The Mumbai Indians are on the brink of a record third IPL championship. The major hurdle being the Rising Pune Supergiant who have already humbled MI thrice this season. With two home defeats against the Pune franchise and one away, Mumbai have otherwise had a smooth IPL campaign.
With Chennai Superkings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians winning two apiece, no team has taken home 3 championships. The Mumbai side has managed to chase down most of their targets this season but haven’t faired as well in their away fixtures.
6 times the top 2 teams from the league games have ended up in the finals and 5 times the team ranked second has won. Also, Mumbai has won both their finals batting first. Add to that the fact that RPS is the only visiting team to win in Hyderabad this year and they are the only team to take 100+ wickets.
The stats might favour Pune, while the two-time champs must feel upbeat after beating KKR comfortably in the second Qualifier but a final is a totally different ball game. Records, stats and recent form go out the window and character overtakes all. With experienced personnel in the Mumbai camp who have been part of big games and the likes of MS Dhoni and Steve Smith in the opposition, who have both won a World Cup, the odds are fairly in the balance.
Mumbai Indians likely XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), Lendl Simmons, Ambati Rayudu, , Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Karn Sharma, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Rising Pune Supergiant likely XI: Steve Smith (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni (wk), Daniel Christian, Lockie Ferguson, Washington Sundar, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur