After meeting on the second day of this year’s Indian Premier League, it is time for Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant to lock horns one more time.
Steven Smith and Imran Tahir played brilliantly in the previous fixture of the two sides, to guide Pune home with three points in the bag. This time, the match will be played at the Wankhede and the home team will look forward to turn the tides to their favour.
Mumbai Indians will come to this clash with six back to back wins to their name. Since that opening game defeat against Pune, they have been invincible and are naturally at the top of the league table. On the other hand, the Supergiant slumped to three consecutive defeats after the first match. But, they have now recovered and won both of their last two games. In fact, during the last match, they clinched a last ball thriller, thanks to a blistering knock from MS Dhoni. With three wins from six matches, Pune are at the fifth position in the IPL 2017 league table and they will surely aim for yet another win to push for a top four finish.
During the last outing, Mumbai Indians had to bring in reinforcements for Lasith Malinga who missed it because of illness. Mitchell Johnson was included in the starting lineup and his performance was up to the mark. Even though the Sri Lankan speedster is back to training, there is a high chance that Johnson will retain his place against Pune.
The visitors, on the other hand, have been experimenting a lot throughout the season. While Steve Smith, Imran Tahir and Ben Stokes are sure to play for them, the fourth foreigner’s spot has been one where some adjustments might be made. It is likely that Pune will continue with Dan Christian, but Faf Du Plessis may also get a nod tonight, especially since he was seen batting for a long time at the nets on Sunday. On the other hand, debutant Washington Sundar may have to make way for youngster Rahul Chahar who was decent with his bowling whenever he got a chance.
Mumbai Indians: Parthiv Patel (WK), Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma (C), Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mitchell Johnson, Jasprit Bumrah.
Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steve Smith (C), MS Dhoni (WK), Manoj Tiwary, Ben Stokes, Dan Christian, Rahul Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Jaidev Unadkat, Imran Tahir.
The game will start at 8pm on Monday. It will be played at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The pitch has been a good wicket to bat on and the teams batting second have been successful most of the times. So, the team winning the toss will probably go for a chase this time. In our opinion, the key players for the two sides are going to be Steve Smith and Jos Buttler.