Its final time in IPL 2019. The great news for the fans is that the two best teams of the tournament have reached the final stage making for a mouthwatering prospect. These two teams have been by far the best teams in the tournament. MI managed to beat CSK on both occasions they met in the league stage of the tournament. Chennai Super Kings are in great luck to have one of the best captains to have ever graced the game in MS Dhoni leading the side. This in itself is a massive advantage to any team. IPL 2019 has witnessed many great matches played in the league and the knockout stages of the tournament. Great tactics, super performances, great contributions from the young and upcoming players and above all a great setup for the finals with the best teams of the league stage meeting in the finals. Both these teams finished at the top of the points table in position one and two. MI will have the psychological advantage of having won all 3 matches played against CSK in the earlier stages of the tournament. MI reached the IPL finals 4 times before this. They won 3 finals out of those 4 but the only time they lost in the final was against CSK in 2010. CSK has reached the IPL finals a staggering 7 times before 2019 but they have lost three out of their last four finals including two losses to MI.
Mumbai Indians Team Preparations
Mumbai leads Chennai 17-12 in the head to head and they have also won more matches in the recent past. There must be something that worries CSK about MI and this shows in the results in the recent past with 7 losses to MI in their last 8 contests. MI has been consistent in their selections for IPL 2019 and have not gone for frequent chopping and changing. Jayant Yadav who was brought in for the spinner friendly track of Chennai might get replaced with McClenaghan. Rohit Sharma, de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Pandya brothers, and Pollard make up for a powerful batting lineup and they are all potential match winners. But against the spin dominated Chennai bowling attack they will be expecting Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav to stand up. Pollard and Hardik Pandya are both big match players and on the batting surface of Hyderabad, they can come good at any time.
Chennai Super Kings Team Preparations
CSK is Big Daddy’s army and you may call them whatever you wish but they are the team to beat all the time in IPL and this will remain so until Dhoni retires. But they are up against a smoothly oiled MI team who have the formula to beat CSK in recent times. CSK openers du Plessis and Shane Watson performed with the bat in the last match and especially Watson would have felt a lot better with some runs under his belt. Overall the CSK batting lineup remains shaky with many middle order batsmen, not in top form. Raina, Kedar Jadhav, and Rayadu have all been inconsistent in the season. Therefore if the openers fall quickly it is all up to Dhoni and possibly Jadeja to stage a recovery. However, it is their bowling where the strength lies with Imran Tahir being a constant threat. Ravindra Jadeja has given away the least number of boundaries this year in IPL per balls bowled and Deepak Chahar has been the unsung hero of Chennai bowling attack with being the most economical bowler during the power play in IPL. If there is any bowling attack that can subdue that powerful MI batting lineup this is the one.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Hyderabad has a batting friendly wicket with good bounce and the ball comes on nicely to the bat. As the game progresses the spinners will come to the forefront and if there is no dew factor these spinners are sure to impact the game. Mumbai Indians are clearly playing better cricket in the tournament with a better batting lineup and a bowling attack as good as Chennai albeit in a different way. However, you can bet safely on MS Dhoni to lead his side from the front in this match. If he retires after the world cup this might be his last IPL. He is not going to like bowing out with a defeat. But all things considered, I will go with Mumbai Indians for this match.
Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.
Timing: Sunday, May 12, 2019, 7.30 PM IST, 2 PM GMT.
TV: Star Network.
Live Streaming: Hotstar.