A tournament that started nearly two months ago and went on for 56 league games, two qualifiers and one eliminator has now reached its climax! The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 is set for a grand finale, as the Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will battle it out on Sunday night (AEST) at Hyderabad.
Both the franchises are three-time winners of the IPL crown, and they are facing each other in the final for the fourth time. MI have an edge, with two H2H wins in IPL finals compared to CSK’s one. This season has already witnessed three MI vs CSK battles, with Mumbai winning all three, including a comfortable six-wicket win in Qualifier 1.
Mumbai have picked up form in the latter part of this season with six wins from their last eight games including three consecutive wins. Questions remain over the form of Rohit Sharma, but with Suryakumar Yadav (409 runs) rising to the task and Hardik Pandya (SR 193) continuing to excel, Mumbai look a settled unit.
All of their five regular bowlers have contributed at least 11 wickets and three of them have an economy rate of under seven runs an over. Mumbai Indians also bring happy memories of the venue, having trumped SRH by 40 runs earlier this season.
The defending Champions are at the other end of the form spectrum, losing five of their last eight IPL games. However, captain MS Dhoni will be buoyed by the fact that his openers Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson have come into form with their match-winning knocks against Delhi Capitals.
The spinners have been ruling the roost for Chennai, with as many as 60 wickets among them. Imran Tahir (24 wickets) has a great chance to bag the ‘Purple Cap’, and will look for assistance from the Hyderabad pitch.
Hardik Pandya has 386 runs this season at a strike-rate of 193. Most of his runs have come at crucial times and that adds more value to his presence in the side.
Imran Tahir had figures of 4-0-20-2 in his outing against SRH at this venue earlier this season. In three matches againet MI so far this season, Tahir had picked up four scalps.
Faf du Plessis is a ‘crisis player’ for CSK, having pulled them out of the woods many times. With a career average of 35.34 as a CSK opener, Faf is the right guy to give them strong starts in the first six overs.
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