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We are just moments away from the beginning of yet another El Classico in Vivo IPL 12 when three-time champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings lock horns in the final of the tournament slated to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. After an intriguing battle between the 8 participating teams, we have finally reached the day of the much-awaited final. For the 4th time, it will be a Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings in the IPL final.
There is certainly no doubt about the fact that Mumbai Indians will have a clear edge over Chennai Super Kings after defeating them on all 3 occasions in the tournament before. Over the years, Mumbai Indians has been the only team having a clear edge over Chennai Super Kings with a superior record against them. If you look at this particular tournament, MI has been the better team among the two. However, CSK has the habit of winning big matches. Hence it will be a mouth-watering clash on our hands.
The top order of Chennai Super Kings has faltered all through the tournament with a few innings coming from the top order here and there. The opening duo of Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis finally returned to some run-scoring form against Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 2 which will definitely keep CSK in good stead.
The absence of Kedar Jadhav will hurt CSK as he is a big match player. Ambati Rayudu hasn’t been in the greatest of touches either. Despite all the top order flaws, CSK skipper MS Dhoni has looked in great touch and has been the leading run scorer for them in the tournament. He has also led his troops quite brilliantly as usual and handled his bowlers with perfection.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians have a strong top and middle order and makes them a better team than CSK at least on paper. Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock have got MI off to good starts and it has been Suryakumar Yadav who has done a good job at No 3. Meanwhile, the likes of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard will be the two most important players for MI in the big clash.
The bowling department which has been led by No 1 ODI bowler Jasprit Bumrah has done an admirable job. Lasith Malinga has leaked some runs but has been a wicket-taking option for MI. In the spin department, it has been Rahul Chahar who has done a great job and taken some crucial wickets in the tournament.
It should be a good day for cricket but the worrying signs for the players and the fans will be slight chances of rain during the big match. The temperature is expected to hover in the mid 30 degrees which should be good conditions as far as the prevailing conditions are concerned. There were some signs of rain on the eve of the match and there are chances of some rain even during the final.
The surface at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad has been a friendly wicket for pacers who have returned with a bagful of wickets this tournament. It was in Hyderabad when Alzarri Joseph broke the 12-year record held by Sohail Tanvir of registering the best bowling figures in IPL history. With overcast conditions, we might witness a low scoring thriller in the final.
You certainly cannot predict the outcome of a match especially during a final of the tournament. Though CSK has played some good cricket, they have been beaten by MI on all 3 occasions previously in the tournament. Hence I feel that MI could continue the winning run and go onto lift their 4th IPL title.