Indian IPL teams Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) will meet in the final of the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 2013 (CLT20) on Sunday. The championship game will be played at Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, Delhi.
Where to Watch Live:
The CLT20 2013 title clash will begin at 08:00 pm IST on Sunday and it will be telecast live in India on Star Sports, Star Cricket and Star Cricket HD channels. To watch a live stream of the match online, follow the official link HERE.
Cricket fans will probably see cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the uniform of their respective teams on Sunday. Tendulkar may play a few more games for India but for Dravid, the CLT20 final will be his last appearance in international cricket, and fans will treasure every delivery he takes and every ball he stops.
Rajasthan Royals are unbeaten in the tournament. They defeated the tournament's favourites, Chennai Super Kings, by 14 runs in the first semi-finals en-route to the title clash. They will be keen to win the championship title for skipper Dravid, who will retire from international cricket after the final.
Mumbai Indians survived elimination in the league stage by beating Perth Scorchers, helping them to qualify for the knockout round on Net Run Rate over Otago Volts. They went on to defeat Trinidad & Tobago by six wickets in the second semi-finals on Saturday, setting for the title clash against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.
Despite remaining unbeaten this tournament, Rajasthan Royals have received a huge blow after Brad Hodge, who scored 109 runs in three innings with a strike rate of 198 in CLT20 2013, has been ruled out of the final match due to a knee injury he sustained in the semi-final against CSK. Adding more salt to the wound, Shaun Tait has also been ruled out due to a hamstring strain he received during training on 20 September. They will also play away from home for the first time this tournament.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians have a full squad to choose from with no injury scare. In fact, their batting seems to be getting stronger with every match. They have also played at Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in Delhi twice this tournament, and so they will be more familiar with the condition of the pitch. However, it will not be easy to beat Rajasthan Royals, who are so disciplined and make the most out the resources they have under the leadership of former Indian captain Rahul Dravid. The final can be anybody's game though Mumbai Indians will enter the contest as the favourites to win.
Mumbai Indians have 7-6 win-loss record against Rajasthan Royals in their 14 meetings. However, RR beat MI in the inaugural match of CLT20 2013 by seven wickets.
Rajasthan Royals: Brad Hodge and Shaun Tait have been ruled out of the final match due to injuries. They will be replaced by Kusal Perera and Sachin Baby. Ajinkya Rahane has scored three half-centuries in the tournament, including 70 in the semi-finals. He is the highest scorer in CLT20 with 223 runs. Sanju Samson and Shane Watson are also in good form. Skipper Rahul Dravid's form is a concern but the team has hopes that he saves the best for the last.
On the bowling front, Pravin Tambe came out as the surprise package in the semi-final by taking three wickets. Other bowlers like Vikramjeet Malik, Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner and Rahul Shukla are also in good form. They will be expected to take early wickets and help the depleting batting line-up.
Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith, who scored 59 in the semi-final, is in good form and so too is Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma. The team's confidence might have been boosted by Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik's return of form. They will be expected to perform with their bats like they did in the previous match against Trinidad & Tobago.
On the bowling front, they have the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh, Nathan Couter-Nile, Kieron Pollard and Pragyan Ojha. They need to rip through the resilient batting line-up of Rajasthan Royals in the final.
Mumbai Indians are the favourites to win the title match.
Rajasthan Royals: Squad: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Ashok Menaria, Dishant Yagnik, Vikramjeet Malik, Rahul Shukla, Pravin Tambe, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Sachin Baby, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Kusal Perera
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ambati Rayudu, Aditya Tare, Rishi Dhawan, Abu Nechim, Akshar Patel, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell