So, there they are. Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Playing once again at the Indian Premier League. This time at the final of IPL 2019. Mumbai Indians have won all the three matches they played against their southern rivals this year. But this is final. MS Dhoni is famous for maintaining his cool in the most pressure-mounting instances. Can Rohit Sharma’s men topple Dhoni’s Dads army?
The Skippers’ Battle: Rohit Sharma vs MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni is widely appreciated as the best tactician T-20 has ever seen. Be it in chasing a target or be it marshaling resources to defend a total, there are few men who have the same kind of nuanced understanding that Dhoni possesses about T-20. It often seems like he knows where to knock to open a hard-locked door.
His field-placements are legendary for their immediate impact, while his bowling changes are bulls-eye hits in tactical aiming. It is believed that there is no one close to him in such things in world cricket. But, in fact, it is not true. Rohit Sharma runs him close.
Sharma captains only Mumbai Indians. If there is any better T-20 skipper in world cricket than Dhoni, it is Rohit Sharma. His bowling changes and the ability to motivate players are as good as Dhoni’s, if not better.
He is not in the best of forms in batting. But he is spot on with captaincy. So, both the teams are equal in that aspect.
Head to Head Battle
Mumbai Indians are head and shoulders ahead in this aspect. Of the 29 times these two teams clashed against each other, Mumbai have won 17 matches, including the last three matches in this IPL. Super Kings have won 12 times against MI.
However, if you look only the playoffs matches, CSK have a slight advantage. They have won four, while Mumbai have won only three. They have met in the final thrice, with MI winning twice and CSK winning once.
So, Mumbai have an advantage in head to head battle.
Player to Player Battle
Both the teams have established players; a majority of them are international stars. Mumbai’s bowling attack is more potent. Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga are arguably the finest death bowlers in T-20 history.
Batting-wise, both the teams are kind of evenly matched. Both the teams have their share of top-order problems. But a long and explosive middle order paper over any defect that the batting line-ups have.
The pitch in Hyderabad, where the final takes place, could favor the Chennai Super Kings more. They seem to have better bowlers and better batters to exploit the conditions there. CSK are slightly ahead in this aspect.
Overall, this is going to be a battle of equals. Whoever makes fewer mistakes will emerge victorious.