It’s the final game of this year’s IPL, and only two of the best have survived. The Chennai Super Kings will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium. SRH have won only one of their last five games, while CSK have been far more consistent throughout the latter stages of the tournament. They have defeated the Sunrisers thrice this season already, but can they do it on the all-important day?
Chennai Super Kings
MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, T Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Alex Hales.
Where the teams stand
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai will be pleased that their bowling is finally shaping up to be a lethal unit. The last three games have seen Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi provide them with fantastic starts on swinging pitches, troubling batsmen with every ball. Ngidi picked up 4 wickets for just 10 runs against Punjab in four overs, while Chahar has choked the run flow during the power plays, ensuring oppositions fail to post big scores. Jadeja has been superb with the ball as well, picking up wickets while staying economical. CSK have a good chance to put a still slightly vulnerable SRH batting lineup under pressure with some quick wickets at the top, especially with the way their pacers have been bowling.
Faf was perhaps the only batsman besides Jadeja who was due a big score this season, and he rose to the occasion in style against SRH in the first qualifier. The rest have all been contributing to the cause when the team needs them to. Rayudu and Dhoni receive special mentions for their consistency this season, while batsmen like Raina and Watson have also chipped in with several big scores. Their batting has been their strength throughout this years edition, and it needs to perform one last time to get CSK their third IPL trophy.
Rashid Khan put in a special performance against KKR to lift his side to victory. He made the difference with the bat, ball, and in the field. SRH also bowled superbly as a unit to ensure KKR could not get going at any point. They have meandered their way to the final, but SRH do not look like the daunting invincible force they were in the middle of the season. Several questions hang above their batting, while their bowling came good against KKR after failing for four games straight.
Williamson and Dhawan remain the key to their batting, having scored half of the entire teams runs this season. Rashid Khan will be the man to watch out for yet again, while the likes of Bhuvi and Sid Kaul were instrumental in choking the KKR batsmen with relentless yorkers. SRH are still reliant on individual performances from a handful of their players, while CSK has the advantage of having an entire team full of those who can make the difference. If one of them can step up, SRH might be in it with a chance, but CSK are favorites to win.
CSK win. They have been the better team overall this season in terms of consistency and balance and should win the cup.
Who will come out on top and triumph in the final of the 2018 Indian Premier League? Let us know in the comments and poll below.