IPL 2019: Final, MI vs CSK - Match preview, predicted playing XI and key players
After sweating it out for nearly 6 weeks of cricketing action, 2 teams have made it to the finals of IPL 2019. Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings will take on each other at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Sunday, May 12th at 7:30 pm for what is set to be a cracking finale to a brilliant season.
Mumbai Indians came to the final by beating arch rivals Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier 1 and look fresh and well rested ahead of the final. They will be looking to win their 4th IPL title with a win in this big match.
CSK, had to take a longer route after losing to Mumbai in Qualifier 1. They beat the Delhi Capitals quite easily in Qualifier 2 to advance to the finals.
Both these teams are on three IPL wins each and both of them will be eager to get their hands on the fourth IPL title. This will also be the fourth meeting for Mumbai and Chennai in an IPL final and Mumbai currently have a 2-1 lead, which CSK will want to nullify.
Key Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, and Hardik Pandya
The Mumbai Indians have had multiple batsmen bail them out of trouble this season and having multiple match-winners quashes any reliance they have on a single player and that is the biggest strength of this side. They have a flair for winning the finals and skipper Rohit Sharma will look to correct his poor playoffs record and make a bi score in this final.
Suryakumar Yadav, has been exceptional with the bat and has played the sheet anchor role for the side and scored a sublime half-century to calmly lead the side to the finals. Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard have been a source of firepower in the lower order and the former, especially has looked deadly.
If this batting unit steps up and puts on pedestal a big score, Mumbai will be on the track of acquiring their fourth IPL title.
Key Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar and Lasith Malinga
Mumbai have one of the best bowling attacks in the league and with multiple options available for selection on different surfaces, they are well equipped to deal with a good batting track in Hyderabad. As always, Jasprit Bumrah will be the go-to bowler for skipper Rohit Sharma and he can really rattle the batsmen. Hardik Pandya, with his knack of picking up key wickets is another option to consider.
Mitchell Mclenaghan is expected to play and if he can pick up an early wicket, then will be in deep trouble. Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya have bowled beautifully and on a wicket which supports spin, they will be a factor to consider.
The old warhorse, Lasith Malinga shouldn't be neglected because he has been in this situation on numerous occasions and can turn the match for the side.
Predicted Playing XI
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell Mclenaghan , Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
Chennai Super Kings
Key Batsmen: Shane Watson, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu
CSK's batting finally came good against the Capitals as their openers, Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis got half-centuries and looked in sublime touch. They will want Watson to play another big innings like he did last season and get them the runs in this fixture.
Suresh Raina has been CSK's staple run-getter in playoffs over the years and after a couple of failures in recent games, he will look to fire on all cylinders. Ambati Rayudu too will be key against his former side.
With openers historically not known to shine in this fixture, Rayudu will have to play the anchor role. MS Dhoni will also have a big part to play but he'll hope that his services aren't needed and that his front men get the job done.
Key Bowlers: Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh and DJ Bravo
It has been CSK's bowling that has been saving them all season and Dhoni's tactical usage of the three main spinners to control the middle overs has been CSK's biggest strength. On the biggest possible stage of this tournament, these spinners will be key for CSK and will look to control the Mumbai Indians batsmen.
Harbhajan will look to pick up early wickets and target the left-handers in Mumbai's batting order while Jadeja's main goal will be to stem the run flow. Deepak Chahar will look to bowl tight lines and make the power play as unproductive as possible for the opposition and scalp a wicket or two.
However, the real job will be for Imran Tahir and DJ Bravo. Tahir will look to pick up as many wickets as possible in the middle overs while Bravo has to handle the pressure of bowling to few of the biggest hitters in the world during the death overs.
Predicted Playing XI
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c and wk), DJ Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir.