In his column for the Times of India, De Villiers wrote, “At the conclusion of the most exciting and compelling IPL, the usual suspects have negotiated the inevitable ups and downs and successfully navigated their way to the final. Chennai Super Kings, IPL champions in 2010, 2011 and 2018, will play Mumbai Indians, IPL champions in 2013, 2015 and 2017; and, by Sunday night, after what will be a fantastic occasion in Hyderabad, the winner will stand apart as the only team to hold four IPL titles. CSK and MI are the serial winners of the IPL, the teams who seem to have developed an inherent self-belief that, whatever happens, they will stick to their plans, perform under pressure and prevail.”
Mumbai won their finals in 2013, 2015 — both against Chennai — and again in 2017 when they beat Rising Pune Supergiants.
“These two teams contested the final in 2010, 2013 and 2015… and, essentially again in 2017 when the absent CSK were temporarily reincarnated as Rising Pune Supergiants. This will be a fifth appearance in an IPL final for MI, while, the team captained by MS Dhoni will have featured in no fewer than eighth of the 12 IPL finals ever played… amazing consistency. CSK’s experience and consistency served them well again in the play-off victory over DC, as they proved too strong and too smart in the moments that matter,” De Villiers added.
Chennai won the IPL title in 2010 against Mumbai, in 2011 and again in 2018 after coming back from a two-year ban.
“Hyderabad will host the final, and the wicket usually plays well; it can be a 200-plus track but, on other occasions, 150 can be a winning score. Barring anything unusual, both teams may prefer to bat first and put runs on the board, with par being a score of around 180. For some reason, the challenge of chasing always seems harder in a final,” De Villiers concluded.