The big day is here. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians (MI) will fight it out for the prized IPL crown at Kolkata's Eden Gardens in front of a large crowd on Sunday night.
For the two teams, the road to the final was quite contrasting. Mumbai had a disastrous start to their campaign as they lost their first four matches. But just when things looked bleak, the team bounced back with some panache as it won seven of its last nine group games to make it to the title round. They took along the momentum to the Wankhede Stadium - their home turf, where they beat CSK by 25 runs in the Qualifier 1 and booked a place in the ultimate showdown.
Chennai, on the other hand, had a consistent season as they finished atop the league table with 18 points from 14 games. But the heavyweights had a slip up enroute to the final, at the Wankhede, but recovered with a very clinical performance against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday night as they outdid Virat Kohli's side by three wickets in Ranchi.
Before the high-voltage match, here are five things to watch out for:
Clash of the titans
While CSK have won the IPL title twice, MI have clinched it once - two years ago. Both teams have tasted success in the cash-rich tournament and know how to tackle pressure. In the grand finale, all eyes will be on how they keep their cool in the battle of nerves.
Considering the head-to-head battles, it is difficult to differentiate between the two franchises, with Mumbai having clinched 11 games to CSK's 10. Thus a battle of the titans awaits the fans and supporters at Eden, as the two sides unleash their full fury to clinch the trophy on a wicket that has fulfilled expectations in this tournament.
When the two teams fight it out at Eden, the spotlight will be on four players from the Caribbean islands.
Lendl Simmons, who carved a brilliant 51-ball 65 in the Qualifier 1 for Mumbai, will add thunder to Mumbai's batting. Kieron Pollard also played an important role in MI's comprehensive win over CSK earlier this month that paved the way for their entry into the final of IPL 8.
On the other hand, Chennai have in their arsenal the likes of Dwayne Smith, who will open their batting, and Dwayne Bravo, one of the most successful all-rounders in the tournament. Bravo is also the leading wicket-taker this season with 24 victims from 15 matches. Plus, he can turn the match with his batting skills at the death.