoni and his team have climbed to the top of the standings and are virtually certain to make the playoffs.
On September 19, the second phase of the IPL 2021 begins, pitting MS Dhoni and his team against Rohit Sharma and his team. It’s unclear if the five-time winners will have the upper hand against their arch-rivals once more. If CSK must improve one aspect of their game, it must be their batting, as they struggled last season and had a terrible run in the 2020 IPL. Even when the game was on the line, Dhoni stepped in at number six or seven and promoted a number of young guys.
In a similar vein, veteran Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes that skipper MSD must improve CSK’s batting in order to have a successful run in the UAE this time. Gambhir believes that by dropping down the batting order, he is primarily attempting to serve as a mentor and wicketkeeper.
MS Dhoni is most likely attempting to be both a mentor and a wicketkeeper, according to Gambhir. MS may be able to play only 8-10 balls in a given circumstance, according to Gambhir, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for him to crack into the IPL due to his absence from the international circuit. In August 2020, the Ranchi hero announced his retirement from the international circuit.
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“MS is a batsman who would typically bat at number 4 or 5, but we saw in the first leg that he bats at number 6 or 7. There have been occasions when he has really pushed Sam Curran ahead of him. “He’s probably trying to be a mentor and a wicketkeeper, who can lead the team and keep wickets.”
“If the circumstance arises where he will most likely have to play eight or ten balls, he can simply walk out there and hit them. It will be tough for him because, once you have retired from international cricket, the IPL is a very difficult event to enter; it is not like the CPL or other leagues. In the IPL, you’ll be up against some of the best bowlers in the world. The biggest problem for CSK, in my opinion, would be for the top-order to fire, which is no longer the case.”