After 59 games, the tournament is left with two teams.
Mumbai Indians take on the Delhi Capitals in the finals. Mumbai has a good record in IPL 2020.
They beat the Capitals in all three matches played between the two sides.
The two finished top of the table and looked the best sides for most of the tournament.
Despite being on top, the two had contrasting fortunes mid-way through the tournament.
They both went back to their old templates, consistent for the Mumbai Indians and confusing for the Delhi Capitals.
The Mumbai Indians lost the first game of the season but recovered as they won the next.
Key players like Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah were a little rusty as the tournament started.
Jasprit Bumrah managed to get through the rustiness and picked up 27 wickets.
His performance is crucial to Mumbai Indians as the bowling attack is based on him and his form.
With a strong bowling attack and players like Quinton De Kock and Suryakumar Yadav batting well, the batting has supported the bowling well.
The bowling has become a settled unit with Trent Boult efficiently coming in place of Malinga.
Trent Boult’s new-ball bowling has been excellent as he and James Pattinson or Nathan Coulter Nile have managed to pick up some crucial wickets at the top.
Rahul Chahar has done an admirable job as the lead-spinner despite a young age. The three bowlers have been crucial in Mumbai’s consistency.
The Mumbai Indians won nine games and comfortably reached the playoffs without net-run-rate coming in to play.
Even if they depended on the net-run rate, Mumbai Indians are placed well above the others. They have the highest net-run rate this season.
They never lost more than one game in a row this season.
The defeats were mostly due to minor bad days rather than a massive weakness in the side.
They have been comfortable batting first, which bought them some big wins early in the season.
They won most of their games with comfortable margins, showing their dominance, while defeats came in close games like the double super over match against Punjab.
Another loss for the Mumbai Indians was during a super over against the Royal Challengers.
They lost comprehensively only on two occasions.
The two occasions where Mumbai lost badly were against Rajasthan Royals, where Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson planned a run-chase well. Sunrisers
Hyderabad, against whom the Mumbai Indians rested its key players.
Mumbai Indians used the least number of players in the league stage.
They made changes only in the tournament’s last match as they cemented the top spot in the league.
They went through to the playoffs with relative ease, having all departments covered.
The Mumbai Indians have enjoyed playing the Delhi Capitals throughout IPL 2020.
They beat the Delhi Capitals in three encounters.
Another daunting factor in the Mumbai Indians is the middle-order, which caused trouble for the Delhi Capitals.
Kieron Pollard, Ishan Kishan, and the Pandya brothers form a powerful middle-order, each capable of competing among each other for most sixes.
Bowling to the four of them becomes more challenging as the slightest of errors can cost the opposition.
With consistent openers, a powerful middle-order, and a superior bowling attack, the Mumbai Indians have dominated the other sides and look set to win their fifth title.
The Delhi Capitals, on the other hand, have had a different journey.
The Delhi Capitals started the tournament with a fighting win against the Kings XI Punjab.
Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have formed a spectacular partnership for the Delhi Capitals, while Marcus Stoinis has also delivered in the roles given to him.
Ravichandran Ashwin has been consistent with the ball, while Axar Patel has silently applied pressure on the middle-overs’ oppositions.
The bowling attack has fired collectively with two fast bowlers, two spinners, and an all-rounder forming the core.
Delhi Capitals have fielded a balanced bowling attack comparable to the bowling of the Sunrisers and Mumbai Indians.
The batting has not been as strong as the bowling, with some inconsistency throughout the tournament.
Prithvi Shaw started well but has been out of form, causing his exclusion.
Shreyas Iyer has been getting starts but isn’t able to convert his starts to big scores.
Rishabh Pant has played with a new approach, looking to play according to the situation.
His new approach hasn’t helped as he looks confused and is not a fearsome sight for the bowlers.
He has had the better of Jasprit Bumrah in the past and is a crucial player for the Delhi Capitals.
Against a strong Mumbai Indians outfit, if Delhi Capitals are to have any hope of winning, they’ll need Rishabh Pant back at his reckless and aggressive best.
Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis have been the stars for the Capitals with the bat.
The two players have been consistent among an inconsistent batting line-up.
Both Stoinis and Dhawan have carried the batting throughout the season but face a common issue going into the final.
During Qualifier one, both batsmen were out similarly.
Bumrah bowled pin-point Yorkers to dismiss both batsmen, and with Bumrah’s skill, a repeat is possible.
The two batsmen will have to find ways to throw Bumrah off his rhythm if they want to avoid a repeat.
While Dhawan has been the leading run-scorer and has been consistent, he has suffered from quite a few low-scores.
His low-scores have impacted the Capitals badly as they struggled in the latter half of the season.
Coming to their progression throughout the IPL, the Delhi Capitals may consider themselves lucky to have made their first final.
They started the tournament well, with seven wins in nine matches.
The bowlers were exceptional in the Capitals run to the top of the table.
The Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals always moved around the top two spots, with each game resulting in a change in position.
The Capitals found new stars each game as the tournament went on.
They found Marcus Stoinis in the first game, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Shimron Hetmyer in the next few games, and the best of all towards the middle of the season.
The batting struggle started around the Capitals’ half-way point, with loss of form and lots of confusion in the batting line-up.
Though Rishabh Pant is out of form, his absence created chaos as the team composition was affected.
In his absence, they only had one option for wicket-keeper, which was Alex Carey.
Bringing in Alex Carey would mean an overseas player has to sit out.
Shimron Hetmyer was the one to sit out in Pant’s absence, disturbing a settled unit.
A side that had a fixed eleven, with players knowing their roles well, became confused in between.
Shikhar Dhawan managed to carry the batting unit with little support, but the Capitals still weren’t good enough to match their opposition batsmen.
The Capitals lost steam, and even after Pant’s return, the batsmen struggled to make an impact.
Delhi Capitals lost four games in a row and looked like they’d do a repeat of their performance in 2010.
In 2010, the Delhi Capitals(then Daredevils) were on top for most of the tournament.
A late-season stumble made them miss out on a playoff spot.
A similar situation occurred for the Capitals, and they were left facing the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their final game.
A win would take the Capitals to second while a defeat, by a significant margin, would leave them in the fate of others.
They turned up on the day, and with a collective effort, the Delhi Capitals won.
Though they finished second, the Delhi Capitals struggled as they won only one in their last five league games.
A lot of holes in the Delhi Capitals line-up began to show.
Major holes involved the batting line-up as most batsmen including, Shikhar Dhawan, lost form.
With Prithvi Shaw struggling, the opening pair didn’t provide good starts as well.
The composition wasn’t as good as the one used at the beginning of the tournament.
The bowling has been good throughout, but slight errors have proved costly even for their best bowlers while facing the Mumbai batsmen.
Anrich Nortje has been another slight concern as he has struggled in the last few games, while Kagiso Rabada has also had a few games.
Two wicketless games for Kagiso Rabada in IPL 2020 are an insight into how he has also not been at his best.
He managed to pick up four wickets in the qualifier two, but his bowling has not been the best as he admitted.
The Capitals tried to bring back some form in the qualifier by opening with Stoinis and bringing Hetmyer to strengthen the batting line-up.
The change worked as the opening composition found success, and Hetmyer provided the finishing kick.
The batting clicked while the bowlers did a decent job with wickets in the powerplay and death.
Though the combination worked in Delhi’s favor, the side’s inconsistency remains.
With the side likely to be similar, we will get to know if the Capitals spring a surprise with another good performance.
It seems unlikely that they may, taking on a strong side they are yet to beat this year.
A campaign that started well for the Delhi Capitals has become a roller-coaster ride, with players losing form along the way and star bowlers like Rabada and Nortje facing difficulties in recent games.
In a few hours, the Delhi Capitals will be taking on the Mumbai Indians in their first-ever final.
A final between the best and most consistent side and a side with potential but isn’t delivering, out of form, and not the most reliable.
The Mumbai Indians still haven’t lost to the Capitals this season and are indeed the favorites to win a fifth title.
Let’s see soon whether Mumbai cruise to their fifth title or the Capitals spring a surprise, fight and make things difficult for the Mumbai Indians.