IPL-10 final: Smith, Rohit play down head-to-head results

Rahul Tripathi

Pune had a dream run in the later stages of the IPL to be positioned at the second spot in the standings before beating Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier to reach the final. "The main motivation when I get a game is to perform for the team and help the team win", Karn said.

It is fair to say that no pundit would have guessed the two teams to make it to the final - at least not RPS for sure.

Smith can take a lot of tips on absorbing the pressure in such a high-octane game from former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who will be playing a record seventh IPL final. Rising Pune are second best - 8.06 per over.

Dhoni played one of his typical knocks in the Qualifier 1 to beat Mumbai Indians, again. But, this match would be a huge challenge for them as they already have lost three games against RPS this season so far.

Alongside the two captains, coaches Jayawardene and Stephen Fleming were also present. Along with the world's best finisher - Dhoni, Tiwary took away the game from Mumbai's grasp, milking 41 runs from the last two overs during the first qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium.

Commenting on his diet and fitness regime, Tripathi recommended 'Too Yumm!' wheat thins and fox nuts - the new products launched by RPS owners R.P. Sanjiv Goenka Group.

This year's tournament saw something of an English invasion with all eight franchises boasting an England global - and between them, that contingent were certainly involved in some memorable moments.

Smith has also been in great touch while Manoj Tiwary has redeemed himself with some vital contributions.

Young off-spinner Washington Sundar proved his mettle against a top class Mumbai line-up while the pace duo of Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur have come of age in the business end of the tournament.

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Mumbai Indians with Net Run Rate (NRR) of +0.784 is much ahead of Pune, which stands at +0.176. Nitish Rana (333 runs) has been one of the finds but when Ambati Rayudu came back from injury, he was equally effective.

Skipper Rohit Sharma has the luxury of great depth in the side. Pollard hits big and is a livewire on the field.

Together Hardik and Krunal have scored 436 runs and scalped 16 wickets among themselves - certainly, the award for the most thriving sibling goes to Pandya brothers.

Dhoni, the former India captain, is an institution within the institution called cricket; and to his fans, "Captain Cool" is a demi-god.

Counter yorkers and slower balls: There are going to be many yorkers and slower balls bowled tomorrow considering Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah would be in the opposition.

Mitchell Johnson provides hostility and intimidation at the start. He was Man of the Match in 2013 . He even rested the experienced Harbhajan Singh in the first game against RPS and raised eyebrows.

Is RPS Mumbai's Achilles Heel?

Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith (captain), MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Manoj Tiwary, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Lockie Ferguson, Shardul Thakur, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat.

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