Delhi Capitals, without a doubt, will start as the underdogs in the Indian Premier League final on Tuesday in Dubai. In front of them, is a task that has been achieved only once before: beating Mumbai Indians in the IPL final.

In their five previous finals, Mumbai have lost only once in IPL 2010. In fact, under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, Mumbai have won all four IPL finals they have been a part of.

And to make things harder, Shreyas Iyer and Co have all lost all three of their matches in IPL 2020 against Mumbai Indians.

IPL 2020 final preview: Famous fifth title for Mumbai Indians or special first for Delhi Capitals?

In 2018 and 2019, a similar situation prevailed and Delhi have to prevent a hat-trick if they are to win the IPL title. Incidentally in IPL 2019, Chennai Super Kings came into the final with a 0-3 record against MI and lost. In IPL 2018, Sunrisers Hyderabad came into the final with a 0-3 record against CSK and lost. Will Delhi be able to prevent three 4-0’s in a row?

Indeed, every day is a fresh day in IPL as we hear the captains say so often, but their record against MI will surely weigh on Delhi’s mind.

Match No 27: Mumbai Indians won by 5 wickets in Abu Dhabi

Fluent half-centuries by Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav shaped Mumbai Indians’ five-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in the clash between the two most consistent IPL sides at the start of the season.

Chasing 163, the defending champions overhauled the target with two balls to spare and claimed the top spot in the points table with five wins from seven matches so far.

Shikhar Dhawan scored his first half-century of the season and shared an 85-run stand with skipper Shreyas Iyer (42) to help DC post 162/4.

DC’s competitive-looking total proved insufficient in the face of some confident batting by the Mumbai Indians batsmen.

Match No 51: Mumbai Indians won by 9 wickets in Dubai

While six other teams were battling it out for a place in the playoffs, Mumbai became the first team to ensure a top-two finish in the league table with a clinical nine-wicket decimation of Delhi, who wilted under relentless pressure from Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah.

While Boult (3/21 in 4 overs) dealt telling opening blows, Jasprit Bumrah (3/17 in 4 overs) broke the backbone of the Delhi middle-order, choking them to 110/9. The defending champions coasted to victory in 14.2 overs as Ishan once again looked in great touch (a common thread in all three matches between the two teams). This result also meant Delhi lost four on the trot as they went into a lull after a superb start.

Qualifier 1: Mumbai Indians won by 57 runs in Dubai

Underlining their status as not just arguably the best team of the year, but quite possibly the best franchise in world cricket, MI produced a clinical all-round display to beat DC in Qualifier 1 and enter the final of the tournament for the sixth time. It was a clinical decimation of Delhi Capitals by 57 runs that took the side into the title clash.

There were many heroes on the night for the defending champions but the one who walked away with the player of the match award deservingly was Bumrah. Surya Kumar Yadav (51*) laid the platform on which Ishan Kishan (55*) and Hardik Pandya (37*) cashed in to take their team to 200/5.

The pressure of the scoreboard was writ large on a wobbly Capitals top-order as Boult (2/9 in 2 overs) and Bumrah (4/14 in 4 overs) produced a devastating opening spell to eventually blow out the opposition for 143/8.

With PTI inputs