Chennai Super Kings Team News & Playing 11
CSK Team News
Chennai opted for an extra bowling option in the second qualifier, with Shardul Thakur replacing Murali Vijay in the only change from their defeat to Mumbai. He bowled just one over, however, and the Super Kings must decide whether the extra bowling options is worth it for the final.
Kedar Jadhav will miss the final as he looks to recover from a shoulder injury in time for the World Cup, so the final spot does appear to be a shoot-out between Thakur and Vijay. Big-money signing Mohit Sharma has played just once this season and appears to be out of favour.
It means Chennai will have overseas pair Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson at the top of the order, followed by the experienced middle order of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo - with Vijay an option to slot in if he returns.
Ravindra Jadeja is another all-rounder in the team, before Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir complete the line-up. Harbhajan has been in and out of the team at times, often rotating with Thakur, but his leg-spin is likely to be favoured at Hyderabad.
CSK Key Players
Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson led Chennai Super Kings last time out, as the opening pair both hit 50 in the win against Delhi Capitals.
It was Du Plessis' third of the tournament, and he now has 370 runs from 11 innings, while Watson - who was their hero in last year's final - has 318 runs in 16 innings and looks to be peaking at the perfect time again.
MS Dhoni is their leading run scorer, however, with 414 runs from just 11 innings. He has only been dismissed four times and so averages 103.50, but Dhoni also boasts a good strike rate of 137.54.
Suresh Raina is the third Chennai batsman to have scored three half-centuries this season, meanwhile, contributing to his 375 runs in total.
With the ball, Imran Tahir is their stand-out bowler with 24 wickets from 16 games and an excellent economy rate of 6.65 runs per over. Ravindra Jadeja - as well as some useful late-order runs - has 15 wickets an even better economy rate of 6.36 runs per over, while Harbhajan Singh has only gone for a fraction above seven an over on his way to 16 wickets.
Deepak Chahar has 19 wickets, meanwhile, and hugely experienced all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has 11.
CSK Performance in IPL 2019
Chennai Super Kings made a storming start to the defence of their IPL title, winning seven of their first eight games. They won just two of the last six, however, as they missed out on top spot to Mumbai Indians on net run rate.
A further defeat to Mumbai forced them in to the second qualifier, where they managed to record just their third win in eight to snatch a place in the final.
It is a far cry from their early-season form, which started by bowling Royal Challengers Bangalore out for 70 on the opening night to win by seven wickets.
They followed that up by chasing 148 to beat Delhi Capitals by six wickets before MS Dhoni hit 75* in a total of 175/5 as they beat Rajasthan Royals by eight runs.
Defeat to Mumbai Indians ended their perfect start, as they reached just 133/8 in reply to 170/5, but they did come storming back - a 22-run win against Kings XI Punjab kicking off another winning streak.
Deepak Chahar claimed three wickets as they restricted Kolkata Knight Riders to 108/9 on their way to a seven-wicket win, before Dhoni hit another half-century in a last-ball, four-wicket win against Rajasthan.
Imran Tahir's four-wicket haul and Suresh Raina's unbeaten half-century earned another win against Kolkata - this time by five wickets chasing 162 - but Sunrisers Hyderabad held Chennai to 132/5 and won by six wickets to halt their momentum.
Results have been tricky since - MS Dhoni missing the final ball after hitting 84* from 48 balls in a one-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore, for example.
Shane Watson's 96 from 53 balls helped them beat Sunrisers by six wickets, chasing 176, but it was only a brief respite as they were carted for 109 against Mumbai next up.
Imran Tahir took 4-12 as Delhi Capitals were bowled out for 99 in their next game, as the Super Kings claimed an 80-run win, but they lost their final group game to Kings XI Punjab and then started the play-offs with defeat to Mumbai.
They recaptured their winning form just in time, however, defeating Delhi Capitals again in the second qualifier to book a place in the final for a second consecutive year.
CSK Team Form
Having set the pace early on, Chennai Super Kings' form dipped going into these play-offs. They failed to defend 170/5 against Kings XI Punjab, after Faf du Plessis' 96 from 55 balls, to fall to a six-wicket defeat in their final group game.
They then lost to Mumbai in the first qualifier, when they posted just 131/4 and lost by six wickets, meaning they had to beat Delhi in the second qualifier to earn a spot in the final. They did exactly that, however, restricting the Capitals to 147/9 before their opening pair - Du Plessis and Shane Watson - led them to a six-wicket win.
CSK IPL Final Record
This will be Chennai Super Kings' eighth final, and their second in a row since returning from their two-year IPL ban.
Last year, they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium - thanks to Shane Watson's blistering century - to win on their return to the tournament.
They had lost their previous three finals, however, twice to Mumbai Indians and once to Kolkata Knight Riders. They did win the 2010 and 2011 editions though - beating Mumbai in the former and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the latter. Their other final was the first one, back in 2008, when they lost to Rajasthan Royals.
In total, Chennai Super Kings have won the IPL title three times and lost in the final on a further four occasions.
Chennai Super Kings Predicted Playing 11
Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir