IPL 10, Final, RPS v MI Preview: Rising Pune Supergiant eye history against their bunny Mumbai Indians

IPL 10, Final, RPS v MI Preview: Rising Pune Supergiant eye history against their bunny Mumbai Indians

RPS have beaten MI on all three occasions the two sides have met this season.

Lockie Ferguson of Rising Pune Supergiant celebrates fall of a Hardik Pandya's wicket
Lockie Ferguson of Rising Pune Supergiant celebrates fall of a Hardik Pandya’s wicket. (Photo: IANS)

After 59 fixtures of the IPL 10, the stage is all set for the all-important finals. 57 closely fought thrilling games, 1 tied game, and a washout – it has all boiled down to the final sets of the season. The stage is set at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad for the ultimate showdown. The Rising Pune Supergiant will lock horns with the Mumbai Indians in what would be the fourth Maharashtra derby of the season.

On all the three previous occasions when the two sides have met this year, it has been the Rising Pune Supergiant who have emerged victorious against the Mumbai Indians. Needless to say, they have humbled the MI camp like no other side in the season. Hence, going into the big finals, they will have their noses ahead and take the big confidence with them. The venue at Hyderabad will be a neutral one and both teams would be apprehensive in their approach.

The Mumbai camp will not be a precarious state though. They have endured the pressure of the big finals before and know how to handle pressure games such as this. On the other hand, this would be the first time the team would see a crunch game such as this. More importantly, knowing that this game could well be their final sighting in the IPL history, will certainly add a bit of pressure to perform as a team.

Toss: Mumbai Indians won the toss and opted to bat

Quotes from the toss:

Steven Smith: We would have batted first as well. Looks like it would slow up a bit in the second innings. Runs on the board on the big night always helps. Same team as the last game. We have played some good cricket. Both teams deserve to be in the final.

Rohit Sharma: We are going to bat first. Looks a good pitch. Having played here the last game here, it slows down a touch in the second innings. So, it is a big game, put runs on the board and you know take the pressure off. Tonight is another opportunity to be a part of a big game. Hopefully, we can create history. We have the same team from the last game.

Playing XI:

Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith(c), Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni(w), Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Lockie Ferguson, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa

Mumbai Indians: Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel(w), Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma(c), Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Karn Sharma, Mitchell Johnson, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga

Focus will be on

Rohit Sharma

Mumbai’s hopes will heavily rely on their skipper Rohit Sharma. Rohit is one of the senior players in the lineup and has every reason to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility in the final game. His form has not been the most consistent this season. Despite having 3 fifties to his name in IPL 10, he also holds the dubious distinction of having multiple single digit scores to his name. Rohit had missed out on the scoring opportunities when he played against RPS in the Qualifier 1. He would want to improve on that.

Rahul Tripathi

Rahul Tripathi has been a revelation for the Rising Pune Supergiant this season. At one stage in the tournament, he had six consecutive scores in excess of 30s. In one of the fixtures, he lit up the occasion with a brilliant 93. However, he has failed to be among the runs since then. The starts that he had started being known for, seem to be fading away. With the finals at hand, this would be the ultimate opportunity for Rahul Tripathi to reannounce his arrival at the bigger picture.

MS Dhoni

All eyes would be on MS Dhoni when he takes the field for Rising Pune Supergiant in the finals of the IPL. He has the distinction of featuring in most number of finals in the tournament history. Considering the big occasion, expect him to be under the spotlight not just with his batting and wicket-keeping, but also with his leadership skills. He has seen the pressure of the finals on a number of occasions and that would help him aid support to Steve Smith leading the team in the finals.

Team Combinations

Rising Pune Supergiant

There is absolutely no reason for the Rising Pune Supergiant to tinker with their winning combinations. The side that helped them outplay the same opposition a few nights ago looks like their best bid going into the finals. Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi seem to have lost their plot with the bat in the recent times and would want to get back to form in the final game. The same goes for skipper Steve Smith who has been short of runs this season.

The middle order looks absolutely settled with Manoj Tiwary and MS Dhoni reveling in the roles of the finishers this season. The kind of form MS Dhoni showed in the previous game will be a frightening prospect for the Mumbai camp. Dan Christian is a proven all-rounder in the format and will be a key player going into the game. Washington Sundar has been a revelation this season and will have a big role to play as well.

Sundar will be having the services of Adam Zampa as the senior spinner in the lineup. Zampa is yet to prove his mettle in the tournament and what better opportunity can he get than this. In the pace bowling department, the Indian guns Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur have reigned supreme with the new ball.

Mumbai Indians

The Mumbai Indians are most likely to play the same set of players who played the other night in the Qualifier 2 against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel have been doing a decent job at the top order for the Mumbai camp this season. Rohit Sharma had a couple of low scores to his name prior to the Qualifier 2. He got back in some form in the previous game though. Ambati Rayudu needs to be more consistent than he has been.

Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya are the proven hitters of the cricket ball in the MI lineup. Krunal Pandya’s addition to the unit has beefed up their all-rounder department. Leggie Karn Sharma bagged a 4-wicket haul in the previous game and deserves to play in the finals of the season. The only change that the team could think of would be to have Mitch McClenaghan back in the lineup. The question then would be about leaving out one of the two from the following – Lasith Malinga or Mitchell Johnson.

Stat Attack

1 – Number of bowlers to have taken more than 150 wickets in IPL history – Lasith Malinga.

2 – Number of fifties scored by Rohit Sharma in a losing cause this season.

5 – Number of times the two teams have faced off against one another in the IPL history. RPS lead the head-to-head clash 4-1. They have beaten MI on all three occasions the two sides have met this season.

6.5 – The Economy rate of Harbhajan Singh this season. He has mostly bowled in the powerplay.

12 – Number of runs needed by Rahul Tripathi to reach 400 runs in this season of the IPL.

79 – Number of runs needed by Steve Smith to complete 500 runs this season.

159 – The strike rate of with which Hardik Pandya has been batting this season – the 9th highest this season.