Mumbai: The head offices of India Cements and Sun TV are located 300m from each other, either side of Greenways Road in South Chennai. On Sunday, their teams, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, will contest the IPL final in Mumbai. Regardless of who wins, the trophy will find its way to Chennai – a typically IPL end to a season of 60 matches of which the only one was played in Chennai.
Sunrisers and the Super Kings finished the league stage as the top two teams. It seems that Chennai Super Kings have made a habit of appearing in IPL finals, even if they haven’t really made winning the final a habit. They are in their seventh IPL final in nine attempts, having won two, back-to-back, in 2010 and 2011.
CSK have the most players with season aggregates of 400 or more runs -four. They have the best batting average overall and are the only team to have realised two hundred from their batsmen. They have hit the most sixes 135.
Watson and Rayudu, who have season aggregates of 438 and 586 runs respectively, have had two poor outings now and are due for a big score.
Suresh Raina has threatened time and again, and contributed important runs, but he has not been able to stamp his authority in the Raina-way. And then there is MS Dhoni. The CSK captain has had a fabulous season with the bat. He loves the big occasion too.
CSK will expect Deepak Chahar and Ngidi to strike early just like they did in Qualifier 1 and allow the likes of Shardul, Bravo and Jadeja to control the later portion of the innings.
SRH is the only team to have taken more than 100 wickets. They have the best bowling average of 24.21 and are the only team with an overall economy rate of under eight. SRH have the best record defending; they have a 5-3 win-loss record when defending totals.
Sunrisers have been a two-man batting unit, with captain Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan contributing the bulk of the runs. Williamson, the Orange Cap holder, has batted beautifully. Dhawan began the season well before suffering a blow to his elbow and hitting a trough; the left-hander is back among the runs now and will be an integral part of SRH’s batting plans.
Rashid Khan and Siddarth Kaul are SRH’s two most successful bowlers – both players have a tally of 21 wickets in 16 matches this season. Rashid’s reputation has been on the rise all the time; the leg-spinner from Afghanistan has not only prised out the opposition’s key batsman generally.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 9, CSK won – 7, SRH won – 2
In 2018: Matches – 3, CSK won – 3, SRH won – 0.
SRH: Alex Hales, Bhuvneshwar, Dhawan, Shakib, Williamson, Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Hooda, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Nabi, Basil Thampi, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Sreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehedi Hasan.
CSK: MS Dhoni(c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, 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.