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IPL 2020 Final, Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals preview: Can the big bull be tamed?

Photo courtesy: BCCI/IPL

Following all the glitz and glory of the past seven weeks, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has finally reached its climax. On Tuesday (November 10) evening the Dubai International Stadium will lit up for one last time in this edition of this lucrative championship in order to host the grand finale between the two strongest teams in the competition – Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.

The defending champions Mumbai, by far, has been the stand-out team of this year. The Rohit Sharma-led side has showcased its dominance in every aspect of the game in such a way that now it is widely believed, this Mumbai Indians squad is probably the best T20 franchise side ever.  Their supremacy in the IPL 2020 is also evident from individual stats of the season where Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan are sitting pretty among the top five run-scorers, while Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult are in the list of top-five wicket takers.

And now, it all comes down to one last performance as the most successful franchise in the history of IPL itching to lift its fifth title.

Meanwhile, their opponent Delhi, have been a rejuvenated team this season. Leaving behind all the negativity of past 12 years, this franchise has adopted a fresh approach under the guidance of head-coach Ricky Ponting and it has paid a rich dividends as despite a slump in the middle, the Capitals managed to win nine out of the 16 encounters on the way to their maiden appearance in the final. In fact, during their IPL 2020 campaign they have managed to beat all the teams in the competition, barring Mumbai, against whom they were outplayed thrice.

So, here comes one final opportunity for Delhi to rectify their mistakes and go past the much-fancied Mumbai in this grand finale.

 

Possible strategies:

> The second qualifier (between Delhi and Hyderabad) showed that the Capitals have somewhat found their ideal combination with Marcus Stoinis’ all-round game and ability to open the innings bringing the required balance. Also, Stoini’s bowling allows Delhi to pack their team with some extra batting firepower in the form of  Shimron Hetmyer.


Source: Twitter (IPL)

> In this big game Delhi need its premier middle-order batters – especially Iyer and Rishabh Pant – to put their hands up. Both of them are attacking players but in this edition of IPL their strike-rates do not justify their true potentials. Often they failed to provide the required momentum in the middle-overs and went into a shell. However, on Tuesday both the youngsters need to come out with a much more proactive mindset if they want to put any pressure on this terrific Mumbai bowling attack.

>  Another big factor for the Capitals could be Ravichandran Ashwin’s quality as a Powerplay operator. A crafty Ashwin can always alter the length and outfox the batters. In the final it won’t be surprising at all if the off-spinner gets to bowl as many as three overs in the powerplay.

>  For Mumbai, the only worrying factor is the form of their skipper. Rohit is still recovering from his injury and in the previous few matches he has looked vulnerable against the new ball. Delhi will surly try to exploit this gray area of the defending champions.

> Mumbai’s strength is their power-packed middle-order where they have Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan along with two Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard. More often than not, these players have taken the game away from the opposition  after the powerplay and set up a launching pad for an assault in the final four overs. Hence, if Delhi want to outclass Mumbai, their think-tank needs to find a way to tame this middle-order. Perhaps, they should look to target those attacking players with extra pace and surprise yorkers.


Source: Twitter (IPL)

>  Despite the dew both skippers should ideally look to bat first in this high-pressure game. Remember, both these teams have well-balanced bowling attacks and chasing might not be the much the fancied option.

 

Chatter from the camps:

“The preparations will be the same as usual. When the big games are coming up it is important to stick to your routines. It is a big game, they [Mumbai Indians] are a great team. They’ve been really good, consistent all year. And they’ve beaten us twice. But so did Sunrisers. So we’ll see what happens, we’ll just bring our best brand of cricket. And if we play our best, I reckon that’ll be good enough,” says Marcus Stoinis.

“There will be a psychological advantage, yes. But what we’ve seen in IPL is that every day is a fresh day, every day there is new pressure and ever game is a new game. So you can’t think too much about what has happened in the past. Of course, you can take a lot of confidence from the past. But you can’t dwell on it. You’ve to move forward and think about what you’re going to do in that particular game,” says Rohit Sharma.

 

Head-to-head in IPL 2020: MI have won all the three games that these two have played this season.

 

Best batsmen

MI: Ishan Kishan (483 runs in 13 games), Quinton de Kock (483 runs in 15 games), Suryakumar Yadav (461 runs in 15 games)

DC: Shikhar Dhawan (603 runs in 16 games), Shreyas Iyer (454 runs in 16 games), Marcus Stoinis (352 runs in 16 games)

Best bowlers

MI: Jasprit Bumrah (27 wickets in 14 games), Trent boult (22 wickets in 14 games)

DC: Kagiso Rabada (29 wickets in 16 games), Anrich Nortje (20 wickets in 15 games)

 

Likely XIs

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Marcus Stoinis, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (C), Shimron Hetmyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje

Venue: Dubai International Stadium

Time: 19.30 IST I 18.00 Local

Sandipan Banerjee is a senior cricket journalist with experience stretching across more than a decade. Having founded a number of cricket information resources and prior experience of working in big-ticket events like ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL and ICC Champions’ Trophy; he joined the team at CricketNews.com in 2019 to provide strategic guidance and to assume a brand ambassador role as principal correspondent. Due to Sandipan’s commitment towards the game, it’s safe to assume that if India are involved in a Test, ODI or a T20I, he’ll be there covering the match!

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