Every fight has an end. IPL 2019 is no less than a fight where eight teams give there best to get the title. This season, if you will move your eyes over tournament points table, you can get a sense of competitiveness and dedication by all the teams. The whole IPL 2019 journey was no less than a bumpy ride for the teams.
Last season’s bottom team has shown their best side whereas some teams lost their momentum in the middle despite a good start. But all have given tough fights to their opponents. That is why you can observe a sound and steady points table. It is the first time in IPL history; the bottom team has a two-digit point and is only 7 points far from the top team’s point.
Road to the finale
MI’s journey has an unsteady start and stereotypically was late to put a spurt on, whereas CSK’s ride was smooth at first but bumpy through the middle of the league. Dominating MIs have posted a 3-0 win over the CSK in this season and has clear confidence for the finals as they are going to face the same team again. But coach Stephen Fleming alluded the same idea by saying: “ We’d love to have another go at it, win 1 out of 4 because it will be a good one.” By close observation of first seven matches, this season one must say Chennai was true to their title of defending champion, winning 6 out of 7 games.
Whereas MI was like exactly the opposite of what CSK achieved. They found trouble in the first half of the league and had four wins From seven games. One can say this IPL season was a game of NRR. CSK could finish the qualifiers being second in the points table just because of NRR, though they have three wins in the last seven games.
Team’s readiness for the final act
After winning the first qualifier, MI has had a mini break which could be an advantage for the team. They will come up with a solid strategy to take down CSK. In the first qualifier against CSK, on a spinning chepuak pitch, MI’s move to bring an off-spinner Jayant in the team worked so well. Jayant was able to claim Rain’s wicket in first over. So it would be an ideal decision to go with the same team. But this time the pitch is different so are conditions. In the Hyderabad pitch this year, fast bowlers have performed well. SRH’s left arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed’s number (10 wickets in 4 games) says it all. So we can expect McClenaghan in the MI squad.
Probable MI squad
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
CSK’s batting finally came good against the Capitals as their openers, Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis got half-centuries and looked in sublime touch. They will want Watson to play another big inning like he did last season and get them the runs in this fixture. It has been CSK’s bowling that has been saving them all season and Dhoni’s tactical usage of the three main spinners to control the middle overs has been CSK’s biggest strength. On the biggest possible stage of this tournament, these spinners will be key for CSK and will look to control the Mumbai Indians batsmen.
Probable CSK squad
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c and wk), DJ Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir.
Facts you can’t ignore
- MI has 16-11 head to head tally against CSK, 2-1 advantage in finals
- CSK have won 12 out of 16 tosses this IPL
- In Hyderabad, this season MI had a bad experience with poor batting performance, lost their way early while trying to bring acceleration in the game.
- CSK didn’t enjoy batting either. They just couldn’t cope in Hyderabad through middle overs.
So it is going to be a fair game for the rivals. This Sunday, both the teams are looking forward to going one up on each other and has a golden opportunity to hug the title.
VIVO IPL 2019 GRAND FINALE MI vs CSK
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Broadcasting Partner: Star Sports
Live Streaming: Hotstar