Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) left nothing to chance and smashed the Kings XI Punjab on Sunday dismissing them for just 73 runs before going on to chase them down for the loss of just one wicket. The win ensured that RPS finished in second place and booked a slot for the first qualifier against the Mumbai Indians.
RPS has had a phenomenal run during the 2017 IPL after a slow start. The team changes have worked for RPS and Steven Smith has led the side well and Ben Stokes, the most costly buy for RPS has proved his weight in gold. The Mumbai Indians will have the home advantage when they take on RPS on May 16 and go in as the favourites.
RPS will be at a disadvantage as they will be without a number of key players who will be out of action as they leave to prepare for the Championships Trophy. RPS will be without Ben Stokes, Imran Tahir and Faf Du Plessis and will have to rely heavily on domestic players to put their hand up.
Mumbai Indians on the other hand have great bench strength and hence will go in with a stronger squad. Mumbai Indians have looked the best side in the 2017 IPL and will want to secure a win and book a place in the final. Should RPS fail against Mumbai Indians, they will still have one more chance at redemption as they will have to play the team that wins the Eliminator. The eliminator takes place between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 17 in Bengaluru.
We take a look at the top two players for the Mumbai Indians and RPS below.
Mumbai Indians – Key Players:
Rohit Sharma: has led well from the front and has been in good for with the bat. Sharma will have to make important decisions regarding the four overseas players he chooses and also score some runs for his side.
Kieron Pollard: Pollard has been a regular with the Mumbai Indians and this season he has been exceptional with the bat. He is a game changer and Mumbai Indians might want to promote him higher up the order to get the best out of him.
RPS – Key Players:
Steven Smith: RPS owners will be pleased with the way Smith has led the side and the fact that they have finished in second place. However Smith will want to go all the way and that means he has to take the responsibility of playing through the innings.
MS Dhoni: This has been Dhoni’s worst IPL in terms of his batting performance. Dhoni can change all that if he plays a couple of knocks that help his side win their first IPL championship.