After 56 matches over more than a month, we are finally here. The playoffs of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League. And Qualifier 1 makes for an interesting match-up.

Mumbai Indians lost exactly four matches in their brilliant campaign this season. But two of those losses came against one opponent: Rising Pune Supergiant. Steve Smith’s giants were the only team to do the “double” over Mumbai.

That should have started Pune off as favourites but not really. Pune are missing two massive names: Ben Stokes and Imran Tahir. Both have been instrumental in their campaign so far. They are against a Mumbai team which beat Kolkata Knight Riders playing a second-string unit. Pune have their task cut out.

Time: 8 pm
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
TV: Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony ESPN and their HD Channels
Head-to-head since 2016:
Played: 4
Rising Pune Supergiant: 3
Mumai Indians: 1

Mumbai Indians

  • Mumbai have a good record in the playoffs at this venue. They beat Chennai in 2015 and Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011.
  • With 21 sixes in 14 matches so far, Kieron Pollard is the fourth-highest six hitter this IPL season.
  • Karn Sharma has the best overall strike rate among the Mumbai bowlers: 14.00 in six matches at an economy of 8.03.

“The momentum is with us,” said Mumbai Indians’ Saurabh Tiwary.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Jagadeesha Suchith, Hardik Pandya, Jos Buttler, Tim Southee, Jitesh Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Punia, Saurabh Tiwary, Nicholas Pooran, Mitchell Johnson, Karn Sharma, Asela Gunaratne, Krishnappa Gowtham, Kulwant Khejroliya.

Rising Pune Supergiant

  • The absence of Ben Stokes is going to hurt Pune. A strike rate of close to 150, a century, coupled with 12 wickets at an average of just 26.33.
  • But another big blow for Pune will be the non-availability of Imran Tahir who has been brilliant for them in the middle overs. 
  • However, Pune will fall back on Jaydev Unadkat who has been a revelation this tournament. He has the second-best bowling strike rate in the tournament (10.80) and has taken 21 wickets at an average of 13.28.
  • Ajinkya Rahane’s poor continues so Pune’s batting effort needs to be built by Steve Smith. The captain has looked in good touch so far but has been dismissed after getting for a start way too many times. 

“He [Stokes] has been magnificent and will be a big loss. Hopefully, the other guys will stand up for us,” said Rising Pune Supergiants skipper Steve Smiths

Squad: Steve Smith (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ashok Dinda, Mayank Agarwal, Faf du Plessis, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Dan Christian, Lockie Ferguson, Imran Tahir, Jaskaran Singh, Usman Khawaja, Saurabh Kumar, Ben Stokes, Washington Sundar, Milind Tandon, Manoj Tiwary, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishwar Pandey, Rahul Tripathi, Shardul Thakur.