Chennai Super Kings captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) successfully appeals for a LBW against Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle during the IPL Twenty20 first qualifier match.
Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings will meet Vettori-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in the grand final of the Indian Premier League season four on Saturday evening at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, powered by Chris Gayle's brilliant 89 off 47 balls, outclassed Mumbai Indians by 43 runs on Friday night to set up this mega clash. Earlier, the Chennai Super Kings had defeated Royal Challengers in a tightly contested match to enter the final of IPL 2011.
However, Chris Gayle - the man for Royal Challengers Bangalore had failed to fire in the match against Chennai Super kings. Gayle has been on fire this season and has already won six Man of the Match awards, the most by a player in an IPL tournament, and has turned the fortune of the Royal Challengers since he joined the team this year.
Though Chris Gayle has been the main factor behind the super performance by the Royal Challengers some other players in the team namely India cricket's future hope Virat Kohli and ace Indian bowler Zaheer Khan and New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori have been important factors behind RCB's performance.
Chennai Super Kings, led by captain cool MS Dhoni, seems be the favourites to win the championship if Chris Gayle does not fire in the game on Saturday. However, if Gayle does well it will be a tight contest as the Chennai is also a very good unit.
Players like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Murali Vijay, Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo have done well for their team in the IPL. If one has failed, the other has chipped in. The great leadership of Dhoni and maintenance of the core players by the team owners have been important factors behind the team's success.
Chennai will also have the home advantage on their side when they play the mega final on Saturday evening. They know the pitch well and the low and slow wicket of Chennai has suited them well.
Though the final outcome will be known only on Saturday night, one can say that Bangalore minus Chris Gayle will be easier for Chennai to beat and clinch the title for the second time in succession.
Chennai Super Kings (From): MS Dhoni(w/c), Srikkanth Anirudha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, George Bailey, Doug Bollinger, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Shadab Jakati, Joginder Sharma, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara, Vijaykumar Yo Mahesh, Albie Morkel, Abhinav Mukund, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Sudeep Tyagi, Ganapathi Vignesh, Murali Vijay, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas
Royal Challengers Bangalore (From): Daniel Vettori(c), Mayank Agarwal, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, BN Bharath, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers(w), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Pradeep, Muralidharen Gautam, Mohammad Kaif, Abrar Kazi, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Charl Langeveldt, Abhimanyu Mithun, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Ninan, Asad Pathan, Luke Pomersbach, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Saurabh Tiwary, Johan van der Wath, Jonathan Vandiar, Chris Gayle, Syed Mohammad Jamaluddin