Kohli, who has decided to step down from RCB captaincy at the end of the ongoing IPL, has led his franchise to the final once – 2016 – besides taking it to the play-offs twice – 2015 and 2020. So, the 32-year-old would be eager to finish on a high in his last hurrah as captain.
English skipper Morgan would hope to add a third trophy to the KKR cabinet, which currently has two titles that were won by Gautam Gambhir in 2012 and 2014. To achieve glory, both captains will have to overcome three hurdles, first of which is the Eliminator. The teams are evenly matched in terms of personnel and head into the fixture following wins in their respective final round-robin matches.
But, past records will count for little and it will boil down to winning the crunch moments. Bangalore possesses a formidable batting line-up that includes Devdutt Padikkal, the in-form Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers besides Kohli.
Wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat played a match-winning knock against Delhi and would have his eyes on another good innings.
The form of Daniel Christian and George Garton is a concern, but death overs specialist Harshal Patel has been simply sensational. With experience under their belt, pacer Mohammed Siraj and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal too will look to deliver an impressive show.
Kolkata too has been well served by its bowlers. The pace duo of Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi is at the peak of its game while spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine have been consistent. In the batting department, Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana will hold the key. Morgan and Dinesh Karthik will have the duty of providing a fine finish to the KKR innings.