Baidurjo and Arnab: This is all we have for now FOLKS. Catch you guys with the TOSS and LIVE blog of the FINAL from Hyderabad in 30 minutes from now. May the best team win.
Arnab: My LIKELY PLAYING XI for Mumbai: Parthiv Patel (wk), Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Karn Sharma, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah
Baidurjo: My LIKELY PLAYING XI for Pune: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith, Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni (wk), Dan Christian, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa
Arnab: Yes, undoubtedly two of the best teams this season and both will look to finish off on a high. How about you telling us about your LIKELY PLAYING XI for Pune tonight?
Baidurjo: It has been the same for another Indian player, Ajinkya Rahane. Even though he started off on a torrid note, Rahane has now managed to score 338 runs in 15 games with two fifties. And most interestingly, both the fifties have come against arch-rivals Mumbai. Should be a rollicking contest.
Arnab: Mumbai two have big-match players in Rohit Sharma and Lendl Simmons and not to forget that Rohit has ben a part of quite a few finals himself and he would not mind to win MI the title with a match-winning knock. Having started off slowly, Rohit has picked up pace as the season has gone ahead.
Baidurjo: Hahaha. But do you realise that Dhoni has a strike-rate of 161.66 against Mumbai Indians. Having won hearts in Chennai in the first 8 years, Dhoni would surely want to win the hearts of his Pune fans by finishing off on a high. A Maharashtra derby for a final, the IPL could not have ended on a better note.
Arnab: Karn Sharma would be waiting for Dhoni to take strike. Flighting the ball up and enticing the batsman to hit over the top, Karn loves a challenge and he would want MSD to go against the spin in the cow-corner. With four wickets against Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 2, Karn is at the top of his game.
Baidurjo: Talking of the big stage, this will be the evening when MS Dhoni would like to once again show the world why he is the most loved sportsman in the country. Despite being stripped off captaincy, Dhoni has shown that he is a complete team-man and scored 280 runs in 15 games at 118.14. Even though the strike-rate has been on the lower side, but Dhoni showed in Qualifier 1 that he can still tonk the ball a long way.
Arnab: No updates yet on McClenaghan, but Mumbai would surely be happy that Bumrah is in red-hot form. He finished with figures of 3/7 against Kolkata Knight Riders and handing him the new ball turned out to be a masterstroke from Rohit Sharma. Rohit would want his 'yorker' specialist to shine again on the big stage.
Baidurjo: But what about Mitchell McClenaghan? Any update on him? Is he fit to play? He has been an integral part of the Mumbai bowling attack with 19 wickets in 14 games. Even though Mitchell Johnson did well in Qualifier 2, Rohit would surely want him to be back for the title clash.
Arnab: Mumbai too have the finishers in Pollard and Hardik Pandya. While Pollard has been consistently scoring runs and has amassed 378 runs in 16 games at 138.46, Hardik has scored 240 runs in 16 games at a strike-rate of 158.94. They have both been integral in Mumbai chasing down challenging totals right through the tournament.
Baidurjo: Pune have two players who can get stuck into Krunal and Karn. MSD and Manoj Tiwary. While MSD showed his class in Qualifier 1 by taking the MI bowling to the cleaners, Tiwary has time and again showed this season that he is the anchor around whom the team revolves. Tiwary has scored 317 runs this year in 14 games ar 139.03.
Arnab: While they might not be young turks, but Krunal Pandya and Karn Sharma too have been mighty effective for Mumbai Indians. While Krunal has picked 10 wickets and scored 196 crucial runs in 12 matches, Karn has picked 13 wickets in 8 games at an economy rate of 7.35. They have ensured that Mumbai have strangled the opposition in the middle overs.
Baidurjo: Yes, youngsters have indeed been Pune's biggest strength as well. Be it Rahul Tripathi in the batting department or Jaydev Unadkat in the bowling department. While Tripathi has scored 388 runs in 13 games at a strike-rate of 149.80, Unadkat has picked 22 wickets in 11 games at an economy rate of 7.24. They will surely wish to finish off on a high.
Arnab: Youngsters have been the biggest gainers over the years in the IPL and another youngster who has shown oodles of talent is Mumbai batsman Nitish Rana. He has scored 333 runs in 13 matches at a strike-rate of 126.13. He has hit 3 fifties and would be a strong contender for a place in the final. Even though Rohit went for Rayudu after the latter's showing against KKR in the last group stage game, his showing in the playoffs has left a lot to be desired.
Baidurjo: Pune too have match-winners with the ball and that was evident when Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur ran through the Mumbai batting line-up in the first Qualifier. In fact, Washington has been a revelation with the ball this season. An economy rate of 5.25 against MI is no mean feat. Also, he has happily bowled in the powerplay whenever Steven Smith has called on him.
Arnab: It was a one-off bad day in the office for Mumbai. They showed their true colour against Kolkata in Qualifier 2 when they shot out the Knights for 107. It was a comprehensive team effort with the bowlers leading the way. Jasprit Bumrah and Karn Sharma stole the show with match-winning performances with the ball.
Baidurjo: Talking of experience, MS Dhoni is the name and he will be playing his 7th final in 10 editions. And the form he showed against Mumbai in Qualifier 1, looks like the helicopter is about to take off anytime. What a finish from one of the greatest finishers the game has seen. On a dicey wicket, he batted MI out of the game in the 19th and 20th over with 4 sixes.
Arnab: Mumbai have had a rough patch against Pune, but past records mean nothing and when it comes to a high-pressure game like the final, it is the experience that counts and MI have loads of them in the form of Rohit, Pollard, Rayudu and Bumrah among others.
Baidurjo: But Arnab, 3 out of 3 for Pune this season against Mumbai and the way they demolished Mumbai in Qualifier 1, MI definitely have their task cut-out. Everyone spoke about Stokes and Tahir's absence going into the Playoffs, but the Pune outfit has shown that this team is no one-man show.
Arnab: Yes, the mother of all battles and two teams that have a rich history. Mumbai have been one of the most prolific teams in the competition and deserve to lift the title for the third time tonight.
Hi, I am Baidurjo, correspondent at CricketNext and I have with me our editor Arnab Sen for tonight's preview. While I will be batting for underdogs Pune, Arnab will fight Mumbai's case. An interesting battle is on the cards where the winner takes all.
Hello and welcome to the LIVE preview of the FINAL of the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal.
Two-time champions Mumbai Indians take on Rising Pune Supergiant in the high-voltage final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Uppal on Sunday.
We at CricketNext will dissect the upcoming contest through our statistics based analysis where we discuss which team has greater chances of coming out on top.