Mumbai v Chennai, IPL final, Mumbai April 24, 2010

All-round strength gives Mumbai the edge

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
Stats preview to the IPL final between Mumbai and Chennai

After an intensely contested league phase and two one-sided semi finals, Mumbai Indians, the table toppers, will lock horns with a rejuvenated Chennai Super Kings. Chennai, after languishing in the bottom half of the table initially, have raised their game remarkably to make a final which promises to be a close contest.

Mumbai have been the in-form team of the tournament all the way and this is reflected in their all-round stats. Their batting run-rate and bowling economy rate are among the best of all teams and the difference between the two, which is shown in the table below, is clearly better than that of Chennai.

Overall run rate and economy rate
Team Matches played Run rate Economy rate Run rate difference
Mumbai Indians 15 8.72 7.48 1.24
Chennai Super Kings 15 8.33 7.67 0.66

Mumbai's batting in the Powerplay overs, led by Sachin Tendulkar for most of this season, has been excellent. They have the upper hand in this aspect over Chennai, who are being plagued by the poor form of Matthew Hayden. However, if Tendulkar misses the final due to his hand injury, the teams will be pretty even on this front.

Batting performance during powerplay (overs 1-6)
Team Runs scored Balls faced Run rate Wickets lost Average
Mumbai Indians 769 540 8.54 17 45.23
Chennai Super Kings 714 540 7.93 22 32.45

One of the reasons for Chennai's resurgence has been the economical and accurate bowling of R Ashwin and Doug Bollinger in the first few overs. Chennai's economy rate and average is marginally better than Mumbai's.

Bowling performance during powerplay (overs 1-6)
Team Runs conceded Balls bowled Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Mumbai Indians 703 557 7.57 22 31.95
Chennai Super Kings 675 568 7.13 22 30.68

Boosted by the powerful Kieron Pollard, Mumbai have managed to take control of games in the last few overs. This is clearly reflected in their showing in the final six overs. They have scored at more than 11 runs per over which is better than what Chennai have been able to achieve. Pollard's explosive hitting against Bangalore helped Mumbai amass 77 runs in the last five overs and they will undoubtedly be looking for more of the same.

Batting performance in last six overs
Team Runs scored Balls faced Run rate Wickets lost Average
Mumbai Indians 970 522 11.14 35 27.71
Chennai Super Kings 774 491 9.45 32 24.18

Lasith Malinga and Zaheer Khan have bowled quite exceptionally throughout and once again in the semi finals against Bangalore, they were a handful. In the spin department, though, Chennai have been boosted by the fine showing of Ashwin, S Jakati and Muttiah Muralitharan, and have the edge over Mumbai.

Performance of fast bowlers and spinners for Mumbai
Type of bowler Runs conceded Balls bowled Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Pace 1697 1275 7.76 59 27.98
Spin 552 456 7.14 23 23.60

Performance of fast bowlers and spinners for Chennai
Type of bowler Runs conceded Balls bowled Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Pace 1321 904 8.59 40 32.37
Spin 1040 869 6.92 43 23.32

The final will also be a battle between two fast bowlers who have spearheaded the bowling attacks of their teams. Doug Bollinger's inclusion has given Chennai's attack a whole new dimension, while Lasith Malinga has been very consistent for Mumbai. Chennai were able to defend a low score in their semi final against Deccan Chargers thanks largely to Doug Bollinger's inspired bowling performance which resulted in figures of 4 for 13. Meanwhile, Malinga's ability to bowl accurate yorkers and mix slower balls in the final overs has been invaluable as he proved in the semi finals clash against Bangalore. The table below summarises the performance of these two fast bowlers.

Performance of Doug Bollinger and Lasith Malinga
Player name Matches played Overs bowled Runs conceded Economy rate Wickets taken
Doug Bollinger 7 27.0 176 6.51 11
Lasith Malinga 12 45.0 311 6.91 15

With Tendulkar, the best batsman in this edition of the IPL, in doubt for the final, it is vital for Mumbai that the youngsters Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu step up once again like they have in recent matches. Chennai will be boosted by the recent return to form of their captain MS Dhoni and S Badrinath.

Mumbai are the in-form team and they probably have their noses slightly ahead of Chennai. But Chennai have been in a final before and have been extremely consistent across all three seasons. The head to head record this year also stands at one win each. All in all, it's quite appropriate that the two best teams overall statistically in this season's IPL will face off in the final.