After 59 matches filled with action, the IPL 2015 Final has finally arrived. Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians lock horns at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata to fight it out for the ultimate glory of this season. While Mumbai Indians are buoyant after a stunning comeback in the second leg of the season, Chennai Super Kings can rely on their evergreen skipper MS Dhoni to have a few tricks up his sleeve for such high voltage games.
We take a look at some of the key contests which promise to make the IPL 2015 Final all the more fascinating.
IPL 2015 Final : Contests and rivalries!
1. Ashish Nehra v Lendl Simmons
Ashish Nehra is 36 years old, and he is still going strong! The veteran Indian pacer, with a bagful of 22 wickets in this season of the IPL has surprised one and all with his ability to excel in a format considered fit only for the young and energetic! Talk of surprise, and you also have to mention Lendl Simmons. The MI opener who has been a vital cog in the wheel of MI’s turnaround this season. Presently sixth in the list of top run getters, Simmons has been responsible for Mumbai getting quick runs at the start of the innings. A delightful battle for supremacy between Simmons and Nehra is on the cards!
2. Dwayne Bravo v Kieron Pollard
Familiar foes (and friends) Bravo and Pollard can be expected to light up the IPL 2015 Final at the Eden Gardens . Notwithstanding their camaraderie as national teammates, the duo’s ‘animated’ rivalry in the IPL is quite well known. The fact that it was Bravo who managed to dismiss Pollard in the last over of the Qualifier 1, held a few days back, ought to make things more interesting. Surely, it is going to be a West Indian special when Pollard gets the chance to face Bravo once again!
3. Lasith Malinga v Michael Hussey
Somehow, IPL 2015 Final bears stron1g similarities with the final of the 2013 edition of the tournament. CSK, MI and Eden Gardens are common to both! And so are Micheal Hussey and Lasith Malinga! The notable fact is that two years ago, on the same occasion, it was Malinga who had managed to upset the woodwork of an in-form Hussey with the 4th ball of the first over of Chennai’s innings. Veteran Michael Hussey, though not a regular in T20 cricket any more, did manage to stage a comeback with a gritty match-winning half century against RCB in the Eliminator. It would be exciting to see how he tackles the guile of Malinga, who has been the top wicket taker for Mumbai this season.
4. Harbhajan Singh v Suresh Raina
IPL 2015 has not been memorable for Suresh Raina! With just 346 runs from 16 games so far, the southpaw has clearly struggled to justify his own reputation. However, he has often been called a ‘big match player’, and the IPL 2015 Final is a big match indeed! Mumbai Indians need to ensure that they neutralize the threat of Raina as early as possible. Harbhajan Singh appears to be MI’s best bet to face the dicey challenge posed by this misfiring canon. With 16 wickets in his kitty this season, Bhajji ought to be in red hot form tomorrow, having recently earned a call to the Indian Test team touring Bangladesh next month. Will it be the wily old Bhajji who manages to fox the southpaw? Or will Raina break the shackles and go big when it matters the most? Eden Gardens holds all the answers.