New Delhi, Oct 6: For the final time, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid will be seen in action on a cricket field in the Twenty20 format. The legends of Indian cricket will be on opposite sides in tonight's final of the Champions League 2013.
Feroz Shah Kotla will be the setting for these two great batsman to bid adieu to T20 cricket. For Dravid, it will not only signal the end of his association with Rajasthan Royals and T20 format but also this is his last and final competitive match.
For Tendulkar, this will be the beginning of the final journey as a cricketer. The Mumbai Indians' star will pad up to bat for India in Tests but franchise cricket will be last on Sunday night.
The CLT20 final match will be between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians but the spotlight is firmly on the duo.
Dravid retired from international cricket last year but continued to play Indian Premier League (IPL). Tendulkar too quit one format of international cricket in December, 2012, giving up the 50-over game.
This year's CLT20 started with these two facing each other and the curtains will come down in similar fashion. Rajasthan had won the inaugural game but will it be the same today? We have to wait and watch.
Of the two, Tendulkar has enjoyed a bit of success in CLT20. Dravid has struggled throughout, opening the batting. One similarity between the pair is both open the batting for their sides. Dravid also has the additional responsibility of captaining the outfit and he has done exceptionally well.
Mumbai would have slight edge over Rajasthan because of the venue which they are used to now. Rajasthan have been poor travellers in IPL. It will be a big test for them in the final to deliver against Mumbai outside Jaipur.
Rajasthan won all their five matches so far in CLT20 at Sawai Mansingh Stadium. This year, they have won 13 matches in a row. With the final being in Delhi, they will have their task cut out.
Also the fact that their best finisher in the format - Brad Hodge is out of the title clash will put more pressure on other batsmen. Hodge collided with his compatriot Shane Watson during the semi-final against Chennai Super Kings and injured himself on the ground while fielding.
Both Tendulkar and Dravid are 40-year-olds with the former few months ahead. Apart from them, there is another veteran in action - legspinner Pravin Tambe. He is the second leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 10 and will be itching to make his mark on the final.
It should be a close contest with Tendulkar and Dravid being the stars of the final act.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ambati Rayudu, Aditya Tare, Rishi Dhawan, Abu Nechim, Akshar Patel, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Ashok Menaria, Dishant Yagnik, Vikramjeet Malik, Harmeet Singh, Rahul Shukla, Pravin Tambe, Shane Watson, Kusal Perera, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper.
Match starts 8PM IST