Can Rising Pune Supergiant extend their three-game winning streak or will KKR get the win that will take them to the top of the table?
After a slow start to IPL 2017, Rising Pune Supergiant have turned on the style and are on a three-game winning streak as they take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. A convincing win over KKR could send RPS to second place and within just two points of league leaders Mumbai Indians.
The Rising Pune Supergiant are all set to host in-form Kolkata Knight Riders in Pune. The hosts are coming in the game with a win over Mumbai Indians in their last appearance while Kolkata proved that no total is small if the bowling is kept tight and the defending side delivers in the way their captain wants to.
Gautam Gambhir-led side thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore to hand them the lowest ever total in the IPL history after bundling them out for 49 while chasing a target of 132 runs.
Steve Smith has been in good form throughout the season along with Imran Tahir. But the biggest bonus from the past couple of wins has been the performances of MS Dhoni and Ben Stokes, who both came to the party and won their side the last two games, over Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians respectively.
KKR travel to Pune, knowing that following MI’s loss, they could go top of the table with a win over fourth-placed Supergiant. They will, however, be without the services of Nathan Coulter-Nile, who picked up the Man of the Match in their previous game against RCB but has been rested for the game against RPS.
Though, Manoj Tiwary’s form has been a brutal one and has come in favour of his Rising Pune Supergiant team but still the Pune batsmen have missed out the plot with the bat in the middle-order. The middle-order batsmen need to score some good amount of runs to produce better results for their side.
Kolkata Knight Riders on the other side don’t really need to make bigger changes but some good partnerships in the middle overs can produce some better results for their side.
Players to watch out for:
Rahul Tripathi tops this list with the kind of batting abilities he has been showing in this edition while if Pune chases a specific total, all eyes would be on MS Dhoni. Also, Manoj Tiwary’s capability of soaking pressure has been fruitful for the Pune side on a number of occasions.
For Kolkata Knight Riders, their ‘experimental’ opening pair of Sunil Narine and Gautam Gambhir can attract the spectators and fans.
Predicted winners: Rising Pune Supergiant