Rashid Khan's presence ensures the opposition teams strategise differently. Sometimes scoring at just a run a ball against him without losing a wicket is seen as an above-par performance for the batting team. So far, Rashid has been involved in five finals across his T20 career. He has taken just two wickets in them but also conceded only 5.27 runs per over.
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Since January 2021, Ahmedabad has hosted 18 T20s. Out of those, only twice has a team opted to bat after winning the toss. Overall, the chasing teams have won on 12 occasions. In the remaining six games, the team batting first scored in excess of 170. With slightly bigger boundaries and a possibility of dew setting in, whoever is batting first on Sunday will look to score at least 170, which should be the par score. Samson has been incredibly unlucky with the toss this season, losing 13 tosses from 16 games. However, he won an important toss in the Qualifier 2 against Royal Challengers Bangalore at this very venue. The last two IPL finals, though, have seen the team winning the toss going on to lose the match.
The powerplay in both innings is going to be one of the key phases of the final. With the conditions favouring bowlers early on, it is important that the batting team keeps wickets intact as both teams have excellent bowlers to exploit the conditions. Titans are the best team in the bowling powerplay, followed by Royals. Titans have taken 26 wickets at an average of 26.69 in the powerplay, while Royals have taken 24 wickets at 27.38. The new-ball spells from Trent Boult and Mohammed Shami will be crucial for both teams and It would be interesting to how the batters approach them.
Royals and Titans have been the most dominant sides against spin in the tournament. While Royals have struck at 136.72, Titans have gone at 125.34. However, with three quality spinners on display across both teams, it will be interesting to see how the batters go against them. In the two matches that Titans and Royals have played against each other, Royals preferred playing out Rashid but Titans have dominated Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. Titans' batters scored 144 runs off 102 balls of spin against Royals while losing just three wickets. Eighty of those runs came in boundaries. In Royal's last two games, Chahal was wicketless and conceded 77 from his eight overs. Do Chahal and Ashwin have new tricks for Titans' batters?
David Miller is having his best IPL season ever. He has scored 449 runs at an average of 64.14 and a strike rate of 141.19. Historically, Miller has been a pace hitter. Scoring against spin has not been his forte. However, since 2020, Miller averages 56.9 and strikes at 136.9 against spin. He also scores a boundary once every seven deliveries against spin. With a minimum of 450 balls, only Devon Conway has a better average and strike rate than Miller against spin.
Gaurav Sundararaman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo