Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli
Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli. Credits: Twitter

IPL 2021 is all set to start with the knockout stage as Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kolkata Knight Riders are the four teams to qualify for the playoffs.

CSK will take on table-toppers Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 1 match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. The team that ends up losing will have one more shot to reach the final of IPL 2021.

The new winner has to be either Delhi or RCB: Gautam Gambhir

Two-time IPL champions KKR will clash with Virat Kohli’s RCB on Monday (October 11) in Sharjah to play the eliminator game. The winner of the match will eventually propel to play the second round of Qualifier against the losing team between CSK and DC.

Eoin Morgan, Virat Kohli
Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir, who led the team to their titles in 2012 and 2014, expressed his support for Eoin Morgan & co and welcomed a new winner of the IPL trophy.

“I want KKR to win. My heart says KKR should win, but at the same time, I want a new winner. So the new winner has to be either Delhi or RCB. I want a new winner, and it’s good for the league, the competition, and it’s good for everyone,” Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo. 

KKR spinners to dominate in Sharjah?

KKR’s spin troika of Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Shakib Al Hasan have been exceptional with the ball throughout the team’s comeback in IPL 2021. Shakib played the last two games as a replacement for West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell in the playing XI and could continue if Russel is not fit.

Narine and Chakravarthy have shared 26 wickets between them, with the latter leading with 16 scalps for KKR in the league stage. Gambhir feels the team will be benefitted from their spin attack in Sharjah.

Shakib Al Hasan
Kolkata Knight Riders. Credits: IPL

“Yes, because they are playing in Sharjah. They’ll play their first [playoffs game] at Sharjah, and if they end up beating RCB, they’ll play their next match in Sharjah as well, and that’d probably suit their attack.

“They have got Shakib, Narine and Varun Chakravarthy, and they have got their Indian batting that suits that surface. If they can probably get to 150-160, they’ve got the bowling lineup with Lockie Ferguson, who’s got the pace to defend that total,” Gambhir mentioned. 

KKR were the winners in their battle with RCB as they defeated them by nine wickets in Abu Dhabi on September 20.

Also Read: IPL 2021: Gautam Gambhir Picks Robin Uthappa Over Suresh Raina For The Qualifier Match Against DC