Cricket

This will be the Rising Pune Supergiant playing XI against Kings XI Punjab

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) had a disappointing IPL IX campaign. In the 2017 edition, however, they have started off the tournament with a comprehensive 7-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians on Thursday. On Saturday, they will come up against Kings XI Punjab and will be keen on keeping their winning momentum alive.

In the absence of Kevin Pietersen, Ravi Ashwin and Mitchell Marsh, RPS do seem a little understaffed. However, their new skipper Steven Smith has continued his good run of form and picked up the Man of the Match award in their opening match of the tournament against the Mumbai Indians.

 

Openers:

Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane showed his class with a fine half-century in the first game while chasing down a big total. With 185 to chase, Rahane gave RPS the initial momentum and ensured that the batsmen coming after him weren’t under much pressure. Agarwal was brilliant in the field, but was a little off-colour with the bat, scoring just 6. He will look to get some runs under his belt in the next game to keep his place in the team.

 

 

Middle Order:

Steven Smith (Capt.), MS Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary

RPS have an experienced middle order. Steven Smith was exceptional against Mumbai while MS Dhoni was his perfect partner during the slog overs, especially at the point when they needed runs at a rate of 10 runs per over. Manoj Tiwary has plenty of IPL games under his belt for and will be instrumental in raising the ante for RPS in the latter half of the innings.

 

 

All-rounders:

Ben Stokes and Rajat Bhatia

The most expensive buy of the season, Ben Stokes, showed his worth in the very first game with a wicket to his name with the ball and a short but useful cameo of 21 runs with the bat. RPS will be expecting a lift in performance from the English all-rounder in the games to come. Bhatia bowled really well with the older ball, picking up two crucial wickets of Krunal Pandya and Ambati Rayudu, who had the potential to take the MI score beyond the 200-run mark.

 

 

Pacers:

Deepak Chahar, Jaydev Unadkat

With Ashoke Dinda proving to be costly, it is most likely that the tall left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat will be replacing him. Deepak Chahar was expensive in his first IPL game but is likely to retain his place in the side. Ben Stokes and Bhatia, both bowl medium pace and will be bowling alongside the two Indian youngsters.

 

 

Spinners:

Adam Zampa, Imran Tahir

Tahir was awarded the Stylish Player award for his three-wicket haul in the match against Mumbai. Adam Zampa was a little expensive, going at almost 9 an over, but the duo, on the whole, bowled well to restrict the Mumbai team to an achievable target.

 

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