Mumbai Indians vs. Rising Pune Supergiants is going to be a cracker of a game. Both of these teams are really competitive, and they will be wanting to get to the final and not have to play the 2nd qualifier match.
The Supergiants are going to be a depleted side because their two key players Imran Tahir and Ben Stokes have left for international duties for their respective teams. As the England vs. South Africa 3 match ODI series begins on 24th May. Stokes and Tahir have been fantastic for the Supergiants especially the all-rounder Stokes who has made his mark in this IPL 2017. It is Rising Pune Supergiants last year in the IPL alongside the Gujarat Lions. As the two teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals who were suspended for two years over match-fixing will be back in action in 2018.
MS Dhoni is Supergiants most experienced player in terms of getting to playoffs, so with his calm cool demeanour Supergiants might be able to pull of a triple win over Mumbai Indians. As in their last two meetings Supergiants have won both matches at their home ground and away from home as well. In the first game on their home ground they won by 7 wickets thanks to fifties from Rahane and Smith. At Wankhede they won by 3 runs where Stokes had bowled a very critical over, in order to seal the victory for Supergiants.
Rising Pune Supergiants had a spectacular rise in the table ranks. As they have won 8 of their 10 games and they have also had contributions throughout those games from other players such as,Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar and Jaydev Unadkat.
For Mumbai Indians they have won the IPL twice and their team is in excellent form they finished at the top of the table. With the likes of Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Lasith Malinga in their ranks they have the team to take them all the way, and really give the Supergiants a run for their money. As these players have played in the playoffs before and know how to turn the game in their favour. So this is definitely a dangerous team and the Supergiants will have to give it their all. Given the form all the Mumbai Indians players are in and on home turf right now, everything looks to be more in Mumbai Indians favour more than Supergiants but yet again they cant be underestimated at all.
This match will definitely have everyone on the edge of their seats from the first bowl being bowled, as both teams have everything to play for. It will keep all the cricket enthusiasts glued to their seats.
Both teams have had a fantastic run and the game of T20 is very unpredictable, now it is definitely down to who performs better on the day. Also who will be holding there nerve and capturing the key moments in the game will be another factor to consider.
Here are some stats about both Mumbai Indians and Pune Supergiants (credit espncricinfo.com)
Mumbai rested Nitish Rana for their last game against Kolkata Knight Riders, and the performance of Ambati Rayudu in that match may cause them to rethink bringing Rana back. Since scoring successive half-centuries against Gujarat Lions and Kings XI Punjab, Rana has only made 78 runs in six innings at an average of 13.00.
Rohit Sharma does not have a great record in IPL playoffs and knockout matches. In 12 innings for Deccan Chargers and Mumbai, he has scored 159 runs at 14.45 and a strike rate of 101.27, with only one half-century.
Among all the bowlers he has faced 20 or more balls against in the IPL, Rohit has scored quickest against Daniel Christian, taking 64 runs off him in just 28 balls at 13.71 per over, with four fours and six sixes, the most sixes he has hit off any bowler. He has also hit six sixes off Rajat Bhatia – another Pune bowler – and Morne Morkel.
Who will replace Stokes? Usman Khawaja is one option, but his record against spin may mitigate against his selection. In the IPL, he has only scored 36 off 31 balls against spin, while being dismissed three times. In those 31 balls, moreover, he has only hit one four and two sixes. Khawaja has done a lot better against pace – 91 off 69 balls with one dismissal, while hitting 13 fours and a six.
In the two league meetings between these two sides this season, Ajinkya Rahane scored 21 off nine balls against Mitchell McClenaghan, without being dismissed. In all, Rahane has achieved a strike rate of 156.67 against left-arm pace this season, while only managing 110.85 against all other bowlers. Rahul Tripathi, on the other hand, has scored at 125.64 against left-arm pace while rattling along at 155.50 against all other kinds of bowlers. It will be interesting to note how Mumbai use McClenaghan against these two openers.
Eight Mumbai batsmen have scored fifties this season, the most for any team. It’s an indication of how their entire batting line-up has shared the responsibility of scoring runs, rather than one or two batsmen having big seasons. None of their batsmen has managed 400 runs yet, this season, but six of them – Kieron Pollard, Rana, Parthiv Patel, Rohit, Jos Buttler and Hardik Pandya – have scored 200 or more, with all of them managing strike rates in excess of 125.
Mumbai ending the league stage at the top of the table had a lot to do with the fact that both their batting and bowling have clicked this season. They have managed the biggest difference between batting run rate and bowling economy rate (0.60) of all teams this season, with Sunrisers Hyderabad (0.50) in second.
This match will pit the best slog-overs batting team of the tournament – Mumbai have a table-topping run rate of 10.45 in the last five overs – against arguably the best death-bowling team. Rising Pune’s economy rate in the last five overs (9.41) across the tournament is not as good as that of Sunrisers and Mumbai, but they have been the best death-bowling side, by far, since they began their run of eight wins in ten matches. In that time, they have led the bowling teams by a distance, conceding only 8.03 per over, which is significantly better than the next-most economical team, Kings XI Punjab, who managed an economy rate of 9.19.