KKR Vs SRH, IPL 2024 Final: Three Key Player Battles To Watch Out For

Kolkata Knight Riders' in-form bowling is likely to test Sunrisers Hyderabad's red-hot batting line-up in what promises to be an enthralling finale. Check out three key player battles that could spice up the KKR vs SRH, IPL 2024 title clash

Shreyas Iyer and Pat Cummins, IPL 2024 final eve, Chennai, BCCI photo
Captains Shreyas Iyer and Pat Cummins pose with the Indian Premier League 2024 trophy ahead of their final clash in Chennai. Photo: BCCI/IPL

It all boils down to this. Seventy three matches, two months and eight ousted teams later, the Indian Premier League grand finale awaits in Chennai. And just like in another marquee title clash last November, an optimistic Pat Cummins will stride out for the toss with his eyes on the prize. (Prediction | Stats Preview)

The Sunrisers Hyderabad captain had led Australia to a seemingly unlikely ODI World Cup title in Ahmedabad in 2023. The triumph broke Indian hearts, but also underlined the Aussie skipper's ability to seize the moments that matter.

The ability was evident in his leadership during the Qualifier 2 against Rajasthan Royals, and will also be needed against Shreyas Iyer's Kolkata Knight Riders in the final. KKR have emerged as the team to beat in the latter phase of the competition, and will push the Sunrisers to their limit in the battle for glory.

Before the KKR vs SRH match begins at Chepauk, here are three key player battles to watch out for.

Travis Head Vs Mitchell Starc

Like Cummins, his Australia teammate Travis Head too has a history of performing exceptionally well in big knockout games - the World Test Championship final and 2023 ODI World Cup semi-final, final being a few exhibits. On top of that, the southpaw has been in rip-roaring form this IPL season.

But Head has only faced his compatriot Mitchell Starc once in a T20, and that was in Qualifier 1 when Starc cleaned him up for a second-ball duck. Will the left-arm seamer use this opportunity to justify his hefty price tag again? We shall find out soon.

Abhishek Sharma Vs Andre Russell

Head's opening partner Abhishek Sharma has also been going great guns with the bat in IPL 2024, but it was with the ball that he unleashed magic in Qualifier 2. The hard-hitting left-hander became SRH's unlikely spin hero alongside Shahbaz Ahmed as he choked the run flow and picked up two Rajasthan Royals wickets.

Though the final will held at the same venue as Qualifier 2 - MA Chidambaram Stadium, Abhishek will be daunted by the prospect of bowling to the aggressive Andre Russell. The West Indian doesn't have much runs under his belt this season, but his seam-up deliveries could pose a bigger threat to young Abhishek. Russel has dismissed the SRH opener twice in 12 balls in the past and will be seeking a third scalp on Sunday.

Sunil Narine Vs Pat Cummins

Another West Indian to take the world of T20 cricket by storm, Sunil Narine has evolved into one of the most versatile yet successful players in the format. Having originally earned his stripes as a mystery spinner, Narine has grown into a dangerous batter who can demolish bowling attacks in the Powerplay.

The 36-year-old all-rounder will pose a similar challenge in front of Cummins, but expect the SRH skipper to take it head-on. The beauty of this match-up is that it can manifest itself in more than one way. Narine's off-spin could also test Cummins as a batter, should the Aussie all-rounder be needed to add a few vital runs down the order.