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Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians will contest in the season-ending Grand Final in Hyderabad.

The stage is set at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad for the ultimate showdown. The Rising Pune Supergiant will lock horns with the Mumbai Indians; in the fourth Maharashtra derby of the season.

Final Smith and Sharma
Steve Smith and Rohit Sharma with the IPL Trophy

On all the three previous occasions when the two sides have met this year; it has been the Rising Pune Supergiant who have emerged victorious against the Mumbai Indians. Needless to say, they have humbled the MI camp like no other side in the season.

Hence, going into the big finals; they will have their noses ahead and take the big confidence with them. The venue at Hyderabad will be a neutral one and both teams would be apprehensive in their approach.

The Mumbai camp will not be a precarious state though. They have endured the pressure of the big finals before and know how to handle pressure games such as this. On the other hand, this would be the first time the Pune team would see a crunch game likeAthis. More importantly, knowing that this game could well be their final sighting in the IPL history; will certainly add a bit of pressure to perform as a team.

Final Team News

Rising Pune Supergiant

Pune are unlikely to enforce any changes to the side that beat Mumbai in the first qualifier.AAjinkya Rahane’s return to form will have pleased the Pune franchise. The same goes for skipper Steve Smith who has been short of runs this season.

The middle order looks absolutely settled with Manoj Tiwary and MS Dhoni reveling asAfinishers this season. The kind of form MS Dhoni showed in the previous game will be a frightening prospect for the Mumbai camp. Dan Christian is a proven all-rounder in the format and will be a key player going into the game.

Washington Sundar has been a revelation this season and will have a big role to play as well.AZampa is yet to prove his mettle in the tournament and what better opportunity can he get than this. In the pace bowling department, the Indian guns Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur have reigned supreme with the new ball.

Mumbai Indians

The Mumbai Indians are most likely to play the same side that played the Qualifier 2. Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel have been doing a decent job at the top order. Rohit Sharma had a couple of low scores to his name prior to the Qualifier 2. He got back in some form in the previous game though. Ambati Rayudu needs to be more consistent than he has been.

Krunal Pandya appeared to suffer a bout of cramps during his innings against KKR in the second qualifier. But Rohit reckoned that he looked okay to play the final. Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya are the proven hitters in the MI lineup. Karn Sharma’s heroics in Qualifier 2 will likely place him ahead of Harbhajan Singh in the lineup.

The only change that the team could think of would be to have Mitch McClenaghan back in the lineup. The question then would be about leaving out one of the two from the following a Lasith Malinga or Mitchell Johnson.

Probable XI

Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith (c), Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni (w), Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Lockie Ferguson, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa.

Mumbai Indians: Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel (w), Rohit Sharma (c), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Karn Sharma, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.

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