It’s the knock-out phase. The battle lines for the playoffs have been drawn for IPL 2018. After six weeks frenzy, we are only four matches away from the winner. Who will be crowned the champion? But there are good reasons that we may see a face-off between SRH (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and CSK (Chennai Super Kings) in the final on May 27, 2018
Both are in top form. Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson and MS Dhoni are matched evenly by Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson in the batting department. While the Sunrisers’ bowling attack seems to be the best in the IPL with Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, CSK’s Lungisani Ngidi and Deepak Chahar are proving more than a handful. Both have adequate ammo to beat each other.
A spent force! Playing past his sell-by date! MS Dhoni was being written off before the IPL. But he has silenced his critics with his stellar performance. As captain, he has been calm yet dynamic. As a finisher, he has mauled bowlers in the death overs. But now he will meet his match in the unassuming Kane Williamson. Whether defending smallish totals or chasing big ones, Williamson has aced the target. He has been in control of the situation and executed strategies to perfection. It will be a fitting finale between two gladiators.
CSK are like hungry lions. After having been out of the IPL for two years, they are licking their lips at the prospect of winning the title. It shows in their aggressive body language. SRH, on the other hand, have surprised many with their performance. They have not steamrolled the opposition but managed to pull the rug from under their feet. A bit like guerrilla warfare! Having won the championship in 2016, they are keen on repeating their feat.
Apart from the in-form players, there are some key players who are waiting to explode into action. Suresh Raina has had a quiet tournament. Harbhajan Singh is known to reserve his best for the big matches. Dwayne Bravo is yet to hit peak form. All this is danger for the opposition. Similarly, SRH’s middle-order is potential dynamite. Manish Pandey is striding into top form. Yusuf Pathan can demolish any attack on a good day. Shakib Al Hasan has been a match-winner with the bat for Bangladesh. What better than the big finals for all these players?
Just watching these two teams lock horns will give cricket lovers their money’s worth. It will definitely be a battle of equals armed to the teeth.