IPL 2020: Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians Final Preview: Form, Momentum, Big-Match Temperament Makes MI Firm Favourites

Mumbai Indians will start as hot favourites to lift the IPL title for the fifth time when they clash with Delhi Capitals in the final in Dubai on the 10th of November. Form, Head to Head, team balance and big-match temperament - all make it advantage MI!

IPL 2020: Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians Final Preview: Form, Momentum, Big-Match Temperament Makes MI Firm Favourites

Delhi Capitals will need to spring a surprise or two and take a few gambles and calculated risks if they are to upset (yes, it will be an upset!) Mumbai Indians in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in Dubai on the 10th of November. Everything is in MI's favour - they have the more balanced team, more superstars, form, momentum, the better record in knockouts and playoffs and a big psychological advantage having beaten DC three times in the group stages - including two thrashing wins in Dubai!

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MI has been, by far, the best team in the tournament. They topped the group stage and then beat DC in the Qualifier 1 to make it to their 6th IPL final. The four-time champions have the most balanced side in the competition with most of their top guns firing on all cylinders. Ishan Kishan has exceeded expectations this season and is MI's joint-highest run-scorer of IPL 2020. He has aggregated 483 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 144.17 including 4 fifties - he has been flexible batting at number 4 and as an opener and has scored big at a fast rate.

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Quinton de Kock continues to score heavily for MI as an opener while Suryakumar Yadav has been their Mr Dependable at number 3. The striking statistic for MI is that not only have these three batsmen scored in excess of 400 runs but done so at a rate of above 140 (de Kock has a strike rate of 139.59).

MI's depth in their batting and the two trump cards in the middle order - Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard - makes them a very dangerous batting unit against any opposition. The two P's - Pollard and Pandya have a strike rate of 190.44 and 182.89 in IPL 2020 - no one has scored faster than them in the tournament. They have already played a few match-winning knocks showcasing their destructive prowess in the competition.

IPL 2020 ORANGE CAP  |  IPL 2020 PURPLE CAP

The only weak link for MI in the batting is their skipper, Rohit Sharma. Rohit has scored just 264 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 126.31 and has a high failure rate in the tournament - he has as many as 6 under-10 scores this season.

MI have the most potent bowling unit in IPL 2020. Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult have been outstanding with the new ball and have picked a combined 49 wickets in the tournament at a bowling average of 16.39 and stunning strike rate of 13.39! While Bumrah has accounted for 27 wickets in 14 matches, Boult has picked 22 wickets in the same number of matches. Combined, the Bumrah-Boult pair has taken 4 or more wickets in a match on 7 occasions in the tournament - MI has won all these 7 encounters! The relentless pressure from both ends with the variety and craft they bring with their contrasting styles has wreaked havoc on the opposition batsmen in the tournament. In as many as 11 matches, the pair have struck within the powerplay giving MI early momentum in the match.

The young leg break bowler, Rahul Chahar, has been very impressive too and has accounted for 15 wickets at an economy rate of 8.16 in the tournament.

DC began the tournament with a bang, then lost 4 matches in a row and left it to the last group stage match against RCB to make the playoffs. For DC to beat MI, they need Shikhar Dhawan to again score big at a fast clip in the final. The southpaw has already aggregated 603 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of almost 146 and is the second-highest run-getter of the tournament. His opening stand with Marcus Stoinis will be crucial for DC against MI as they need to make use of the restrictions in the powerplay - easier said than done against the likes of Bumrah and Boult!

Skipper, Shreyas Iyer has been in indifferent form in the second-half of the tournament and has registered scores of 7, 25, 7, 12 and 21 in the last 5 matches. He has also not got going in any of these encounters and has not even scored a run a ball combined in these matches. Iyer needs a change in approach. If he is not getting the big runs he must not waste deliveries at number 3.

While Shimron Hetmyer was in good form against SRH in Qualifier 2, DC desperately need Rishabh Pant to come good in the final. Pant, one of the most destructive batsmen in IPL history, has been in poor form in the tournament. He has managed to score just 97 runs off 111 deliveries in the last 5 matches at a strike rate of 87.39 - extremely low for a lower-order batsman.

DC will rely heavily on their new ball opening pair of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje to provide the initial breakthroughs. Rabada is the leading wicket-taker of IPL 2020 with 29 wickets at a strike rate of 12.9! Nortje has given him excellent support with 20 wickets but been a touch expensive in the last couple of matches.

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Axar Patel will hold the key for DC in the middle overs. He has been one of the most restrictive bowlers of the tournament with an economy rate of just 6.61.

MI have the best win percentage amongst all teams in IPL playoffs/knockout matches. They have played 17 such matches and won 11 of them including the Qualifier 1 against DC in Dubai this year. DC, on the other hand, have won just 2 of the 8 knockout/playoff matches they have played in the IPL. While it will be DC's first IPL final, MI has already been there on five previous instances - this will be their sixth final! This big-match temperament - ie the ability to rise to the occasion and raise one's game in the big matches further shifts the odds in MI's favour.

Also Read: MI vs DC, Final Full Schedule and Match Timings in India

Mumbai Indians Team News: MI may just spring a surprise and open with Ishan Kishan. That would give an out of form Rohit Sharma some breathing space and play the role of the playmaker at number 4. No changes are expected in the playing XI.

Possible Playing XI: Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

Delhi Capitals Team News: DC may promote Rishabh Pant at number 3 just to upset the plan and rhythm of the MI bowlers. But if an early wicket falls then the more likely candidate to walk out is Ajinkya Rahane. The XI should remain unchanged.

Possible Playing XI: Marcus Stoinis, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Shimron Hetmyer, Rishabh Pant, Praveen Dubey, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje

Head-to- Head Record – Last 5 Matches

MI have beaten DC in all the three matches they have played against them in IPL 2020. They shared the honours in 2019. This means that MI has a 4-1 record against DC in the last 5 matches.

To watch out for

Kieron Pollard has the highest strike rate of 190.44 in IPL 2020. He also has a good record against the Capitals with an aggregate of 343 runs in 21 innings at a strike rate of 141.15.

Quotes

Mumbai Indians: I have a great camaraderie with Boult. We discuss fields, situations, so there's a lot to learn from him - Jasprit Bumrah after his Player of the Match performance against the Capitals in the Qualifier 1 in Dubai.

Delhi Capitals: Have done it in the BBL for a couple of seasons (opening the batting) so it was nice to get an opportunity - Marcus Stoinis after his Player of the Match performance against SRH in the Qualifier 2 in Abu Dhabi.



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