After 59 matches of riveting action, the two best sides in the IPL this year take each other on in the final as Mumbai Indians face Delhi Capitals in Dubai. Both teams possess a plethora of stars, both domestic and international, and many of them have come up trumps on more than one occasion during the tournament so far.

Here’s our preview of what’s set to be an enthralling finale to the biggest T20 competition in the world.

Reigning champions Mumbai seeking fifth title

Many saw Mumbai Indians (4/6) as leading contenders to retain the title they won in 2019 and those theories have proved, for the most part, correct as Rohit Sharma’s side have been in dominant form in 2020. They topped the table with nine wins from their fourteen matches and were comfortably the first to qualify for the play-offs. Their squad has largely remained the same for a number of seasons now and players like Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Krunal and Hardik Pandya know what it takes to be successful in this competition and all have played a big part in getting them to the final. Hardik has smashed 25 sixes in the tournament so far, with the Indian international’s 278 runs proving crucial.

However, as important as his runs have been, it’s Ishan Kishan and South African Quinton de Kock who have been the real shining lights in the Mumbai batting order. Both batsmen have scored 483 runs so far and have played key roles in getting their side to the final. De Kock’s fine campaign is a continuation of 2019 where his 529 runs was a big part of Mumbai’s success and he’s 11/4 to be his side’s top run scorer in this year’s final.

Underdogs Delhi have nothing to lose

Delhi Capitals’ season started in impressive fashion as they won five of their first six matches and midway through the tournament, they looked guaranteed to be in the play-offs. However, their form switched dramatically, losing four of their last five games with a number of batting collapses costing them. They had to beat Bangalore to guarantee a place in the top-four and they did in a fairly convincing six-wicket win, with their bowlers once again proving the key.

Like Mumbai, a large part of their success has been down to a South African, but this time it’s a bowler in Kagiso Rabada whose 29 wickets is the most in the tournament. His compatriot Anrich Nortje has also impressed in his debut season with 20 scalps and two Proteas pacemen have led Delhi to a number of victories. Rabada leads Jasprit Bumrah by two wickets in the race for the Purple Cap and he’ll be doing all he can to win that and in doing so helping his side to a first IPL title. The 25-year-old is 9/4 to be his side’s leading wicket taker in the final.

As mentioned, Delhi’s batting hasn’t always flourished in the tournament, but a couple of individuals have stood out. In particular Shikhar Dhawan, the fourth leading run scorer in the competition’s history, who has scored a staggering 603 runs so far. That total has only been bettered by KL Rahul and if the Capitals are to win this, for which they are 6/5, they’ll need Dhawan to deliver again. The Indian opener is 5/2 to top the Delhi batting charts here.

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