IPL 2019 Final Preview: An ultimate encounter between the two three-time champions

Both the teams, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, have lifted the Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy three times. Therefore, their tussle on May 12 will be a competition to prove, 'who's the best in the business?'

IPL 2019 Final Preview: An ultimate encounter between the two three-time champions

Over the years, formidable rivalries have been formed in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but none of them come close to the Clash of the Champions - Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings - who have been eternal foes since the inception of IPL. Both the franchises have won the IPL title three times, i.e. Mumbai Indians in 2013, 2015, and 2017, whereas Chennai Super Kings in 2010, 2011, and 2018.

A Statistical Advantage

On May 12, the two teams will once again face each other, to be exact, the fourth time this season.  The men from Mumbai have humbled Chennai Super Kings three times in a row, including the two league matches and a Qualifier-1 encounter at Chennai on Tuesday.

While the statistics favour Mumbai Indians, the cash-rich cricket tournament has proven to be harsh on the ones that have relied on stats solely because both the teams have shown the ability to deliver in situations where the statistics weren't favourable for the two.

The Clash of Legends

The Rohit Sharma-led team has proven to be an expert at winning IPL finals as they have won three out of the four finals they have been part of, out of which two of them were against CSK in 2013 and 2015. On the other hand, the Men in Yellow will be entering their eighth final as the defending champions.

The two teams will look to find their rhythm just prior to the World Cup 2019 that will be held this year in England. Mumbai Indians' Hardik Pandya will look forward to encashing on his hot-red form and put forward an all-round display whereas the Indians' skipper will want to find his groove as an opener after a rather average IPL season. On the other hand, CSK skipper MS Dhoni seems to have returned as 'Dhoni, the Finisher' we all knew. The Dhoni 2.0 version of the 37-year-old has gained him a lot of praise as he shut the critics who commented on his retirement plans.

Meanwhile, along with a fair share of close encounters, the IPL this year has been called out for poor umpiring standards for making some really bad judgments and making questionable calls.

Players To Look Out For

Coming back to the IPL Final, Chennai Super Kings will look forward to finding a solution to the lack of consistency from its top-order who have performed well but without assurance of reliability. However, they will be looking lay trouble on the Mumbai lads with the experienced spin trio of Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, and Ravindra Jadeja.

On the other hand, Mumbai Indians will encash on the strong pace attack headed by Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga. However, the skipper will look forward to providing a solid start which can be followed by the destructive knocks from Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard.

No matter who lifts the title and declares themselves as the IPL Champions, the encounter will witness a rain of runs and wickets amidst the Battle of the Best. Mumbai Indians will lock horns with Chennai Super Kings in Hyderabad on May 12 at 7:30 pm.

Probable XI

Chennai Super Kings:

Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir

Mumbai Indians:

Lasith Malinga, Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Quinton de Kock (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar