With a dominating win over Kings XI Punjab in their last game, Rising Pune Supergiant side took a leap from the fourth rank to second, to assure two chances for themselves to book a seat in the final.
The road for Pune till this stage has not been easy as after having a winning start, they went on to lose three consecutive games and once again it looked like this team has faltered after kicking off the tournament with a win, but finally, they got their winning combination and results also came for them.
They did not play Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur right from the start but soon when results went against them, they included the youngsters and the results were seen.
Along with that, Rahul Tripathi was given a chance only after Mayank Agarwal failed. Tripathi also shone with the bat to keep Mayank out of the playing XI.
Now the combination of the team looks one of the best in the league and undoubtedly they will be going as favourites against Mumbai. But one thing which can go against them is that the match will be played at Wankhede stadium, which is considered to be the fortress of Mumbai Indians.
Both the neighbouring teams met twice in the league stage and it was Pune that defeated Mumbai in the first encounter to have a winning start. They continued their winning form and again defeated Mumbai at Wankhede stadium by three runs.
Pune will hope to emulate their performance whereas Mumbai will have the main task to forget those defeats and come up strongly.
Form this season:
Rising Pune Supergiant – WLLLWWWLWWWWLW
Mumbai Indians – LWWWWWWLWWWLLW
Of course, the outgoing of Ben Stokes is the biggest talking point as though Stokes got the touch of form late in the season but from then, he had continued his great form. Not just batting, he has performed in bowling as well and was also impressive in the fielding department.
The biggest challenge for Pune will be to replace him with a suitable player. Probably they might go with three overseas players and get back another all-rounder in the side in form of Rajat Bhatia or may get in Usman Khawaja if they feel a need for the fourth foreigner.
Predicted XI of Rising Pune Supergiant –
Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni, Daniel Christian, Rajat Bhatia, Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Adam Zampa.