Mumbai Indians eye fourth IPL final as they face in-form Rising Pune Supergiant at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
The stage is set for the all important Qualifier 1 of the IPL 10. The top two teams were rewarded with two shots at the finals of the tournament. Rising Pune Supergiant will take on the table toppers of the league stage – the Mumbai Indians. The Maharashtra derby will get underway for the third time this season. And the best part for the fans would be to witness the game at the iconic Wankhede Stadium.
Mumbai have lost just four matches out of their 14 this season. With their fierce batting line-up, they will look to be aggressive from ball one. On the other hand, Pune are destructive in both the departments with so many experienced players in the side. In the last two meetings between the two sides, Supergiant have managed to win on both instances. They hold the mental advantage but then IPL is all about the given day where everything can turn around.
Coming into the game, both teams will be having the winning momentum at their backs. The Supergiant shot out the Kings XI Punjab in a virtual knockout game at Pune recently. After bundling the opposition for 73, they managed to win the game by 9 wickets. On the other hand, the Mumbai Indians managed to outstage a strong Kolkata Knight Riders side; with a side that had most of their benched players.
The Mumbai Indians made as many as 6 changes in their previous game. However, it is very unlikely that the team will go in with the players warming the benches this season. All regular players are likely to make a comeback to the side. Lendl Simmons will start with Parthiv Patel in the opening slot. The team will have a strong choice to make between Ambati Rayudu and Nitish Rana.
Considering the form, Rayudu might get a nod ahead of Rana. Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard have settled in the role of the finisher. With Krunal Pandya fit again, the team has only got stronger. In the bowling department, Harbhajan Singh has been a crucial asset with economical spells this season. In the pace department, they are likely to go with pace trio of Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, and Lasith Malinga.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Rising Pune Supergiant will head into the game without the services of their premier player this season. Ben Stokes has left for national duties and that will certainly hurt the team in all departments of the game. The team is not having a like for like replacement for him. They will have two major choices to pick from – Lockie Ferguson or Usman Khawaja.
Ferguson is likely to make the cut in the playing eleven with his all-round prowess. In other probability, Rahul Tripathi might open with him and Ajinkya Rahane could chip in at number 3. The middle order responsibilities will be shared by Steve Smith, MS Dhoni, and Manoj Tiwary. In the bowling department, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat have been doing a decent job thus far.
Head to Head :
Matches – 4
Mumbai Indians – 1, Rising Pune Supergiant – 3
Probable XI :
Mumbai Indians – Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel (w), Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.
Rising Pune Supergiant – Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith (c), Manoj Tiwary, Lockie Ferguson, MS Dhoni(w), Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa.