Kolkata v Chennai, IPL 2012, final, Chennai May 26, 2012

KKR seek maiden title; CSK hunt hat-trick

211

Match facts

Sunday, May 27, 2012
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

They are here, again. Those resilient, stubborn Chennai Super Kings. In another IPL final, their fourth in five seasons and their third in a row, pursuing a hat trick of titles. Love them, hate them or couldn't care less about them, you have to give it to them - the Super Kings got game. They know when and how to turn it on, too, though this season they dangled off the edge of the precipice, holding on with their pinkies, for longer than was comfortable.

Kolkata Knight Riders did not leave their chances hinging on an improbable combination of results over which they had no control. They reached the playoffs with a game to spare and made short work of Delhi Daredevils to enter their maiden IPL final. Their performances have been efficient and consistent and they should logically be favourites tomorrow. But they're facing a resurgent side on its home turf.

Super Kings are blessed with loyal fans and the pricklier among them bristle at insinuations that fortune played a role in their team making it to Chennai on Sunday. They got enough points, didn't they? And they didn't design the schedule, so they had to hope three results went their way to make the playoffs. And Kings XI Punjab just weren't good enough to beat Delhi Daredevils, and Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore weren't good enough to beat bottom-placed Deccan Chargers. What's luck got to do with it?

That Super Kings had to wait five days to know they would be able to defend their title was because of an out-of-sorts start to the season. At times they, the IPL's least changed side over five seasons, looked passé compared to some of the other teams, who had strengthened squads with new personnel. Super Kings' turnaround only began after ten league games, of which they had won four. They won four of their last six matches, so their form, when they entered familiar playoff territory, was satisfactory.

And then they were near perfect. After clambering on to level ground, Super Kings' misfiring batting line-up, the longest in the IPL, found its guns and annihilated Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils with breath-taking confidence.

While Super Kings had abundant success in seasons past, Knight Riders had nothing. In the first three years, they were the only team without a top-four finish. So in 2011, Knight Riders abandoned failed strategies, completely overhauled their squad, and climbed to fourth in the league, but lost the eliminator. In 2012, they have gone farther, converting their second-place finish in the league into a berth in the finals by beating Daredevils in the first qualifier.

Knight Riders also had an iffy start to the season, losing three of their first five games. Since then they've lost only two out of 11, acquiring the rarest quality in Twenty20 cricket - consistency. There were no dramas in their progress to the playoffs. Their success has been built around two people with supporting contributions from the rest. The captain Gautam Gambhir has been a reliable run-scorer, while the spinner Sunil Narine has confounded all and sundry with his unreadable variations.

If they perform like they have this season, Knight Riders have little reason to worry. Whether they can perform in their first final, against opponents seasoned to such pressure, is the question.

Form guide

(most recent first)

Chennai Super Kings: WWLWW
Kolkata Knight Riders: WWWLL

Watch out for …

Sunil Narine: At present, he has the second most wickets this season, the best economy rate, and the best average for anyone who's played more than two matches - 24 wickets, 5.20 per over and 11.95 per wicket. Gambhir's used him in a variety of situations - early on to drag back a quick start, in the middle to exercise control over the game and at the end, when batsmen have only attack on their minds. Narine's delivered each time. Gambhir's utilisation of Narine in the final will be crucial. Super Kings bat until No. 9 so Gambhir will have to decide when and against whom Narine can have the greatest impact.

The middle orders: With top orders evenly matched and Knight Riders shading the bowling battle, this is where Super Kings score heavily over their opponents. The line-up comprising MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, S Badrinath and Albie Morkel is far more reliable and powerful than the one comprising Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Manoj Tiwary, or variations of it. Knight Riders are more dependent on their top order than Super Kings are, although Yusuf Pathan did make his first proper contribution in the qualifier against Daredevils.

Team combination

Barring last-minute fitness problems, Super Kings are certain to play the same XI that won them the two knockout games to reach the final.

A couple of Knight Riders players have hamstring concerns. Manoj Tiwary missed the knockout against Delhi because of a strain and was replaced by Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who impressed with 24 off 11 balls. Tiwary is likely to be fit, though, so either Shukla or Debabrata Das, who has also performed well, could make way. The bigger hamstring concern, however, is over L Balaji, who injured himself during the qualifier. Balaji has been the solitary Indian seamer in the Knight Riders attack so his absence could cause significant change to the team composition.

Meetings this season

At Chepauk, Knight Riders won by five wickets and two balls to spare. Super Kings were restricted to a middling total and the victory was more comfortable than the margin indicates.

At Eden Gardens, Super Kings won by five wickets off the final delivery. Chasing 159, they* had reached 97 for 0 in the 11th over when Narine derailed the innings during a spell of 4-0-14-2. With 5 to get off the last ball, Bravo launched Rajat Bhatia over the long-on boundary.

Stats and trivia

  • In the last five overs of the innings, Super Kings have scored at 10.64 per over on average this season, which is the second best after Royal Challengers Bangalore. Knight Riders have scored at 9.32 per over during this period. There is very little separating the sides' run rates in the first six overs, though Knight Riders are a little faster.

  • Knight Riders have had the best spinners of the tournament. They've taken the most wickets at the best average and economy rate - 48, 16.20 and 6.09. Their attack of choice in recent games has been Narine, Iqbal Abdulla and Shakib Al Hasan, with Yusuf chipping in. Super Kings' spinners are second best, but by a distance.

Quotes

"When you go on to the field, you do not go there to make friends but you are there to get results in your team's favour. You have to be aggressive on the field. That is how we have won matches and now we are in the final and not to just compete."
Gautam Gambhir, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain.

"With his action, it is difficult to catch him as to which side he is bowling, whether it is the one that comes in to a right hander or it goes out. The variation he has got and the consistency that he has got in maintaining line and length has been crucial."
MS Dhoni on Sunil Narine.

*The text said Knight Riders earlier

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 27, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    go kkr go.. kkr spinners hav to complt the main job by damging the top order of csk..sakib .narine allthe best for u guys

  • great_allrounder on May 27, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    It seems that CSK fans are feared of Shakib as he is the only player who can change the whole game for KKR. Including LEE in the team would be the most serious blunder of this tournament.

  • on May 27, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    for win Kolkata Knight Riders, i think have to played by shakib al hasan as all rounder. he is very good player in my eyes.

  • on May 27, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Shakib plays! Or I wont watch.... :/

  • aniket992 on May 27, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    GUYZ...TEAM KKR CONFIRMED...MCULLUM REPLACED BY BRETT LEE..BISLA IN FOR BALAJI...DERE WILL BE A FITNESS TEST FOR MANOJ TAKEN BY LEIPUS WHICH IF HE MANAGES TO PASS WILL COME IN FOR DEBABRATA AND HE IS MOST LIKELY TO PASS... dissapointed personally to see d opening combo disturbed...wat r ur views??

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @ shiva lol yes don too and last time shakib hit the ball,it crashed half of our planet.we dont wanna lose our remaining half planet :(

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    Forget the league stage performances... This is Finals and all chances for the big stage specialists... GO CSK

  • sameer_mohite on May 27, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    KKR should win for sake of IPL interest !! If CSK wins it will be as boring as Aus in cricket or Schumacher/Tiger woods/Federer etc... Since Yusuf Pathan found some form in last game he should play up the order and make quick 30-40 runs. I wonder what strategy Gambhir plays if Sunil Narine fails to take wickets. Even if Narine bowls well what abt rest of 16 overs??... 16 overs are enough for CSK batsman to make 200+ runs. Key players for me are Gauti, McCullum(?), Kallis, Hussey n Vijay.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 27, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    this is the best team for kkr: gambhir, bisla, kallis, manoj, pathan, shakib, laxmi ratan shukla, bhatia , narine , lee and balaji/abdullah. No McCullum because Bisla is the 2nd best indian wk in the league after dhoni and so you dont need to play a foreign wicketkeeper. Also it enables kkr to play lee as well as narine-two strike bowlers in a final is always a better option than a hit and miss opener

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    @ ben , nice one. u left out don bradman

  • on May 27, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    go kkr go.. kkr spinners hav to complt the main job by damging the top order of csk..sakib .narine allthe best for u guys

  • great_allrounder on May 27, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    It seems that CSK fans are feared of Shakib as he is the only player who can change the whole game for KKR. Including LEE in the team would be the most serious blunder of this tournament.

  • on May 27, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    for win Kolkata Knight Riders, i think have to played by shakib al hasan as all rounder. he is very good player in my eyes.

  • on May 27, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Shakib plays! Or I wont watch.... :/

  • aniket992 on May 27, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    GUYZ...TEAM KKR CONFIRMED...MCULLUM REPLACED BY BRETT LEE..BISLA IN FOR BALAJI...DERE WILL BE A FITNESS TEST FOR MANOJ TAKEN BY LEIPUS WHICH IF HE MANAGES TO PASS WILL COME IN FOR DEBABRATA AND HE IS MOST LIKELY TO PASS... dissapointed personally to see d opening combo disturbed...wat r ur views??

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @ shiva lol yes don too and last time shakib hit the ball,it crashed half of our planet.we dont wanna lose our remaining half planet :(

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    Forget the league stage performances... This is Finals and all chances for the big stage specialists... GO CSK

  • sameer_mohite on May 27, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    KKR should win for sake of IPL interest !! If CSK wins it will be as boring as Aus in cricket or Schumacher/Tiger woods/Federer etc... Since Yusuf Pathan found some form in last game he should play up the order and make quick 30-40 runs. I wonder what strategy Gambhir plays if Sunil Narine fails to take wickets. Even if Narine bowls well what abt rest of 16 overs??... 16 overs are enough for CSK batsman to make 200+ runs. Key players for me are Gauti, McCullum(?), Kallis, Hussey n Vijay.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 27, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    this is the best team for kkr: gambhir, bisla, kallis, manoj, pathan, shakib, laxmi ratan shukla, bhatia , narine , lee and balaji/abdullah. No McCullum because Bisla is the 2nd best indian wk in the league after dhoni and so you dont need to play a foreign wicketkeeper. Also it enables kkr to play lee as well as narine-two strike bowlers in a final is always a better option than a hit and miss opener

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    @ ben , nice one. u left out don bradman

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Narine should be England representing West Indies and helping to beat England

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    i tink das should make way for lee

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    I'm from MARS and i think shakib shuld play today.not im saying this coz im his fan or from MARS but even sachin,lara and ponting cant match his batting skills and warne,murlaitharan and kumble cant stand before his bowling skills.so please pick the best player in universe shakib.

  • SMirwais on May 27, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    CSK is here driven by their luck ONLY... Whether its last ball six off bhatia, 2 runs from last ball against RR where throw went half km wider to allow the second run, 43 off the last 2 overs against RCB, 41 off the last 2 overs against RR and mess up b/w 3 sides to allow their spot in the play offs. KKR have won all their matches by their efforts. GG did not click against PWI, MI and DD but still KKR managed to win easily on 2 out of these 3 occasions... So its time for KKR to rock the show...

  • on May 27, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    We are not concerned about KKR or CKS better team for that particular day will win the math .As a cricket fan we should expect a good game but not like CKS Delhi and CKS Mumbai Indian one sided math(elimination match).All the teams of IPL are best but unable to click for that particular match. Let us hope for a competitive match which will be decided by the last ball of the last over.

  • Asif_AUS on May 27, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    @sweetspot: who is No.1 allrounder? who was the MOS for last Asia cup? for whom India didnt get into final for last Asia cup? who played only 6-7 matchs this year IPL and took 11+ wicket and out of this 6-7 got 2 MOM? who can shine either Bat or Ball? I think you got the answer. I am asking all Bangla fan, please dont bother giving any more statement/views about shakib, we will show what BD can do in next T20, Shakib and Tamim will Rock!!! good luck KKR tonight- will for sure

  • on May 27, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    I think KKR will win, and should win, as they have been a better team than Chennai.

  • on May 27, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    Sakib must play cz he is All Rounder no.1, see the statistics, the match he played, there is only Gamvir who is three times Man-of-the Match. Sakib is two times just one less than Gamvir. Brett Lee is only a bowler and Mccullum only batsman. a bad one day may come to any player in a particular day. Yousuf Pathan got so much chance before he finally gave sth to the team, as such why Sakib will not get the opportunity?

  • sweetspot on May 27, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Best KKR team to please some Bangla fans: 1. Shakib, 2. Shakib, 3. Shakib, 4. Shakib, 5. Shakib, 6, Shakib, 7. Shakib, 8. Shakib, 9. Shakib, 10. Shakib, 11. Shakib. Maybe one of the Shakibs can sit out to accommodate Narine. But that may be too risky?

  • Cricket_lover_89 on May 27, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Sakib is ordinary.... hIs shots are from beach cricket....

    Well.... left arm spinner won't work against CSK

  • on May 27, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    bisla shud play today!!coz he is very good at the top,far better then McCullum,and kallis shud score more faster then wat he did

  • unlocker on May 27, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    i think sakib is a good bowler from lee.also he is a good batsman.so shakib have to play todays final.if lee also play so that mcullum should dropped.

  • on May 27, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    BD fans! Agreed, Sakib can take 10 wickets in 1.4 overs and score a century in 17 balls! Anyway, CSK is going to lift the cup tonight. Sorry KKR and BD fans! MS and his team are just too good and too hot to handle for others!!!

  • on May 27, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    CSK don't deserve the victory\

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on May 27, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    If Gambhir falls early, then CSK win. If Sir Shakib doesn't get selected due to Balaji's injury as per Ganguly's advice to select Brett Lee then CSK should win easily even Gambhir shines. But if KKR take S Banerjee's advice instead of Ganguly's one -- who advocated Sir Shakib in the playing eleven today -- then both the teams will have same strength I guess --- and game will be an interesting one.

  • on May 27, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    I dont want kkr to win this match b'coz BD of fans.. if they win Bd fans will say its only b'coz of shakib.. i dont want to hear tat.. go csk..three in a row

  • Indian12345 on May 27, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    In the final, statistics doesn't matter and only performance is going to make big difference under the pressure.In KKR, apart from GG and Narine, if any one (Yusuf, Kallis, McCullum) performance well it will give little more chance for KKR. But still i feel that its 50-50 chance!!!!!

  • on May 27, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    to JPLTERRORS U CAN WATCH ON YOU TUBE FOR FREE

  • Indian_55 on May 27, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    I hope KKR crush down CSK & win the title convincingly... KKR rocks !!!

  • on May 27, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    today kkr team 1 Gambir 2 Bisla 3 kalis 4 shakib 5 pathan 6 monos 7 sukla 8 batia 9 lee 10 narion 11 abdulla

  • narsinat0r on May 27, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    @jplterrors..I dont think it is televised in Aus unfortunately.. Just Youtube it :)

  • narsinat0r on May 27, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Go CSK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KKR has got an edge over CSK as they have been consistent all over the tournament, but CSK has come back strongly in the last couple of matches..So 55 - 45 (KKR - CSK) although I support CSK... Hopefully win the toss .. Put runs on board... Relax ;) Let the best team WIN!!

  • on May 27, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    i am from Australia but still i believe shakib should play this match not lee he is a quality player .. cmon he was man of the sereise in Asia cup. so he is the best player in Asia

  • on May 27, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    CSK will handle Narine better. CSK has clear edge in middle order batting line up and marginally inferior to KKR bowling unit. But if Balaji is unfit, KKR has a problem in hand. Though I am CSK fan, I like Gambhir & KKR too. The two best teams are in the final.

  • on May 27, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    A perfect ... column for both the supportin fans CSK.. and those who claim it as luck....

  • mishan on May 27, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    i m not Bangladeshi fan...but i think Sakib should play today...he can change the whole game

  • Cric_Wiz on May 27, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    I think it wont be a paper based game; team who have stealth lyk nerve will win the battle. I don't think it will be a one man show for CSK, but it will be for KKR (Gambhir and Sunil). Specially KKR heavily depends on Gambhir. Kallis is not up to his mark (in batting)- so are Pathan, Sakib, Mccullum. Again, today sakib might be dropped due to Balazi (If unfit). Then kkr will have lesser fire power to choke CSK. Miracle might save KKR

  • Sehwag_Is_Ordinary on May 27, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    If KKR follows the team selection like DD as DD panicked when Irfan got injured and made a terrible team selection, I have a feeling KKR will also do this. They will bring Lee and drop Shakib, and they will definitely lose if they do this. If they dont lose by dropping Shakib then my 25 years of Cricket watching and playing experience will go in vain. Lee will be costly, my instinct says.

  • on May 27, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    Today very interesting match between KKR and CSK. Most of them says Gambir and Narine will help to win this finals, but I don't see any other player performed well in KKR. In CSK more then 6 players scored 300+ & not depending on others . If anyone failed to perform other will tackcare in CSK, think same situation in KKR. So CSK will make hattrick this year.

