Battle royale on cards in IPL finale

Amol Gokhale
Sunday, 27 May 2018

Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad look to write a new chapter in the IPL history

Mumbai: Cool, calm and composed are the usual superlatives one uses more often than not while referring to Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Despite the fact, one has seen Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper lose his cool once in a while in this edition of the IPL, these superlatives are still very much in context.

Then comes the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain Kane Williamson, who has come closest to owning the same superlatives ahead of his name as well.

On Sunday, at the Wankhede Stadium, these two captains will lead their teams out for one final time this year as another spectacular season of the IPL will come to conclusion.

The top two sides in the league stage will once again go head to head with CSK starting as a favourites having already defeated their counterparts thrice in the tournament so far, including once four days back at the same venue in a game which will go down as an IPL classics for years to come.

Leading from the front
It certainly has been a season to remember for MS Dhoni and Williamson both with the willow and as a leader of the group as well.
When CSK made their comeback to the tournament after serving a two-year suspension, it was a no-brainer that Dhoni, who had not led the team for over a year since quitting India’s limited overs captaincy, would be at the helm. 

On the other hand, Williamson was chosen as a stand-in skipper after David Warner was barred from playing in the IPL in the wake of ‘ball-tampering saga’.

The vintage Dhoni has scored 455 runs in 15 outings with an average of 75.83 and the strike-rate of 150.66.

His counterpart dons the Orange Cap for leading run-scorer with 688 runs at an average of 52.92 and striking at 143.33 It’s not just their astute leadership that has been a talking point, but they have brought the best out of their sides, leading them to the final.

In this season Chennai has beaten Hyderabad convincingly just once when they won by 8-wickets in Pune. In other two games, Hyderabad came close to emerging winners, but for Faf du Plessis to unleash the special show.

Sensational Rashid
Although cricket is a team game, Rashid Khan on Friday once again proved that how one man can take the game away from the opposition and will once again be the difference between who lifts the trophy.

When asked about the role leg-spinners play in the side, MS Dhoni asked Kane Williamson to go first saying, “You have the best leg-spinner so you answer,” showing just how crucial he will be.

Come Sunday, one more IPL classic is on the cards. Will it be another memorable night at Wankhede for MS Dhoni’s CSK or will it be the night of Kane Williamson and Sunrisers Hyderabad?

CSK favourites
- On the eve of the high-octane IPL final between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the M.S Dhoni-led yellow brigade have been voted as the strong favourites by a sports fans survey to win their third title in Mumbai on Sunday.
- According to the survey conducted by Indian Sports Fan, CSK are the favourites to win the title while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the most favourite player with the Wankhede as the most preferred stadium.
- The fans survey highlighted Dhoni as the most revered player out of the top 12 players with 27.3 per cent votes followed by Virat Kohli with 22 per cent and SRH captain Kane Williamson with 20.11 per cent fan votes.

We are very  fortunate to have Rashid Khan in our team and he has been outstanding throughout whole campaign and tomorrow (Sunday) night he can do it again.
—Kane Williamson

I think most of the leg-spinners who have been successful are the ones have got very good googlies. The thing with legspinner is you don’t know how much it will turn, sometimes it turns less sometimes it turns a lot. So, even if you are watching the wrist, sometimes it turns out to be the top-spinner.
— MS Dhoni

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