Chennai, May 26: Chennai Super Kings know the art of winning big matches. For one last time this season, can they prosper under pressure and complete a hat-trick of titles in front of their adoring home fans on a Super Sunday? Most of the pundits and Chennai fans feel the hosts will stop first-time finalists Kolkata Knight Riders at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. If they do so, it will be a sort of double hat-trick. First, it will be three wins on the trot (Eliminator, Qualifier 2 and Final) and also three titles in as many years.
But you cannot discount Kolkata's chances. They have been just brilliant this season. Unlike the previous years, Kolkata have been led well by captain Gautam Gambhir. Their biggest strength is possessing mystery spinner, Sunil Narine.
If Gambhir and Narine can repeat their rousing form, then it could spell doom for the Chennai boys.
Chennai blasted their way past the 200-run mark against Delhi Daredevils on Friday night, but that might not happen on Sunday. Kolkata's bowling looks much better.
Apart from Narine, Chennai boy Laxmipathy Balaji, Jacques Kallis, Rajat Bhatia and Shakib Al Hasan can prove handy.
The conditions were perfect for batting on Friday. The same might prevail for the title clash. If a captain wins toss, he might look at batting first and be safe in a high-pressure match like this.
Chennai are reaping the rewards of having a calm and composed captain like Dhoni. He is unfazed in most of the tense moments. His handling of Team India in World Cup 2011 final is always spoken highly. Can he bring out that same batting form in this Twenty20 final?
All-rounder Dwayne Bravo is also a big asset for the reigning champions. He has shone with both bat and ball. Murali Vijay has rediscovered his touch in time and would like to shine once more.
Both captains' roles could determine the outcome of the final. They can turn the fortunes of their teams with their batting.
What fans will be hoping, is a close finish unlike the play-offs games which were heavily one-sided.
When the tournament kicked off on April 4 at the same venue, Chennai were one of the teams playing. And on the final day, they are there. Only thing they will hope is a change of result from the first day. Will that happen or Kolkata lift their maiden trophy?
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkepeer), Michael Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikkanth Anirudha, Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ben Hilfenhaus, Shadab Jakati, Doug Bollinger, Francois du Plessis, George Bailey, Scott Styris, Suraj Randiv, Abhinav Mukund, G Vignesh, Joginder Sharma, Kuthethur Vasudevadas, Subramaniam Badrinath, Sudeep Tyagi, Yo Mahesh and Wriddhiman Saha.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Brendon McCullum (wicketkeeper), Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Debabrata Das, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Rajat Bhatia, Sunil Narine, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla, Chirag Jani, Iresh Saxena, Jaidev Unadkat, Manvinder Bisla, Pradeep Sangwan, Sanju Samson, Sarabjit Singh Ladda, Mohammad Shami Ahmed, Eoin Morgan, Marchant de Lange, Ryan ten Doeschate and Shakib Al Hasan.
Match starts at 8PM IST