Pune stand between Mumbai and third IPL title


Pune stand between Mumbai and third IPL title

The biggest hurdle for the 30-year-old this time is the fact that he has already led Mumbai Indians to two IPL wins in 2013 and 2015.

The IPL 2017 final will be an all Maharashtra affair with the Mumbai Indians looking to pick up their first win of the season over the Rising Pune Supergiant. Add to that the fact that he has also won another Twenty20 tournament in the form of the Champions League in 2013.

Nitish Rana has been one of the finds but when Ambati Rayudu came back from injury, he was equally effective. Mitchell McClenaghan, a bowler known for picking up wickets with the new ball, came into bowl in the 19th over and provided the Pune batsmen with just the right pace to time their shots. Pandya brothers - Krunal and Hardik - provide the all- round balance and above all there is Rohit, who can single-handedly turn the match on its head. In Malinga and Bumrah - they have the best death bowlers in the business. He has played six finals between 2008 and 2015 for the Chennai Super Kings, winning the 2010 and "11 editions".

"It's been a pleasure to train and learn under the guidance of top notch players like Steve Smith and M.S. Dhoni".

"Had we had wickets, we could have targetted one or two bowlers". Along with the world's best finisher - Dhoni, Tiwary took away the game from Mumbai's grasp, milking 41 runs from the last two overs during the first qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium.

It's highly likely that Dhoni will be seen in his favorite "Canary Yellow" jersey from next season as Supergiant won't be getting an extension as per current rules. And the legend must not have forgotten that humiliation, a memorable knock in the final will only be the icing on the cake. Great to have someone like him and I am lucky to be playing with him.

Before leaving for Madrid (where England is having a pre Champions Trophy camp), Stokes' 316 runs and 12 wickets had a huge role to play in ensuring a smooth passage to the play-offs. Pollard has the most runs, sixes and the highest strike rate for Mumbai in IPL finals. Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur have been brilliant, with Washington Sundar chipping in well as an offspinner for Pune.

Smith has also been in great touch while Manoj Tiwary has redeemed himself with some vital contributions.

The best part about their campaign has been turning their weak-links into a strong point.

Sundar's performance made up for Stokes' absence, after he left for national duty before the knockouts.

But captain Smith, who took charge from Mahendra Singh Dhoni ahead of this season, is focussed on the task at hand as he praised the team for its stupendous showing.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Asela Gunaratne, Kulwant Khejroliya, Siddhesh Lad, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Parthiv Patel (WK), Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Punia, Nitish Rana, Ambati Rayudu, Jitesh Sharma, Karn Sharma, Lendl Simmons, Tim Southee, Jagadeesha Suchith, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar.