This is it, ladies and gentlemen! It has been a long, exciting ride, and a journey to remember. It is fitting then that the finale is between the two initial favorites of the tournament as well. The inaugural edition of the Unacademy Road Safety World Series sees its first ever final - a clash between two absolute behemoths, Sri Lanka Legends and India Legends.
The India Legends booked their place into the final following a nerve-wracking victory over the West Indies Legends. A brilliant effort with the bat helped them notch the highest total in the tournament. India Legends have arguably the best batting line-up of all teams. They have, just like a certain Brian Lara said, nine to ten proven match-winners who can turn the tide single-handedly. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag will be expected to give exactly the kind of start they had given in the semi-finals. Yuvraj will look to continue his blistering form with the bat, and the Pathan brothers will look to cause some more damage down the order. Manpreet Gony can hit them long, too. Not to forget Naman Ojha and Mohammad Kaif, who are accomplished batsmen in their own right. Overall this side is extremely terrifying with the bat. No side has hit as many sixes as the India Legends have in the tournament.
The bowling attack of the India Legends is also a very balanced and potent one, although the entire unit went for runs in the previous game. Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel and Manpreet Gony make up the pace department, while Pragyan Ojha will be the spin mainstay. Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan can be pretty handy with the ball too.
The Sri Lankans made their way to the final after defeating the South Africa Legends in a dominant performance back on Friday. Sri Lanka Legends have a strong batting unit that is well equipped to deal with either spin or swing. However, the last time they came up against India Legends, we all know what happened. Since the restart though, Tillakaratne Dilshan will look to play his natural stroke-playing game, as being over-cautious cost him against the Proteas. Upul Tharanga has been amazing with the way he has paced his innings every game, adapting to situations perfectly. He will be another central character if the Sri Lankans are to best the Indians at their own game. Jayasinghe and Kapugedara, who didn't play the previous game, will also look to make a mark here.
However, when it comes to bowling, it will be the Indians who will be playing the Sri Lankans at their own game. The Sri Lanka Legends' bowling unit has time and again proved itself to be the most well-oiled machine of all. Surprisingly, Dilshan leads the charge here too, and is supported well by Rangana Herath and Dhammika Prasad. Oh, wait. We're forgetting something important, aren't we? Nuwan Kulasekara comes into the finale after picking up a superb 5-wicket haul against the Proteas. Ironically, he was also the bowler off whom the winning runs to the 2011 WC were hit. He's got some ghosts to exercise.
What a game this is going to be! The best batting side against the best bowling attack at one end and the second best batting side against the second best bowling side at the other. Each bested in only one department by the team they're facing. Absolute madness!
Watch this space! Time for a champion has arrived!