Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant have made it to the finals of the Indian Premier League 10 and are one match away from becoming champions. When IPL 10 started not many people gave RPS any chance of being in the top four. RPS battled all the odds and difficulties to reach their maiden final in only the second year of their existence. If RPS wins the title then it will truly be a fairytale and will revoke the memories of 2008 champions Rajasthan Royals.
IPL cricket is based on flair and glamour, but these two teams have relied on methodical approach and have done the basics right. Mumbai Indians have already been crowned champions twice (2013, 2015) and will head into the final with composure and calmness. RPS have played splendid cricket and deserves to play in the final on the back of an outstanding season.
The final will be played at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad. The crowd would love to see a close contest after the disappointing results in the play-offs and if the match goes down to the wire then cricket will be the real winner.
Is RPS Mumbai’s Achilles Heel?
Mumbai Indians dominated the league stage ruthlessly and won 10 out of 14 league matches, but came unstuck against Pune team (home and away). They also lost against RPS in the Qualifier 1, played in front of their beloved home crowd at Wankhede. The Mukesh Ambani-owned team possesses some of the finest international and local talent and have proved their class in all the big matches over the years and would like to end season 10 on a winning note.
Rohit Sharma would hope that their jinx against Supergiant stops in the final. The Mumbai team has enjoyed pitches, where ball comes on to the bat and helps in strokeplay. Mumbai would be relieved that two stalwart Pune players in Ben Stokes and Imran Tahir are unavailable due to international commitments, but RPS have proved this season that they are not one trick pony and have unearthed likes of Rahul Tripathi, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur to reach the final summit.
Mumbai Indians have not chopped and change through the season and played with a settled side. They would hope that their Kiwi paceman Mitchell McCleneghan recovers from his injury and plays in the final. McClenghan has been the leader of the attack (19 wickets in 14 matches) and has the guile to trouble Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith. The only headache for MI would be how to include Harbhajan Singh into the playing mix, especially after the performance of wrist spinner Karn Sharma (4/16 vs KKR, Qualifier 2).
The stage is set for a perfect finale and after ten seasons of glitz and glamour it all boils down to one final match. Mumbai have been outplayed by the Supergiant this IPL, but if they win the final then all would be forgotten. Rohit Sharma would also become the first captain in the history of IPL to win the title three times and would be a very hard feat to follow.