Mumbai Indians have beaten Chennai Super Kings in previous three encounters in the 2019 Indian Premier League. (Image credit: Twitter)
The final of the 2019 Indian Premier League is getting the ultimate blockbuster. Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will square off in yet another chapter in this rivalry which has been dubbed as the ‘El Clasico’ of Twenty20 cricket. It will be a clash between Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni – two of the most astute minds in the game. Rohit and Dhoni are tactically brilliant and heading into this contest, the number four holds a special significance for both sides in their quest to domination. Both Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians are gunning for their fourth title. This is the fourth encounter in the finals between these two sides and this is also the fourth encounter in the 2019 edition.
Mumbai Indians are the only team to have beaten Chennai Super Kings in three matches in this edition and this is reflected in their positive head-to-head record which stands at 16-11 in Rohit’s favour. Dhoni has been unable to break the Mumbai Indians code in the last five games. In the previous encounter between the two sides, Dhoni was critical of how the batsmen failed to capitalise on the powerplay while he also said that the team had misread the conditions. Heading into this contest, Mumbai Indians have history on their side as well, having emerged victorious in two out of three encounters in the final.
Rohit’s side is strong on the batting and bowling fronts. Rohit and Quinton de Kock have been in great touch at the top while Suryakumar Yadav’s form in the middle order gives them added stability. Kieron Pollard has always hurt Chennai Super Kings in the final but it is Hardik Pandya’s all-round show that gives the side the X-factor. Add Jasprit Bumrah to the mixture and the team is lethal.
For MS Dhoni’s Dad’s army, they have once again shown that class is permanent. Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh have been the standouts for the side but the batting is a bit dodgy, with Shane Watson still not showing his old form despite an aggressive fifty in the second qualifier against Delhi Capitals. Faf du Plessis has been in great form but the middle order is a bit of a worry. If Dhoni gets going in style, then the batting will get a big boost.
In a big game, both teams might be tempted to not make any changes. Barring, injury, the squad for both the sides could be the same.
Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir
Mumbai Indians (Playing XI): Quinton de Kock(w), Rohit Sharma(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Who will win?
This one will be a tough call as Mumbai Indians look the favourites on paper due to a strong batting and bowling combination. However, Chennai Super Kings bring their A-game to the fore in big moments and they have the capability to snap their losing streak against Rohit Sharma's side.
Weather and pitch
Hyderabad is hot and humid at this time with the night temperature expected to reach 27 degrees. There might not be much dew to aid the batsmen.
Stadium and timings
The final will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium and it will start at 7:30 PM IST.