IPL 2021: Thala Dhoni Back. V Kohli bows out as RCB captain. DC vs KKR fight for Qualifier 2.
A concerted batting effort from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) helped them enter the final of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) with a four-wicket win over the Delhi Capitals (DC) in Dubai on Sunday, October 10.
After winning the toss, CSK captain MS Dhoni elected to chase. The decision didn't bear immediate fruit as Prithvi Shaw scored a blazing fifty before Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer strung together a game-changing partnership. However, calm innings from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa helped CSK get close to the 173-run target before a late blitz from Dhoni took them over the line.
Since the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League, MS Dhoni wasn’t having a great time with the bat in hand. His reflexes came down and he was unable to step on the gas in the dying stages of innings. But on Sunday, the 40-year-old turned back the clock and gave a glimpse of his stupendous self with the bat in hand. The veteran showed that he’s yet to completely run out of gas.
After CSK’s four-wicket win, Dhoni admitted that chasing the steep target against the potent DC attack wasn’t going to be an easy task. “My innings was a crucial one. Delhi has a very good bowling attack. They exploited the conditions well, so we knew it would be tough.
“I’ve not done a lot in the tournament, so wanted to look for the ball and see what the bowler can do. I was batting well in the nets. But wasn’t thinking too much, if you think too much while batting then you mess your plans up,” Dhoni said after the game.
“It was emotionally great for us…. we know the pressure that he is under and the expectations that are on him every time he goes out, and once again, he came up trumps for us. It was emotional in the changing rooms…” CSK coach Stephen Fleming said in a virtual press meet.
It was emotional not just in that dressing room but for everyone watching. He did it all his life. He did it again. Defied all odds, proved his detractors wrong. And just like that, finished another game in his inimitable style. The lion might be old but is a lion nonetheless.
Kohli had announced that IPL 2021 will be his last season as the captain of RCB, having already revealed that he will step down as the skipper of the Indian team in the shortest format of the game after the upcoming T20 World Cup. Virat Kohli's last game in Indian Premier League (IPL) as captain ended in a heartbreaking loss to Kolkata Knight Riders as Royal Challengers Bangalore were knocked out of the ongoing T20 league on Monday.
After the loss to KKR, Kohli said that he has given 120 per cent every year leading the side in IPL.
"I have tried my best to create a culture here where youngsters could come in and play expressive cricket and belief. It is something I have done with Indian team level as well. I have given my best. I don't know how the response has been of that, but I can vouch for the fact that I have given 120% to this franchise every year leading the team, which is something I will now do as a player," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
"Yes definitely, I don't see myself playing anywhere else. To me loyalty matters more to me than other things which from the worldly point of view seem more important. This franchise has believed in me and as I said my commitment is to this franchise till the last day till I play in the IPL," Kohli signed off.
Kohli also thanked his RCB teammates for making the campaign a memorable one for him. The seasoned campaigner suggested that the friendships that have been created among the team members shall remain intact even after the season.
Qualifier 2: DC vs KKR Prediction
It would be another exciting clash on the cards, as Delhi Capitals (DC) takes on former champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2 of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) Playoffs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. While DC is fighting to win its maiden IPL title, KKR aims for its third.
In the second qualifiers to be held tomorrow, the two teams have hardly made any changes in their 11 games. However, Delhi's all-around player Marcus Stoneis and Kolkata's all-around player Andre Russell may return. Any decision about the two players' game will be made after seeing their health before the game.
At the highest level, Delhi also has Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, who are playing cricket. Thanks to Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer, the mid-level team also looks very strong.
On the other hand, KKR, after defeating RCB in the knockout round, the morale of the team will be high, and KKR will hardly make any changes to the team in tomorrow's game. Just like tomorrow's game against RCB, KKR also expects their star all-around player Sunil Narine to perform miraculously in this game.
Probable Playing XIs
Shikhar Dhawan、Prithvi Shaw、Shreyas Iyer、Rishabh Pant（c & wk）、Marcus Stoinis、Shimron Hetmyer、Axar Patel、Kagiso Rabada、Ravichandran Ashwin、Avesh Khan 、 Anrich Nortje。
Kolkata Knight Riders
Shubman Gill、Venkatesh Iyer、Nitish Rana、Dinesh Karthik (wk)、Eoin Morgan (c)、Rahul Tripathi、Sunil Narine、Shivam Mavi、Shakib Al Hasan、Lockie Ferguson/Andre Russell 、 Varun Chakravarthy
The weather in Sharjah would again be sultry, with an expected temperature of 37 degrees and 36% humidity. The track would remain slow as usual, but the shorter boundaries could tempt the batters. IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 - DC vs KKR is about to start !