  • rakib00 on May 27, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    KKR middle order is unreliable.

  • Sehwag_Is_Ordinary on May 27, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Some analysis: Mccullum should definitely attack more. Also Kallis needs to attack, run a ball half century doesnt mean anything. This is only 20 over and if you play half the overs for 50 runs, Kallis needs to understand this quickly. His approach to T20 is bad. Now if Brett Lee plays, he will go for atleast 35 runs so its a gamble with Lee, he lost shape and his bowling is not at all suitable for T20. At the start of the tournament, Chennai has lots of grass on wicket, not its devoid of those. Ashwin flighted the ball and showed theres good spin on the track, so again three spinners will do the job for KKR. KKR needs to bat first to put pressure. Chennai wont have any nerves as they shouldnt be here in the first place, they were heading home. All the pressure on KKR. Match on

  • rakib00 on May 27, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Hope Balaji will play today. He bowled really well in this tournament.

  • tauhid_aks on May 27, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    I think both Lee and Shakib should play. Then KKR's bowling will be strong. The batting will also be strong, as Bisla is way better than the slow McCullum.

  • Azad125 on May 27, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    KKR should play Sakib Al Hasan, he is good wicket taker also good batting, Lee is not good because fast bowler given too many runs he can't batting, T20 matches good if play spinners, fast bowlers gives too many runs, fast bowler gives runs if touch the ball it's 4 or 6 if bowler is spin if touch the bat to ball it will be 1 or 2, go KKR go, Best of Luck, Champion KKR

  • jplterrors on May 27, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    does any1 know if its televised in Melbourne, preferably free 2 air?

  • on May 27, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    If bhaji doesn't plays it will be curtains for mc cullum and kkr shud play with lee they can't afford to give 200+ runs for chennai so they need to play lee definetely today and they should remove bhatia from the team and should add Bisla...

    My XI for KKR-Gambhir,Bisla(wk),Kallis,Tiwary,Shakib,Pathan,Das,Shukla,Lee,Abdulla,Narine.

    Chennai XI Vijay,Hussey,Raina,Dhoni,Badri,Bravo,Morkel,Jaddu,Ashwin,Jakati,Hilfenhaus.... um from S.L srilanka doesn't mind which team wins!!

  • joel1 on May 27, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    CSK is a superb team led by MSD , the man with steel guts and the coolest temper ever exibited by a cricketer , not only among indiancriceters the whole clan of cricketers around the world .Even in qualifying stages he sat out with his whole team which was literally out of his reach,,but see the results....magical moments,,to day he is going to play the finals with his wonderful pumped up team in spirit,,,where as in the other hand veerybody knows about KKR team and the captains temper ,,,its a blessing in disguise for CSK ,,,for sure its a going to be a electrifying finals ...but allthe way before , during and after the match WHISTLE PODUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

  • on May 27, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    if balaji is injured, Pls consider Shami Ahmed.

  • eomer17 on May 27, 2012, 9:39 GMT

    when csk played kkr in eden,mike hussey and badrinath batted superbly before middle order nearly messed it up.on that occasion kkr with all their bowling could'nt get the openers out for a long time.Also are they goiing to play lee if the pitch looks different,cause that means shakib goes out....

  • on May 27, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    Brett lee should play today..He is a very inspirational cricketer, he is a big match player and kkr would need him to stop guys like dhoni n vijay.

  • on May 27, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    Sakib has played the 5 matches in the IPL 2012 & selected 2 times Man of the match. If KKR wants to win, then the team selection committee has to select sakib for the IPL 2012 final. If sakib will be not played in the today's final, i think KKR lose the championship of the IPL 2012. So, we wanr Sakib for the final match.

  • wealwayswin on May 27, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Kkr shld play both shakib and brett lee today. No need to play McCullum today bcoz he will play like a test player. They need kallis, shakib, narine and lee or they gonna lose for sure. Bisla shld be taken in as keeper. If they play Mccullum, they re losing. Brett lee can play some big shots at the end. With this team they can compete CSK or better luck next time.

  • on May 27, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    I think sakib can play final,sakib is better choice ,Brett Lee is unfit in IPL.

  • OVEY on May 27, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    KKR should play pradeep sangwan in place of injured Balaji.He is good enough young player to participate in big final.With his slow pace he will be more handy then Lee in chennai pitches.Sakib will be very handy with bat & ball tonight if he get chance is starting 11 bcz we already saw that the pitch condition in Chennai is closer to Bangladeshi pitches.BEST OF LUCK KKR.

  • on May 27, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    compare shakib and brett lee's performance in this ipl or last ipl..u will get your ans who should play.shakib has got 22 wickets in just 14 games(11 from 7 this season,economy rate only 6.30) a way far better record than lee..narayan got 24 from 14 matches..so,easily narayan & shakib is their prime bowlers..in addition,shakib can do the same thing with his bat too..

  • on May 27, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Going to be an absorbing match.... equal strength - slight edge to CSK

  • on May 27, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    CSK has an edge as they have Home advantage, Better Cool Captain. If Narine is so unplayable he should be in the West Indies Team. Simple logic. Kallis is good if they take Brett Lee it can work either way he is the only answer for Vijay. If Vijay clicks it is History.

  • HSAF on May 27, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    Hey All, CSK will be the winner......Bcoz KKR depends mainly on 2 - GG and Narine.... Whenever GG failed to give starts, they stumbled...even if Narine is at his best on tmw and if GG failed, then KKR will not make it....BUT CSK - all of seven any 2 clicks they will make a huge impact (HUssey, Vijay, Dhoni, Bravo, Morkel, Badrinath and Raina)..Yusuf lost his tempo....Kallis is marginal....Mccullum is just histroy...So CSK will win if they get rid of GG early.

  • rudmila on May 27, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    I think if balaji is not fit there there is no way shakib can play. Bret Lee will be in the team as fourth overseas player.

  • on May 27, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    dear DaniMajo can you please tell me how many matches win KKR by Brett Lee????? do you thing he is big match player????? pls don't comp with great SAKIB as he played 7 matches and won 2 MOM and Brett Lee played so many matches and KKR lost matches becoz of his useless pace??? i am sure that KKR will win and SAKIB WILL BE MOM in the FINAL.....good luck KKR....

  • borhans on May 27, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    When gambhir failed who reswqued KKR on the last match ?Yes it is sakib

    When gambhir failed who resqued KKR on the first qualifier ?Pathan & shukla

    In those matches Mccullum & kallis with their poor run rate almost drowned KKR's any hope for final .

    Why give pace to the CSK batters by bringing lee .When lee took even 2 wicket can't remember .

    slow wicket is best for sakib's batting style unlike Kallis,maccullum

  • sweetspot on May 27, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    All of you who say CSK have luck, if you know other teams don't have luck, then why play against CSK at all? By this luck logic, even if CSK play badly, they will win! God help their opponents if they play well, then? Are they playing well? Those wishing for a close game, are actually asking for a heart attack! Dhoni's team, whichever team he captains, seems to love close matches and he wins most of them!

  • on May 27, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    gamvir,sakib ,narin, this 3s per4manc will easily securd the 1st IPL title 4 KKR.whatever the tm is KKR shoudnt mind that.lee isnt a good option.coz bravo,morkel is good player of pace.sakib n narin can dominat over them.jakaty n aswin may b hitted by gamvr if he is in touch.badri?hah,who plvs 60 balls 2 scr 50 in t20.hahaha.well,hope 4 best KKR go n win the final

  • DaniMajo on May 27, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    I think KKR should play Brett Lee instead of Shakib because Lee is a great big match player.

  • Asif_AUS on May 27, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    @ priceless1, not that I like Shakib or I am BD cricket fan, if u talk about logic, Lee will get hit by CSK player badly due to they are used to fast attack, hence KKR needs to stick with their basic, Spin attack and Yes Narine is there but as Gambhir said, its not a game for 4 overs, you still have to do well other 16 overs and hence no better player than shakib, if we need fast attack, Kallis is always there and Bhatia is doing great too, leave rest to the spin attack and I am sure KKR management understand their depth well... so they will use key player and keep same team ( not sure for Balaji though).. good Luck KKR.. we will Rock

  • balajeev on May 27, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Winning batting line up today : Vijay, Hussey, Raina, Badrinath, Morkel, Bravo, Dhoni and Srinivasan.

