IPL 2019 Key Battles
IPL 2019 Final Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings: After enthralling the audience all around the world with their exciting and impactful brand of cricket, it has all come down to the final showdown for the ultimate glory in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). Mumbai Indians will take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash at the iconic Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. Both the sides are set to face each other for the fourth time in the current edition of T20 extravaganza, with Mumbai emerging victorious in all the previous three meetings. As the two heavyweights gear up for another battle, we can anticipate another thrilling contest between tournament’s most successful franchise.
In the 12th edition of IPL, Mumbai Indians have emerged as the most impressive side as they finished the league stages on top of the table. The men in blue continuously produced some scintillating performances both with the bat and ball to dominate the proceedings. RWith match winners like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah in their ranks, Mumbai will be eyeing to register another win over their arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings on the biggest stage. Meanwhile, Chennai have also proved once again why experience is crucial even in the T20 format. Having defeated Delhi in the qualifier 2, the Yellow brigade are all set to play their second consecutive IPL final.
Here we look at the top three key battles which are expected to raise the level of competition in the highly-anticipated clash between MI and CSK:-
Rohit Sharma vs Harbhajan Singh
It’s the battle everyone is waiting for – Rohit Sharma taking on former Mumbai teammate Harbhajan Singh on the biggest stage of T20 cricket. As a skipper and a top-order batter – Rohit is undoubtedly the key player for Mumbai Indians in the slam-bang format of the game. A prolific run-getter, the Hitman is one of the most naturally gifted batsmen in the world. With 390 runs against his name in 14 matches, the 32-year-old will look to put his best foot forward against the arch-rivals in the titanic clash.
On the other side, Harbhajan brings a lot of experience to the table with his presence in the playing XI. From being able to bowl in the Powerplays, the Turbanator has the unique knack of picking up wickets at crucial intervals. The ongoing season has been a fantastic one so far for the legendary bowler and he would look to continue his form in the big encounter versus his old franchise. The 38-year-old has scalped 16 wickets so far at an impressive average of 17.81 and a tidy economy of 7.12.
MS Dhoni vs Jasprit Bumrah
This is another battle every cricket enthusiast will be dying to watch in the big final – world’s best finisher batsman taking on world’s best death overs specialist. A ‘clash for the ages’ it can easily be referred to as. When it comes to white-ball cricket, it is hard to look beyond MS Dhoni’s magnificence, his mind-boggling stats, unmatched skills and illustrious achievements. His ability to perform under pressure is what separates him from the rest when it comes to playing the big matches. After guiding Chennai to their third IPL crown in last edition, Dhoni scripted one of the most fairytale comebacks in the history of T20 cricket. With 414 runs against his name in 14 games, Dhoni has been CSK’s consistent performer in the league so far. His stupendous batting average of 103.51 and strike-rate of 137.56 are also enough to create enough concerns in the minds of the opposition.
Jasprit Bumrah is one name which even the best of the batsmen would fear to face when it comes to the death overs. An unorthodox action, defying all myths and stereotypes, Bumrah has emerged as India’s number one bowler across all formats. His transition from white-ball cricket to red ball has been seamless at the world stage. The 25-year-old has been an invaluable asset for Mumbai since making his debut in IPL in 2013. In the current season, Boom, as he is fondly known as has picked up 17 wickets in 15 matches at a brilliant economy of 6.84.
Hardik Pandya vs Dwayne Bravo
After Andre Russell, if there is one player who has left a huge impact in the glittering T20 festival it has to be none other than Hardik Pandya. The flamboyant all-rounder relishes big occasions and never lets pressure affect his game. A big-hitter and a fast-bowling all-rounder, Hardik ticks all the boxes that a team desires from an all-rounder. With 386 runs and 14 wickets against his name, the Baroda dynamo has all the qualities to make the difference in the titanic clash versus defending champs.
One of the world’s most demanding T20 all-rounder and an irreplaceable asset when it comes to the shorter format – Dwayne Bravo brings with himself infectious energy and Caribbean swagger which is hard to match. Having played plenty of T20 leagues across the world, Bravo encapsulates the knowledge of the game and also has a good grasp on the technicalities of the game. In the ongoing season, the Trinidadian has accounted for 11 wickets and 65 runs. His numbers might not do complete justice to his abilities but only a fool can write off Bravo’s skills when it comes to the T20 format.