DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard and left-hander Shimron Hetmyer are on opposite sides, but they are driven by the same ambition – winning this year’s Indian Premier League Twenty20 title today.
An exciting contest awaits fans, when defending champions Mumbai Indians take on first-time finalists Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Pollard, a long-standing member of Mumbai, and Hetmyer, a recent addition to Capitals, will each be looking to make their mark in the title match, which will be televised around the globe.
Pollard has scored 259 runs this season at a strike rate of 190.44, and though Hetmyer has not played too many games this season, he will be high on confidence after his 22-ball 42 not out in qualifier two.
Both teams have finished in the top two after the conclusion of the league stage and Mumbai, led by India international Rohit Sharma, are heavy favourites, having won the title on four previous occasions.
Delhi, led by another India international, Shreyas Iyer, are playing in their first final of world cricket’s richest domestic competition and will have to overcome bouts of nerves if they are to overcome Mumbai.
This will be the fourth time that these two sides are facing each other this season and Mumbai have won the three previous matches.
Delhi, however, have nothing to lose and will be going all out to spoil Mumbai’s coronation.
With both sides packed with batting, the title looks like it will be decided by the two team’s champion fast bowlers.
Delhi’s Kagiso Rabada, the South Africa international, has taken 29 wickets in the competition, two more than Mumbai’s Jasprit Bumrah, the India international.
The battle for Purple Cap, symbol of bowling supremacy in the competition, is on the cards, but the two fast bowlers have made it clear that winning the title takes precedence.
Though Mumbai’s bowling attack is settled, Delhi will sweat a bit over the fitness of left-arm pacer Trent Boult.
The New Zealander had to leave the field after bowling only two overs in qualifier one because of an injury.
Once he is fit enough, Boult, Rabada and South African Anrich Nortje can form a lethal pace-bowling attack.