IPL 10, Match 55, RPS v KXIP Preview: Playoffs berth at stake as Rising Pune Supergiant host KXIP

IPL 10, Match 55, RPS v KXIP Preview: Playoffs berth at stake as Rising Pune Supergiant host KXIP

The winner of the match will qualify for the playoffs.

Kings XI Punjab.
Kings XI Punjab. (Photo: IANS)

The Rising Pune Supergiant looked to be cruising towards the playoffs berth at one stage in the tournament. However, with a defeat in the previous game, they suddenly find themselves at a point from where they could miss out on the playoffs. A defeat in their final league game against the Kings XI Punjab at Pune could well see them miss out due to a poorer net run rate.

On the other hand, things looked very grim for the Kings XI Punjab a few matches ago. However, the way they have managed to get back to the contention for the playoffs is commendable. Consecutive wins in the last two matches now see them a win away from letting everything depend on the net run rate. In all probability, if the KXIP unit managed to outplay the RPS at Pune, they will swap places with RPS in the points table.

This will be the last league game for both sides and RPS is expected to have the home advantage. Having said that, it is worth noting that they do not have a perfect record to boast about at the MCA stadium. The last time these two sides met this season, it was KXIP who had outplayed the Supergiant. Last year, when the two sides met in the last league game, an MS Dhoni special had set it up perfectly for a stunning last over RPS win.

Toss: Rising Pune Supergiant won the toss and opted to field

Playing XI:

Kings XI Punjab: Martin Guptill, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Glenn Maxwell(c), Shaun Marsh, Eoin Morgan, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Swapnil Singh, Mohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Sandeep Sharma

Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith(c), Manoj Tiwary, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni(w), Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa

Quotes from the toss:

Glenn Maxwell: It has been a knockout for quite a few games in a row. Still can’t win a toss – probably is my 14th loss in a row. We have a couple of changes. Morgan comes in for Henry and Swapnil Singh comes in for Manan Vohra

Steve Smith: We are going to have a bowl. There has been a bit of rain and a bit of moisture in the wicket, which could dry out with the afternoon heat. We have the same team.

Focus will be on

MS Dhoni

Rising Pune Supergiant wicket-keeper MS Dhoni was under the limelight in the previous game against the Delhi Daredevils. The stage was ideally set for him to arrive and do the job that he is best renowned for. The job of finishing was expected to come from his willow. However, the former skipper was run out and the team eventually succumbed to a crucial defeat. Being in a must win situation now, the onus will be on Dhoni to take responsibility.

Glenn Maxwell

Kings XI Punjab skipper Glenn Maxwell has been in a very good hitting form in the last few games. He has ensured that the team has got the kind of impetus they need in their innings. He has taken the attack to the spinners and has batted with a strike rate in excess of 175. The leg spinners have troubled him in the past and the RPS camp boasts of a good leggie in Adam Zampa. It will be an interesting battle between the two Aussies in the game.

Wriddhiman Saha

The Kings XI Punjab wicket-keeper was under immense pressure to perform a couple of matches ago. However, the way he has stamped his authority in the last game will boost his confidence. He scored an unbeaten 93 against the Mumbai Indians to come back to form. In the game prior to that fixture, he had a score of 38 to his credit. Now, he needs to back those two innings with another one to hit the straps of consistency this season.

Team Combinations:

Rising Pune Supergiant

The Rising Pune Supergiant had to make a forced change in the last game. They had to draft in Adam Zampa in place of Imran Tahir, who left for the national duties. Barring this change, they retained the same side that they have been sticking to for major part this season. It is very much likely that they will go with an unchanged eleven against the Kings as well.

They will hope that openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi strike back their form soon. Steve Smith needs to convert the starts to bigger scores. Manoj Tiwary has been among the runs this season and is arguably the most consistent batter in the middle order. In the bowling lineup, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat have been doing a decent job thus far. Washington Sundar has contributed well with the ball too.

Kings XI Punjab

The Kings are soaring high at the moment. They have the winning momentum to their side and hence are likely to field the same side that played in the previous game against the Mumbai Indians. Manan Vohra and Martin Guptill have had decent starts to their names in the opening slot. However, Saha is likely to continue as the opener in this game with Guptill. Shaun Marsh has been a perennial performer for the team in the past. Glenn Maxwell seems to have gotten back to supreme form this season.

The only batsman in the middle order who did not have bulk of runs to his name this season was Wriddhiman Saha. Saha got back to form in the previous game as well. The bowling department looks good with Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma bowling tight lines. Matt Henry and Ishant Sharma have been playing the supporting role and Axar Patel is the solitary all-rounder in the lineup.

StatAttack:

– Number of times both teams have faced each other. KXIP have won on 2 occasions and RPS have one win.

40 – Number of runs needed by Rahul Tripathi to complete 400 runs this season.

176 – Glenn Maxwell has batted with a strike rate of 176 this season thus far – the third highest among all players in IPL 10.