By: Alagappan Muthu
Final, Mumbai Indians v Rising Pune Supergiant
Hyderabad, May 21, 2017
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Overall: It’s 4-1 to Rising Pune Supergiant. Mumbai Indians’ most recent win against their opponents in the final came last year.
This season: Rising Pune won home and away in the league stage, and then shocked Mumbai again at the Wankhede in the first qualifier.
(ESPNcricinfo) It’s groundhog day in the IPL, and Mumbai have gone to great lengths to make it happen. Now all they have to do is figure out a way to end the loop and get the girl. But if not that, then at least the trophy.
Twice in the league, and again in the first qualifier earlier this week, Rohit Sharma and his men have come up against Rising Pune, done everything they can, only to wake up and see its still February 2. Bill Murray’s character – spoiler alert – eventually escaped his fate by accepting his curse. While that makes rom-com fans go “aww”, those that frequent the Wankhede would go “&^%$*”. Mumbai are two-time champions. Rising Pune won’t even exist in the IPL after Sunday. They want a win before this rivalry ends.
Krunal Pandya was seen receiving treatment to his groin during the second qualifier but Rohit has said he should be okay to play. Mitchell McClenaghan, who did not play that game, will be assessed on the morning of the final in Hyderabad.
The likely XIs
Mumbai Indians 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Rohit Sharma (capt), 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Karn Sharma, 9 Mitchell Johnson/Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Rising Pune Supergiant 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Manoj Tiwary, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Dan Christian, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Adam Zampa
There are statistics to suggest the legspinner Karn Sharma, Mumbai’s unexpected trump card, and left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya, should be saved for the Rising Pune middle order. They have been hit for 20 runs off nine balls by Rahul Tripathi and 25 runs off 13 balls by Steven Smith. But they have managed five dots in nine balls to MS Dhoni and 11 dots in 22 balls to Manoj Tiwary, at an economy rate of six or less.
Stats that matter
- Rising Pune have kept a lid on Mumbai’s power players. Rohit and Kieron Pollard average 20.66 and 14.33 against them this season.
- In three matches, Rising Pune have only allowed Mumbai to hit 23 sixes and 35 fours. In comparison, Mumbai thrashed 29 sixes against Kings XI after only two meetings, and 47 fours after three rounds against Knight Riders.
- One of Rising Pune’s biggest strengths is their ability to strangle teams in the middle overs. They have taken the most wickets – 41 – established the lowest run-rate – 7.16 – and accumulated the most dots – 321 – between overs seven and 15 this IPL.
- Mumbai, with 10, have the record for the most fifty-plus scores from the middle order in 2017. But only one of them has come against Rising Pune. Rohit’s batsmen from No. 3 to No. 7 average only 13.86 and strike at 113 against Smith’s bowlers.
- Dhoni, who will be playing his seventh final in ten IPLs, averages 64.66 and strikes at 161.66 against Mumbai in IPL playoff and knockout matches.
- Among those who have bowled at least six overs against Mumbai in this IPL, offspinner Washington Sundar’s economy-rate of 5.25 is the second best, behind Rashid Khan’s 5.12.
- Ajinkya Rahane has struggled all season, but he has contributed two of the four fifties Rising Pune have against Mumbai. No other team has managed more than two 50-plus scores against Mumbai.
- These statistics indicate how Rising Pune have kept the head-to-head in their favour so far, but Mumbai are big-match specialists. Lendl Simmons had three successive fifties in IPL play-off and knockout games before this year.
- Jasprit Bumrah has bowled more deliveries (152) in the last five overs than anyone else, and was resplendent when he bowled the first Super Over of his career earlier this season. He will go into the final on the high of recording his best figures in T20s – 3-1-7-3 – in the second qualifier against KKR on Friday.
- Pollard has faced 273 balls in the 2017 season – his second-highest tally in 10 IPLs. Nine more and he’ll eclipse his personal best. But here’s the kicker: Mumbai have won the title in two out of three previous seasons that he has batted more than 200 balls.
- In 12 innings this season, Krunal has conceded runs at only 6.72 per over. Here are the strike-rates of batsmen who have faced at least 10 balls from him. Tiwary (83), Manish Pandey (117), AB de Villiers (118), Hashim Amla (133), Rahane (135) and Suryakumar Yadav (161).
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo