It’s the last ball of the 2019 final. Chennai Super Kings need two to defend their title while Mumbai Indians are looking for a dab ball. Lasith Malinga bowls an ideal more slow one which Shardul Thakur fails to associate and is trapped leg previously. The Rohit Sharma-led MI become champions for a record fourth time.
That final on May 12 in Hyderabad is among the numerous potboilers that CSK and MI have dished out throughout the years in the Indian Premier League (IPL). As the 2020 edition at long last gets moving in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, five months after it was initially scheduled due to Covid-19 limitations, it will be the two best teams in the competition’s history with seven titles between them which will indeed lock horns.
Neither will there be any fans to develop the climate nor is the competition being played in India, however it shouldn’t be an obstacle for an exciting beginning.
Of late, MI have been CSK’s Achilles heel. It was not any more clear than the 2019 season which saw CSK losing every one of the four matches including the play-offs and the final. MI are the only team against which they have lost a larger number of matches than they have won.
This time around, MI will be without Malinga however their core is intact and as coach Mahela Jayawardene puts it they may be “ready for action”. MI will again rely upon Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik and Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard to take them over the line yet they have included firepower as well.
Chris Lynn has been gotten to add some solidarity to the top-order, if MI think-tank chooses to push Rohit Sharma down the order to add stability to the middle-order. The bowling line-up has been tidied up with the expansion of New Zealand’s left-arm quickie Trent Boult, Australia Nathan Counter-Nile, who is a decent hitter as well, Dhawal Kulkarni and James Pattinson (replacement for Malinga).
While MI have been on top of their arrangements since the time they arrived in UAE, same can’t be said about CSK. Their most experienced player and middle-order mainstay Suresh Raina and veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh pulled out of the competition, refering to individual reasons.
Their arrangements took a setback with forefront seamer Deepak Chahar and promising batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad testing positive. Presently the inquiry is whether the ‘Dad’s Army’- – as they are alluded to in light of abundance of 30 or more parts in their squad—will be somewhat under arranged?
The pulling out of Raina, the second highest run scorer in IPL’s history, will be a major hit to their center order. With CSK not selecting to acquire substitutions, at the present time their lone alternatives to fill in for Raina at No 3 are either Rayudu or Jadhav. The other option is Jadhav’s Maharashtra colleague Gaikwad, who is yet to get green signal to continue practice.