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New  "IPL 2024 Final Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

Twice, he managed to nudge the opposing captain - Rohit Sharma both times - out of the crowning glory frame a little over 24 hours later. Sundays summit clash is a locking of horns between two unusual suspects. Neither is gunning for a record sixth title to lord it over the other with five, while the most incredible redemption arc of this season too died at the doorsteps of the final. Instead we have two cold, calculative batting behemoths who have written and rewritten standards for this season. The array of batting talent that will take the field is only part of why Sundays game will be a spectacle. A title tussle between two teams with middling, nondescript identity for two-thirds of this cycle makes for a fascinating sub-plot. After successive finishes in the lower half of the table, something had to give for both franchises. Their trophy cabinets werent empty, but had been sealed shut without an addition for too long. KKR delved into the depths of their success from a decade ago to bring back an old messiah in the anticipation of his tales and tactics sparking new life. SRH punted on a recent trophy-glutton to flip their fortunes around. As the last two months have shown, both Gambhir and Cummins have been inspired acquisitions. On the field too, the narratives run deep and criss-cross. They might strut about with identical batting philosophies, but the bowling ideas and the weaponry could not be more different. The two teams played out a one-sided Q1 just days ago, but should take nothing of it into Sunday. Against a lesser-fancied Cummins team with a trophy at stake, Shreyas will perhaps be watching over his shoulder for that dreaded nudge. When: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2024 Final, May 26, 07:30 PM IST Where: MA Chidambaram stadium, Chennai What to expect: The uncertainty of dew. It stayed away just two nights ago in the second qualifier but what transpires on Sunday is unknown. Even Pat Cummins admitted there wasnt a way of making an educated guess about its arrival or otherwise. The final will be played on pitch #4, a red soil wicket. Its the same pitch where CSK lost to PBKS at the start of this month, with Punjabs spin pair of Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar picking 4 for 33 in 8 overs between them. On that day, PBKS were assisted by dew in their chase of CSKs 162/7. A spell of steady showers swung the ground staff into action on Saturday evening and cut KKRs practice session short but the forecast for match day appears to be clear. Head to Head: KKR 18 - 9 SRH. Team Watch: Kolkata Knight Riders Injury/Unavailability: Q1 winners have no absentees from the squad that beat SRH four days ago. Tactics & Match-ups:KKR have already got a taste of taking out SRHs openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma early to devastating effect. Round 2 of Starc vs Head could be a great start to the final, even as the latter has been effective against left-arm pacers. Should the KKR top-order have an off-day, Andre Russell's abilities against the majority of SRHs bowling attack will be the way out for the two-time champions. Russell has taken on Bhuvneshwar Kumar the most of the lot, hitting 97 off 37 balls in the IPL. Against Natarajan, SRHs best bowler this season, he has smashed 43 off 26. Jaydev Unadkat has been taken apart for 24 in just 9 balls. Probable XII:Sunil Narine, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Ramandeep Singh, Mitchell Starc, Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy [Impact substitute: Anukul Roy/Nitish Rana] Sunrisers Hyderabad Injury/Unavailability: Nothing new to report for SRH since the second qualifier.


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