Mumbai vs Chennai is a fitting IPL final

Last Updated: Sun, May 26, 2013 08:19 hrs

Fittingly, the teams that finished in the top two at the end of the league stage are contesting the finals at the magnificent Eden Gardens. 

They have been, by far, the best teams in the competition and have also been pretty consistent throughout the tournament.

What also characterises both teams is that they have not made too many changes to their playing eleven, and so have developed a nice team ethos out in the middle. 

There is genuine delight in each other’s success and a desire to go that extra step not just for themselves but also for their team.

The batting of both teams is power packed, and with Albie Morkel back in the team, there is more flexibility in both batting and bowling for the Chennai skipper. 

The skipper was a mere spectator, as were those due to bat after him, as Hussey and Raina put together a massive partnership in the first game of the knockout where they won with ease, as the Mumbai team succumbed to pressure. 

This despite getting off to a blazing start with Dwayne Smith and Tare. Even in the second qualifier against the Rajasthan team, Mumbai struggled after another brilliant opening partnership between Smith and Tare. 

Aditya Tare, who has come in place of the injured Tendulkar, has played some superb shots and has been most impressive. That Tendulkar has not been missed is thanks due to Tare's strokeplay at the top of the innings.

It is the over dependence on Sharma and Pollard that is hurting Mumbai. If they don’t score, then the others have so far failed to put their hands up, and it is only Harbhajan's feisty batting that has pulled them through.

The off-spinner has also bowled with guile and used all his experience to not just pick wickets but also slow the scoring down. Malinga has not been on the top of his game and that also has put strain on the team, for he was the ‘go to bowler’ and still is for the Mumbai team. 

Luckily they have Pollard who has the happy knack of picking up wickets with his innocuous looking medium pacers.

For Chennai, this is the fifth time they are in the final and they have the experience of playing in that pressure cooker cauldron. That will no doubt stand them in good stead.

Mumbai have the ambition and the desire and often it is that which takes a team to glory.

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