Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir has not been very impressive in the tournament so far, scoring 84 runs from five innings at a below-par average of 16.80 © IANS (File Photo)
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir has not been very impressive in the tournament so far, scoring 84 runs from five innings at a below-par average of 16.80 © IANS (File Photo)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will take on the mighty Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final match of the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 to be played at Bangalore on Saturday. This will be the second time these two teams will clash in the CLT20 2014. Last time the two teams played at Hyderabad on Sep 17 and KKR eased to a three wicket victory. But this time will be different and more exciting. Bangalore track is known for being a batsman’s paradise and these two Indian Premier League (IPL) teams will have to fight it hard for the CLT20 2014 trophy. Varun Arora looks at the KKR likely XI for the finals against CSK.

Top Order: Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have been erratic in CLT20 2014. Uthappa played a scintillating innings against Dolphins when he powered his way to an unbeaten 85 and Gambhir got a half-century against Lahore Lions but overall both of them have looked sluggish at the start. KKR have always had an easy win when these two players have fired, so they both will be prove to be an important factor in the overall result. Jacques Kallis is a calm character and if he gets in to the act, he will win the match for KKR. Kallis showed his class against Hobart Hurricanes when he held his nerves and anchored KKR for an easy finish.

Middle Order: KKR middle-order has been the star for the team. If the top order fails to click the middle-order somehow pulls out the team from the jaws of defeat. Surya Kumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate are all hugely talented batsmen and posses the talent to fire for the team when needed. Ten Doeschate stood up against CSK in the first match, Yadav played a swashbuckling innings against Perth Scorchers and Pandey was phenomenal in the first semi-final. They all have taken their individual share of responsibilities and have proved there calibre in crunch situations. KKR will need them to deliver in the final showdown on Saturday.

Bowling Attack: The silver lining of KKR’s bowling attack, Sunil Narine will be missing from the line-up after he was barred due to a suspect bowling action. Narine holds a poor record in the finals he has played for KKR but his absence will still hamper the psychological advantage which KKR carried after winning 14 matches on a trot. Australian fast-bowler Pat Cummins was quite ordinary in the first two matches but he is most likely to fill in the void created by Narine’s absence.

The spinning department will be taken over by Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav- the two spinners from Uttar Pradesh. Yadav has been a great discovery in the CLT20 as he spun the ball with utmost poise and most batsmen failed to crack the Yadav code. The new ball will be shared by Pat Cummins and the Jamaican lad, Andre Russell. Russell was quick, lethal and bowled like a genuine fast-bowler. He will be quite important weapon for KKR with the bat.

KKR likely XI: Robin Uthappa(wk), Gautam Gambhir(c), Jacques Kallis, Manish Pandey, Ryan ten Doeschate, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Varun Arora is a reporter with CricketCountry. He started as a medium-fast bowler, converted to an opening batsman but finally settled with his passion of writing about the game. His Twitter handle is @varunjgd)