The Rising Pune Supergiant and the Mumbai Indians go head to head in the second match of IPL 2017.The second match of IPL 10 will see the Rising Pune Supergiant welcome the Mumbai Indians to the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
It’ll very much be a case of the Indians seam attack versus the Supergiants top and middle order. Who will come out on top? We take a look below:
RPS vs MI | Thursday 6 April | Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium | 15:00
To Win Match
Supergiant 92/100 | Tie 35/1 | Indians 92/100
Rising Pune Supergiant
The Supergiants pulled off something of a coup when they signed Imran Tahir after he went unsold at the auction. He’ll come into the squad for Mitchell Marsh who was earlier ruled out of the tournament through injury.
The South African leg-spinner will be competing with Adam Zampa for his place in the side, although I see the South African cracking the nod because of his experience at this level. Having said that, Zampa will definitely have a role to play throughout the season.
We can harp on all we want about the Supergiants bowling attack, but it’s their top and middle order that’s going to take them deep into this tournament. Ajinkya Rahane, Mayan Agarwal, Faf du Plessis, Steve Smith, MS Dhoni and Ben Stokes will all start for an incredibly top-heavy side.
I won’t be at all surprised if they outscore the rest of the teams in the regular season segment of this competition. One thing is for sure, they’ll outscore just about anyone – even a full strength Royal Challengers Bangalore – on their day. Definitely a side to keep an eye on this season.
While the Supergiant will be leaning on their top order this season, the Indians will be looking to their deadly seam attack to get the job done. Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Johnson will get starts on Thursday while Tim Southee will probably come in for the unavailable Lasith Malinga while Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya both provide decent spin options.
Batting wise they look a bit wobbly. Rohit Sharma – who has only played two competitive matches since October last year – and Parthiv Patel will open up with Ambati Rayudu coming in at first drop. It’s the middle order combination of Jos Buttler and Kieron Pollard who the Supergiant will need to be weary of.
Buttler and Pollard are probably two of the most exciting batsmen in T20 cricket at the moment and can take the game away from the Supergiant in the space of five or six overs. Having said that, if they go cheaply, the Mumbai franchise could be looking at a sub-150 total.
All in all, it doesn’t look like Mahela Jayewardene’s side is in the best shape. Rohit has been starved of competitive cricket while Malinga’s absence will be felt. I’m not too sure how effective Mitchell Johnson will be either. His BBL stats suggest he should do quite well but then again he was playing most of his cricket at the WACA in that competition – it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.
Verdict: Supergiant 92/100
The Indians are traditionally pretty slow starters in this competition. This fact, coupled with a rock solid Supergiant side has me leaning toward the hosts. Get on the Pune franchise at 92/100.