posted on 2019-05-11 19:49:37
posted by Michael Harrison
Mumbai Indians: R Sharma, Q de Kock, S Yadav, I Kishan, K Pollard, H Pandya, K Pandya, R Chahar, M McClenaghan, L Malinga, J Bumrah
Chennai Super Kings: S Watson, F du Plessis, S Raina, A Rayudu, MS Dhoni, R Jadeja, D Bravo, D Chahar, H Singh, S Thakur/M Sharma, I Tahir
Familiar foes, familiar sub-plots. The Dhoni-Bumrah duel and how CSK deal with Malinga will be crucial.
Nothing is bigger than the grand stage of a final in any tournament and when you have two absolutely fiery sides battling it out, it doesn't get any better. Hunting for a record-breaking fourth IPL title are the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, both of whom are locked at three apiece at present.
Through the annals of IPL history, there hasn't been a more consistently dominant side than Chennai Super Kings. Their arch-rivals have the same number of trophies but the feat of having reached the playoffs in every season that they've played in, belongs solely to MS Dhoni's men.
Unlike the 2018 season when it was a fairytale return with plenty of humdingers, CSK's campaign this year had two contrasting halves. In the first eight games, they were like a bullet train that seemed unstoppable, notching up seven wins. Over the next few weeks including Qualifier 1, the defending champions had just two more wins.
Pressure was definitely mounting in Qualifier 2 for the Super Kings but they once again showed the benefits of age, a criteria that many thought will put them off last year too. Old people on the park can mean a lapse in fielding but it also brings experience and that is a priceless commodity under pressure.
The reigning champions thoroughly outplayed a young Delhi Capitals bunch to book their spot in the final. While the batting has been overdependent on MS Dhoni this year, the likes of Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson contributing will boost the Yellow Brigade ahead of the summit clash.
With the bowling attack consistently having punched above its weight under Dhoni's captaincy, CSK have managed to paper the batting cracks. To win a final though, they need to tick all boxes. Especially against a side like Mumbai Indians. CSK might field an unchanged XI with the only possibility being of Mohit Sharma replacing Shardul Thakur.
Mumbai Indians are known for their inhuman temperament and that explains their ability to constantly bounce back at the back end of the season. It wasn't needed this year though, as MI were more or less consistent from the word ago and peaked well as the tournament progressed, eventually topping the table in the league stages.
With a balanced squad for all conditions, MI are certainly the most rounded side of the competition at present. Add to this a highly informative backroom staff who know the A-Z of analytics and you have a formidable side who know to raise their game in crunch situations. In other words, the perfect match for a side like CSK.
The middle order has been underwhelming this year for MI and it's taken a heroic season for Hardik Pandya to cover up the flaws in that department. Quinton de Kock's terrific run at the top has been the other major plus and the duo's performances have ensured that Rohit Sharma's moderate season hasn't affected the team's fortunes.
The MI skipper however, has found form at the business end of the tournament and although he failed in Qualifier 1, everyone is aware of the threat he possesses. Suryakumar Yadav's form will also have calmed the dressing room and now if the middle order can get its act together one final time, MI could be hard to stop.
Bowling-wise, the Blue brigade have a terrific balance in the squad, meaning they can adapt to any kind of surface provided to them. So, while Jayant Yadav featured on a rank turner in Qualifier 1, he is likely to make way for Mitchell McClenaghan for this summit clash in Hyderabad.
For more info, read: https://fancode.com/cricket/mi-vs-csk-final-point-projections-teams-and-grades/
Odds and Predictions
It's the ultimate clash of the season and a high-voltage one at that. With both sides well-equipped to deal with pressure, it's a hard one to predict. In head-to-head during finals, MI have a 2-1 advantage and haven't lost to CSK this season. However, Rohit Sharma's men are also coming after a four-day break while CSK have some fresh momentum after their Qualifier 2 win over DC. This is a tough one to call but considering that the desperation might be a trifle higher in the Yellow camp (due to their recent record against MI), it's 52-48 in favor of the Super Kings to lift their fourth IPL title.