Resilient Super Kings face red hot Mumbai
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Michael Hussey invoked May 26, 2013 after Chennai Super Kings' victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second Qualifier. The reference was to the last time his team met Mumbai Indians in the IPL final at Eden Gardens. Hussey is hoping for a repeat of the pattern - not the end result - as two of the most high-profile IPL sides clash in the final again.
"In 2013, we beat Mumbai Indians in the first final [Qualifier 1] and went straight through to the final. And they came and beat us in the main one at Kolkata," Hussey said. "So this time they beat us in the first final, and hopefully we can come back and beat them."
Super Kings would like it if their opponents are cold after a four-day break following their win. But Super Kings themselves have stuttered like a jalopy during the latter half of the competition, while Mumbai has razed down every obstacle in sight, winning four of their last five matches, including three in succession.
Super Kings though have found a way to win even when not at their best, like against Royal Challengers on Friday. If they raise their game - as they have always done in the crunch - Mumbai will have a handful. For Mumbai, the key concern will be to sustain the hunger one more time.
Chennai Super Kings WLWLW (last five matches, most recent first)
Mumbai Indians WWWLW
In the spotlight:
Rohit Sharma has had a sizzling love affair with Eden Gardens. Add his tournament form - he has scored 432 runs at an average of 33.23 with two fifties - he will be required to lead by example and provide the stabilising influence in a batting order high on aggro.
After a quiet beginning, R Ashwin has returned to his stifling ways with the ball. He has been utilised in the Powerplays a lot more frequently by MS Dhoni as the tournament has wore on. Having conceded only 5.59 runs an over in the tournament so far, Ashwin is Super Kings' most economical bowler. His duel with Kieron Pollard will be one to watch out for.
Neither team is likely to tinker with their combination
Mumbai Indians (probable): 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Rohit Sharma (capt), 4 Kieron Pollard, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Ambati Rayudu, 7 Harbhajan Singh, 8 J Suchith, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Lasith Malinga
Chennai Super Kings (probable): 1 Michael Hussey, 2 Dwayne Smith, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Faf du Plessis, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Pawan Negi, 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Ashish Nehra
Pitch and conditions
The pitch is expected to have a good coverage of grass and assist the seamers
Stats and Trivia
- Mumbai Indians are the only team against whom Chennai Super Kings have lost more matches than they have won in the IPL. Mumbai leads 11-10.
- Super Kings have lost their last three games at Eden Gardens.
- Rohit Sharma needs 15 runs to become the second batsman to score 500 runs against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. Virat Kohli already has 706 runs against them.
- Harbhajan Singh has taken 22 wickets against Super Kings - equals the second-highest by any bowler against a team in the IPL. Dwayne Bravo's 21 wickets against Mumbai is the third-best.
They are a fantastic side and are playing some good cricket. Its just a case of everyone in our team putting in our best possible performance, and having belief it's good enough to get us over the line.
Michael Hussey on Super Kings' chances.
I am sure that I don't need to tell the boys about this, they are experienced enough and they understand the importance of this tournament.
Rohit Sharma on his team's preparation for the final
Arun Venugopal is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo