Whichever team wins, this match is going to be an absolute nail biter. These 2 teams have been 2 of the best teams of the tournament and they have earned their place here in the finals. The match being in Delhi, which is a neutral venue is a good call as none of the teams would be having the home advantage. That being said, Rajasthan are very unfortunate to lose their finisher, Hodge to injury and that may be a huge blow for them. The youngsters must step up for RR, whereas the Mumbai batting line up looks in very good form.
The Mumbai team management made a good call by dropping Maxwell for Johnson in the last game, and they hope Johnson can deliver if he is picked to play in the finals too. Apart from Johnson, rest of the bowling attach looks solid with the Dhawan’s and the Ojha’s and the Bhajji’s performing decently. He batting on the other hand is their strong point. Now that Sachin is back in form, The Rajasthan bowlers would need to pull out something special to make sure they can run this Mumbai side over.
Rajasthan seem to be hit badly by the injury to Hodge, but well 1 player cannot be the reason for a loss or a victory. Their bowling looks pretty decent with Tambe, Cooper and Watson being in good form, but it is their batting where they need to pull up their socks. Dravid is not in form, Rahane acts as an anchor but plays a little too slow, Binny and Yagnik are inconsistent, which leaves too much work on the shoulders of Watson and Samson. They need to play together as a unit, and if they can there is no stopping them.
Mumbai Indians: Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik(wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Rishi Dhawan, Pragyan Ojha
X-Factor: For some reason Rohit is bowling Harbhajan mostly in the powerplays which is not what Harbhajan would prefer to do but isn’t resisting to it either. All he wants to do is bowl well and pick wickets regularly, as this is exactly where he can stamp his authority on the selectors and push them to select him in the national team. If he can pick up a couple of wickets early on in this very important game, he would be doing his team a huge favor. A good performance is expected from him, and it is to be seen if he can deliver the goods.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Shane Watson, Dishant Yagnik (wk), Stuart Binny, Ashok Menaria, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Shukla/Shaun Tait
X-Factor: In the absence of Brad Hodge, it would be Stuart Binny who has to take up the role of the finisher in the Rajasthan line up. He is an outstanding all-rounder but has been underperforming in the last few games. If there is anyone who can motivate him to perform upto his ability, it is going to be Dravid, and Dravid must make sure Binny is at the top of his game. The son of Roger Binny, Stuart definitely has the potential to win this game for the Royals, and if he does so it would be the perfect farewell he could give to the one and only legend – The Wall, Dravid.
Expected Result: Close game, Mumbai Win