The qualifier one in Vivo Indian Premier League will be played tomorrow at Wankhede Stadium. This match will be played between the home team Mumbai Indians and Raising Pune Supergiants.
Any team who team wins this match will directly play the IPL season 10 final. The second team who will lose this match they will still get has a chance to play the final because that team will be playing the winner of the 2nd qualifier.
Raising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians team will aim to play the final.
Although RPS has won both the encounters against the Mumbai Indians in the league’s stages, Steve Smith and co won’t take this MI side lightly. The RPS members know that Mumbai Indians are a champion side and they have won the IPL title twice.
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians will look to win this crucial encounter and progress straight to another IPL final.
Both the teams have champion players. But the RPS team will surely bank on all-rounder services of Ben Stokes. Stokes has left the team due to his national duty in England.
England team will need Ben Stokes for the One Day International series against South Africa and the Champions Trophy.
Other big names missing from both the teams with Ben Stokes is his team-mate Jos Buttler and Number one 1 T20 bowler from South Africa Imran Tahir. They will miss the action as all these players will head to their national duties.
Even though Mumbai Indians have a strong side and they are at number 1 position in the points table, they do have a weakness that other teams can exploit.
- Nitish Rana’s out of form – This is the major weakness the MI has right now. The coaching should help the youngster to come out of this phase. Rana started the tournament brilliantly but as of now, he has gone in a shell. At number 3 position Nitish Rana has to step up and deliver for the Mumbai Indians.
- Lasik Malinga is another concern for the MI team. This tournament hasn’t been the best for him. He has leaked runs and picked very few wickets. This is giving the team some problems. Malinga needs to strike the right balance for Mi this time around.
- The form of other bowlers is also a concern for MI. They did well against the Kolkata Knight Riders but against the Kings XI Punjab all the bowlers were expensive.
Apart from this worrying news, the good news for the Mumbai fans is that the skipper has struck some form in last few games. Rohit Sharma has been in form for his team. but he needs to be consistent as a number 4 batsman. If he does that successfully then Mumbai Indians will be seen in another final IPL.
This is the first playoff game for the Raising Pune Supergiants but they have experienced players Mahendra Singh Dhoni. MSD will be playing his 9th playoff of his IPL career, it will be the most by any player and he will join Suresh Raina in that list.
For RPS form of MS Dhoni is also a concern. His batting hasn’t been so great as to say till now. It seems he has lost his golden touch the while batting. But the positive news is that it hasn’t affected his excellent wicket keeping skills. Now he has 101 dismissals in IPL. Dhoni himself and his fans are waiting to see his vintage show in this playoff match.
Another great thing for the RPS is that their bowling has a fire power. Bowlers like Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Daniel Christian and Adam Zampa have contributed to team’s success in this season.
Their batsmen needs to be consistent, especially their openers and the middle order. In absence of Ben Stokes, an all rounder like Rajat Bhatia may be a good replacement for their side.
The playing eleven for the Raising Pune Supergiants are –
MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith(c), Adam Zampa, Rajat Bhatia, Manoj Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, Daniel Christian, Rahul Tripathi, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar
For the home team Mumbai Indians. They need to add Krunal Pandya in place of Karn Sharma because Krunal is a much better bowler and a handy all-rounder than Karn Sharma. They should also decide on Lasith Malinga due to his bowling form. Aussie pacer Mitchell Johnson will be an ideal change for Malinga.
The squad for the Mumbai Indians are –
Rohit Sharma (captain), Lendl Simmons, Mitchel Johnsohn, Mitchell McClenghan, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), Krunal Pandya, Keiron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah.
The match starts at 8 PM IST and live streaming is available on SET MAX, SONY PIXS and SONY ESPN.