The 2021 final will be a repeat of the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali summit clash, which saw Karnataka edge out Tamil Nadu by one run in a thriller. In the final of the delayed 2020-21 edition earlier this year, Tamil Nadu had defeated Baroda to lay its hands on the coveted trophy.
Come Monday at the Arun Jaitley stadium, Tamil Nadu will be aiming to exact revenge for its 2019 final loss and defend its title while Karnataka would be hoping to win a third SMA title. And for that to happen, its opener Rohan Kadam, would need to come up with another big knock, like the one he played in the semi-final against Vidarbha.
He and skipper Manish Pandey would be hoping to tame the strong and varied Tamil Nadu attack and give the side a flying start.
However, Karnataka would worry more about its bowling attack, especially the pace unit comprising Vidyadhar Patil (4 wickets so far), V Vyshak (7 wkts) and M B Darshan (6 wkts). It is a rather inexperienced trio but they have done well under the circumstances and carried the team into the finale. They will have their role cut out in the summit clash against a formidable TN batting unit.
Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, has been in good form in the tournament. It has been a team performance thus far with different players contributing at various stages.
Yet, a lot would depend on the start provided by the dynamic duo of N Jagadeesan (163 runs, 1 fifty) and C Hari Nishaanth (177) and how newbie B Sai Sudharsan (173 runs) can build on it.