Preview – Strong Mumbai will be confident to surpass defending champions Chennai in IPL final
Defying odds and surprising everyone, defending champions Chennai Super Kings have yet again entered another final of the Indian Premier League – their 8th IPL final in ten years.
Almost every cricket pundit predicted that the Delhi Capitals would win the Qualifier 2 and make it to the finals. But MS Dhoni’s Chennai brought their A game and went on to comprehensively win the game.
Now we are all set to have a mouth-watering Mumbai – Chennai IPL final on the 12th of May at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. This is the fourth time these two teams will be facing off in an IPL final – Mumbai has won two of the three finals between the two.
Mumbai has also beaten Chennai three times already this season. In fact, in their past five encounters, Chennai has just won once against Mumbai – the first game of the 2018 IPL. Hence, Mumbai will undoubtedly begin as overwhelming favorites for the final of IPL 2019.
Mumbai Indians in 2019 look like the strongest they have ever been. They have a robust batting unit with the likes of captain Rohit Sharma, wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav and all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard forming the crux of the batting order and all being in good match-winning form. Their bowling has excellent variety and skill, and it would be difficult for Chennai to tame Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and Rahul Chahar. Even the Pandya brothers have shown good form and are difficult to dominate.
Chennai, though, should be confident after their dominating victory in the Qualifier 2. They would be especially happy with the form of the openers – Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis – both of who got the 50s and posted a solid opening stand for the team for the first time this season. Chennai would still be worried about the uneven form of Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina – both of whom are crucial for the middle-order. Now that Kedar Jadhav has been ruled out due to injury, Chennai are a batsman short and there would be extra onus on captain MS Dhoni to finish the game.
Chennai’s bowling has been better with Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir and Dwyane Bravo doing the bulk of the job.
Despite their thumping win against Delhi, though, Chennai would go into the final being wary of Mumbai and rightly so. Mumbai has dominated this rivalry comprehensively and has won 16 games of the 27 played between the two sides.
Pitch condition and Mumbai v Chennai Prediction:
The pitch at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, is expected to be even with something in it for both the batsmen and the bowlers. The team batting first should get in the range of 160-170. But if the pitch grips, then the spinners would come into play and chasing would not be easy.
Expect a pulsating and action-packed final. These are two IPL giants squaring off once again in the ultimate clash. Both have won the IPL thrice each. And by the end of the final, one of the two would hold the record for most IPL titles. Judging by the form they are in and how confident they look, it appears that Mumbai Indians will be the one to do it. But you can also never count off MS Dhoni from pulling off a surprise and make Chennai Super Kings defend their crown.