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IPL preview: Mumbai gunning for revenge against Pune in Qualifier 1

May 15, 2017 14:35 IST

Rising Pune Supergiant is the only team to have defeated Mumbai Indians twice in the league stage  --both home and away this season.

IMAGE: Mumbai Indians players celebrate a wicket. Photograph: BCCI

Table-toppers Mumbai Indians will be itching to avenge their double defeat against Rising Pune Supergiant in the league stage when the two teams face-off in Qualifier 1 of the Indian Premier League in Mumbai, on Tuesday.

Mumbai Indians outplayed the Kolkata Knight Riders in their last league match to secure the top spot in the standings with 10 wins from 14 games.

The side will be particularly satisfied that their bench strength clicked against KKR, providing them more options to choose from, for the key clash against Pune.

There is a lot at stake as the winning team goes straight into the final to be played in Hyderabad on May 21, while the loser gets another chance in the Qualifier 2, to be played on May 19 in Bengaluru.

Pune is the only team to have defeated Mumbai Indians twice in the league stage, both home and away and this fact would be playing on the minds of Mumbai's players.

For the entire season, Mumbai's batting has clicked. When the likes of West Indians Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Parthiv Patel, skipper Rohit Sharma, Nitish Rana fire in unison, they can destroy any bowling line up in the world and Pune will be no exception.

Jaydev Unadkat

IMAGE: Jaydev Unadkat celebrates a wicket. Photograph: BCCI

And Pandya brothers, Krunal and Hardik, are delivering when needed with both bat and ball and the hosts will expect that they rise to the big occasion in front of their home fans at the Wankhede stadium.

Considering that the Wankhede track will be batting friendly, it is expected to be another high-scoring affair.

Mumbai would get back to their regular openers Parthiv and Simmons, and the duo would want to give them another flying start.

The hosts will mull bringing in Ambati Rayadu, who played a match-winnings against KKR, in place of an out of form Delhi-lad Nitish Rana, to play at the one-down position.

Their bowlers, who leaked over 200 runs in their last home game at this venue -- against Kings XI Pubjab, will have to put up an improved show. The team is likely to open their attack with Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga and Kiwi Mitchell McClenghan.

Jasprit Bumrah has been their best death over specialist and along with Lasith Malinga and Hardik he will have to play a key role to restrict the Pune line-up, which boasts of some big names.

Pune, who decimated Kings XI Punjab by nine wickets to finish on the second spot, will take confidence from their dominating performance in their previous game.

IMAGE: Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steve Smith, right, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Photograph: BCCI

Their pacers Jaydev Unadkat (21 wickets), Shardul Thakur (8 wickets) and Dan Christian (9 wickets) have been impressive and regularly taking wickets.

The trio will need to strike once again to restrict Mumbai. They would also hope that Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa can work his magic with the ball in the middle overs.

Their one opener Rahul Tripathi, who has amassed 388 runs in the cash-rich T20 league, will need support from his partner Ajinkya Rahane, who has struggled for runs this season. However, the time spent he at the wicket for his unbeaten 34 against Punjab stood stand him in good stead.

The side however will badly miss England all-rounder Ben Stokes, the costliest pick of the season, as he returns to national duty. It was something that was acknowledged by captain Steven Smith himself.

The absence of Stokes means that senior pro Mahendra Singh Dhoni might be promoted to bat higher up the order and will have to shoulder more of the batting responsibility.

Pune, who have come back very strongly in the second half of the IPL, will need to get their combinations right. Some or the other player has performed for them this season, but the Stephen Fleming-coached side would not like to depend on one single player.


Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Lendl Simmons, Mitchel Johnsohn, Mitchell McClenghan, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel, Saurabh Tiwary, Shreyas Gopal, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Krunal Pandya, Keiron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jagdish Suchith, Jaspreet Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Karn Sharma, R Vinay Kumar.

Rising Pune Supergiant: Steven Smith (captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (w/k), Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Dan Christian, Adam Zampa, Shardul Thakur, Ankush Bains, Lockie Ferguson, Jaydev Unadkat, Usman Khawaja, Milind Tandon, Saurabh Kumar, Iswar Pandey, Jaskaran Singh, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Rajat Bhatia, Baba Aparajith, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Ashok Dinda.

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