IPL 2024 Final, KKR vs SRH: Top-tier Kolkata Knight Riders, Trendsetters Sunrisers Hyderabad Face-off For the Ultimate Glory – News18

Just a few hours away from the battle for the title as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Sunday IPL 2024 final in Chennai. In a repeat of Qualifier 1, played in Ahmedabad earlier this week, the two sides will battle it out for the ultimate glory in hot and humid conditions.

There was some respite from the heat on the eve of the match, as the steady downpour and consistent spell of wind made conditions a bit more pleasant, but the humidity levels soared in the later half of the day.

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The forecast says it will be cloudy Sunday, and humidity levels will continue to be high. What this does to the dew situation is anybody’s guess because both Rajasthan Royals and SRH kept waiting for it in Qualifier 2, and the dew never arrived.

In fact, the pitch offered more purchase for the spinners in the second innings, and Shreyas Iyer and Pat Cummins will factor this into their decisions at the toss.

From Starc vs Head to Cummins vs Shreyas; Key-Battles to Watch Out For in KKR vs SRH, IPL 2024 Final

What: KKR vs SRH, IPL 2024 Final

Where: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

When: May 26, Sunday

Time: Toss at 19:00 hrs; play starts at 19:30 hrs

Red soil, dew and spin

The pitch for the final is the one used in the match between Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings on May 1. It was an evening fixture, and PBKS spinners got a lot of purchase from the surface, as both Harpeet Brar and Rahul Chahar conceded just 33 runs and picked four wickets in the eight overs they bowled.

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Dew settled in for the second innings in that game, and the pitch became more accessible to bat on. Shreyas and Pat need to factor that in while taking that big call at the toss tomorrow.

Both had their options open on the eve of the match and Pat, in particular, didn’t seem too worried about doing either – batting or bowling first. The coin will go up for the toss for one last time in this season of the IPL, and a lot is at stake for the sides that haven’t tasted title success recently.

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In a season where all the talk has been around high totals, better strike rates and how Impact Player has pushed more significant totals, the final could see bowlers having a big say in the match.

Just like they did in Qualifier 2 on May 24, if dew doesn’t arrive, likely because of the forecast of some rain on Sunday, it will be a mouth-watering contest between spin twins of both sides on the red soil wicket.

Shahbaz Ahmed and Abhishek Sharma showed their class in the last game, where they had more impact than the experienced pair of R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, and KKR probably has the most successful spin pairing in Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine.

Power in the powerplay

If the pitch continues to assist the spinners, the first six overs will be crucial for both sides. As it turned out in the Qualifier 2, SRH’s better powerplay – 68/3 – and a similar approach in the remainder of the innings helped them put just enough runs on the board. On the other hand, RR was a bit cautious to start with, and it was Yashasvi Jaiswal who pushed them to 50/1 after the first six overs.

Both SRH and KKR have the opening pair who can take the bowlers on from the word go, and it could well be a very critical period in the final. It would have been a delight for the spectators to witness Phil Salt-Sunil Narine and Travis Head-Abhishek on the same evening, but the absence of Salt, who had to leave for national duty and was replaced by Gurbaz for Qualifier 1, made the SRH pair the one to watch out for. In their last two games, SRH hasn’t had the kind of starts they would have wanted, and both Abhishek and Travis would be looking to sign off from the tournament on a high.

For KKR, the onus will again be on Narine to get them off to a flying start, but he will be against a bowling unit against which he hasn’t enjoyed much success in the past. Bhvuneshwar Kumar has dismissed him thrice in his career, Jaydev Unadkat and T Natarajan have dismissed him thrice and once, respectively, and it was Pat Cummins who dismissed him in Qualifier 1. He will have the plan ready for the opposition’s most dangerous batter in the powerplay.

KKR and SRH are led by new captains this season, have had changes in the support group in the dugout, and find themselves just one win away from ending the long wait of lifting the IPL trophy. Both teams have had different journeys to the final, but both have maximised the potential of their squad to be in this position.

One last push is what they would say to their group when they assemble in the huddle for one final time in Chennai. It will be either KKR’s third title or SRH’s second, but one thing is for sure: it will be a quality contest between two sides who have found ways to be a cut above the rest in the long tournament.

KKR Squad: Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Phil Salt, Sunil Narine, Suyash Sharma, Anukul Roy, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakaravarthy, KS Bharat, Chetan Sakariya, Mitchell Starc, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Ramandeep Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Manish Pandey, Allah Ghazanfar, Dushmantha Chameera, Sakib Hussain.

SRH Squad: Pat Cummins (c), Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram, Marco Jansen, Rahul Tripathi, Washington Sundar, Glenn Phillips, Sanvir Singh, Heinrich Klaasen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Agarwal, T. Natarajan, Anmolpreet Singh, Mayank Markande, Upendra Singh Yadav, Umran Malik, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Shahbaz Ahmed, Travis Head, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Jaydev Unadkat, Akash Singh, Jhathavedh Subramanyan.

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