IPL 2019: MI has slight edge over CSK, says Kumble

The former Indian captain and chief mentor of the Mumbai Indians expects MI to pick a pace option for the final and says the CSK middle order has to fire if it wishes to defend its title.

Anil Kumble

While both CSK and MI have match-winners, former Indian captain Anil Kumble believes Mumbai has the upper hand in the IPL final.   -  Getty Images

As Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings lock horns in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL), former India captain, Anil Kumble, believes that Chennai’s middle-order needs to click if the team has to clinch its fourth title.

“It’s going to be a tough game for Chennai. If they have to beat Mumbai Indians, it’s middle-order has to fire, so that’s something they have to close out now,” Kumble told Sportstar.

He is part of the Select Dugout team that offers cricket fans analytical and predictive commentary on Star Sports Select.

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“It is absolutely important that Chennai bowls well and pick up wickets. It’s going to be a different surface but having said that, Mumbai have the slight edge,” Kumble said.

Last season, Australian Watson had stood out for Chennai as it defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. And Kumble admits that this season too, something similar is required. “We know Shane Watson blew SRH away in the last final. Starting from Shane Watson, right up to Harbhajan for Chennai, anybody can be a match-winner,” Kumble said.

“For MI, you have Rohit Sharma, then there is Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya. We know Krunal was instrumental in Mumbai winning the last IPL in 2017, so it’s going to be a cracking game,” the former captain said.

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While he feels that Mumbai Indians has a 60-40 edge over Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team, Kumble admits: “Two best teams are in the final. It’s wonderful to see the defending champion in the final and Mumbai Indians have done really well. Both teams have been consistent in the way they have gone about in the Vivo IPL.”

While he doesn’t expect any changes in Chennai Super Kings’ final eleven for the final, Kumble thinks Mumbai Indians will go for a pace option. “Mumbai played only three overseas players (in the last game). They will bring back Mitchell McCleneghan in place of Jayant Yadav. That could be the only change I see in Mumbai,” Kumble, who was earlier the chief mentor of Mumbai Indians, said.