  • on May 27, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    hope kkr creates history today...best of luck kkr...kallis is the best allrounder in the world ...he hasn't played a key role with the bat this year...but his contributions with the ball have compensated for that...hope he fires today with the bat as well...and wins the game for kkr

  • dmqi on May 27, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    CKS has much better batting line true, but KKR has a better bowling too. It will be interesting to see what bowling combination will take the field if Balaji is not playing. That may make the bowling not to be the best for KKR.Yusuf pathan could be very crucial, his performance is absolutely important but he is not in the best form. All 11 has to contribute for both teams, no misfielding, drop catch and so on. Better not to make a forecast who will win, just enjoy the terrific game and be happy.

  • arman.sylhet on May 27, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    Posted by priceless1 on (May 27 2012, 06:22 AM GMT) : If Lee is a big match player, so i think every knows that Kallis & S. Africa are choker for big match. Only for this reason should KKR remove Kallis???????????????????????

  • MARK_Mithu on May 27, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    KKR, Please keep winning combination even Tiwary is fit, Promote Debabrata Das at 3 in place of Kallis and preserve Kallis at 6/7 if any collapse happen.... Wish KKR will win today

  • on May 27, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    They are here, again. Those resilient, stubborn Chennai Super Kings. In another IPL final, their fourth in five seasons and their third in a row, pursuing a hat trick of titles. Love them, hate them or couldn't care less about them, you have to give it to them - the Super Kings got game. They know when and how to turn it on, too, though this season they dangled off the edge of the precipice, holding on with their pinkies, for longer than was comfortable.

  • ZamanEkushay on May 27, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    It would be difficult to make good team combination for KKR if balaji couldn't recover from injury. But facing three specialist spinner might be challenge for CSK. Waiting for high voltage final match!

  • on May 27, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    Don't worry CSK folks, we have Badri to counter in Sunil Narine...

  • yaa_right on May 27, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    Like it or not, Men in yellow are consistent champions - whether its Australia or CSK....but it would be refreshing to see KKR become IPL5 champions..

  • The_TIGER_of_BD on May 27, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    I hope that Balaji will play. Otherwise kkr team combination will be greatly affected.

  • on May 27, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    a few minuts more ! battle will be fought between :- Gambhir vs. Dhoni Brendon vs. Vijay Balaji vs. Ben Kallis vs. Bravo Sakib vs. Aswin Naraine has no compititor , will be the decion maker of the game !

  • csowmi7 on May 27, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    Both sides are evenly balanced but the decider is going to be the fielding. CSK are a much better fielding side with world class fielders in Raina, Jadeja, Hussey, Bravo and Du Plessis.

  • great_allrounder on May 27, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Shakib is the most important player today. Neither Narine nor Yousuf will come to the rescue of KKR without Shakib. Shakib's spin , backed by Narine , is suffice to stop Dhoni , Raina , and Bravo Co. So, think of .... KKR..... before team selection...

  • MARK_Mithu on May 27, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    KKR should hold their winning combination, but i would like to see Debabrata Das at 3 in place of Kallis in batting order. KKR should preserve Kallis in 6/7 so that he can hold if any collapse happen.......

  • prashantrai26 on May 27, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    certainly csk will win,others team's in ipl are like sachin tendulkar,in league matches they played very well but in knockout matches they are choked........veeru do same thing like his mentor sachin..........but gauti is different, he always played well in finals...........definately a good game........but against dhoni in finals no one can beat him...........today once again we see a dhoni dhamaka & carebian calipso from bravo..........just one good inning from our lion raina ........csk rocks

  • on May 27, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    i dont want to write this many lines as other ppl have written...... the oneline is Chennai is full of energy and Confidence as KKr is also Well Placed but the Favour will be ON Chennai Side But May the best team win!!!!!!!

  • NatarajR on May 27, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    CSK will be UNSTOPPABLE even in this game. They have thrashed MI and DD by a huge margin. It seemed like both the teams where unable to withstand CSK's strength. With the same firepower CSK will cruise to victory in the finals of IPL 5. Keep up the good show CSK. You can win the match by a huge margin again.

  • on May 27, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    kkr gonna win it ...............

  • priceless1 on May 27, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    KKR should play Lee instead of Shakib , coz Lee is a big match player

  • sajidrock on May 27, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    so the big match is here, CSK are the favourites, the way they have played in last 2 matches was outstanding. CSK were no were in the tournament but their luck was wid them, Bravo is showing his positive as a all rounder and that's a + point for the CSK. KKR need to come very strong if they have to lift the trophy. CSK will get there home support which will give them confidence. Best of luck for both KKR & CSK.

  • 786.19 on May 27, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    AsSALA-Moalikom Everyone.I think, If balaji unfit For todays match then replace him by unadkat not lee or de lange.Because in Previous matches against chenni Lee-4 Ov. 34run1wi.8.50eco.rate and de lange 3ov.37run0wi.12.33eco.rate.Sakib is very important for this match.

  • on May 27, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    as I said before with statistics CSK in this IPL against spinners and pacers. Now just look at the matches CSK lost, in all of those matches at least 2 spinners did well with economy rate. CSK vs MI - Harvajan 4(ovr)-24(runs) & P.Ojha 4(ovr)-17(runs) CSK vs DD - V.Merwe 4(ovr)- 15(runs) & S.Nadeem 3(ovr)-9 (runs) CSK vs Pune - M.Kartik 3(ovr)-18(runs) & R.Sharma 3(ovr)-16(runs) CSK vs KXIP - P.Chawla 4(ovr)-20(runs) & D.Hussy 1(ovr)-3(runs) CSK vs KKR - Iqbal.A 3(ovr)-18(runs) & S.Narine 4(ovr)-24(runs) CSK vs MI - Harvajan 3(ovr)-14(runs) So I am telling again if KKR have to win they have to go with all of the 3 spinners in this match.And Chennai pitch is spinners friendly too.

  • on May 27, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    Watch out for KKR this year because they are on the verge of creating history. KKR's middle order is more likely to contribute in the final. Yusuf Pathan will hold the key in this final.

  • joseyesu on May 27, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    Wish KKR will drop Narine to get a place for Shakib and Lee. All the best to CSK.

  • on May 27, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    3 Key players for KKR is Gambhir, Shakib and Narine. If these three plays well, KKR will win. Otherwise, its very difficult to defeat inform CSK. DHoni & Co. has got massive attack on their hands.

  • maddyjagadish on May 27, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    It will be a third title for csk. The only guy who can make a difference in KKR is gambhir ... both teams have great players but it all comes down to how well you manage the talent and that's where dhoni has edge over gambhir ... dhoni has been here many times and done it in the past ... it will be 70-30(csk-kkr) ... personally i would like CSK to win because of great leader dhoni.....:)

  • on May 27, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    From BD,just for a change KKR should win.No more on SHakib,let him play his normal game.

  • on May 27, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    If someone takes a look at the world cup 2011, it will be evident that gambhir came in to bat at a more crucial stage than dhoni. Even in the t20 world cup it was a brilliant innings from gambhir which helped them claim the trophy in a much more pressure game than an ipl final.Gambhir deserves more credit than dhoni. Recently gambhir has proved his worth as a great captain. CSK have reached the finals not because of luck but only to hand over the trophy to the actual champions and to put an end to the so called dream of making a hattrick of titles. KKr all the way!!.

  • on May 27, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    coming from a CSK fan..may be best team win..though cant stop favouring CSK.. there aint no shame if CSK loses it.. they have been there and done it.. as CSK fans we are proud of them and would back them even if things would go the other way tonight..cuz 9/10 times CSK did wht we hoped they would do..thts entertaining..fewer heart breaks..so lots of fun and cheers..

    have fun there lads.. KKR is strong..so are u too..bring us the trophy bak home.. and in the spirit of cricket and sports in general..MAY THE BEST TEAM TONIGHT WIN THE CUP..

  • on May 27, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    Too many ppl have commented about KKR, they morely depends on Gambir & Narine...its not possible..if they fails means what wil going to happen??... to check last qualifier match between csk vs dd,,more dd fans depends on sehwag & warner,,but both of them have failed to score big chase..By my thoughts in the team every member should play an good and responsible innings for his team..CSK players have deserve it in last two qualifier matches..so KKR fans dont depend on gambir and narine.. try to hope every kkr player should play an good finishing final vs cski.... but csk have already won two ipl title,,,they are the best ipl team to move forward to win third title and they deserved it ....its be a big clashand super sunday..im being fan of RCB,,, i want csk to do third in row,,, all the best for both teams... :D :P

  • on May 27, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    CSK WILL BE WIN WITH THE HATTRICK TROPHY.

  • on May 27, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Relatively speaking, KKR is a more balanced team compared to CSK and as such, my bet is for KKR. Good luck Gambhir!

  • Nealshahriar on May 27, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    Kkrs win will be led by a bangali,shakib...korbo, lorbo and after 5 years finally jitbo.........

  • ravi_88 on May 27, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    I'm a csk fan.this final won't be a cakewalk for csk like DD match,because kkr is a very good bowling unit especially the spin attack in the likes of narine,shakib,abdulla,pathan. In csk except ashwin other spinners are in poor form.so its Upto csk batsmen to win the final or not.

  • on May 27, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    IF the match is set to be knockout then CSK will be the winner. EAST or WEST CSK is BEST. the 'MEN IN YELLOW GOING TO ROCK THE FINAL' ALL THE BEST CSK.

  • SIX-HUNTER on May 27, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    GO CSK !!!!!!!!!! GO HUSSEY !!!!!!!!! GO HILFY

  • on May 27, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    kkr will win maiden ipl titl tody.........

  • on May 27, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    listen, CSK fan, that KKR will win today and sakib or narine or gautam one if them will be man of the match. we all bd people is with KKR. lets chears.

  • pak_winner on May 27, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    I'm a die hard Indian fan, I luv the Indian captain who brought the world cup to India after 28 years, so bcos of him I want CSK to wrap up the hattrick victory, CSK is certain to win here, u all know Gambir is the key man to KKR, but also we know how he struggle against Hilfy. only Narine on the way, but Dhoni will make a strategy against him, thats where captain cool is at his best. CSK lions ROARS.........

  • praveen4honestremark on May 27, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    Pre Match analysis : CSK vs KKR------ CSK is vulnerable to spin and variations than fast bowling. So, KKR have a edge here. But i fear in final match all teams are careful, so i feel it is 3 points here for KKR and 2 for CSK in handling Spin and variations out of 3. Next, coming to fielding...in final fielding is crucial, CSK can save around 10-15 runs here. KKR don't have natural athletes in fielding. So It is 3 points for CSK here and 1 for KKR here out of 3. CSK and KKR are feeling same pressure this time so it is not a bif factor 2 points each Now Leadership skills and allrounders contributions CSK get 3 and KKR 2 out of 4. So overall out of 10 points CSK get 8 and KKR will get 6 points. Target will be 180 and KKR will get only 160 if they bat second. If KKR bat first they will make 170( plus 10 runs as batting first is always better), but still CSK team will win comfortably.

  • on May 27, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    i think kkr will win this year ipl wait an see what haappedn toght geat game to see

  • on May 27, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Mr. Mohan Kumar., Please know the colour of the cup it-self is Yellow and the CUP is ment only for Yellow Eleven - that is C.S.K. Yes CSK will win their hattrick ipl title. CSK will do it again...........

    sreenivasan. ds.

  • on May 27, 2012, 2:12 GMT

    It will be Chennai all the way!

  • chandran1979 on May 27, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    The team that can stick to the cricket basics and handle PRESSURE better than the other will come out with good results. Doesn't matter who is in playing 11.

  • on May 27, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    if balaji is not fit than someone going to drop from forigen players .i am a big fan of sakib but kkr management will drop sakib and theay will play lee place of balaji. and tewary will play place of sakib.lets come on my thinking if kkr change thier wining team than kkr will lose tommorrow,bhatia and kalis can satrt pace attack .if same team play by kkr than kkr have chance 80% but if theay change team than csk have chance to win 90%. in my team i would never ever drop sakib ans kalis, good luck for kkr.nariene a good player for t 20 not in test and odi because in t20 u have hit every ball .

  • on May 27, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    csk has make easy win last two match today will 50-50 win hat rick will be make csk to top.

  • on May 27, 2012, 0:10 GMT

    I think both teams are balanced. The difference will be who can handle pressure and stick to cricket basics better than other. Just have to play their natural games regardless of how dangerous the other team could be.

  • on May 26, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    We hope Sakib Al Hassan will play tommorrow

  • on May 26, 2012, 23:42 GMT

    kkr will be win insha Allah.....

  • on May 26, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    There are so many people commenting about dropping Shakib If Balaji wasn't fit to play and pick Lee. I know that still Lee can be dangerous in his old age but you guys can check the stats of CSK's scoring rate against fast bowler & spinners. CSK scored more than 8(might get close to 9) per over from the quickies when spinners gave them run on a rate of around 7 & also CSK lost most wickets to spinners. Som final result suggests that CSK is weaker in spin than fast bowling and if Shakib & Iqbal(as few of you guys are also suggesting to drop Iqbal) or even either of them dropped in the final then after match, KKR would've been left to be satisfied only to get a chance to stand along side with the champion for repeating the same mistake of Shewag's in 2nd qualifier. For the sake final, for both the team my suggest & wish is, go with own best strength.

  • on May 26, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    At Eden Gardens, Super Kings won by five wickets off the final delivery. Chasing 159, Knight Riders had reached 97 for 0 in the 11th over when Narine derailed the innings during a spell of 4-0-14-2. With 5 to get off the last ball, Bravo launched Rajat Bhatia over the long-on boundary.

    Seems some correction req.

  • on May 26, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    CSK will win their hattrick ipl title

  • darsh127 on May 26, 2012, 21:25 GMT

    Excellent article! Chennai have not got here by luck, it was their matches that finished first and plus, as stated in the article, if Deccan can beat RCB and RR, it just shows that the 2 teams cannot handle pressure or aren't just good enough. Although I support both these teams dearly, i suppose this title will belong to KKR. Good Luck to both teams and best team may win! PS: Great Article Mr.Binoy!

  • on May 26, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    CSK will do it again...........

  • bjcric777 on May 26, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    KKR TIGERS vs Circus CSK Lions!! Go TIGERS GO

  • on May 26, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    CSK is looking in menacing form!!! Super Kings know how to lift their game when it matters the most!!! KKR have an awesome chance but it all depends on their temperament tomorrow!!! If they give in to the pressure or get over awed by the might of Super Kings then its very very difficult for them... KKR needs to be real aggressive against Super Kings... .Fight fire with fire!! KKR have never really been tested through out the IPL... remains to be seen if they can sustain the form into the finals.... May the best team win and I will be here in Atlanta cheering for the MEN IN YELLOW!!! #Whistlepodu #3peatu

  • on May 26, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    I think KKR should go with winning combination. They should not be fool like Daredevils by dropping some inform player like SHAKIB

  • saif_bd007 on May 26, 2012, 20:26 GMT

    I'm afraid that Balaji may not be fit. To compensate KKR may play Lee instead of Shakib!!! I would not mind that only if Lee would do better than Shakib. I can see Lee is going for 1/40...

  • on May 26, 2012, 20:24 GMT

    @ KKR team management : just look at this stat. In this IPL CSK played 220.7 overs of fast & medium fast bowlers and scored 1867 runs means 8.46 runs per over and played 112 overs of spin bowling and scored 744 runs which means 6.64 runs per overs. so CSK vs Pacers - 8.46/over & CSK vs Spinners - 6.64/over runs. Mumbai & Delhi are fast bowlers oriented teams, so they were defeated by CSK easily. If KKR wants to win they have to go with their best spin attack. Any silly decision gonna cost KKR lifetime. I hope Balaji will be fit before the match.

  • on May 26, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    i think today kkr take fielding than will be win.......................

  • on May 26, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    We are all Bangladeshi, cricket supporter hope sakib al hassan will play today... he will give his best performance, everyone know about his ability, he will man of the final ipl5............

  • SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on May 26, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    IF SHAKIB AL HASAN (NO.1 ALLROUNDER IN TEST AND ODI) PLAY TOMORROW THEN I M SORRY FOR CSK,....THEY WILL HAVE 2 ACCEPT THE DEFEAT BUT IF KKR DROPS SHAKIB AL HASAN THEN MS DHONI MR. COOL WILL DEFINITELY CRASH KOLKATA BECOZ THERE WILL BE NO SHAKIB TO STOP HIM...

  • on May 26, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    i think today kkr take filding than will be win.....................

  • on May 26, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    KKR should not make any changes and keep the winning combination right. The spinners are doing fairly good job and let them be there on the final as well.

  • Dragonov on May 26, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    Well.. tomorrow's contest should be between KKR spinners vs CSK batsmen..It'll be hard for Dhoni's men to ride on Narine's spin the way they shredded DD attack the previous night.. That's for sure. But CSK can prove the other way by their sheer batting depth. They can freely play their natural game, cz even if they get out, the new guy can carry on with the job. Every guy in CSK is a big hitter all the way down to Ashwin. Such is the confidence in their batting. CSK's fielding has also been top-class all through the league. As to KKR, they've transformed themselves tremendously cz Gambhir, as a captain, is leading from the front. He is gifted with the mysterious spinner Narine whom he has been using very efficiently. With Shakib, Abdullah and Lee, KKR's bowling arsenal is complete. Its gonna be one ripper of a contest tmoro. And I sincerely hope neither team shows the "DAREDEVIL STUPIDITY" there by making the game one-sided. He who wins the toss must bat first.

  • on May 26, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    KKR all the way...it will be a good match but KKR will win....key will be yusuf pathan who got his form back and with atleast 10 overs of spin/slow bowling, he can make a mess out of the CSK bowling line up.

  • eZoha on May 26, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    There are too many left-handed batsmen in CSK. So I guess KKR won't play 2 left arm spinners. Probably Brett Lee will come back. I want KKR to win, for a change at least.

  • on May 26, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    @CSK FANS......kkr will win this match.... csk need special innings from someone to beat kkr .. bcoz... last time.. they got it from hussey and they were well ahead to win the match but atlast the match was so close and csk won due to bravo..... those who were talking that kkr needs a special thing to win... should stop saying against kkr... bcoz kkr was only team... till now... who havent got any difficulties.. CSK came to final with their luck and...they played well in play offs but... they can't beat kkr...... fotune favours brave and KKR is only the brave team

  • on May 26, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    Its very shocking to see people not giving any attention to BRAVO's performance. he has scored 371 runs at an average of 46.37 & strike rate of 140 plus he got 14 wickets in 17 matches........ He won 2 games in the last overs for CSK........and In the last 2 matches his cameos of 33 and 34 have played a crucial role in taking CSK to winnable score..........he bowled in the death overs. WAT ELSE YOU WANT FROM AN ALL-ROUNDER

  • G.Vinoth on May 26, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    The Stage is Set for CSK tomorrow... Hopefully the champ's do well for one more day tomorrow and take the hat-trick..! Wow...! Doing Hat-trick in Just 5 Edition is such a Big Thing... I Sincerely wish CSK does the JOB tomorrow and take the pride... Go CSK go... DHONI, RAINA, MORKEL, HUSSEY, BRAVO, VIJAY, ASHWIN, BEN, BADRI, JADEJA, JAKATI... What a Team..! We Chennai are so Happy for the team..!

  • KevinCostna on May 26, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    @Iyer: u must b joking dude. If wat u said is tru, y did CSK lose so many league games this season. I think it all depends on who handles the pressure better than their opponents along with good enuf talent to compete n is tru for any format.

    Dhoni seems to have the knack of not being desperate to win to make sure most of his key players are not injured during the league games to be fit for the real matches that are crucial for lifting the cup.

  • on May 26, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    not a big fan of csk but sure i like dhoni's attitude , look how calm he is and he balances the side completly . to win kkr will have to watch out for plenty of players not only 1 or 2 ..... but csk can easily focus on gambhir, and kallis ....... no one else has the capability to rescuse . good luck kkr... . csk no need luck now ..... they are performing ....

    blow pplz mind away dhoni .... as u did in world cup ... csk doesnt deserve you deserve the cup ...

  • Hayat22 on May 26, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    I hope tiwary does not get fit, as he is the least productive of the three least productive trio of Kallis, Tiwary and Pathan. Since Kallis and Yusuf can contribute with bats as well, and doing a Sunny Gupta in the finals is a big no, kindly persist with Shukla. An 11 ball 24 should be better than a run a ball 40 that is Tiwary's best this season, and frankly he doesn't inspire that he can better that strike rate. None of his innings until now have, so Gambhir must avoid doing a Sehwag if he is serious about denting the middle order advantage of CSK over KKR.

  • pjbarua on May 26, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Balaji was so crucial for the final. His absence will definitely imbalance the combination. I think they will bring lee in place of shakib but this will definity loose the attack in spin

  • The_Legend-Killer on May 26, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    KKR will surely win tomorrow..........Dhoni is just a slogger like yusuf pathan ,CSK(Indian) batsman are just flat track bully ,can't play quality spin attack.....

  • rockz.andy on May 26, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    Gambhir the Gayle of KKR.. one man show if he fails in the initial 6 overs or even the half way KKR hopes will just fade away..lack of indian batsman is a big worry for KKR..CSK have something to cheer about..in T20 no one will ever know what will happen

  • on May 26, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    My KKR team for tomorrow :----> Take out Kallis and Balaji and take in Tiwary and de Lange ... 1. McCullum 2. Gambhir 3. Tiwary 4. Pathan 5. Shukla 6. Shakib 7. Das 8. Bhatia 9. Sunil Narine 10. Abdulla 11. de Lange

    GO KKR and WIn the CUP !!!

  • on May 26, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    I hope KKR wins. They deserve it more because they have been playing wonderful Cricket right throughout the tournament. Unlike other teams, KKR has managed to make it this far due to team effort, not just through individual performance. All the best.

  • GSP17 on May 26, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Superb article.. well balanced.. at last a person with some knowledge writes about the fact how CSK reached play-offs rather than just blabbering back door entry or luck... Good one Mr. George Binoy !!! - Prakash, Chennai

  • FIPL on May 26, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    If Kolkata wants to win the final, they have to KICK Sakib out & bring Brett Lee in

  • asif3k on May 26, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    CSK gonna win it...........Narine figures aftr the match will be 4-0-40-0......... @Iyer: u r rite but Ashwin also a specialist bowler......no miracle 4r KKR!!!!

  • Iyer on May 26, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    First of all, a disclaimer - I am a CSK fan as I originally hail from Madras. In a T20 game looking at the past results to predict the outcome is nothing but stupidty. This is just a game of 120 balls and 11 players each side. Since it is just 120 balls game, you dont need more than 3 specialist batsmen. That is the success formula for CSK. This game needs more all rounders - guys who score boundaries at great strike rate and who can bowl few overs at the same time. Other teams do not have as many all rounders as CSK have. so CSK will not lose this final. I have been saying this since the beginning of the tournament. Chennai has only 3 specialist batsmen (vijay, hussey and badri) and 2 specialist bowlers (hilfy and jakati) the rest allrounders. Is there any other team to match this quality line up? NO. Only a miracle could help KKR win tomorrow, and Miracles dont happen when you want it.

  • Sachin_immortal on May 26, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    KKR would have been favorites with 2 left-arm spinners along with Narine if they have to face MI or DD on a spinning chepauk wicket. But, that has been negated as CSK have 4 left hand batsman to combat 2 left-arm spinners. I don't see both Abdulla and Shakib playing this game. One of them would be dropped and KKR will play to the strengths of CSK. Also, there is no word on Balaji's hamstring injury. Tide is against KKR. All I want is a last ball finish or a super-over. I don't care who wins it.

  • on May 26, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    winning the toss and batting first is important fro CSK, if they need to chase they must tackle sunil narine well. all the best for Men in yellow

  • on May 26, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    i m truly csk fan but outcome should be thriller and not one side like two previous games in playoffs

  • on May 26, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    CSK + HomeCrowd + Chepauk stadium = Defeat for the opposite ie. IPL T20 2012 = for CSK

  • on May 26, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    Guys give credit to DC. The team is no pushover either. They deserved victories against RR and RCB. Chennai had its share of luck. But don't take anything away from DC..

  • on May 26, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    waiting for you are the Sialkot Stallions in the champions league! the REAL t20 champions of the world!!!

  • Anuerl on May 26, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    KKR will win the title and hoping Shakib will be the man of the final,I want to see that as a KKR and Shakib fan..

  • priceless1 on May 26, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    i get a feeling it will be aYusuf Pathan's day tomorrow

  • Anuerl on May 26, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    KKR will win the title and hoping Shakib will be the man of the final,I want to see that as a KKR and Shakib fan..

  • Nampally on May 26, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    It is immaterial at this time to review how lucky CSK were to reach the Playoff stage.Just look ahead. Chennai is a determined side who play as a team rather than depend on individuals. As a result the 2 million dollar man -Jadeja- was a non factor so far. Their fielding is superb with Raina, jadeja, Morkel, Bravo & Hussey leading them. Dhoni can pump up the S/R to 200 as can Bravo & Morkel.KKR spinners will be punished as CSK batting has peaked at the right time.On the other hand KKR rely on individuals like Kallis, Gambhir & Narine to lead them. If these guys fail- as anyone can have an off-day - then they can hit the low.CSK demolished Mumbai & Delhi in no uncertain terms by total dominanace. It will not be surprising if they do the same to KKR- assuming their stars will have an off day. It will be a keen contest and a worthy Final, if both the teams rise to the occasion. I feel that the 2 best IPL teams are in the Final & look forward to a great match. Good Luck Guya!.

