May 21, 2017, 08:00pm local time (02:30pm GMT)
The Indian Premier League season 10 has reached its pinnacle with Rising Pune Supergiant taking on Mumbai Indians in a derby final game to be played at a neutral venue in Hyderabad on Sunday.
These two have already met three times in this season with Pune having a clear advantage of 3-0 including a victory in the Qualifier 1 at Wankhede Stadium. What would be inspiring for Pune will be that they set aside the loss of their most influential player this season - Ben Stokes and leg-spinner Imran Tahir and it was the likes of Washington Sundar,and Shardul Thakur, who stepped up in the bowling department.
MS Dhoni showed the other day that he is far from over while Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane scored valiant fifties as well to defy the Mumbai attack. There is no reason why they might continue with the same XI, even though the pitch in Hyderabad is generally good for batting.
Mumbai Indians on the other hand has been easily the most consistent team this season and skipper Rohit Sharma described the loss against Pune earlier in the week as a 'wake-up call' and they did respond back well with a convincing win against Kolkata Knight Riders in Bangalore on Friday. Their power-hitting batsmen have found wanting on sticky wickets where they find tough to play their natural game but with the game being neutral venue, they will be desperately hoping for a turnaround against a team, who they are yet to win a game this season in three attempts.
The biggest strength for Mumbai has been their bench strength as seen in the game against Kolkata where Mitchell Johnson came in the place of Mitchell McClenaghan and registered figures of 28 for two. Jasprit Bumrah has been easily the best Indian bowler on display and he has won a handful of matches for Mumbai this season and his figures of seven for three the other day that included key wickets of Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa shows his dominance in this format especially this season. Karn Sharma has justified his place over the seasoned campaigner Harbhajan Singh with a man of the match performance while his hitting down the order will be a added boost as well.
Road To Final:
Rising Pune Supergiant - After finishing the league stage in the second position, Pune managed to defeat Mumbai comfortably in the Qualifier 1 at Wankhede Stadium to become the first team to make it to the final in the IPL 2017.
Mumbai Indians - With 10 wins from 14 games in the league stage, they went on to top the table that gave them luxury of two shots to the final which proved beneficial as they managed to upstage Kolkata in Qualifier 2 after their defeat to Pune in Qualifier 1 to make it to the final.
Rising Pune Supergiant: WWLWW
Mumbai Indians: WLWLL
Rising Pune Supergiant: 1. Ajinkya Rahane, 2. Rahul Tripathi, 3. Steven Smith (captain), 4. Manoj Tiwary, 5. MS Dhoni (wk), 6. Daniel Christian, 7. Washington Sundar, 8. Lockie Ferguson, 9. Adam Zampa, 10. Shardul Thakur, 11. Jaydev Unadkat
Mumbai Indians: 1. Parthiv Patel (wk), 2. Lendl Simmons, 3. Rohit Sharma (captain), 4. Ambati Rayudu, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Krunal Pandya, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Karn Sharma, 9. Mitchell Johnson, 10. Jasprit Bumrah, 11. Lasith Malinga
"They're both fine leaders with their performance. Arguably both are the best in their position," Pune head coach Stephen Fleming on Smith and Dhoni.
"It's true we haven't played well against Pune. But now we're playing them in a neutral venue," Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma on their previous three defeats to Pune.
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