IPL Final Preview: Rising Pune Supergiant VS Mumbai Indians
Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 is now approaching the end as two of the best teams in the tournament are all set to face each other in the finals at Hyderabad on 21st of May.
Having competed against each other 3 times this tournament, both teams are well aware of each other's weakness and strengths. It was Rising Pune Supergiant which came out victorious in all those three matches including the first qualifier in Mumbai's home ground. Supergiant can feel confident but if you forget those three matches, Mumbai has been playing excellent cricket throughout the tournament. We can expect a tough competition in the night of the finals at Hyderabad.
Mumbai was the table topper in the leage stage of the tournament while Pune finished at two. Apart from Pune, Mumbai has only lost to Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the tournament. Looking at head to head battle, one would feel Pune will have slight upperhand over Mumbai as Pune has defeated Mumbai in all the matches between them this season. Mumbai on the other hand, would be confident after a convincing victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier on Friday.
Mumbai has been doing exceptionally well in their bowling department. The pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and Mitchell McClenaghan along with Mitchell Johnson has been delivering excellent performances. Bumrah in particular has emerged out as one of the best death over bowlers this season. No one can forget that super over against Gujarat Lions when he defended 12 runs against the likes of Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch.
The batting department looks formiddable for Mumbai. Parthiv has been in good form and getting runs. The inclusion of Ambati Rayudu has strengthed the middle order. Pollard has played some crucial match winning knocks in the league stagewhile Pandya brothers have done great job as allrounders. Skipper Rohit Sharma hasn't been that impressive this season for Mumbai Indians. One has to admit that Rohit hasn't lived up to the expectation as far as his batting is concerned. I must say he has been exceptional in his captaincy though. He has impressed a lot with his field placements, bowling changes, playing XI selection and batting order.
Mumbai has been taking some unorthodox decisions throughout the tournament. It seems that they have fixed plans against specific teams. Leaving out senior and consistent performer Harbhajan Singh in the qualifier was a kind of surprise to most of the cricket pandits. Nitish Rana, who was exceptional in the leage stage had to be dropped for the experience of Ambati Rayudu. Nitish Rana truely deserved a place in the playing XI with his brilliant performance with the bat.
Rising Pune Supergiant on the other hand, has been doing well as a team. Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi have been doing well at the top with skipper Steve Smith to follow. Some crucial knocks of MS Dhoni in recent games has developed more belief in the lower middle order. Manoj Tiwary looked in good touch throughout the tournament. Daniel Christrian will have to step up as Pune will miss the services of English allrounder Ben Stokes. The pace bowling department would depend upon the young shoulders of Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur. Restricting a batting lineup like Mumbai will test the skills and capability ofAdam Zampa and Washington Sundar.
Rohit VS Sundar/Zampa
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma has been struggling against spinners this season. Guys like Imran Tahir, Rashid Khan, Washington Sundar has troubled him time and again. It will be interesting to see how Rohit plays the spin of Sundar and Zampa.
Dhoni VS Bumrah/Malinga/McCleneghan
One of the best finishers MS Dhoni will be up against one of the best death bowling in this tournament. The sight of seeing Jasprit Bumrah bowling to MS Dhoni in the 18th and 20th over will get anyone excited.
Players to Watch Out For
The opinions presented here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily relfect the opinions of LetzCricket.