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Tactics Board: The Dhawan vs Bumrah bout and the Rahul Chahar surprise

Can Iyer strike quickly and will Mumbai Indians get a chance to bat first?

Rohit Sharma has won five IPL titles, while Jasprit Bumrah has won two


Tuesday will be the first weekday IPL final - and also the first featuring Delhi Capitals. Their opponents, Mumbai Indians, have the "psychological edge", according to Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma. Whoever wins the title will create history - Mumbai for winning it for a fifth time, the Capitals for their first IPL crown. Here's where the match could be won or lost.
Dhawan-Stoinis vs Bumrah-Boult
No other team's top order has suffered from the new-ball attack of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult more than the Delhi Capitals. Mumbai's strike bowlers, who are among the top three wicket-takers this IPL, have bagged 11 top-order wickets of the Capitals in three matches. The next highest on their log are the Chennai Super Kings with eight wickets.
Whether they bat first or chase, the Capitals' openers Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis will have to see off the initial burst from Bumrah and Boult. If they manage to keep the Capitals alive after the first handful of overs, they can encash that safety-first approach later with their power hitters.
That will not be easy, however. Just five days ago, in Qualifier-1, both Dhawan and Stoinis were undone by Bumrah's fierce pace and accuracy. Dhawan left with a sheepish smile after saving his toes from a 142kph yorker, one of the deliveries of this IPL, which rattled his off stump. That was the second time Bumrah had Dhawan this season.
He then knocked back Stoinis' off stump with a length ball. It was the fourth time he'd dismissed the Australian allrounder in the IPL. But both the Capitals' openers will aim to take fresh guard in Dubai in the final.
Iyer needs to strike hard early
Shreyas Iyer has been the Capitals' second-highest run-getter after Dhawan. However, he hasn't made a telling statement with the bat like Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan have for Mumbai.
While Iyer's overall strike rate is 122, his strike rate in the first 10 balls dips to 95.5. Suryakumar's corresponding first-10-balls number is 140. Kishan too starts off slowly, striking at 98 off his first 10 balls, but he's managed to convert slow starts into high-impact scores. His overall strike rate is significantly higher than Iyer's, at 144. Iyer's positive tempo could inject energy the Capitals' middle-order, which has been shaky during the tournament's second half.
Can Rahul Chahar bounce back?
In Qualifier-1, the legspinner was taken apart by Stoinis with his two wicketless overs going for 35. Chahar has just one wicket in 10 overs against the Capitals this IPL. He also spilled a catch that night, but was coaxed by his captain into leading the team off the field after victory. But Chahar should know that the Capitals batsmen are not the most fluent against legspin. In fact, Sharma could even allow Chahar one over in the Powerplay to challenge Stoinis, who has lost his wicket half a dozen times against legspin in the IPL.
Will Mumbai stick to batting first in the final?
Mumbai have opted to bat first in four of the five finals they have played. They have won the title each time. The one time they chased, and lost, was way back in 2010 against the Chennai Super Kings. Overall teams batting first have won eight of the 12 IPL finals so far.
It will be interesting to see what the Capitals do if they win the toss, considering Mumbai have won twice chasing during the league phase and then finished with a strong victory having been put in to bat in Qualifier 1.

Gaurav Sundararaman is a senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo