Kolkata Knight Riders made it to the final of IPL 2021 after beating Delhi Capitals by seven wickets on Wednesday. It was a thrilling encounter that went right down to the last over. Even though the KKR openers got them off to a flying start chasing a paltry target of 136, the middle-order collapsed and that allowed Delhi to make a comeback in the contest. KKR needed six to win off the last two balls and that was when Rahul Tripathi smashed a Six straight over long off to win the match for his team. With this, KKR booked a berth in the final for the first time since 2014. It was a collective effort from the team to make this possible but here we shall take a look at the players who played a major role in paving their road to the final.
Venkatesh Iyer: The all-rounder from Madhya Pradesh changed KKR’s fortunes completely. He wasn’t even in the first team during the India leg of the tournament but he came into the team in the very first match of the UAE leg and made an impact straightaway. Iyer has amassed 320 runs at an average of 40 in the nine matches so far, including three match-winning fifties. He has three wickets to his name as a bowler as well and one of his fifties came in the all important second qualifier on Wednesday.
Rahul Tripathi: KKR have had their issues in the middle-order but Tripathi has been the only consistent player there. He has amassed 395 runs this season at an average of just a shade over 30 and at an excellent strike-rate of 141.07. Tripathi has mixed consistency and aggressive very well and that has given KKR some much needed assurance in the middle-order. And his six to win the match against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday cannot be forgotten either.
Varun Chakravarthy: The mystery spinner has played a pivotal role in KKR’s journey to the final as well. He has been their most bankable bowler thus season. Chakravarthy has a total of 18 wickets to his name at an average of 22.77. Moreover, he has maintained a mean economy rate of 6.40 as well. His ability to keep a check on the scoring rate and pick up wickets at the same time made the KKR bowling quite formidable in the middle-overs.
Sunil Narine: The Caribbean mystery spinner is another player who has been pivotal to KKR’s success this season. Narine has 14 wickets to his name at an average of 23.92 and he has maintained an economy rate of 6.44 as well. His pairing with Chakravarthy in the middle-overs has been terrific as the batters have found them extremely difficult to play. He landed the knockout blow on RCB in the Eliminator as well. Narine picked up four wickets in that match and also scored 26 off just 12 balls.