Here we are. 59 matches done. 10 venues as hosts. Thousands of miles covered. 149 players fighting tooth and nail to enable their team a shot at the trophy. 50 days from the start and only 2 teams remain. Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad – leaving 47 players a chance at glory and 22 players to achieve it. In many ways, this final was meant to be. The best batting side and the best bowling side. The oldest side and the youngest side. The experienced side and the relatively newer side. The yellow brigade and the orange army.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings have made it a habit to reach the final. It is often said that IPL is a tournament where 7 teams fight to meet Chennai Super Kings in the final. As a person who has played 7 IPL finals, 2 World T20 finals, and a World Cup final, MS Dhoni would easily be the most experienced and important player when he leads his side out to play on Sunday night. Everything has clicked for Chennai in this tournament. In each game, someone new is stepping up and taking the responsibility. Before, their bowling was looking weak, but with the sudden purple patch that Ngidi, Jadeja and Deepak Chahar have hit, the bowling is looking rejuvenated now. The team looks a little unstoppable and Williamson’s boys will have to pull off something special to make 2018 their year.
Their bowling seems to have found its form in the last match. The batting though relies heavily on Dhawan and Williamson firing. Had it not been for Rashid Khan’s fireworks down the order, the team would have succumbed to defeat. I have one suggestion – SRH can open with Rashid. Last match was not the first time he has finished a match for SRH. He could be sent in as a pinch hitter like Narine. Rashid actually started his career as a batsman so he knows what shots to play and when to play them.I hope that Pandey will come back into the side and perform well as he hasn’t done that in the whole tournament. Brathwaite has found his form both batting and bowling. SRH side looks set too and if luck is on their side, they might just beat the yellow brigade.
What I Expect
Last year, RPS had beaten MI all 3 times before the final but lost to them in the final. ‘History repeats itself’. SRH has lost to CSK all 3 times before the final, so I think the Sunrisers Hyderabad can win this match and make this IPL their own.