Hello and welcome to the LIVE coverage from the IPL 2017 final between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant in Hyderabad.
Preview: Defying all odds, Rising Pune Supergiant playing in their second season have made into the Indian Premier League finals and now stand between Mumbai Indians and their third title. Undoubtedly, the summit clash on Sunday promises to be a high-octane battle between the two top side in this season.
Pune have proved to be a nemesis for Mumbai, by defeating them thrice in this edition, which includes the Qualifier 1 earlier this week. Steve Smith will have an added advantage of having an experienced MS Dhoni in his ranks, who will be playing in his record seventh IPL final.
On the other hand, Mumbai are no novices having already won the title twice and now entering the final with momentum after beating Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets in the Qualifier 2 on Friday.
Mumbai were at their clinical best as they bundled out a strong Kolkata line-up for 107, with Karn Sharma (4-16) and Jasprit Bumrah (3-7) being the wrecker-in-chiefs. Then were able to chase down the paltry total with relative ease.
The absence of Jos Buttler, who had to leave in between to join the England squad also has not affected the balance of the Mumbai side. In Lendl Simmons, they have found a right replacement for Buttler in the opening slot.
Nitish Rana has been a revelation this season but had to make way for Ambati Rayudu – making a comeback from an injury layoff. However, Rayudu hasn’t disappointed so far in the few games that he has played this year
The batting fortunately looks well in order for Mumbai going into the big finals. Kieron Pollard along with Rohit Sharma are looking in great touch and then the allrounders in Pandya brothers – Krunal and Hardik providing the right balance to the team.
The bowling looks in top shape with Bumrah and Lasith Malinga leading the pace attack. Mitchell Johnson may play in the final if Mitchell McClenaghan fails to recover on time. Moreover, Johnson in the New Zealander’s absence did well in Qualifier 2 against Kolkata. After Karn’s spell in the last match, it doesn’t look like Harbhajan Singh would be forcing through a comeback.
Pune won’t be getting an extension next year and would aim at ending the tournament by registering the team’s name as one of the IPL winners.
The Pune outfit doesn’t seem to be that bothered in absence of Ben Stokes and Imran Tahir, who left mid-way to join their respective national teams. The batting will revolve around Steve Smith top of the order and MS Dhoni down the line-up. Rahul Tripathi and Ajinkya Rahane will be the ones Pune would be banking on for a good start and not to forget Manoj Tiwary, who had a great outing in IPL 2017.
In absence of Stokes and Tahir, rookie Indian bowlers have taken up the mantle. Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur have been brilliant, with Washington Sundar chipping in well as an offspinner for Pune.