It’s time for the final face-off in the Indian Premier League as two-time champions Mumbai Indians will take on Rising Pune Supergiant for the trophy. Mumbai lost all three matches against Pune this year so they have some score to settle. In the first qualifier, Mumbai’s batting came woefully short so the team would expect their batsmen to show some intent today. Skipper Rohit Sharma had an inconsistent tournament so far but today might be just the day for him to fire. All-rounder Kieron Pollard is the man for the big matches as he has an impressive average of 61.5 and a terrific strike-rate of 205 in all the IPL finals he played. Spinner Karn Sharma’s outstanding spells in the last few matches has kept Harbhajan Singh out of the team while Mitchell Johnson did well in the eliminator when Mitchell McClenaghan couldn’t play due to an injury. So Mumbai have bit of a selection dilemma. Karn Sharma will mostly get the chance ahead of Harbhajan again but the team will find it tough to decide between Johnson and McClenaghan if the latter is fit to play.
In a big final, you don't just play the opposition, you play against your own nerves too. The calmer team always has a better chance.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 21, 2017
Pune are chasing their first IPL title and this might be their last chance because uncertainty looms whether the team will feature in the next season. Steve Smith’s side did well to win against their counterparts in the qualifier 1 despite missing their top performer Ben Stokes. The England all-rounder had to leave the team for the national duty and Pune didn’t suffer much. Even their strike bowler Imran Tahir left to join South Africa but the team found a perfect replacement in Adam Zampa. MS Dhoni has previously played in six IPL finals and was on the winning side in two of them. Pune have the winning momentum with them as well as the key players who can turn around the match.
Likely playing XI
Mumbai Indians Parthiv Patel (wk), Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma (cap), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Karn Sharma, 9 Mitchell Johnson/Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.
Rising Pune Supergiant Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith (cap), Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni (wk), Dan Christian, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa.