Smith and Dhoni are calm as cucumbers, and try as the MI bowlers might, there is no shaking them.
The tenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has come down to its final match and it will be a battle between the top two teams of this year.
The skipper of Rising Pune Supergiant is going to be Steve Smith but it will be Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni who will be up against each other in a different contest.
With the Mumbai Indians looking to become the first team to win three titles in the IPL, this final promises to be a heck of a ride. What followed were a few changes in their playing eleven and a big change in the results as they registered nine wins in their last 11 matches. On Sunday, we need to make sure that we are better than them, play good cricket, and focus on what we need to do as a team. They were outperformed in the first match but back brilliantly in the second one.
Smith himself has confessed that he takes guidance from Dhoni during matches and there is a healthy camaraderie between the duo, a trait which has benefitted the team.
“As much as it is a final, we still want to take it like any other game”.
“After a good win in Mumbai it (break) was good and we all had a good training session here before the final”, he added. The two sides will contest in the Maharashtra Derby for the fourth time this season and one of them will be crowned VIVO IPL 2017 Champions. While Parthiv Patel has managed to retain his good form through the season, Nitish Rana has fizzled out after a great start to the tournament. When he steps onto the field in less than an hour’s time, he will be part of his seventh IPL final, two of which he has won.
After unceremoniously removing Dhoni from captaincy, the veteran Ranchi stumper, who will most likely be seen in his Chennai Super Kings jersey in the next edition, will have another chance to silence his critics in the franchise. Pune has dominance over Mumbai with a 4-1 lead in 5 games.
But the team showed in the first qualifier against Mumbai that it is not a one-man army after young spinner Washington Sundar turned out to be the unlikely hero with his match-winning haul of three wickets. Allrounder Krunal Pandya then came good and his 47 off 38 deliveries pulled Mumbai out of the hole.
He wasn’t the only one who impressed, with Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Johnson and Lasith Malinga all living up to their hefty expectations.
Mumbai Indians’ chief coach Mahela Jayawardene and skipper Rohit Sharma during a net session at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 8 ahead of the clash vs Kolkata Knight Riders.