In the second match of IPL season 10 it will be Rising Pune Supergiant take on Mumbai Indians at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune. It will be for the first time that MS Dhoni will play an IPL match not being a captain. It will be Steve Smith who will lead Rising Pune Supergiant. RPS will miss the services of Ravi Ashwin who is injured whereas MI will miss services of Malinga who will play for Sri Lanka tomorrow. RPS have roped in Ben Stokes at mini auction for record breaking 14.5 crores. MI captain Rohit Sharma is fit and is raring to have a go after a 5 month injury gap.
Pitch & Conditions
It is one of the most unpredictable venue in India. Recently in test match against Australia it was judged as poor pitch as there were too many cracks and was lots of spin. Whereas in 2016 in a T20 against Sri Lanka it was full green pitch and was seam friendly. Now coming to IPL it has always been a good scoring ground with high scores being made in both first and second innings. So the Pune pitch is a big mystery.
(Based on IPL 2016)
In 4 games played at Pune last season. First innings score have been (1-2 denotes match won by side batting first or second) 185/1 , 160/2 , 195/2 , 159/2 . Which sums up to an average of 175.
Watch out for
Ben Stokes : He is the latest in the list of million dollar babies of IPL . He was most expensive player at this year’s auction going for record breaking 14.5 crores. Lot is too be expected of him. His ability to play big shots and bowl at crucial situations will prove very handy for Rising Pune Supergiant. He is a complete cricketer and gives his 100 % every time.
Rohit Sharma : Captain of Mumbai Indians at top of the order is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world although he has been out of action from past 5 months recovering from thigh injury. He is fully fit now and is raring to go and is willing to take his franchise to take to another title win.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Top 7 looks well settled for them but they have to make choice amongst the bowlers. They have balanced batting line up with the likes of Rahane & Duplesis at top and Smith and Dhoni in middle order and Ben Stokes to finish things off. Presence of Ben Stokes as a finisher and Smith as a captain it will take lot of pressure off from MS Dhoni he will be able to play his natural game.
Probable XI : 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Manoj Tiwary, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Rajat Bhatia, 8 Jaydev Unadkat 9 Ankit Sharma, 10 Ashok Dinda, 11 Adam Zampa/Imran Tahir.
Mumbai Indians is the most balanced side in this year’s IPL. Every thing is clear they may not make any changes to that. In the absence of Malinga it will be one of Southee or Johnson who will get an opportunity to play.
Probable XI : 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Ambati Rayudu, 4 Jos Buttler, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Tim Southee / Mitchell Johnson.
Stats & trivia
*The average first-innings score at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune since 2014, in the IPL, has been 170. The team chasing has won five out of the eight games.
*Krunal Pandya’s strike rate of 191.12 in the 2016 IPL was the best among batsmen who faced at least 50 balls.
*In the IPL, Steven Smith has scored at more than eight an over against each kind of bowler apart from right-arm spinners, against whom he has only managed a run rate of 6.52.