After 59 games in the 12th season, the moment has finally arrived to crown the champions of the 2019 Indian Premier League. The two teams that have made it to the finals have a combined experience of playing in 11 finals prior to Sunday's clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
The defending champions Chennai Super Kings have played in seven finals out of which they have won three of them whereas, Mumbai Indians have won three of the four finals they have played in. At the same time, both sides are also the two of the most successful teams in the tournament's history. Therefore, the team that wins tonight's clash will go on to become the leading team with the most number of IPL titles. Mumbai hold a 2-1 advantage over CSK in the summit clashes. They had lost to MS Dhoni's side in 2010 when they had played their maiden final but returned the favour back in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Before the two teams look to create history, let's take a look at some of the key aspects that will make this grand finale a mouth-watering clash:
1. 'Thala' Dhoni's 'Midas' touch: Dhoni is the pioneer of CSK's success. The 'Captain Cool' has ensured that this team has made it to the top four every season and will now be playing in their eighth final. This will also be Mahi's third straight appearance in an IPL final and he will look to ensure the CSK will come into the next season as defending champions. A major chunk of CSK's success has been possible due to MSD. He has contributed with the bat, behind the stumps and has also led well from the front. The CSK skipper has so far scored 414 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 137.54 which includes three half-centuries.
2. Rohit Sharma's 'luck' factor in the finals: While CSK skipper MS Dhoni is one of the most successful captains in IPL history, even his opposite number is equally successful as well. Rohit was made MI's captain in the 2013 season and he led them to their maiden IPL triumph. In fact, all of Mumbai's title triumphs have come under Rohit's leadership and two of those triumphs have come against Chennai Super Kings. At the same time, Rohit who has won four IPL titles ( including the 2009 win by the now-defunct Deccan Chargers) will be looking to win it for the fifth time and create a new individual record. At the same time, even CSK's Harbhajan Singh will be hoping to create this record ( three title wins with MI and one with CSK).
3. Chahar brothers to clash against each other in the final: The two Chahar brothers Deepak (CSK) and Rahul Chahar (MI) will also be fighting it out to ensure that their respective teams rewrite history. Deepak who has already tasted the silverware success will once again look to make it big while his younger brother Rahul will be hoping to taste success on the big night.
4. Can the CSK openers provide a blistering start?: CSK will be hoping that their two openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis ensure a good start for them. After some failures, they finally managed to click in the Qualifier 2 against Delhi Capitals where they added 81 runs which laid a solid platform in CSK's win.
5. Will 'Birthday Boy' Kieron Pollard make an impact?: Kieron Pollard turned 32 on Sunday will be hoping to enthrall the viewer with his splendid performances with the bat combined with some athletic fielding. At the end of the night, he will be hoping for only one gift and that is winning the IPL trophy for the fourth time.