The Mumbai Indians are the defending champions and entered IPL 2020 as the betting favorite. After a month and a half of cricket in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Mumbai Indians finished on top of the IPL table, made it to Qualifier 1 where they beat the Delhi Capitals to book themselves a place in the IPL finals.
The Delhi Capitals have been outplayed and outclassed by the Mumbai Indians during their last two games. The Capitals took the longer route to get to the IPL finals as after their loss to Mumbai, they had to play an Eliminator against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The Capitals won the Eliminator, made it to Qualifier 2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad which they won on Nov 08.
The Capitals will once again face the Mumbai Indians on Nov 11 and will look to avoid three embarrassing defeats in a row. Mumbai Indians once again go in as the betting favorites with odds of 4/5 while the Capitals have odds of 6/5. The Mumbai Indians are the stronger team on paper and have the experience of playing multiple IPL finals. This is the first time that the Capitals have made it to the IPL finals and it will be crucial for them to hold their nerves and fight till the end.
Key Battles That Will Determine Victory or Defeat
There are going to be a number of mini-battles that take place during the IPL finals and the side that ends up winning most of these mini-battles could be the side that ends up getting their hands on the 2020 IPL Championship.
Captaincy: Sharma vs. Iyer
Make no mistake about this; this is going to be one of the most crucial factors that determine victory. R Sharma has led the Mumbai Indians very well over the years and his captaincy has been key to them winning the most number of IPL Championships in the history of the tournament.
Sharma has long been touted to be a better captain than Virat Kohli especially in the shorter version of the game. Compare Kohli’s RCB to Sharma’s Mumbai Indians in IPL history and the results speak for themselves. Sharma knows what it is like to captain in IPL Championship finals and put his captaincy skills to the test against the likes of CSK’s MS Dhoni and SRH’s David Warner.
S Iyer on the other hand admits that he is learning so much about leadership and captaincy during IPL 2020. The IPL final against the Mumbai Indians will be his biggest captaincy test against the veteran Sharma. If Iyer can outfox the Mumbai Indians like he did with SRH in Qualifier 2, not only will the Capitals in the IPL Championship but Iyer will establish himself as the next captain for India.
Openers: The Capitals used M Stoinis and S Dhawan as their opening combination in Qualifier 2 and it is quite likely that they will use them once again. Mumbai Indians will likely go in with captain R Sharma and Quinton de Kock. The opening combination for both teams has the ability to quickly take the game away from the opposition. Whichever team gets off to a good start with have the advantage.
Fast Bowlers: KG Rabada holds the purple cap for the most number of wickets in the tournament. Rabada and A Nortje have made it difficult for the opposition when they click. The question is will they click on Nov 11 or will the likes of T Boult and J Bumrah take the Mumbai Indians to another win.
Verdict: Given Mumbai Indian’s last two dominant wins over the Capitals, logic says to bet on the Mumbai Indians. However, the Capitals would have learnt from those two defeats and might pull out a few tricks just like they did against SRH and surprise Mumbai Indians on Nov 11.