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IPL final turns into Dhoni vs Morgan tactical showdown

By , People Daily Digital
Friday, October 15th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
England’s captain Eoin Morgan walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during their World T20 cricket tournament final match against West Indies at The Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium on Kolkataon April 03, 2016. Photo/FILE

Dubai, Thursday

The Indian Premier League final on Friday will be a clash between two of cricket’s finest tacticians when M.S. Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings take on Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders.

Between them they have won every major title on offer.

Morgan led Englad to victory in the 2019 50-over World Cup. Dhoni masterminded India’s wins.

He was India’s captain when they won the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 and the 2011 50-over title.

Neither has been a big run scorer in this year’s pandemic-hit tournament, which forced it to be moved to the United Arab Emirates.

But Dhoni’s Chennai, three-time champions, have been the team to beat this year, the first to make the playoffs.

The 40-year-old, who will be a mentor for India at the T20 World Cup starting Sunday, has been his usual unflappable self as the tension mounts.

“Purely from the captaincy point of view who can handle the pressure best, probably has to be Dhoni,” admitted Gautam Gambhir, the former India batsman who led Kolkata to their two previous IPL triumphs.

Tourney resumption

Morgan’s Kolkata resumed the tournament seventh out of the eight teams, but went on to win five out of seven games to reach the playoffs.

They knocked out Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator and then Delhi Capitals in the second qualifier on Wednesday to reach the final.

Kolkata advisor David Hussey, the former Australian international, said Morgan has made a huge impact on the team’s results, aided by the break during the IPL’s suspension when a coronavirus surge hit India in April.

“I truly believe that Morgan is captaining really well, he’s marshalling the troops, he’s tactically very clever.

The bowling changes have been spot on. I think that’s contributed to our success this time around,” Hussey said after the win over Delhi. -AFP