posted on 2019-05-11 20:00:59
posted by Michael Harrison
The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad has been a happy hunting ground for the home franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. They've made it a fortress of sorts, largely due to their efficient bowling attack and the unbelievably consistent one-man show from David Warner.
The finalists of IPL 2019 also have a reasonably good record at the ground. In fact, in terms of winning percentage, both CSK and MI are identical. The surface at Hyderabad generally has been a balanced one with full value for smart batting and rich dividends for the bowlers who exhibit a wide range of skills.
In the 2019 season though, the surfaces on offer have been mostly batting-friendly. The SRH-RCB game, where Warner and Bairstow went bonkers, comes to mind instantly. Although not of the same levels, most of the other games have also had good batting pitches that has encouraged aggressive strokeplay.
Only a couple of games had tricky surfaces and that included the game Mumbai Indians played and they ended up defending a middling total of 138 by a country mile. That was a tacky surface that also had a good grass covering, giving extra allowance to fast bowlers from both the sides.
Coming to the final game of the tournament, the curators have had ample time to prepare the pitch, given that the last league game at the venue was quite a while back. Also, with this being a night game, the convenience in creating a batting-friendly surface could be easier than in, say an afternoon game.
It's more than likely that the pitch for the final will at least be a track that produces 160 runs at the bare minimum. Both sides have batsmen who love pace on the ball and if the track does hold well, we could be in for a vintage display of powerhitting. Ultimately though, it's the bowling that will decide the winner.