Mumbai Indians (MI) will lock horns with the mighty Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma-led MI will be eyeing their second IPL trophy, while MS Dhoni-led CSK will be eyeing their third. Surprisingly, CSK have played the IPL finals five times before this and they have lost thrice, including once to Mumbai Indians two years ago at the same venue. Dhoni would look to better that particular record.
MI have made a dramatic turnaround to cruise into the final. After losing four matches in a row at the beginning of the tournament, they came back strongly to win eight out of their last nine matches to reach the big final.
Let us have a look at some of the key clashes from this thrilling encounter:
1. Michael Hussey Vs Lasith Malinga - The battle of the veterans, as one may call it, is going to be very crucial for both of them. If either of these two players is on song, he can win the game single handedly for the respective side. Hussey played a sublime innings to power CSK to the finals of the IPL 2015 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Malinga would surely be aware of that.
2. Lendl Simmons Vs Ashish Nehra - Bring it on! Nehra being one of the highest wicket takers of the tournament, he would look to add few more scalps to his name. He has already managed to bag three man of the matches this season. Simmons, on the other hand, has been the silent hero for MI, scoring 472 runs in 12 matches with a brilliant strike rate.
3. Suresh Raina Vs Harbhajan Singh - This has not been Raina's IPL at all. On the contrary, his IPL records speak well off him as he has managed to go past the 400-run mark every season apart from IPL 2015. Coach Stephen Fleming and Dhoni would expect him to fire in the big final today. Harbhajan, on the other hand, has made his way into the Indian Test squad based on his IPL performance. He was instrumental in propelling MI to the final from the qualifier 1.
4. Rohit Sharma Vs Ravichandran Ashwin - Sharma loves the Eden Gardens and his love affair with this ground has brought him yet again to a position where he can take back the coveted IPL trophy back to Mumbai. Ashwin, on the other hand, is a clever bowler and knows this format of the game pretty well. He would look to use the conditions well keeping in mind that the Eden Gardens track favours spinners and would look to fox the MI hitman.