What’s the story?
Ahead of the Sunday night suspense – Mumbai or Pune, the former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin backed the Rising Pune Supergiant to emerge victorious in their square-off against the Mumbai Indians.
“I think Pune will win. The playoff they won against Mumbai will be a big confidence booster. Ben Stokes will be missed though. But the way Dhoni is playing with those 40 runs he got in the last two overs, he can help them win the final,” he predicted.
In case you didn’t know...
It may be recalled here that Azharuddin had earlier slammed Rising Pune Supergiant for sacking MS Dhoni. However, now that Smith and Dhoni have mustered a good understanding, the former Indian captain claims that rapport amongst the two is what has steered the team to deliver.
The heart of the matter
Azharuddin feels RPS will be triumphant in the finals for the reason that they will be high on confidence as they methodically defeated MI in the 1st Qualifier. Although they will miss Ben stokes, the Dhoni factor can help them clinch the title.
Commenting on the captaincy issue regarding Steve Smith replacing MS Dhoni as the skipper, he senses that Dhoni has always won as a Captain and now would like to win as a player, he would like to go on and say that one should move on with the responsibilities assigned to them.
Azhar acknowledges the fact that he was not in favour of Dhoni being relieved of his captaincy duties but now sees that Dhoni and Smith working in tandem has proved advantageous to the team.
However, Azhar claims to be saddened by the manner of execution of the captaincy change decision and termed it third-rate and disgraceful. The former cricketer further went on to say that Dhoni is one of the best in business for the responsibilities he holds and the franchise must have considered his stature and credibility first before stripping him from captaincy.
Preparations are in full swing for both the finalists as the winner takes it all.
IPL 10 final: Supergiant v Indians, Sunday, 8:00 pm, Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium
RPS may have the upper hand in tonight’s game. They have outplayed MI in every encounter so far in this edition of the IPL. Hence, Azharuddin’s prediction is justified.
Nonetheless, MI are not to be underestimated, they are one of the most consistent teams the league has ever seen and although taking into account their poor performance against the RPS this season, I still sense MI has a greater shot at the title as they are a more resourceful side with ample number of match-winners.