Little less than two months later, the Rohit Sharma-led side will be a confident bunch as they gear up for the summit clash, this time against the Delhi Capitals (DC), who will be making their debut appearance in an IPL final.
DC's success story is one that has changed the dynamics of IPL 2020, and from bowing out of the competition last season to making the last two this year, the Capitals seem to be reaping the rewards of their consistent performances.
In the eyes of a neutral cricket fan, it's only fitting that the two teams which finished in the top two positions of the points table are playing the IPL 2020 final. And yet, MI and DC's paths to the summit clash have been quite different.
While MI had sealed the top spot on the IPL 2020 points table even before their final group stage match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), DC faced a must-win situation against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to make the top two.
DC coach Ricky Ponting might even be lucky to have his fingers intact given the way the Capitals fell to two massive losses against MI in the recent past. First in their penultimate group stage match (9-wicket loss) and most recently, in Qualifier 1 (57-run loss).
And while DC skipper Shreyas Iyer claimed that making the IPL 2020 final was the "best feeling ever", the 25-year-old has an uphill task of infusing confidence in his wards to upstage a confident MI unit.
IPL 2020: MI v DC Match Prediction
If one was to look back at the last couple of games contested between these two sides, MI's bowling unit pushed the Capitals to a point of no return, and that will be an issue that DC need to address in today's game.
DC only managed to score 110/9 and 143/8 in their previous encounters against MI, and with the Indians' pace attack only getting better with each game, the Capitals have a tall task of negating the new-ball threat.
Shikhar Dhawan's form at the top of the order has, in a way, shielded the inconsistency in the rest of the batting unit in IPL 2020. Rishabh Pant's tapering form, Iyer's inability to put up a big knock have dented DC's campaign, but they will take heart from Marcus Stoinis and Ajinkya Rahane's recent form.
On the other side of the fence, skipper Rohit's poor form is probably the only concern for MI, given his single-digit scores since his return from an injury. Whether the Indians go back to the successful pair of Quinton de Kock-Ishan Kishan at the top of the order and accommodate Rohit at No.3 will be in focus, but with Suryakumar Yadav making that position his own in IPL 2020, that seems a distant possibility.
Arguably one of the biggest challenges for DC today will be to dent the MI engine room, with Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and to an extent, Krunal Pandya, taking the bowlers to the cleaners in the slog overs.
And while DC's double-barreled weapon in the form of the Kagiso Rabada-Anrich Nortje pair has been used to make a telling impact, the inability of both the pace unit and spin contingent to combine and cause issues has been well documented.
To stop an MI side capable of amassing 200 despite Rohit and Pollard scoring ducks, DC will need to stitch together individual performances and present themselves as a force to reckon with.
As for MI, they're a side which knows what it takes to win an IPL title, for they've got their hands on the silverware four times in the tournament's history. While it's not a surprise that MI are early favourites, DC certainly aren't pushovers, and the latter will be eager to finally have something to show in their trophy cabinet.
Considering MI's domination over DC this season (3-0 in favour of the Indians), the Capitals might just need to wait a little bit more before they win their maiden IPL trophy.
Prediction: MI to win today.Published 10 Nov 2020, 10:51 IST