Mumbai Indians vs Rising Pune Supergiant: 5 key clashes in IPL 2017 ‘local derby’
Mumbai Indians will be looking to settle scores when they take on the Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) ‘local derby’ at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday -- a match that will witness many subplots within the main plot as T20 superstars from both sides clashipl 2017 Updated: Apr 24, 2017 18:46 IST
Mumbai Indians will want to extend their winning run to seven consecutive games when they lock horns with Rising Pune Supergiant, here at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday. Besides being the only team to beat the league leaders in the IPL this season, a lot will be at stake for Rising Pune Supergiant who had a poor start to their campaign, before picking up two consecutive victories against last year’s finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous games. (IPL 2017 FULL COVERAGE)
The clash is billed as a local derby between the state’s two sides and there are a few personal battles to be won as well. HT looks at the top five clashes to look out for: (LIVE STREAMING INFO)
1. Steve Smith Vs Rohit Sharma
Besides being captains for their respective sides, Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith are also the kind of batsmen a team looks up to season after season. Smith hasn’t performed too badly though, averaging above 50 in the five matches he has played so far.
But Sharma’s aggregate score in the six innings he has come out to bat, is a mere 59. With scores of 3, 2, 4, 0, 40 and 5 so far in the season, Mumbai Indians will want their ‘Hitman’ to fire if they want to pose an imposing total against a batting-heavy Rising Pune Supergiant who would hope their captain builds on his starts to help them post formidable totals.
2. Ben Stokes Vs Kieron Pollard
When it comes to the shortest format of the game, nothing can get better than having all-rounders in a side. In Ben Stokes and Kieron Pollard, RPS and MI have the perfect all-rounders that a side can boast of.
From striking the ball across the park to getting crucial breakthroughs to saving runs in the deep, both Pollard and Stokes have the skills to win a game on their own for their sides. Pollard has already pulled one off for his team; scoring a match-winning 70 after his side were reeling at 33 for the loss of five wickets while chasing 146 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
3.Rahul Tripathi Vs Nitish Rana
Talk about fearless cricket, making a name for yourself and standing out within a crowd. There are 75 uncapped players in the IPL this season and very few have managed to impress the crowd and draw praises from pundits like Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi.
While the former has featured in all the games for Mumbai Indians so far, Tripathi has only played four games but both have been handy on top of their respective batting line-ups. With staggering strike rates to back their figures, Rana (139.89) and Tripathi (154.65) have often provided the perfect platform for their sides in the IPL so far.
4. Imran Tahir Vs Mitchell McClenaghan
The top four successful bowlers for Mumbai Indians so far are all from the pace department with Mitchell McClenaghan leading the pack with 12 wickets. On the other hand, spin wizard Imran Tahir, who had failed to find a bidder during the auctions, leads the tally for Rising Pune Supergiant and it’ll be interesting to see if he can manage to spin a web around the MI batsmen at the Wankhede as well.
Needless to say, although the format is suited for the batsmen, it’s the bowlers who can win games single-handedly with dot balls often acting as deciding factor.
5. Parthiv Patel Vs Ajinkya Rahane
A great start up front can often work wonders for a side. With the powerplay in place and starting a chase or an innings from the scratch, it’s the perfect opportunity for any batsmen to lay down a foundation for others to follow. However, Ajinkya Rahane and Parthiv Patel, openers for RPS and MI respectively, have exactly failed at doing that so far.
Rahane started on a positive note, with a brilliant 60 against MI in the opening game but has managed to score just 61 off the next five games. Patel, too, has had starts; reaching 30 thrice in seven innings, but failed to go past the 40 run-mark. The two will have a personal battle out there in the middle, desperately wanting to increase their paltry averages of 19.42 (Patel) and 20.16 (Rahane).