CSK vs MI: This IPL has been the most unpredictable one. SRH made it to the playoffs with the lowest points ever in the IPL, while the difference between the top team and bottom one has been a mere 7 points, least in all seasons. RCB recorded the highest number of consecutive defeats but rose like a phoenix making everyone wonder if they could make it to the playoffs. After 59 games, when the dust settled, we now have the 2 teams, which seemed like an obvious choice towards the start of the tournament.
The final is between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. While CSK has been to the finals more than any other team, MI equals the record for highest title wins, with the former. With this victory, one team will strip the other off the title of highest title winner. We couldn’t ask for a more exciting finale.
THE STORY SO FAR…
Talking about this season specifically, Chennai Super Kings have been a more balanced side. They dismantled the opposition in every game with a strong batting and bowling attack. However, they turned blue in games against Mumbai Indians. Mumbai Indians have beaten CSK on all three occasions, this IPL season. To add to CSK’s woes, none of the three defeats against MI have been close ones; they have all been comprehensive victories for MI.
CSK faced MI 5 days ago in MA Chidambaram Stadium, where the hosts conceded a victory to the opposition. However, CSK bounced back from that performance in the second qualifier game against Delhi Capitals. CSK restricted the opposition to 147 and chased that total in 19 overs with 6 wickets in hand. The victory against the inform DC may give the men in yellow, the much-needed confidence before they go into the game against MI.
The two teams will face each other at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium to fight the biggest battle of this season for the coveted trophy. Who will it be?
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The track in Hyderabad been very unpredictable. What started off as a batsmen’s paradise, turned into a slower track mid-season and then back to supporting batsmen. While the highest score of the tournament was recorded at this ground, with SRH putting a total of 231 runs against RCB, this ground has also been the home to best bowling figures of the tournament by Alzarri Joseph, who claimed six wickets for 12 runs. The team winning the toss should opt to bat first, as out of the seven matches played at RGIS, four were won by the team, batting first.
The forecast eliminates the possibility of rain during the course of the match. The temperature is expected to hover around 30 and 35 degrees Celsius. The humidity is forecasted to be under the 50 per cent mark, hence limiting the role of dew in the game.
Mumbai Indians have won majority of the 29 games they played against Chennai Super Kings. MI have won 17 games, while CSK have 8 wins to their name. Although MI have more victories to their name, CSK have a reputation of putting up special performances and coming on top, in games that matter. The teams haven’t faced each other on RGI Stadium, as yet.
Matches this year
Mumbai: MI won by 37 runs
Chepauk: MI won by 46 runs
Chepauk(Qualifier 1): MI won by 6 wickets.
Jayant Yadav may make way for Mitchell McClenaghan, given the nature of the track. The onus will be on Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, who have been consistent in the tournament so far. If they manage to put a good start, it may reduce the pressure off the middle order batsmen. Ishan Kishan, who put up a good show in the last match against CSK, will play a critical role for his side. The pace department for MI seems strong with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Chennai Super Kings
Contrary to popular opinion, Dhoni has been pitching for a team with stronger bowling XIs. He had recently stated that the CSK needs six bowlers and as a result, Mohit Sharma may come in place of Shardul Thakur. In recent games, CSK’s opening pair has been putting up a consistent performance, which is a big relief for the team and the middle order batsmen. Chennai, possibly has, the best bowling side in this season. With Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan and Tahir all in good form, they could restrict MI batsmen to low totals.
Probable XI: Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur/Mohit Sharma, Imran Tahir
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
Rohit Sharma- Mumbai Indians
Although Rohit put up a rather disappointing performance in the last game, having gone out for a mere 4 runs, he has been one of the most consistent players for the side. He has scored 390 runs at an average of 30, in last 14 matches. His team will look for him to deliver, taking the pressure off the middle order.
Faf du Plessis- Chennai Super Kings
Faf du Plessis who helped CSK steal a victory in the second qualifier game will be the player to look forward to, in this game. He is coming into this game very confidently, having won the title of Man of the Match in the last one. In his last four matches, Faf has scores of 39, 96, 6 and 50.
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAM FOR MI vs CSK GRAND FINALE
Suresh Raina has been a big match player for CSK & has the record for most runs in IPL finals. Considering this will be their 8th IPL finals, the list is topped by CSK batsmen.
Suresh Raina – 241 runs with a strike-rate of 159
Murali Vijay – 181 runs, S/R: 147
MS Dhoni – 178 runs, S/R: 142
Chennai have played 7 finals so far. They’ve won 3 & lost 4.
Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, have beaten CSK twice in the finals. If they beat CSK in the night of the finals, it’ll be for two consecutive years that a team will go down 4 times against the same oppositions. CSK beat Hyderabad 4 times last year before lifting the IPL title.
Chasing hasn’t been the safest option in IPL finals. The teams batting 1st have won 63.60% of the games.
Rohit Sharma -4(Once with Deccan Charges, thrice with Mumbai Indians), Harbhajan Singh & Ambati Rayudu – 4(thrice with MI & once with CSK) will be chasing their 5th IPL title.
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 19:30 IST
The prediction is for the team, batting second to win the match.
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