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Indian T20 League Final Preview: Can Delhi Lift Maiden Title?

The ‘ring of fire’ Dubai will host the much-awaited Indian T20 League final as Team Mumbai will take on Team Delhi in what promises to be a cracker of a contest. Two of the most consistent sides in the tournament will face-off with a chance to script history.

Mumbai are hot favourites to become the first team to win the competition five times while Delhi will be featuring in their very first final of the Indian T20 League. These two teams have met three times in the competition so far with Mumbai emerging on top on every occasion.

If we look at some trends which have followed in the finals of previous years then we’ll see that 8 out of 12 times team batting first won the final. Mumbai’s all four victories in the finals have come batting first. The team batting first won the previous two Qualifiers as well so expect the captain winning the toss to put runs on the board and put the opposition under pressure.

 

KEY BATTLES

Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult vs Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje

In the last 5 matches apart from Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult none of the Mumbai bowlers have picked up more than two wickets highlighting the dependence on this devastating duo. Mumbai’s last four losses including Super Over came when Bumrah and Boult both failed to fire as a partnership. If Delhi are to win this match, then it is imperative that they target these two class bowlers and don’t give their wickets away against them with the new ball.

The contest between Bumrah and Boult against the Delhi top-order will be a fascinating one and expect the Mumbai duo to come out on top.

Delhi’s bowling has been one of the big reasons for the back to back defeats against Mumbai this season. They have just managed to pick eleven Mumbai wickets in total in the three matches they have played against them which is a concern for the Capitals. Apart from Ravichandran Ashwin, all other bowlers have an economy of more than 8.5 which indicates dominance Mumbai batsmen have had over them. The Protea combination of Rabada and Nortje has been a revelation this season and Delhi desperately needs to find their mojo back if they are to win this match.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma’s hamstring injury has been the talk of the town and has spun many heads with confusion. He is fit enough to play for Mumbai but is rested from the limited-overs series against Australia. It is a curious case and one for another blog. His duck in the Qualifier-1 against Delhi means that his poor form continues. In the last five matches, Rohit has scored just 53 runs with four single-digit scores, after scoring 211 runs in his first six matches. So far his form hasn’t affected the team but Mumbai will need its captain to fire in a crunch final match.

 

Shikhar Dhawan

From 16 matches, Delhi have managed to score 160+ in nine innings. In those nine innings, Shikhar Dhawan scored 30+ in seven of them. With 603 runs, Dhawan has contributed with 23.01% to the team’s runs this season. It has been a personal best season for Gabbar and he also scripted history by becoming the first player to score back-to-back centuries in this competition.

He was the difference in the all-important Qualifier-2 against Hyderabad and his half-century ensured that the team posted a massive first innings total. His good form should continue in this match as well he should be able to notch up yet another half-century.

 

PREDICTED LINE-UPS

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

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

 

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