Mumbai Indians will take on Rising Pune Supergiant on Thursday, April 6, 2017, the second day of IPL 10 Season in Mumbai under captain Rohit Sharma, who was known for his IPL records than test records in the last 10 years.
Otherr notable players include Kieron Pollard, Jos Buttler, spinner Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah, who make Mumbai Indians strong and sturdy. Backed by all-rounders Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and batsmen like Ambati Rayudu, the team is balanced but the opposite team is being slated as a weaker composition, hosts may sweep in the opening hours.
Rising Pune Supergiant are starting afresh after debut in 2016 and MS Dhoni has been relieved as captain and Steven Smith will lead the team this season. Missing will be Ravichandran Ashwin, but Ben Stokes – possibly the best all-rounder in the world at the moment – may pitch in. The franchise has also acquired the services of Imran Tahir, the top ranked bowler in T20 Internationals instead of Ashwin.
06 April 2017, 2000 Hrs IST
MCA International Stadium, Pune
Prediction: Mumbai Indians may lift the victory today as the other team RPS is likely to warm up in the second match of the IPL 10 season.
Mumbai Indians is lucky as their captain Rohit Sharma was declared fit and it remains to be seen whether he opens the match or opts for others to scout for runs at the start of the season. MI, who have roped in MahelaJayawardene as coach, have retained the bulk of the squad from last season; they only made a handful of purchases at the IPL Player Auction with a view to having more options to choose from.
It won’t be too far off the mark to say that batting is certainly RPSG’s stronger department. The Pune franchise has several in-form batsmen; captain Steven Smith batted like he was in a different zone in the recently-concluded Test series against India. AjinkyaRahane too played a few crucial innings in the Test series, while the opener Mayank Agarwal has been in splendid for in the recently-concluded home season. The trio will most likely bat in the top three and will be expected to bat through most of the overs, while the dangerous Ben Stokes and MS Dhoni will be expected to finish the innings with fireworks.
The returning Rohit Sharma – who missed the bulk of India’s home season because of injury – will be the mainstay in the MI batting line-up; the MI skipper was the team’s top run-getter last season and much will be expected of him in the next six weeks. The dangerous Jos Buttler, who boasts of a career strike-rate of 147, too will be expected to cause damage with the willow. On the bowling front, MI will miss the services of LasithMalinga, and therefore the onus falls on JaspritBumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan to dent the opposition batting line-up.
The two teams have so far met twice and both teams have won one match apiece. AjinkyaRahane starred in RPSG’s win over MI in last season’s opener, while MI returned the favour when they won the Maharashtra Derby on Maharashtra Day.
Steven Smith’s last competitive T20 match was in this same fixture last season; his last appearance in a T20 match was representing RPSG against MI on 1 May 2016.
Mayank Agarwal, RPSG’s acquisition during the transfer window, was the top run-getter in India’s domestic T20 competition held earlier this season; he scored 398 runs in 9 matches – which includes four half-centuries – at a strike-rate of 143.19.
MS Dhoni has played 143 IPL matches so far – each one of them as captain of the side he has been part of. He is the most experienced captain in the T20 format, having been captain in a total of 239 T20 matches.
The captain winning the toss always chose to chase in the four matches played at the MCA International Cricket Stadium last season.
Rising Pune Supergiant head to Indore for their next clash; they take on Kings XI Punjab on April 8. Mumbai Indians meanwhile head back home and play host to Kolkata Knight Riders on April 9.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Steve Smith (C), Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith ,Ankush Bains ,Rajat Bhatia ,Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar ,Dan Christian, MS Dhoni (W) Ashok Dinda ,Faf du Plessis, Lockie Ferguson, Imran Tahir, Jaskaran Singh ,Usman Khawaja ,Ajinkya Rahane ,Saurabh Kumar ,Ben Stokes, Milind Tandon ,Manoj Tiwary, Adam Zampa, Jaydev Unadkat ,Ishwar Pandey ,Rahul Tripathi ,Shardul Thakur
Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah ,Jos Buttler, Shreyas Gopal Krishnappa ,Gowtham, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Kulwant Khejroliya, Siddhesh Lad, Mitchell McClenaghan ,Lasith Malinga ,Hardik Pandya ,Krunal Pandya, Parthiv Patel (W), Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Punia ,Nitish Rana, Ambati Rayudu ,Jitesh Sharma ,Karn Sharma ,Lendl Simmons, Tim Southee ,Jagadeesha Suchith ,Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar.
Interesting Quick STATS:
1 Rashid Khan became the first player from Afghanistan to appear in IPL. At 18 years 197 days he is the second youngest overseas player to make his IPL debut, after Mitchell Marsh who was 18 years 170 days old on his IPL debut.
4 Number of times has a side posted 200+ total in consecutive matches in IPL. Sunrisers Hyderabad had made 208/7 against the same opponent in IPL2016 Final. Other teams to do so are – Chennai Super Kings (in 2008), Mumbai Indians (in 2010) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (in 2015).
23 Number of matches after which Royal Challengers Bangalore were bowled out in IPL. The last such occasion for them was against Chennai Super Kings at Chennai in 2015 when they were dismissed for 124 chasing a victory target of 149.
23 Number of balls taken by Yuvraj Singh to reach his fifty – the fastest of his 11 fifties in IPL.
35 The victory margin for Sunrisers Hyderabad – the biggest by any side against Royal Challengers Bangalore (in terms of runs) since April 2013 when Mumbai Indians beat them by 58 runs at Wankhede.
100 David Warner’s catch of Chris Gayle was his 100th in Twenty20 cricket. He became 15th fielder (excluding wicketkeepers) to do so.
100 Number of wickets Ashish Nehra has taken in IPL. He became first left-arm bowler and eighth in all to reach this landmark in IPL.