Two time champions Mumbai Indians have made it their fourth IPL final post inflicting a crushing defeat on Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifiers played in Bengaluru on Saturday. Mumbai shall lock horns against Rising Pune Supergiants in the title clash which has been dubbed as the 'Maharashtra Derby'. If Mumbai Indians go onto win the IPL, they shall create history by becoming the first team to win the title three times.
Mumbai Indians topped the league stages and qualified for the playoffs with relative ease. Mumbai won a staggering 10 out of the 14 league games, thereby securing the first spot and booking a place in the first qualifiers against Rising Pune Supergiants.
So here is a look at what have been the vital elements behind Mumbai's success in the IPL. Mumbai Indians have been one of the few sides which came good as unit with their batting and bowling.
Mumbai Indians were given the impetus early in their innings all through the league stages with their openers Parthiv Patel,Jos Butler and Lendl Simmons delivering some scintillating knocks with the bat.
While Jos Butler and Parthiv Patel formed a potent opening pair getting their side off breezy starts in the powerplays,Lendl Simmons joined forces with Patel and delivered a power-packed performance with the willow in the closing stages of the league.
Destructive Lower Order
Skipper Rohit Sharma who was out of sorts in the initial games came back into form with the bat when it mattered the most.Mumbai's young turk Nitesh Rana impressed one and all with his eye catching stroke-play and held fort in the middle order when skipper Sharma struggled to get going. Mumbai had the luxury of some power hitters in the Pandya Brothers and Kieron Pollard who managed to produce some cameos and help their side post imposing totals.
Potent Pace Attack
Mumbai Indians bowling has been one of the most formidable bowling attacks. Their pace attack has a good blend of seam and spin. While Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Mallinga can bowl an immaculate line and dig in those yorkers deep at the death, Mitchell McClenaghan and Mitchell Johnson have bowled with good pace to cartwheel the stumps of a few. All-rounder Hardik Pandya complimented their pace attack with his medium pace.
Mumbai's spin attack was once again spearheaded by the veteran Harbhajan Singh who was effective in choking the flow of runs. Leg spinner Karn Sharma came to his fore by casting a web around KKR in the second qualifier at Bengaluru.Meanwhile, Krunal Pandya was pretty handy with his spin too.
Mumbai were pretty average on the field all through the season and put up below par fielding displays all through the season. The form of skipper Rohit Sharma has been pretty up and down all season so that would be a cause of worry in their middle order. Nitish Rana who started off with a bang this season has lost a bit of his touch at the fag end of the tournament so the middle order has been rendered weak.
Rising Pune Supergiants - Mumbai Indians nemesis
The two time champions await their nemesis Rising Pune Supergiants in the grand finale. Rising Pune Supergiants have had the better of their more fancied counterparts in all three games played between the sides. RPS not only beat MI twice in the league stages but also
Mumbai would like to overturn a three match losing streak to Pune and become the first team in IPL history to clinch the title thrice.