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IPL 10, Qualifier 1, MI v RPS – Rising Pune Supergiant Predicted XI

Interestingly, the only team that had managed to beat MI on both occasions in the league stages was the Rising Pune Supergiant.

Rising Pune Supergiant
Rising Pune Supergiant. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Rising Pune Supergiant crushed their opposition, the Kings XI Punjab, in their last league game of the season. It was a high-pressure game since the result would have affected the final league standings. The winning had everything to take along and the losing team was going to crash out. With a thoroughly convincing win in the game, the RPS camp managed to cement their place in the playoffs.

They shot out the opposition for a paltry 73 and then chased it down with 9 wickets in hand. The emphatic win now sees them in the second spot of the points table. This, in essence, means that they will have two shots at the final this year. Their first game in the playoffs is against the neighbors, Mumbai Indians. Mumbai Indians finished the league stages as the table toppers and have been the team to beat this season.

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Interestingly, the only team that had managed to beat MI on both occasions in the league stages was the Rising Pune Supergiant. Now, with a high-intensity date lined up for the Maharashtra at the iconic Wankhede stadium, expect the two teams giving their best shot. The winner of the match will head into the finals of the tournament and the loser will play the winner of the Eliminator a couple of days later.

Both teams would want to put their best feet forward in the match. Here we look at the Rising Pune Supergiant Predicted XI for the game:

Openers (Rahul Tripathi and Ajinkya Rahane)

The RPS camp have had a decent opening pair this season. Rahul Tripathi and Ajinkya Rahane have given brisk starts to the team on multiple occasions this season thus far. Tripathi has emerged as one of the young Indian talents this season. He already has a couple of fifties to his name in the tournament which includes a top score of 93. He has been instrumental in giving brisk starts to the RPS team.

On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane has had a rather inconsistent run this season. Rahane came into the tournament as the senior partner in the opening slot. He has largely failed to give starts on a consistent basis. It has been Tripathi’s power that has not let the RPS team feel the repercussions of misfiring Rahane. However, with the big match coming up, expect Rahane to fire in front of his home crowd.

Middle Order (Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, MS Dhoni, Manoj Tiwary)

It is the middle-order that stands on a shaky ground for the Rising Pune Supergiant at the moment. With their star all-rounder Ben Stokes leaving the camp for national duty, the balance is certainly going to be affected. Usman Khawaja has a very good chance of getting his first game this season. The team will have the option to play Lockie Ferguson as well. However, considering that the bowling has been doing decently well, Khawaja might get a game finally.

Steve Smith has been constantly getting starts this season. Barring the first game, he is certainly due for a big score. He had started on a high and would want to make things count in the all-important Qualifier 1. Smith will take confidence from his unbeaten knock that he had played against the same opposition in the season opener for his side this year.

Indian wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni has made it a habit to be in the limelight. After having missed out on the playoffs last year, Dhoni will get a chance to be in the driver seat yet again. Also the fact that Stokes will not be there to support him in the lower middle-order, Dhoni will have to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility for finishing the game on a high.

Manoj Tiwary has been the unsung hero of the team thus far. He is arguably the most consistent batsman in the Rising Pune Supergiant lineup. Tiwary has batted in the lower order and has been promoted to bat at number 4 as well. Hence, he will continue to be the floater in the lineup and his services would be invaluable to the team.

All-rounders (Dan Christian, Washington Sundar)

Aussie all-rounder Dan Christian has largely been underutilized this season. Christian is a big impact player who can be very effective with both bat and the ball. He has not quite got his chances with the bat. In the limited opportunities that he has got, he has shown that he can use the long handle. Now, with Stokes not available, the team will need him in the finisher’s role.

Washington Sundar, the 17-year-old all-rounder, has been utilized as the bowler in the tournament thus far. He has not quite been given the opportunities with the bat since the Rising Pune Supergiant top order has been doing a decent job in the tournament. Sundar has bowled effectively in the powerplay overs and has played the second fiddle to leg-spinners in the team.

Bowlers (Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Adam Zampa)

Out of nowhere, the old warhorse Jaydev Unadkat has come to the fore this season. He recently bagged a five-wicket haul which included a hat-trick against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He is second on the list of the Purple Cap contenders. Unadkat has been a force to reckon with in the RPS bowling. He has bowled magnificently with the new ball and has got maidens to his name as well.

Shardul Thakur has shared the new ball with Unadkat and has been doing a decent job. He has not been as economical as Unadkat but has ensured that he contributes to the team’s cause in the best possible way. He has bowled with pace and aggression up front. Thakur has been a wicket-taking option this season.

Young Australian leggie Adam Zampa has been largely warming up the benches this season. His services were not required for the most part of the season with senior leg-spinner Imran Tahir taking up the big role. However, with the South African moving out of the tournament, Zampa will have a big role to play in the playoffs. He will have to ensure he fills up the void left by Tahir in the lineup.

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