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‘We are in the endgame now!’
Through all those nail-biting thrillers, thrilling victories, heartbreaking losses, and after 8 teams competing for over 50 days across 9 different venues, we finally arrive at the climax of India’s cricket carnival. Inarguably, the final is a fight between the best two from the league. While ‘second-half Mumbai’, as they are called, banked on their veterans to deliver, the experienced ‘daddies’ made it count for Chennai. Bouncing back fiercely with the right intent from the shadows of defeat was an art both the teams managed to master. Playing each other for the 4th time in an IPL final, each chasing its 4th IPL title, both teams will glue Indians to television this Sunday.
Likely Playing XIs:
Quinton de Kock(w), Rohit Sharma(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
Chennai Super Kings:
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(c/w), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
Mumbai have got the better of Chennai thrice previously this season and would look to repeat the same this time around. The ability of MS Dhoni, however, to steer his ship against the stream, cannot be overlooked. His blistering form with the bat this season has been a real boost to the team. One often judges a finalist on its past results, consistency through the tournament, and the capacity to turn a match on its head. Both Mumbai and Chennai have evidently proved themselves enough in each of these aspects.
The Hyderabad pitch is known to assist the fast bowlers, and with a rain-threat looming around, toss will play a crucial role in defining results. Having said that, both teams will look to get their A-game into the fray. Watson, du Plessis, Dhoni and Rayudu have all hit purple patches in recent matches for CSK, while MI have continued to rely on Pandya, Pollard, de Kock and Suryakumar for firepower with the bat. The contrasting yet most effective bowling units in Bumrah, Malinga, R Chahar for MI and D Chahar, Tahir and Harbhajan make the battle much more interesting. Let the predictions begin!!
Winner Prediction: Chennai Super Kings