The stage is set for the summit clash of IPL 2019 with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings all set to battle it out for the coveted IPL trophy at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad.
Both Chennai and Mumbai have lifted the trophy thrice and they would look to add another feather in their cap.
The fans face a familiar question -- Mumbai or Chennai?
The answer may seem easy (Mumbai) but it ain't over till it's over, Chennai can justify that with the grit and resilience the team possess.
If Mumbai have explosive batsmen and a wicket-thirsty bowling attack, Chennai have the experience of one man that never disappoints.
Mumbai or Chennai? Cricket experts are mired in the same question but they have stats and reasons up their sleeve to put their bet on the best side.
Mumbai Indians have an upper hand, feels former Indian spinner Anil Kumble and former Australian pacer Brett Lee shares the similar thought. But don't write CSK off as yet, feels former New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum.
Here's what experts said at the Select Dugout Debate on Star Sports:
Mike Hesson feels that Chennai Super Kings have an upper hand against Mumbai Indians given the brilliant performance of CSK in powerplays. CSK have Deepak Chahar in their ranks who bowled maximum number of Dot balls in powerplays while Harbhajan Singh can hold MI opener Quinton de Kock with away going deliveries. Mike Hesson said, "powerplays are all about match-ups, Quinton De Kock for instance every time an off spinner comes on and the ball swings away from the bat, his strike rate goes down to 82 and with Harbhajan in the line-up I expect MS Dhoni to throw ball straight at him. Dot balls in the power plays generate a lot of wicket taking opportunities and that’s exactly why Deepak Chahar will be vital. Chahar has bowled the most number of dot balls in the power play this season and if he manages to build the pressure on Rohit Sharma early-on in the innings CSK will have a huge upper hand in the game.”
Dean Jones feels that Mumbai Indians can have the last laugh given CSK have lost all the three power play battles in IPL 2019 against Mumbai Indians. Jones said CSK's success this year are highly depended on how MS Dhoni performs in death overs. He said, "We all know how effective MS Dhoni is when he is batting in the death overs. He has scored 215 runs at a strike rate of 164 in the death overs, which is a great number. CSK has won 73% of the games where Mahendra Singh Dhoni has batted in the 18th over or beyond.”
Anil Kumble feels that Mumbai Indians have an upper hand in IPL 2019 final as Hyderabad wicket mostly favour pacers and CSK's success have been moslty depended on three spinners. Anil Kumble said, “It’s all about pacers in Hyderabad and we know that the average runs per wicket for pacers is 45.2 for spinners and 27.5 for pacers in Hyderabad. CSK depends very heavily on their spinners.” He added, "Mumbai Indian pacers done in the mid overs versus what has Chennai Super Kings pacers done in the middle overs, MI have taken 16 wickets versus 2 wickets that CSK have taken. The lion share of these wickets has been taken by Hardik Pandya, who has seven wickets in the middle overs this season. With the bat too Hardik has a great strike rate in the middle overs where he has scored successfully against spinners too.”
Brendon McCullum is confident that CSK will retain the title given how Chennai fared well in middle overs with Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir work in tandem to choke the runs and take crucial wickets in middle over. He added, "CSK have been controlling the game through the middle overs. CSK average 65 during the middle overs for the loss of just two wickets and they go about that through the methodical run gathering as they just knock the ball around. While bowling, the likes of Jadeja and Tahir have worked as a yin and a yang type mentality, where Jadeja is very quick through his overs which allows Tahir to be more attacking, something that is evident with the 22 wickets Tahir has taken through the middle so far, this season.”
Brett Lee feels that Mumbai Indians can lift the IPL trophy for the 4th time and backed Hardik Pandya, who has been brilliant in death overs with the bat. Lee added, "I believe Hardik Pandya is having his best IPL so far, an absolute cracking season with 386 runs with the bat and three man of the match awards. He has scored the most number of runs (28) from Yorkers this season and has an incredible record of scoring a boundary every 3.2 balls he has faced this season.” Lee emphasised that teams can run away with the game in the death overs and Mumbai Indians have Lasith Malinga who can curb the run flow with his leathal yorkers. The Australian pacer added, "A key death over bowler for Mumbai Indians, Lasith Malinga has 15 wickets this season, he brings in an incredible amount of experience to the team having played all the formats of the game and he has bought the most amount of yorkers (24) at the death overs.”