IPL 10: Rohit Sharma hails MI team for setting finals against RPS

The Blues will hope they are fourth time lucky.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Gautam Gambhir said that after losing five wickets in the first six-seven overs, it was always going to be hard for his side to come back and win against Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) second qualifier game at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.

No one would have given Rising Pune much of a chance after they lost three of their first four matches.

While Mumbai Indians - just on the basis of man-to-man comparisons - may have a bit of an upper hand against RPS, Dhoni's presence in the lineup can make the Pune side an emotional favourite for a majority of fans. But Mumbai are two-time champions and have the still have a large portion of the squad that was part of the two victorious campaigns.

Pune's bowling arsenal boasts of fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat (22 wickets in 11 games) who is getting adequate support from fellow paceman Dan Christian, leg-spinner Adam Zampa and Sundar. But now Smith and Dhoni have created a good rapport.

On Washington Sundar, Smith said the off-spinner had a fantastic game against Mumbai which had quite a few quality players in its ranks.

180 Runs scored by Manoj Tiwary between overs 16 and 20 this season - the most by a player in the end overs. When Jos Buttler left, they had Lendl Simmons to fill up for him. Mitchell McClenaghan, who did not play that game, will be assessed on the morning of the final in Hyderabad.

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Mumbai Indians (MI) will contest in the season-ending Grand Finale.

Pune's bowling has been one of their biggest strengths this season, they have an overall economy rate of 7.93 this season, which is the best among all teams. But the captains, Smith and Rohit, sought to play down the head-to-head record between the teams. Steven Smith's team has had a fabulous season - in stark contrast to their performance last season; they recovered from a slow start and established momentum as the season has unfurled.

"In the end, finals cricket is finals cricket". Though, Pune Supergiants won the playoff against Mumbai Indians in the last match without the presence of Imran Tahir and Ben Stokes.

Mumbai will aim to win their 3rd IPL title while for Pune it's the 1st IPL final.

It's easy to say that these are the two best teams who have made it to the final of the competition this year.

Rohit, on the other hand, said: "We have not had a great history against Rising Pune".

  • Julie Sanders