It’s No. 1 taking on No. 2, as reigning champions Mumbai battle Delhi in the final of the 2020 Indian T20 League.
Delhi will be playing in their first final while for Mumbai, it will be their sixth, in pursuit of a fifth title and a second on the trot.
Here are the key facts from the contest:
A tale of two halves for Rohit
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma was stellar in the early half of the season, scoring 211 in six matches at a decent strike rate of 35.17 and a healthy strike rate of 145.52.
However, he has been abysmal over his last five games.
Sharma tallied just 53 runs, averaging 10.6 and a strike rate of only 82.81. To put that into context, his replacement at the top in absence, Ishan Kishan scored more runs in an innings than Sharma has in his last five matches thrice over Mumbai's last six matches.
Is the skipper saving the best for the last or will he continue his disappointing form in the final?
Jasprit Bumrah: Marcus Stoinis' nightmare
Marcus Stoinis was playing an absolute blinder for Delhi in Qualifier 1, keeping the game alive for his side with some sensational bowling in the middle overs, but Mumbai's Jasprit Bumrah knocked his middle out with the ball that he bowled in the death overs, ending the match as a contest.
Bumrah has now dismissed Stoinis thrice in five matches and the Australian has scored just 14 runs in 21 matches against the Indian speedster. Delhi maybe have a weapon in Stoinis, but Mumbai wield the perfect neutraliser in Bumrah.
Players to watch out for
Mumbai – Trent Boult
While Jasprit Bumrah is deservedly taking all the plaudits, Trent Boult has quietly been sensational for Mumbai, picking up 22 wickets, the third most for Mumbai this season. Boult, who signed for Mumbai via a trade from Delhi this past offseason, loves playing against his former side and has picked up five wickets in his last two matches against the first-time finalists despite bowling just six overs in those two contests. Delhi's top order is susceptible to swing and Boult, one of the best swing bowlers on the planet, has exploited that to great effect and Mumbai will be hoping that he can do that in the final as well.
Delhi – Shikhar Dhawan
It’s been Shikhar or bust for Delhi's batting order this season. The league’s second-highest runscorer has three ducks in his last seven matches but has scored two centuries and two fifties in the other four, meaning that if he gets off the mark, he usually converts it into a big score. Delhi have failed to score over 160 in the seven matches that Dhawan had been dismissed before reaching 30, illustrating the team's heavy reliance on their veteran opener. Dhawan’s wicket is half the game for Mumbai and it will be intriguing to see what approach the Delhi-native adopts against the side that dismissed him on a duck in Qualifier 1.
Stats to watch out
2: Mumbai’s Kieron Pollard needs two sixes to become the first player to hit 200 sixes for Mumbai in the Indian T20 League. He will become the sixth player to hit 200 sixes in the league after Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
8: Rohit Sharma needs eight runs to complete 4,000 runs in the Indian T20 League for Mumbai. He will become the third player to score that many for one franchise after Suresh Raina (Chennai) and Virat Kohli (Bangalore).
21: Delhi’s Ravichandran Ashwin has picked up 21 wickets against Mumbai, the most he’s managed against a team in the league.
40: Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer needs 40 runs to become Delhi's all-time leading runscorer in the Indian T20 League.
200: Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma will play in his 200th Indian T20 League match, joining Chennai’s MS Dhoni in achieving the feat. Fellow opener Quinton de Kock will also be playing his 200th T20 match.
Mumbai simply have too much firepower with the ball for Delhi's batting line-up and possess immense batting depth that has and will hurt Delhi’s well-rounded bowling unit. It’s Mumbai's game to lose.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Indian T20 League