Mumbai Indians are all set to appear on their sixth final in the history of IPL this Tuesday. On the other hand, the Delhi Capitals grabbed the other spot of the final, for the first time in 13 appearances. The teams will meet each other at the Dubai International Stadium in search of the IPL 2020 title.
In fact, this is first time an IPL final will take place on a weekday. A major portion of the audience have watched this season from the comfort of their home. The lockdown forced by COVID-19 outbreak is the prime reason behind this change. On the other hand, the Indian national team members would travel to Australia for a tour post IPL. Hence, the IPL final was delayed from Sunday, 8th November to Tuesday, 10th. So, the cricketers do not have to return to India from UAE, instead they can travel directly to Australia and save time.
The IPL Final Stars
IPL, the premier T20 league of India has been a revolutionary tournament in the history of the sport. The first ever season of this tournament took place in the year 2008. Since then, it has been a roller-coaster ride for the teams involved across years.
In its first 12 seasons, we have seen pretty close contests, especially in the season final. Above all, a few players have excelled in a final almost out of the blue. One crucial spell of bowling, or a swashbuckling finish at death overs from a single player have set the platform for their respective franchise quite a few times.
In this article, we will look back at these heroes from the IPL final season by season. Also, we would attempt to explore their current roles in context of this tournament.
Yusuf Pathan (RR) vs CSK, 2008
The first ever season produced the best surprise with a rookie Rajasthan Royals winning the season final against a star-studded Chennai Super Kings. The Royals skipper Shane Warne made a cool nerved finish with the bat with Sohail Tanvir as partner.
But, it was Yusuf Pathan, the elder Pathan brother who displayed all-round excellence in this game. Winning the toss, Warne asked Chennai to bat first. The CSK top order looked to be in form but Yusuf did not let anyone settle down for a big score. In fact, Yusuf picked up the first three wickets with his off-spin on the dusty Mumbai pitch. He dismissed the opening duo of S Vidyut (16), Parthiv Patel (38) and a dangerous Albie Morkel (16). Later, the CSK skipper MS Dhoni with his unbeaten 17-ball-29 propelled his team to 163/8 along with Suresh Raina (43 off 30). Yusuf finished his miser spell with 3/22 from 4 overs.
In response, Rajasthan did not have a good start. With the top 3 falling within 40 balls of the innings, the responsibility for the chase fell upon an experienced Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan. Watson fell for 28 after a steady 65-run partnership with Yusuf. Thereafter, Yusuf changed his gears and smashed Lakshmipathy Balaji and Muttiah Muralitharan for plenty. Raina ran him out at his personal score of 56(39) before Warne and Tanvir finished the game on the last ball of the 20th over.
Later in his IPL career, Yusuf played an instrumental part for the Kolkata Knight Riders behind its title win in 2012 and 2014. He switched to Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018 but inconsistency forced him out of the team in 2020.