Whether Mumbai Indians win their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title or Rising Pune Supergiant win their first, it will be a history anyway. No team has ever won three IPL titles, and Rohit Sharma-led side is on the cusp of it. However, they face a team which has defeated them not once but thrice this season.
Mumbai Indians were the first team to book a place in the playoffs, but it was Rising Pune Supergiant who made it to the final first. MI had to take the longest route to the final after losing the first qualifier against RPS. The Mumbai-based franchise then defeated Kolkata Knight Riders to progress to the finals. Also Catch- RPS vs MI IPL 2017 Final Live Score
MI’s campaign this year has one interesting thing to note, and that is their weakness against RPS. Having zipped past almost all other teams, MI have not been able to defeat RPS.
However, despite the dominance, Pune do not start as favourites neither does Mumbai. RPS’ unbeaten run over MI goes for a toss and so does latter’s experience of playing three finals. Both teams will have to start afresh. Also Read- Mumbai Indians seek third IPL title, here is how they got to the final
While Supergiant looks set to field the winning combination, MI might have to tinker a bit. Mitchell McClenaghan is likely to be back in the side which means Mitchell Johnson will sit out. Krunal Pandya suffered cramps against KKR in the second qualifier, but he is expected to be fit. And that means Harbhajan Singh will not find a place in the playing XI.
Bat first or second?
Out of seven matches at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, this season teams batting first have won five matches. Add to it the pressure of finals; batting first seems to be the feasible option.
RPS and MI at Hyderabad
At Hyderabad, this season, both the finalists had a contrasting run. While Pune defeated the hosts, Sunrisers Hyderabad, by 12 runs in their league match, Mumbai lost its fixture against the home side by seven wickets. Also Read- Rising Pune Supergiant aim for first IPL crown, here is how they got to the final
Head to head
This will be the sixth meeting between the two sides. Out of five, RPS have won four matches. Last season, Mumbai defeated Pune in their second face-off, and that remains the only win for MI over RPS.
RPS: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steve Smith (c), Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni (wk), Daniel Christian, Lockie Ferguson, Washington Sundar, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur.
MI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Lendl Simmons, Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma (c), Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Karn Sharma, Mitchell Johnson/Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.