The top two teams of the IPL group stage are now set to battle their hearts out for the much anticipated IPL final.
Chennai Super Kings have returned to IPL actions after two years of suspension, and what a comeback it has been. MS Dhoni’s boys have lived up to the billing and have reached the final in style. The Hyderabad side, on the other hand, brilliantly handled the pre-season debacle of their skipper David Warner, and have produced spectacular performance under the able leadership of Kane Williamson. It goes without saying that the two deserving teams are now in the IPL final and the viewers should be expecting nothing less than a cracker of a match.
Toss: 7pm IST
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
In the first qualifier, thanks to a determined fifty from Faf du Plessis and some late firepower from Shardul Thakur, Chennai got the better of Sunrisers and reached the IPL final. Then, after a convincing victory over Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders were set to lock horns with Kane Williamson and co for the second qualifier.
That qualifier 2 ended up being a roller-coaster ride for the hosts. At Eden Gardens, Sunrisers batted first to get 174 runs on board. Kolkata had a brisk start to the chase and were going well. However, brilliant bowling from Rashid Khan took the game away during middle overs. Eventually, Hyderabad won by 14 runs to reach the IPL final.
Shane Watson has been out of touch, after a fabulous start to the campaign. But, Dhoni likes to keep his combination intact and chances are high the Australian will keep his place in the squad. He, however, may slot in the middle order while Ambati Rayudu might open the innings with Du Plessis. Rayudu has been much better while opening the innings, while his numbers took a hit when he had to play at number four. The rest of the eleven should remain the same as the last match.
Following is the probable Chennai eleven for the IPL final:
Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Shane Watson, MS Dhoni (C & Wk), Dwanye Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur.
Sunrisers Hyderabad brought in Wriddhiman Saha back to the eleven and that paid off. The wicketkeeper opened the innings and scored some runs to give stability to the top order. He is expected to continue his run. Khaleel Ahmed was another change Williamson made in the last match, but the young guy could not prove his worth. IPL final being the ultimate fixture, the team management should move back to Sandeep Sharma. Manish Pandey might also get a call-back ahead of Deepak Hooda.
Here is what the first eleven for the Hyderabad side should be:
Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (C), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul.
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