IPL 2020 final blog: Mumbai have edge; Delhi can spring a surprise

James Jose and Rituraj Borkakoty/Dubai
Filed on November 10, 2020 | Last updated on November 10, 2020 at 04.08 pm

Mumbai Indians will lock horns with the Delhi Capitals for the rights to lift the 2020 Indian Premier League trophy.

After a myriad nail-biting battles replete with several Super Over dramas, we have finally arrived at the stage today where the four-time champions Mumbai Indians will lock horns with the Delhi Capitals for the rights to lift the 2020 Indian Premier League trophy. The battle will start at the magnificent Dubai International Cricket Stadium today at 6pm.

So, will Mumbai be able to add to their four trophies? Or will Delhi, who have already made history by reaching their first final, script their maiden victory in the world’s richest T20 tournament?

IPL 2020 final blog: Mumbai have edge; Delhi can spring a surprise (KT267331110.PNG)

We will bring you all the live updates here:


Mumbai Indians on wheels

(By James Jose)

As we speak, defending champions and four-time winners the Mumbai Indians have left their plush team hotel, the St.Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi, their home over the past few months, and are Dubai-bound.

If you happen to see them, don't forget to wave.


Statistically speaking

(By James Jose)

The big prize is undoubtedly that glistening piece of silverware, tied with those bright red ribbons, but there are some mini accolades too along the way. Shikhar Dhawan could cap off a brilliant season not just with the trophy but also the Orange Cap, awarded to the leading run scorer. The southpaw, who cracked back-to-back centuries this season, is second behind Kings XI Punjab’s KL Rahul. He needs 68 runs more to overtake the Karnataka batsman and take ownership of the Orange Cap. KL finished with 670 runs, while Dhawan is at 603.

The duel, meanwhile, for the Purple Cap, awarded to the leading wicket taker, has been an intriguing one with it changing hands between Kagiso Rabada of the Delhi Capitals and Jasprit Bumrah of the Mumbai Indians. This one will be a fight to the finish with Rabada, the South Africa pace ace with 29 wickets, while Bumrah is two behind with 27 scalps.

The race is on!


Not just another game, says Punter

(By James Jose)

Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting, nicknamed ‘Punter,’ told his men not to treat it as just another game and urged them to enjoy and embrace the nerves that come with it.

“Look, it is about enjoying it for what it is. You know, it is not an easy thing to do to make it into an IPL final. I said that to the boys last night. There will be a lot of guys that have played a lot of cricket and they have never made one. Thankfully, I’ve coached one before and I was part of another team as a captain that won one as well. So, I know what it is like to be there. But, you know, I think probably the most important thing with these big games like this is to don’t try and hide away and just say it’s another game because it’s not. There’s actually more on it and you are better off enjoying that and embracing the nerves and everything that comes with a final. So, like I said to them yesterday, they deserved to be in that game against SRH (Sunrisers Hyderabad). And as it turned out, they deserved to win. But all we have done so far is given ourselves the right to play in the final. Now, we have to go out and earn the right to win the final,” Ponting said in a video posted on the team’s official Twitter handle.


The ‘Hitman’ speaks

(By James Jose)

Ahead of the final, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma had this to say. “It is a great feeling to be part of another final. We do understand how much it takes to be successful throughout the tournament and qualify for the playoffs, and then the final. The final doesn’t change anything for us. We need to keep the same things going, keep ticking those small boxes. And I think if we keep doing those things, results will follow,” Rohit said in a video posted on the team’s official Twitter handle.

“We have been challenged as a team on many occasions. No one can say we are a defending team or we are a bat-first team. We have done really well on both occasions. That’s also because of the combinations we play. The guys we have in the squad, putting their hands up and taking the the responsibility. That’s also very crucial for us. Overall, if you put everything together, responsibility has been shared amongst all of us. And like I said, I have to say this again and again, that guys are putting their hands up which is always a good sign for any team,” he added.


Bowlers hunt in pairs

(By James Jose)

Now, that we spoke about the explosive openers across both the teams, bowlers hunt in pairs too. Jasprit Bumrah, India’s best bowler, and New Zealand left-arm pacer Trent Boult have formed a formidable partnership for the Mumbai Indians. The pair have been lethal against the opposition top order, taking 11 wickets in three innings against the Delhi Capitals, eight wickets in two innings against the Chennai Super Kings, six wickets in two innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders, five wickets in two innings against Kings XI Punjab, and four wickets in two innings against the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Delhi Capitals will have their hands full and it will be down to how they negotiate this deadly duo.


Ponting goes up against his former employers

(By James Jose)

An interesting sub-plot to this contest is Ricky Ponting, the former Australian captain, going up against his former employers. Ponting, now the coach of the Delhi Capitals, had captained the Mumbai Indians in 2013. He also went on to coach them from 2014 to 2016 during which the Mumbai Indians won their second title in 2015. Having taken over Delhi in 2018, a title perhaps is long overdue for the Tasmanian.


The two best teams

(By James Jose)

To be fair, the two best teams are contesting this 13th final. The Mumbai Indians, who are into their sixth final, ooze class right from top to bottom and are perhaps the ideal template of a T20 team. The Delhi Capitals are not too far off, having invested heavily during the auction held last December. Delhi Capitals have a different feel about them this year.


Explosive openers in both teams

(By Rituraj Borkakoty)

With 603 from 16 matches (average 46.38, strike rate 145.65, 100s 2), Shikhar Dhawan is having a fabulous tournament. The left-handed Indian opener even became the first player to score back-to-back hundreds in the IPL. But Prithvi Shaw endured a miserable run with the bat, forcing the Delhi Capitals to allow Marcus Stoinis to partner Dhawan at the top. The move clicked. Dhawan and Stoinis put on 86 runs in 8.2 overs against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Qualifier 2. It turned out to be a match-winning partnership. But in Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma, the Mumbai Indians have a world-class opening pair. Rohit may not have produced his best form yet in the tournament, but write the ‘Hitman’ off at your own peril!


Will Mumbai Indians finally do it in an even-number year?

(By Rituraj Borkakoty)

Okay, so here’s an important fact for you if you believe in the numbers game.

Mumbai Indians have never won the tournament in the even-number years. All their four victories have come in the odd-number years — 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.

So will they finally do it in an even-number year?

We’ll have to wait and see.


Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals: Head-to-head records

(By Rituraj Borkakoty)

First allow us to share with you the head-to-head record between the two finalists.

Yes, it's Mumbai who have the edge with 15 wins, while Delhi have won 12 matches against the most successful team in the tournament.

But Delhi have lost all three of their matches to Mumbai — by far the best team in the tournament — this season.

So, for Delhi to win their first title, they have to win their first match of the tournament against their big rivals today.

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