Despite winning their last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) go into match 24, against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at home, 8th on the IPL 2017 points table. But, a home win against Sunrisers Hyderabad will see them rise to 4th at least for a few hours.
Steve Smith’s men, like a couple of other teams this season, have failed as a unit whose bowling and batting have not been up to the mark on many an occasion. After Smith singlehandedly dragged his team to a win over Mumbai on the second night of this season, Pune’s season started to go downhill. But they managed to arrest this slide by beating RCB by 27 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium last Sunday and brought their losing streak to an end.
David Warner’s men go into the clash against Pune Supergiant on the back of a couple of home wins. Yes, they have lost both their away fixtures so far this season, and Pune, you can be rest assured, will be mindful of their opponent’s struggles away from home.
Form guide: RPS vs SRH
Rising Pune: WLLLW (from left to right, most recent result first); current position on the table: 8th
Sunrisers: WWLLWW (from left to right, most recent result first); current position on the table: 3rd
RPS vs SRH Head-to-head
Last season, Pune Supergiant and Sunrisers won against each other at their respective home grounds. The head-to-head record stands at 1-1.
Match 24 (April 22, 4pm): RPS vs SRH Playing XI
The 27-run win over Royal Challengers was achieved on the back of some solid performances from Pune’s Indian contingent. Manoj Tiwary played a vital knock at No. 7; Rahul Tripathi made a blistering 31 at the top of the order and laid the foundation for RPS, and Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur helped Rising Pune successfully defend 161/8.
Unless any of the players from the match against Bangalore has picked up an injury, Rising Pune do not have to alter their playing XI too much. While the batting line-up is still a little suspect, it’s arguably the best they can pick against a potent Sunrisers’ bowling attack. And Pune’s bowling attack too, with Unadkat as its spearhead, is good as it is.
Therefore, here’s the probable playing XI for RPS vs SRH: 1. Steve Smith, 2. Ajinkya Rahane, 3. Rahul Tripathi, 4. Ben Stokes, 5. MS Dhoni (wk), 6. Manoj Tiwary, 7. Daniel Christian, 8. Shardul Thakur, 9. Imran Tahir, 10. Jaydev Unadkat, and 11. Rahul Chahar
Actual playing XI for Pune: 1. Steve Smith, 2. Ajinkya Rahane, 3. Rahul Tripathi, 4. Ben Stokes, 5. MS Dhoni (wk), 6. Manoj Tiwary, 7. Daniel Christian, 8. Shardul Thakur, 9. Imran Tahir, 10. Jaydev Unadkat, and 11. Washington Sundar
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, the form of Yuvraj Singh will be a slight worry, with the hard-hitting left-hander making 3 and 0 in his last two outings with the bat. On the plus side, Shikhar Dhawan goes into this evening’s clash with a score behind him, a 50-ball 70 against Delhi Daredevils.
Kane Williamson, who made a stylish 51-ball 89 and helped Sunrisers post 191/4 batting first, went off the field after the first over of the Delhi innings because of a slight niggle. Having had a couple of days between matches, the New Zealand skipper must be okay to play. David Warner said after the win over DD, that he hurt his ribcage in taking a catch. Unlike Williamson, though, he didn’t walk off the field and marshalled his troops through to a second consecutive win. So, chances are that the Sunrisers’s skipper didn’t even need any precaution.
Ashish Nehra continues his recovery from neck spasm, which has seen him miss the last couple of matches for Sunrisers. We are hearing that he is not yet 100 per cent fit and will not be risked unless he is. So, you can expect Mohammed Siraj, who took 2/39 against Delhi, to retain his place.
As a result, here’s what I believe will be Sunrisers’s playing XI against RPS: 1. David Warner (c), 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Kane Williamson/Ben Cutting, 4. Yuvraj Singh, 5. Moises Henriques, 6. Deepak Hooda, 7. Naman Ojha (wk), 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Rashid Khan, 10. Mohammed Siraj, and 11. Siddarth Kaul
Actual playing XI for Sunrisers: 1. David Warner (c), 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Kane Williamson, 4. Bipul Sharma, 5. Moises Henriques, 6. Deepak Hooda, 7. Naman Ojha (wk), 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Rashid Khan, 10. Mohammed Siraj, and 11. Siddarth Kaul
(Yuvraj misses out because he is unwell)