The most intriguing side of IPL vs the most consistent, there’s a lot much to expect from this. The Mumbai Indians will take on the Chennai Super Kings in the all important final that is to be played at the Eden Gardens. Both sides have come a long way leading upto this final. And this is the third time they’re facing in the finals
Both sides have had contrasting starts to life in this edition. Mumbai had lost their first four games meanwhile Chennai had won theirs. However, a sudden upturn in Mumbai fortunes saw them lose only twice in their remaining games, finishing second. Whereas Chennai had comfortably qualified for the playoffs despite some shakeups in between.
The Mumbai Indians have really come a long way to reach the finals. As mentioned above, they had lost their first four games. And injuries to Aaron Finch and Corey Anderson had made it even more tougher to breathe. Then the emergence of Lendl Simmons and Mitchell McClenaghan made the outfit forget about their injury concerns and they got stronger and tougher as the tournament progressed. They won their remaining games, losing only twice (once to Delhi Daredevils and to Royal Challengers Bangalore). The last game of the league stage vs Sunrisers Hyderabad was rated their best performance as a whole unit. They finished second in the league standings and got them a chance to play the qualifier 1 at their home ground. They later defeated the same side they are going to play to qualify for the finals.
Chennai on the other hand started the season brightly, winning their first four games. Often criticised for their slow starts in each season, this season they shunned their critics. But however, their journey started to shake up. They followed an inconsistent run of form of late, losing 5 games in league stage. They however, didn’t have much struggles to qualify as they finished first with ease. They had struggles in the playoffs tho, losing to Mumbai in their first encounter, but winning the qualifier 2 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, thereby qualifying. This is their 6th final in 8 seasons, the more experienced in the two in big games.
These two sides have faced thrice already this season. With Chennai blitzing out in the first game thanks to Dwayne Smith’s quick knock. Mumbai later settled the scores with youngster Hardik Pandya spoiling Chennai’s party, smashing 21* off 8 balls with needing 30 of the last two overs. But leading into the final, Mumbai right now has the upper hand over their arch rivals, winning their third encounter in the Qualifier 1 of the playoffs. They face now for the fourth time in the final, a total of third time in the finals in all the editions of the tournament.
Player to watch out for :-
Mumbai Indians – Rohit Sharma : This man seemingly has a love affair with the Eden Gardens. He smashed his first IPL century, his first test century on debut and also his record breaking double century at this very venue, He even scored 98* in the first match on this ground. But as in an indifferent form of late, Rohit might be looking to get back on track on his favourite wicket to bat on.
Chennai Super Kings : Ravi Ashwin – Despite a slow start in this competition for him followed by an injury, things look pretty neat for him now. He has slowly been getting back to his best through a couple of games and on this turning wicket of Kolkata, he might use his Carrom deliveries to full effect and strike on batsman to help his team.
Probable Lineups : MI : Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Jagadeesha Suchith, R Vinay Kumar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga
CSK : Dwayne Smith, Mike Hussey, Faf Du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Pawan Negi, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra
Like in the past it has been, this time too this promises to be a cracker of a contest. Mumbai chasing their second IPL crown while Chennai chasing their third. Will CSK reign their supremacy or can Mumbai knock them off their perch to win their second title out of nowhere? Only time will tell. Make sure you tune in at 5:30PM (KSA) and 8PM (IST) on Sony Six or whichever channel you can.