Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) will take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in match no. 20 of the IPL 2016 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Sunday. Having lost three matches in a row, MS Dhoni & Co will look to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
The Supergiants have had a disappointing start to their maiden IPL campaign. The way they played in the very first game of the IPL 2016, it looked as if Dhoni as a skipper can do no wrong. But everything started falling apart from the very next game and now they have lost three out of their four matches so far.
Meanwhile, KKR, who have one of the most balanced sides in the IPL 2016, are off to a brilliant start in the IPL 2016. Gautam Gambhir has led his side from the front and the two-time champions are currently at the top of the points table with six points from four matches.
MS Dhoni will have to find a replacement for Kevin Pietersen, who has been ruled out of the IPL 2016 because of a calf injury. Mitchell Marsh will be the likely replacement.
On the other hand, KKR middle-order batsman Manish Pandey is down with chicken pox and set to miss at least next three matches. Pandey has been impressive so far in the IPL 2016. Gambhir will have to find a replacement for the Karnataka batsman ahead of their encounter against Rising Pune Supergiants.
Dhoni can rely on his top two — Faf du Plessis and Ajinkya Rahane — as they have been the team's best batsmen so far in this edition of the IPL. But the skipper will need a lot more support from his middle order. Steve Smith has been below average in this IPL. The Aussie skipper is definitely more than those statistics. Smith will look to step up to the occasion and perform for his side in the rest of the IPL. Dhoni himself has not been at his best as well.
The Supergiants will be desperate for a win when they take the field against KKR. A win against the table-toppers will give them a major boost to their confidence.
However, it will be a tough task for Dhoni and his men. KKR, who have been at their best so far, will be eyeing their third straight victory.
Rising Pune Supergiants: Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Steven Smith, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Mitchell Marsh, Thisara Perera, Rajat Bhatia, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ankit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Murugan Ashwin.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Robin Uthappa (wk), Gautam Gambhir (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan Rajagopal Sathish/Sheldon Jackson, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav.