IPL3 has been a season of ups and downs for the team. It started badly in the first half of the group stages - losing 5 of the first 7 games. That super over loss against KXIP in the first half is still in my memory. But then the team made a remarkable turnaround in the second half - inspired by the performance of the local boys - Ashwin & Vijay and the new-recruit Dougie.
And thanks to some fine bowling in the semifinals, WE ARE IN THE FINALS. Playing against the best team of IPL3 so far. A dream final for the media - since they are able to pit it as Dhoni Vs Sachin contest. But CSK fans would be having 'guilty' pleasure that Sachin is doubtful for the finals.
CSK My XI:
1. Anirudha 2. Vijay 3. Raina 4. Dhoni 5. Albie 6. Badri 7. Hussey/Kemp 8. Ashwin 9. Jakati 10. Murali 11. Dougie
Hayden's performance on the semifinals showed clearly that he should be dropped. In the entire innings, he was trying to play across the ball. And not even once he tried to walk down the pitch when the ball was moving sidewise. Since the pitch for the finals would be a lot slower, it might not even provide him the chance for redemption. Hope the team management asks Anirudha or Hussey or Kemp to open in this important match.
MI Probable XI
1. Jayasuria 2. Dhawan 3. Tiwary 4. Rayadu 5. Duminy/Bravo 6. Pollard 7. Nayar 8. Harbhajan 9. Zaheer 10. Kulkarani 11. Malinga
Most Dangerous Players
1. Harbhajan: In the slow pitch with spongy bounce, we can expect Harbhajan to be handful against any opposition team. He would also be pumped for this big match.
2. Pollard: His performance was the key difference between Mumbai and Bangalore in the semis. Not only he blew Bangalore away with his batting but also took a few important wickets. His wicket would be very crucial tomorrow.
3. Zaheer: Being the stand-in captain, he would like to lead the team with his performance. Hope the openers don't lose any early wickets to him.
Favorites: With respect to the finals, Mumbai have various things going for them
1. They are the in-form team this IPL - with 11 wins so far.
2. They would be playing in a capacity crowd that would be backing them to the hilt
3. Most of their players have struck form in this IPL
But still Chennai has 'it' in them to defeat the team - as they showed in the match against Mumbai in Chennai.Hope they pick the right XI and play to their potential.