Mumbai Indians were favourites going into the final of the IPL and they did justice to that status with a clinical performance. After the disastrous start to the campaign which saw them losing four matches on the trot, it took a humongous effort from Rohit Sharma's side to turn things around and clearly the momentum was with them when they took on a weary looking Chennai Super Kings at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Still, despite the pre-match form, it took four specific things for Mumbai to more or less steamroll Chennai in this final. Much had been made of Dhoni’s coolness vs Kohli’s passion when it came to the battle of the captains, but Rohit Sharma, the MI skipper, had the last laugh over both.

1) Dhoni's decision to bowl first backfired
It took everyone by surprise when MS Dhoni, after winning the toss, decided to field first on a belter of a wicket. It was very unlike Dhoni, who always has shown his penchant for setting a target in big matches and then using his spinners to squeeze the opposition to chalk out wins. Even in this season, seven of CSK's victories had come batting first.

Maybe Dhoni was swayed by the fact that his batsmen had an ordinary season in which they failed to post huge scores on a regular basis. But once the CSK spinners were put under pressure by Lendl Simmons and Rohit Sharma, Dhoni must have known his side was in trouble. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Pawan Negi bowled only six overs between them, going for 65 runs without a single wicket to show.

2) Mumbai's fearless batting set the tone
Before the match, Mumbai Indians coach Ricky Ponting had said that he knew how to get his players ready for big matches. It was not an off-hand comment. Ponting cleaely meant what he said, and it was apparent that he had made the boys battle-ready from the very onset. Every batsman tried to attack, and once 202 was posted on the board, Mumbai all but sealed the game.

A parallel could be drawn to the 2003 World Cup final when Indian captain Sourav Ganguly decided to bowl first and saw Australia scoring 359 to virtually shut out the match. Ponting, who scored a magnificent 140 that day, knew aggression was the way to go on days like these, and he successfully instilled that fearless attitude in his players.

3) Rohit, Simmons and Pollard sizzled with the bat
It is now well-known that Rohit Sharma likes batting at the Eden Gardens. He scored his first test hundred and his record-breaking ODI double hundred here. Everything about Rohit's batting fell in place at Eden. He unleashed majestic square cuts, smooth cover drives and ferocious pull shots during his 50 off a mere 26 balls.

Rohit's partnership of 119 runs with Lendl Simmons for the second wicket set the platform for Mumbai Indians. They never took their feet off the pedal after, slaughtering each and every opposition bowler. Simmons made 68 and in the process became the third-highest run-getter in this year's IPL, finishing with 540 runs.

Kieron Pollard did not disappoint either. He took his time after the fall of Rohit’s and Simmons’s wickets, nudging the ball around for a bit along with Ambati Rayudu before launching into Ashish Nehra in the 17th over. Pollard hit three sixes in that over and the 23 runs made sure that Mumbai did not lose the momentum after the good start. Pollard finished with 419 runs for the season, and his value will be completely realised only when his strike rate of 163 is read along with the runs tally.

4) Chennai's chase never took off
When you chase anything over 200, what you need is a good start in the powerplay overs. CSK missed Brendon McCullum – doing duty for New Zealand against England – terribly, and Dwayne Smith played out far too many dot balls for comfort. They managed to get only 67 from the first 10 overs. Smith dominated the strike, but with very few scoring shots, he  was putting the team under huge pressure. Though he finally ended up with 57 runs off 48 balls to his name, it was hardly the sort of innings CSK needed.

Suresh Raina was one batsman Chennai would have hoped to see perform on the day of the final. But the asking rate was too much even for him, and some clever bowling from the old war-horse Harbhajan Singh got the better of him. By his standards, Raina had a pretty average season, with only 374 runs.

It is fair to say that nobody expected a miracle from Dhoni in the end. By now, even the most diehard fan would acknowledge that the Dhoni who used to hang in there, take lost causes into the final over, and then outwit the bowler in a battle of nerves is a thing of the past. The asking rate of 15 warranted sustained hitting and even the Dhoni of earlier vintage or AB de Villiers now would have found it impossible against the guile of Lasith Malinga and Mitchell McClenaghan in the death overs. Dhoni perished to Malinga going for a huge hit as the ball ricocheted off his pads.

Now Rohit Sharma and his team can deservedly bask in the glory of a success story which no one saw coming after the first two weeks of the IPL.