IPL 2021 Final: MS Dhoni celebrates record 300th T20 in fourth final with CSK as KKR elect to bowl first

It is a landmark Dussehra and memorable Friday (October 15) for Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni. Not only is Dhoni leading CSK in a fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) but he is also appearing in his 300th T20 game as skipper. However, the former India captain wasn’t as lucky with the toss on Friday as opposite number Eoin Morgan of Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and elected to bowl first in the IPL 2021 Final in Dubai.

Dhoni also revealed that he would have liked to bowl first if he won the toss in the final but opted to go into the contest with the same playing XI which won them the Qualifier 1 over Delhi Capitals.

“We were looking to bowl first as well, initially it stops a bit and as the game goes on it settles down and toss is uncontrollable and we are prepared for both,” Dhoni said at the toss to former West Indies paceman Ian Bishop.

However, the 40-year-old CSK skipper would like to make his 300th T20 game as captain a memorable one by leading CSK to a 4th IPL crown. Second on the all-time list comes West Indian icon Darren Sammy who has lead Peshawar Zalmi, Rajshahi Kings, St Lucia, St Lucia Stars, St Lucia Zouks, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Titans, West Indies, West Indies XI and Windward Islands in the T20 format in 208 matches. Virat Kohli comes on third as he has lead team India and Royal Challengers Bangalore in 185 matches.

“We started T20 in around 2005-06 and most of the games have been franchise cricket and in the last five years there have been a lot of T20 games in international cricket as well. We are playing with the same team. Often what really dictates terms is the result and I feel our international players are equipped to deal with whatever the situation maybe,” Dhoni revealed.

With CSK going into the contest with the same team, it means Suresh Raina or ‘Chinna Thala’ will not be past of an IPL final game with the Yellow Army for the first time. KKR also opted to go into the contest with the same XI which won the Qualifier 2 over DC which means they opted for Shakib al Hasan over Andre Russell.

“We are going to have a bowl, the wicket looks good and there’s some dew around. We are going to give it everything tonight. We are going with the same team,” Morgan said at the toss.

Playing XI:

Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (capt, wk), Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood

Kolkata Knight Riders: Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (capt), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson

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Sagar Biswas

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