IPL 2024 final, KKR vs SRH: Starc vs Head 2.0, toss and dew in Chennai - Where will the blockbuster game be decided

ipl 2024 final, kkr vs srh: starc vs head 2.0, toss and dew in chennai - where will the blockbuster game be decided

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer and Sunrisers Hyderabad's skipper Pat Cummins during a press conference on the eve of the Indian Premier League (IPL) final match, in Chennai

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are all set to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 final on Sunday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The two teams finished at the top of the table in the league stage with KKR having secured nine wins, while it was eight for SRH. This will be their third face-off in this season, with Kolkata having emerged victoriously in both matches - one at home in their campaign opener in Kolkata, and the other in Qualifier 1 earlier this week in Ahmedabad. Can Sunrisers bounce back to lift their second IPL title or will Gautam Gambhir-inspired Kolkata silence the SRH crowd for a third trophy?

Ahead of the big game in Chennai, we take a look at the factors that will determine the IPL 2024 final between SRH and KKR…

Win the toss and opt to? What about dew factor?

In Chennai, teams have found it easier to chase, with the defending team having managed to secure just three wins in eight games with the dew playing a critical role. However, the dew factor never showed up in the Qualifier 2 tie between SRH and Rajasthan Royals, which allowed the Sunrisers spinners to dictate the terms in defending their total of 179 with ease.

ALSO READ: Shreyas Iyer drops 'Gautam Gambhir' remark in response to 'media hype' on leading KKR to IPL 2024 final

So, what will the teams opt for after winning the toss? Well, the captains claimed in the pre-game presser on Saturday that they remain indifferent to batting or bowling first in Chennai. Moreover, both teams enjoy batting first, holding a 6-3 record in matches so far. However, SRH have fumbled while chasing, losing three of their six games, while Kolkata are unbeaten batting second.

The general theory remains that in a final, you bat first and put the opponents under pressure chasing. And while team batting first have a 9-7 edge in the IPL final over the 16 years of the tournament, chasing team have emerged victoriously in three of the last four finals played in India, including back-to-back losses in 2022 and 2023.

Handling the powerplay game

The battle between SRH and KKR is likely to be decided in the first six overs of the respective innings. SRH (11.5) and KKR (11) have the highest scoring rate against the new ball. And while the run rate dipped marginally for Sunrisers (10.32) this month, there has been a significant drop for Kolkata (9.24). However, they remain the most destructive side in the powerplay with the bat. Even with the ball, the two have a near-similar economy rate of 8.7 in the powerplay.

In the previous game in Ahmedabad, KKR emerged on top in the powerplay battle with Mitchell Starc pitted against Travis Head, who he dismissed for a duck, thus exposing his vulnerability to left-arm quick, while to tackle the explosive Abhishek Sharma, Kolkata deployed Vaibhav Arora, who targeted the top of off. Sharma was dismissed in the second over by Arora for just three runs.

In response, KKR openers Sunil Narine and Rahmanullah Gurbaz countered Bhuvneshwar Kumar by stepping outside the crease to negate his swing. On Sunday, Pat Cummins could change his attack strategy by sharing the new ball with Jaydev Unadkat, both of whom have a better record against Narine, and store Bhuvneshwar for overs against Shreyas Iyer (3 dismissals, 44 runs, 49 balls) and Venkatesh Iyer (0 dismissals, 30 runs, 31 balls)

Klaasen & Markram vs KKR spinners

KKR have had the best spin attack in IPL 2024 with the pair of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine picking 36 wickets between themselves at a strike rate of 18. In fact, the former has been the second-highest wicket-taker in the season with 20 scalps in 13 innings. While the two will play a crucial role in dictating the game in middle overs, SRH have the South African duo Markram and Klaasen to counter them.

Although Markram has been dismissed twice by Chakravarthy, he has smashed him fir 68 runs in 35 balls. Moreover, Narine has got the better of the right-hander just once in 41 balls. Klaasen, on the other hand, has scored 30 runs in 18 balls against Narine for zero dismissals, and 31 off 15 against Chakravarthy for a solitary blip.

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