New Delhi: It's down to one match. The winners of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 will be a contest between two-time champions Mumbai Indians and surprised but confident outfit Rising Pune Supergiant.
This will be their fourth meeting this season between the two Maharashtra sides, with Steve Smith's RPS winning all three previous meetings, including the first Qualifier.
To break the shackles, the pre-tournament favourites from Mumbai will need to produce a disciplined performance against a side which boasts of IPL legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was replaced at the RPS helm by Smith in the run up to the tournament. Dhoni's performance will be key, so thus Rohit's, in their respective team's chances of lifting the coveted trophy.
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Both the sides have more than enough match winners in their respective ranks, but it will come down to how each of them turn up and play as an unit.
Key players will be pacer Jasprit Bumrah, spinner Karn Sharma and all-rounders in Kieron Pollard and Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik — for Mumbai.
For Pune, skipper Smith, Dhoni and Jaydev Unadkat will carry the mettle. But there is also Rahul Tripathi too. He sure can make a difference with the bat.
Five Key facts:
1. Dhoni will appear in a record seventh IPL final. He has won the titles in 2010 and 2011 while leading now suspended Chennai Super Kings.
2. Pune hold a perfect 3-0 record against Mumbai. And interestingly enough, Chennai were the only other team to have recorded a similar feat against Mumbai, in 2010.
3. This is Mumbai's fourth final, after 2010, 2013 and 2015 — all against Chennai. They won in 2013 and 2015.
4. Kieron Pollard is the danger man when it comes to IPL finals. The West Indian has most runs, sixes and also the highest strike rate for Mumbai in IPL finals. He was the man of the match in 2013 final.
5. Washington Sundar, if he plays, will be the youngest ever player to feature in an IPL finale. The 17-year-old spinner will break Ravindra Jadeja's record. The India all-rounder was 19 when he won the inaugural tournament with Rajasthan Royals in 2008.
When and where to watch the match:
Date & Time: May 21 (Sunday) at 20:00 IST
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad.
TV Listing: Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD and SET MAX.
Online Streaming: Sony LIV, Hotstar
Then, what about rain? Luckily, as per weatherman, Hyderabad will remain dry, if not pleasant. So, no worries for rain. The later stage of the world's most watched cricket league has had enough of rain worries.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel (wk), Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Karn Sharma, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Nitish Rana, Jasprit Bumrah, Saurabh Tiwary, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Tim Southee, Jitesh Sharma, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Kulwant Khejroliya.
Rising Pune Supergiant: Steve Smith (captain), Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary, Rajat Bhatia, Lockie Ferguson, Dan Christian, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Adam Zampa, Ankush Bains, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ashok Dinda, Mayank Agarwal, Jaskaran Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Milind Tandon.