  • supadupamonk on May 26, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    good luck to both teams...csk fan here

  • on May 26, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    It is very difficult to beat CSK if you depend only on Sunil Narayan.. You need something special and very special. Capt Cool knows the trick and is a cool cookie.. If KKR wins, they need something really special.. otherwise, it will be familiar result .. CSK hatrick

  • on May 26, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    think KKr will win...that 4 overs from narine

  • premclement on May 26, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    CSK will win. They haven't had a good league matches but had a wonderful two qualifiers. Even though KKR have a good league record, psychologically, CSK has the edge.

  • on May 26, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    though iam a csk supporter i want that kolkata should win.....bcoz they deserve more.They hav been consistent and they didn't depended on other results to cum into the playoffs.So they should win.however the reult maybe the mach should be a thrilling one and im proud to be csk fan......

  • joseyesu on May 26, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    If CSK manages Gambir and Narine, then kolkata is nothing. All the best and i hope it could be raina's chance to prove in this season.

  • supadupamonk on May 26, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    expect a good fight from KKR......CSK fan here....hate Sharuk khan.....KKR this is ur first entry to final to behave urself....csk has already won two times.......may the best team win...

  • on May 26, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    I want Narine to be in fine form and Gambhir to do everything possible to win. I don't want any "ifs & buts" when CSK wins it. Chennai can and will win regardless of the decisions that Gambhir makes.

  • on May 26, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    CSK going to rock tomorrow....If they don't lose a wicket in Narine's over,they will sure win.

  • on May 26, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    Well Gambhir is no match to Dhoni. CSK will get him early by Hilfenhause and then rest will be easy meat. In batting I think CSK will play sunil out and then unleash their batting lions on all other KKR bowlers. I think KKR are in for a rude shock. Go CSK go...

  • MrCri on May 26, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    i don't understand one thing.....all teams deserve to win....don't see consistency during the league phase...the main part of the tournament is playoffs....so the which team performs well under pressure deserves to win....so don't be one sided always...!!! n btw....CSK is not 100% lucky...n in t20 u do req sm luck....CSK has also played some gud cricket....if u want appreciate their effort r else just suport your team.....no need to worry whether CSK is/was lucky...!!!

  • DoubleLarge on May 26, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    In this article under "Meetings this season" it says "At Eden Gardens, Super Kings won by five wickets off the final delivery. Chasing 159, Knight Riders had reached 97 for 0 in the 11th over when Narine derailed the innings during a spell of 4-0-14-2. With 5 to get off the last ball, Bravo launched Rajat Bhatia over the long-on boundary." It should be "Chasing 159.CSK had reached 97 for 0"

  • on May 26, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Surely CSK will manage to play with Narine bowling spell,,by imagine if narine have given 16runs for 4overs..wat about other bowlers in KKR,, they are not highly performed in tornament.. so there will be a big clash between both teams, more depend on toss...winning toss and decide to bat first,, wil be the good idea for me,, to get more score on board....

  • vrn59 on May 26, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    This promises to be a fantastic contest! CSK appear to be in better form, but my team is KKR! They have resurged after three years of debacle and have displayed remarkable consistency, led ably from the front by Gautam Gambhir, backed up by Jacques Kallis, Sunil Narine et al. The fitness of L Balaji is key; if he is unavailable, KKR will be forced to pick either Brett Lee or Marchant de Lange as the new-ball pacer, as they lack a second quality Indian seamer. This would inevitably mean that one of Brendon McCullum and Shakib al Hasan will have to sit out, and that will simply affect the team's composition and rhythm. McCullum is in decent form, having played a couple of match-winning innings recently, and Shakib provides much-needed stability to the middle order and could be

  • satyajeetking on May 26, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    My prediction CSK bat first score 140/7 KKR wins in 19th over

  • Ibra95 on May 26, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    PLZ, don't drop any player now KKR, don't make the same mistake viru did, if balaji is fit play him, but if his not, dont sacryfice with a debutant, play an experience player. GOOD LUCK KKR, IM SURE U'LL WIN THE TITLE AFTER UR HARD WORK!

  • krajesh10 on May 26, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    KKR shoul win all those whose teams dosenot reach final will want a new winner and not all that same team lifting the trophy.........i am a die hard KKR fan and wants them to win.......since its the 1st time they are in the final...........best of luck KKR..........gambhi and narine will be a key factor tomorrow.....:)

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    KKR does not have the temperament to win the finals. No doubt they are a very good side without which they would not have been here but CSK hold the upper edge in terms of form, temperament, past results and home advantage

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    its boring to see the yellow stains on the cup again and again! Let it be a different colour this time!!!!!!!!come on KKR........ you deserve it

  • zameel786 on May 26, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Luck for CSK has favored them so much that it has taken the interest out of IPL, and more over I have began to even hate them as a team, I think this time they are here to learn a lesson and taste defeat. ALL THE BEAT FOR KKR.

  • rsudhakar on May 26, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    It is matter of on the day who is good confident and handling the pressure match well...Not matter if CSK came by luck..if they came by luck, why 3 teams which made thier way for CSK didnt work hard?, is thier bad luck?, why KKR is here for finals, luck?..Dont beleive in luck of 100%...there is always hardwork behind the success. I wish KKR fights CSK well and win for fans who like new team to win IPL5...I am always a CSK supporter...Good luck KKR & CSK...Give us the good match.

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    CSK will win it they have something Called "LUCK"

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    On paper both teams r wel balanced both hav some match winning players the team which is calm & composed wil win KKR first time to b in the final so they might be nervous if they held their nerves they can be the title winners fa me CSK has more chance...

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    Go CSK you rule! And you're going to win the IPL. As long as you don't do what DD did: leaving out Morkel was a BIG mistake.

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    the whole world has seen the talent of gayle, narine , bravo and the contribution to the success of the IPL in 2012 and yet the WICB does not see it fit to ensure that they represent the west indies ?..michael holding is right the WICB needs to be revamped...lookin forward to narine sending bravo packing his bags ( like the message bravo gave pollard )

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    I think KKR will win the title. They have the best openner Gambhir and Mccullum. In middle Yousuf, Tiwary & Shakib is very useful. KKR Spin bowling is the best in this IPL. They have Spin Magacian Narine good support by Shakib, Abdullah & Yousuf...

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    Well. Balaji's fitness is a concern. If Balaji is not completely fit, then Brett Lee will come into the side. So, a foreigner has to be sit out. Who it will be ?! None other than Shakib !!! Then, which indian player will replace Shakib ?! All rounder or a Bowler or a Batsman ?! That will be really really interesting.

  • inder0523 on May 26, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    CSK will thump KKR....While gambhir is too serious as captain...He has batted well no doubt about that...But wheneven hes asked about something, look at his expressions....While dhoni is the go to man...Without dhoni i dont see CSK would have qualified for playoffs...He leads from the from & foresee what the batsman is trying to do...Always involved in the game, never say die..Love you MS..Keep rocking...Its the gambhirs n Sehwags who dont do well in test matches & when it comes to ipl start performing..Its time we present opportunities to rahane, mukund...

  • wiseshah on May 26, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    shakib, narine and balaji will be the key. CSK pitch favors spin and CSK spinners are much less quality than KKR. plus if gambhir, mcculum and kallis bats well it will be a good match. CSK is a team with beats and pieces, so many all rounders but no one has single handedly won any match like gambhir, narine, shakib, kallis

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    the best part of the article is " They got enough points, didn't they? And they didn't design the schedule, so they had to hope three results went their way to make the playoffs. And Kings XI Punjab just weren't good enough to beat Delhi Daredevils, and Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore weren't good enough to beat bottom-placed Deccan Chargers. What's luck got to do with it?"

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    CSK have big match players Hussey, Vijay, Raina, Dhoni, Morkel, Bravo and Ashwin. These 7 players have been more than good when it comes to perform in big matches (SF or F). On the other hand, KKR have only 1 gambhir. The main problem with KKR is that their most reliable batsman Kallis has never performed in semifinals and finals (he is from SA & whole world knows SA always choked in big matches)

  • Sankar_CricketManiac on May 26, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Ppl say CSK don deserve this and are just lucky. Do they know that Dhoni has lost tosses in matches than any other captain? And royals and RCB were outplayed by Steyn. RCB are simply chokers (IPL final in 2009, CL final in 2011, IPL final in 2011). Royals lost both to MI and DC. Punjab deserved to lose to DD. CSK had 17 pts. If ppl say CSK lost to Punjab, I m asking is not MSD unlucky to lose toss on a green tinge? But when it came to play offs CSK showed their class. No doubt they are well balanced. Other sides have 1 or 2 match winners, but they are winners as a team. What else u want? Now also because morne din play CSK won right? If then, DD had explosive batsmen than CSK? Why din they win? Still if ppl says its luck, then they don know the meaning of luck. If u still say its luck, then I would say FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE!!.

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Korbo.... Lorbo... Jeetbo... Comeone KKR...Come on.... I m Die-hard fan of KKR for the past two IPL editions... Though i am from Chennai. I dont wanna Team CSK ... Sorry sorry...Team MSD Team winning this title..

    Come on KKR.. Narine, Sakib, Abdullah and Pathan.. i guess winning combination.. Hope to have Aggression of Lee ( loss of Bredon ) well supported by Rajat and Kallis.....

    A Bowling Attack have Varieties and good Mix... So many options as well... KKR.. A team to Beat..

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    The biggest problem for CSK will be Narine if they can get at least run a ball (24) of his 4 and not give wickets to him than CSK is going to win.I hope KKR wins this time around as CSK has been lucky at some ocassions.But KKR has played really well this time so they deserve to win.Best of Luck to both sides.Hope we see a high scoring game.May the best team wins.

  • Samychennai on May 26, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    There won't be any thrill as people are expecting. Final also will go easily on CSK favor. I am not just saying because of CSK fan, the form they got in right time will take them on that stage. Gautam is not a calm captain as dhoni is but his aggressive batting will help for good competition against super kings. Everybody is expecting sunil naraine much but he is going to fail in pressure situation. There is only one advantage for naraine as chennai pitch is giving little bit pounce for the top spin. If gautam is out early then match will go one sided as it happen from last week and there is no tight match sure.

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    InSaLlAh thE cuP WiLl bE in THe Hand,S oF sRk NaRinE WilLbE thE keY foR kKR aND GamBhiR haVe 2 fiRe tiLl 15 ovErS aLl thE beSt kKR...

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Inshallah Yousuf pathan will rock in the final.........

  • eomer17 on May 26, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    KKR definitely deserves it but I guess they will not be able to take the pressure and CSK will make it.CSK has made it to the final cause of some things that have happened shouldnt and wouldnt have happened on a normal day,thats precisely what we call LUCK.its really irritatindg when guys like vijay score 100s,who otherwise looks clueless against decent bowling. if CSK bat first they win,if they chase who knows KKR bowling which has had almost a perfect run this IPL may go wild,& then CSK fans would say that it wasn't luck!!

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    Best of luck to KKR.IPL 2012 Final will be awesome

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    CSK's luck must end tomorrow.... for I being a KKR fan. :D

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    KKR should lose... CSK deserves win. all the best wishes to CSK, as every one want Csk to get a hatrick CSK rocks everytime CAUTION TO ALL KKR FANS: HAVE A TOWEL WITH YOU NOT HANDKERCHIEF AS YOU ALL GONNA CRY AFTER KKR LOSING

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    y Omais Ahmed Shariff : Yes indeed .

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    csk came to playoffs just by luck...............,kkr actually deserves the title

  • on May 26, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    KKR KKR KKR KKR KKR KKR KKR KKR KKR

  • rockyyy on May 26, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    there no point of finals!!!!! after very long season, follow foot ball leagues!!!!! delhi were dominating from the first match, finally they were knocked out!!!!! these finals are only for the cause of money

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    No doubt, KKR will be going into the match as the underdogs. But they have been performing consistently well this year and they deserve to win more than CSK. KKR's victory will make the city of Kolkata and the fans very proud. Lastly, people shouldn't resort to being mean spirited and abusing people on this site. It's fairly easy to take pot shots at others on the net, but it's displays lack of maturity and up bring if an individuals resorts to such practices. Try to respect each other and also Cricketers from other countries. Good luck to both teams.

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Final prediction: CSK bats first and scores 160+. KKR scores 145+ and loses. It's destiny for CSK to make an hatrick.

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Im expecting a good fight between KKR and CSK. It should not be a one sided match, like what we witnessed in last two matches. Team selection and handling the pressue at final is more important especially for Gamhir.As a CSK fan, I want chennai to become the champion for the third time in style.

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Chennai Super Kings have over luck.That is they had to depend on other team for a result favouring them.Against Punjab,it was not good.Adam Gilchrist playeda blinder after recovering from a hamstring.Coming to the playoffs point,CSK were almost knocked out.]

    See the Results: 1. Deccan won against rajasthan in Vizag.It was only the third time they(DC) won in Vizag.Stuning spells from mishra and steyn kept chnnai alive in IPL 5.

    2.Delhi won against Punjab in Dharamshala.Previous game in Dharamshala Kings IX Punjab won against Delhi.It was known that delhi would beat punjab.Because a no1 team against a team wihich has strived throughout nthe tournement.

    3. Deccan won against Bangalore in Vizag.They got just 133 but Dc were good.the second over,Gayle smashed Reddy for 22 runs.By that time onw would have tought CSK would have been knocked.But steyn's deadly spell of 3-8 in 4 ovrs which included 18 dot balls in which of his other six balls only they hit runs and Mishra also was excellen

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    CSK should loose... KKR deserves it...

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    all the good wishes for KKR, as every one wants the new winner this time, Come on KKR

  • pkhunter on May 26, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    WHatever the outcome, hope it'll be a well-matched outing, instead of the polarized humdingers that other semifinals have been..

  • cricksagar on May 26, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    kkr will rock this time...

  • skyeshwin on May 26, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    This will definitely be a thrilling game. If CSK win the toss and play Narine and Shakib well, they will win. Always proud of CSK no matter they win or lose.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • skyeshwin on May 26, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    This will definitely be a thrilling game. If CSK win the toss and play Narine and Shakib well, they will win. Always proud of CSK no matter they win or lose.

  • cricksagar on May 26, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    kkr will rock this time...

  • pkhunter on May 26, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    WHatever the outcome, hope it'll be a well-matched outing, instead of the polarized humdingers that other semifinals have been..

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    all the good wishes for KKR, as every one wants the new winner this time, Come on KKR

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    CSK should loose... KKR deserves it...

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Chennai Super Kings have over luck.That is they had to depend on other team for a result favouring them.Against Punjab,it was not good.Adam Gilchrist playeda blinder after recovering from a hamstring.Coming to the playoffs point,CSK were almost knocked out.]

    See the Results: 1. Deccan won against rajasthan in Vizag.It was only the third time they(DC) won in Vizag.Stuning spells from mishra and steyn kept chnnai alive in IPL 5.

    2.Delhi won against Punjab in Dharamshala.Previous game in Dharamshala Kings IX Punjab won against Delhi.It was known that delhi would beat punjab.Because a no1 team against a team wihich has strived throughout nthe tournement.

    3. Deccan won against Bangalore in Vizag.They got just 133 but Dc were good.the second over,Gayle smashed Reddy for 22 runs.By that time onw would have tought CSK would have been knocked.But steyn's deadly spell of 3-8 in 4 ovrs which included 18 dot balls in which of his other six balls only they hit runs and Mishra also was excellen

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Im expecting a good fight between KKR and CSK. It should not be a one sided match, like what we witnessed in last two matches. Team selection and handling the pressue at final is more important especially for Gamhir.As a CSK fan, I want chennai to become the champion for the third time in style.

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Final prediction: CSK bats first and scores 160+. KKR scores 145+ and loses. It's destiny for CSK to make an hatrick.

  • on May 26, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    No doubt, KKR will be going into the match as the underdogs. But they have been performing consistently well this year and they deserve to win more than CSK. KKR's victory will make the city of Kolkata and the fans very proud. Lastly, people shouldn't resort to being mean spirited and abusing people on this site. It's fairly easy to take pot shots at others on the net, but it's displays lack of maturity and up bring if an individuals resorts to such practices. Try to respect each other and also Cricketers from other countries. Good luck to both teams.

  • rockyyy on May 26, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    there no point of finals!!!!! after very long season, follow foot ball leagues!!!!! delhi were dominating from the first match, finally they were knocked out!!!!! these finals are only for the cause of money