Mumbai Indians shall be locking horns against Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL finals at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday. The match is scheduled to commence at 8 pm.
Mumbai Indians are on the cusp of creating history by becoming the first team to win the coveted IPL title thrice. Mumbai Indians will have to beat their nemesis Rising Pune Supergiants to achieve the milestone. Meanwhile Rising Pune Supergiants have their sights to annex their maiden IPL title.
Rising Pune Supergiants have an impressive record against Mumbai Indians beating them on four of the five occasions in IPL encounters. RPS were overwhelming against MI this season by winning all three encounters against their fancied rivals. Pune clinched both the league encounters and inflicted a telling defeat on MI in the first qualifiers to march into their maiden final.
So going by the recent past, RPS go in as favourites but Mumbai Indians have been to three previous IPL finals, winning two of them in 2013 and 2015. They have the likes of experienced campaigners in Lasith Mallinga, Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard who have laid hands to the coveted trophy in the past.
Mumbai qualified for the playoffs on the first spot courtesy topping the table with 10 wins out of their 14 league games. Meanwhile Pune secured the second play-off spot with 18 points after making a late resurgence in the league stages.
Mumbai look more settled as a side with a better team balance. The opening Salvo has been provided by Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel, while Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayadu have lent impetus to the middle order. The Pandya brothers and Keiron Pollard have been quite destructive in the later stages of the innings.Their bowling has been potent all season with a good blend of seam and spin.
Meanwhile Pune's story has been more of individual brilliance. While Smith and Rahane producing stellar knocks in the earlier stage of the season, the experienced campaigners came good at the business end of the tournament.
So its all to play for in the 'Maharashtra Derby' when two times champs Mumbai Indians play their nemesis Rising Pune Supergiants in the summit clash.