Advertisement

IPL 10, Final, MI v RPS: Mumbai Indians Predicted XI

In the fourth clash between the two teams, Mumbai will hope to nullify it all with a win in the final.

Mitchell Johnson of Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. (Photo: Dhananjay TK/IANS)

So it all comes down to this, the clash of the top two teams, the decisive battle between the last two standing – the grand finale. This season, we have a new entrant to the final, the Rising Pune Supergiant, who will be mighty pleased with their performance this season following a disappointing inaugural season. Up against them will be their arch-rivals and their neighbours, the Mumbai Indians.

Playing the final will not be a new affair for the Mumbai Indians, who have already won two titles. However, facing their nemesis RPS, who’ve been their only weakness this season, will call for an inspired performance to clinch the all-important final.

Advertisement

Despite finishing at the top of the table, Mumbai had to take the long route to make the final. They suffered a defeat at the hands of the Rising Pune Supergiant in the first Qualifier but did exceedingly well to dismantle the Knight Riders in a virtual semi-final. MI will take great confidence from their KKR encounter and hope luck favours them on the big stage.

As far as this IPL is concerned, the Mumbai Indians have lost on all three occasions that they’ve played the Supergiant. Nevertheless, having played two finals, Mumbai will back themselves to perform on the night that matters. Here’s a look at CricTracker’s predicted XI for the Mumbai Indians for the IPL final on Sunday.

Openers (Parthiv Patel, Lendl Simmons)

Remarkably there’s only one MI batsman who features in the top 10 run-getters this season, and that’s Parthiv Patel. It’s funny how a team that finishes right on top doesn’t have any sizable contributions from their top order batsmen. In some sense, Mumbai have been riding on the wave that Patel creates at the opening slot.

He starts off with the usual urgency, hitting boundaries in quick succession. Parthiv played a fine knock against RPS in the first Qualifier to keep his side in contention. Moreover, his 20s and 30s help the likes of Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya to play freely in the middle overs.

Lendl Simmons looked in fine touch for MI, having scored 126 runs in his first three matches. However, Simmons seems to have hit a dry patch ever since with scores of 0, 5 and 3 to follow a well-made 59 against the Kings XI Punjab. He will look to sign off the IPL with a statement.

Middle order (Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard)

The Mumbai Indians will breathe a sigh of relief, seeing Rohit Sharma finding some form after a dismal start to the tournament. However, the skipper has been alternating between single and double figures, which is not a good sign for any batsman. He’s got a few starts and has also scored three fifties this season. But he’s not been able to maintain the momentum going into the following game. MI will hope Rohit plays a captain’s knock on the night of the final.

Following his 63 against the Kolkata Knight Riders, Ambati Rayudu has slipped a little in the last couple of games. He got out for a duck against the Supergiant and managed just 6 against KKR in the second Qualifier. Rayudu, however, remains a threat to any bowler. A fluent stroke-maker, Ambati Raydu can take the game away from the opposition within a matter of overs.

Big man Kieron Pollard has had a quiet three games, but what will please the Mumbai Indians is that he is playing with a fresh sense of responsibility. Pollard isn’t all about monstrous hits anymore. He has also developed the ability to drop anchor when his side needs it. Pollard will be happy to have two unbeaten fifties in the last 6 games he’s played. Once he gets going, no boundaries are big enough for him, something the Supergiant should be well aware of.

All-rounders (Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya)

This edition of the IPL has indeed brought out the best of Krunal Pandya. He’s been amongst runs and has looked aggressive at all stages of the game. He’s also handy with his left-arm orthodox bowling. In the second Qualifier, Krunal found himself at the crease before the powerplay ended. Nevertheless, he played the same brand of cricket that we’re used to seeing from him, powering the ball to the boundary on numerous occasions. He top-scored for his side with a 30-ball 45 to see his side comfortably over the line. Krunal will have a key role to play in the final.

You can’t keep Hardik Pandya out of the game. Catches, runs or wickets, this man is always in the thick of things. What Mumbai will be hoping is that Hardik adds some valuable runs lower down the order, provided he gets a bat. The junior Pandya packs a punch. He can clear the boundary with ease, both on the leg side as well as the offside. He is also a fine fielder in the deep with a good arm.

Bowlers (Karn Sharma, Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah)

Karn Sharma’s performances have been such that he’s kept a bowler as good as Harbhajan Singh away from the field. In no time, the leg-spinner has bagged 13 wickets. He was particularly good against the Knight Riders as he picked up his best IPL figures of 4/16. Karn’s four overs against the Supergiant will be key for the Mumbai Indians.

In the absence of the other Mitchell, Australia’s Mitchell Johnson did a more than decent job to keep things quiet in the second Qualifier. For a bowler who’s retired from international cricket, Johnson bowled with testing speeds in excess of 140. He ended with figures of 2/28 in his four overs and took a fine catch as well. In such a case where McClenaghan doesn’t get a game, Johnson will be a vital performer for Mumbai in the final.

Lasith Malinga might be reaching the sunset of his career, but that doesn’t stop him from bowling brilliant slower yorkers to a tail-ender. Malinga hasn’t had the best of seasons this year, but this man’s calibre is unquestionable. He will no doubt be of use in the death overs against a sturdy RPS middle order.

Last but not the least, there’s Jasprit Bumrah, who’s looked increasingly impressive in this edition of the IPL. Bumrah’s performance was overshadowed by Karn’s 4 wickets, but the paceman finished with impeccable figures of 3/7 in his 3 overs. Bumrah bowled to his fields and tested the batsmen with both pace and bounce. He struck at crucial junctures of the second Qualifier to ensure the Knight Riders could never claw back into the game. He might just be the player who’ll turn things around for Mumbai in the final.

Having tasted defeat three times against RPS, the Mumbai Indians will surely begin as non-favourites. However, as far as this season goes, Mumbai have looked the most intelligent side, with decisive and clear-cut plans for every batsman. Moreover, MI are no strangers to the final and will be raring to go come Sunday. We’re in for a mouth-watering contest in Hyderabad as the Mumbai Indians will look to have the last laugh against the Rising Pune Supergiant.

Advertisement