With nine wins out of the 14 matches, Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) are just two steps away from lifting that coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy. What a season it has been for the Steve Smith-led side! They will play against Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.  

RPS struck the right chords at the right time and therefore they have cruised into the IPL 2017 playoffs. They began their campaign with a win against the Mumbai Indians at their home ground (MCA Stadium), where they have lost all their home games in the last season. 

After that win, they lost their way just like they did in the last year. But it took very little time for Smith and co. to gather themselves, hold on to their nerves and turn things around in their favour. After that string of three losses, RPS went on to win eight out of their last 10 games. 

The contribution from the overseas players like Ben Stokes (12 matches, 316 runs and 12 wickets), Steve Smith (13 matches, 420 runs) and Imran Tahir (12 matches, 18 wickets) turned out to be gold dust.  

The Indian players stepped up in the right time so that the balance in the team remains intact. Rahul Tripathi has been a revelation with 388 runs in 12 matches. This lad from Ranchi has gone on to overshadow his other opening partner Ajinkya Rahane, whose form has been a worry. MS Dhoni too seemed to have lost his steam midway through the IPL 2017. But that did not have much of an impact on the rest of the team. Cricket is a team game and RPS have proved this in this season. 

Jaydev Unadkat, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur in the bowling department have also done extremely well to give RPS that edge over the other sides in the IPL 2017. Daniel Christian has added to the team's cause both with bat and the ball as well. 

Mumbai Indians will be wary about the fact that Smith and co. have already defeated them twice in this edition of the IPL. Now that they are in the qualifiers, they cannot afford lacklustre. Mentally, Rohit Sharma's side will have the edge over RPS as the latter will be without their three crucial players - Ben Stokes, Imran Tahir and Faf du Plessis. But that should not affect RPS much as their Indian players have done extremely well under these circumstances.