Rising Pune Supergiant will be plotting revenge against Kolkata Knight Riders when the two teams meet at MCA Stadium in Pune on Wednesday. RPS, who made their IPL debut last season, lost both their matches to KKR in IPL 2016, and this Steve Smith-led side will be eager to register their first win against Gautam Gambhir's team
This clash in Pune could present a good chance for RPS to beat KKR as they have been going good guns in IPL 2017, winning their last three matches. They have played some good cricket, with players delivering the goods. They have not been reliant on a single player, all their players are chipping in, which have kept them in good stead.
However, there is a serious need for the likes of Steve Smith to convert his starts into a meaningful score. The RPS skipper, besides his 84 runs against Mumbai Indians in their opening match, has failed to convert his starts.
Though the likes of Rahul Tripathi and other have scored runs, Smith getting back to his big-scoring ways will further strengthen their batting line-up. The same can be said for Ajinkya Rahane, who has not been able to strike it consistently in IPL 2017.
With bowlers like Imran Tahir and Dan Christian bowling well, they look solid, but RPS bowlers need to be extra careful against KKR, who could once again open with Sunil Narine. The West Indian has been throwing his bat from the very first ball, and scoring runs at a brisk rate. KKR's strategy is simple - score big runs in the first six overs to come up with a massive total in 20 overs.
Even if Narine fails, they have the likes of Robin Uthappa, who is a brilliant batsman at number three. One has to remember that Gambhir and Uthappa are regular openers, and have a great sense of understanding, which helps them while batting together.
However, it is Manish Pandey, their best batsman so far in IPL 2017. He has been consistent, but Pandey will be even more determined to score big against RPS after having failed to impress against RCB. He scored his lowest in IPL 2017 (15 runs) against RCB in their last match.
KKR are not only about batsmen, it is also about their bowlers, who played a huge role in beating RCB. In fact, they embarrassed Virat Kohli's team, dismissing them for 49 runs. Nathan Coulter-Nile might have been one of the leaders with the ball during the game, but he has been rested for this match. Trent Boult or Shaikb al Hasan is expected to take his place.
Where to watch
The IPL match between Rising Pune Supergiant and Kolkata Knight Riders is scheduled for 8:00 pm IST, 3:30pm BST and 10:30am ET start.
TV and Live streaming information
India: TV: Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony Max, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 3HD. Live Streaming: Sky Sports Go.
International: Live Streaming: Cricketgateway.
Middle East: TV: OSN Sports Cricket HD. Live Streaming: OSN Play.
South Africa: TV: SuperSport Two. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.