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IPL 2010 Final Preview: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, Navi Mumbai

April 25, 2010

On paper, Chennai look equals but in actuality are a far way from Mumbai.

Chennai’s batting has failed quite a few times this season and there have been occasions where they haven’t been able to break free and their way to a safety despite having wickets in hand. Mumbai however have barely had to defend a small total throughout the tournament. The middle order has done it’s job and the lower middle order plundered when even the middle order failed.

The bowling and fielding for both teams however have helped them defend those totals.

The contest then becomes between the hitting powers of Kieron Pollard and Aniruddha Srikkanth.

At the top, Mathew Hayden’s horrible run cancels out the uncertainty over whether Sachin Tendulkar will be fit enough to bat but the master makes a difference by just walking out. Dhawan & Vijay, Raina & Tiwary, Dhoni & Rayudu cancel each oher out too on form and hitting power. Mumbai’s next batsmen however can hit it much farther than CSK’s.

Badrinath has  had a consistency going for him but expect no game changing slogs. Pollard/Nayar/Bravo/Duminy are big hitters compared to Badri and Srikkanth so this where Mumbai could take the game away from CSK.

Deccan’s lame surrender showed the pitch to be more dangerous than it actually is. CSK will go in with their three pronged spin attack while Mumbai will want to get Ali Murtaza  instead of Abhishek Nayar and Duminy in for Bravo.

Mumbai had a bad record in tight matches in the past two seasons with a lot of defeats by small margins but they’ve done a good job of closing out matches this season. The forms of Harbhajan, Zaheer and Malinga have been crucial for this to happen and Sachin will be banking on the trio to again take that responsibility tonight.

Dilhara Fernando too has been silently doing his job well in the few matches that he has played. McLaren’s batting services have not been particularly required this season so Fernando with the pace and bounce he can get on this dead pitch is more likely to play.

CSK’s bowling and fielding was downright pathetic at one point in this very edition but the turnaround has been emphatic. The semi final against Deccan Chargers and the match against Mumbai at the Chepauk are the best examples of how they managed to salvage poor batting displays with brilliant bowling and fielding.

R Ashwin has provided breakthroughs every time while Bollinger has come back from thrashings to turn in displays like the one in the semi. Jakati and Murali have also been good although less consistently and this too has hurt CSK.

The other pacer is their well documented pain. Morkel, Balaji, Gony, Tyagi and Joginder have all been too expensive and too ineffective for CSK’s liking. Morkel’s batting thus ironically makes him the preferred bowler.

Ground: CSK have one win and one loss at the DY Patil Stadium, their win came a few days ago against Deccan in the semi final; the loss came against the Rajasthan Royals in the final of IPL 1. Mumbai Indians have four wins out of five here with a loss against Deccan when Adam Gilchrist knocked a scorching ton.

Tonights final could be billed as the most consistent team for three seasons against the form team of this season.

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