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IPL 10, RPS v MI, Match 2: Rising Pune Supergiant Player Ratings

Here is how RPS players fared out in their season opener.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Today’s day was the clash of the Marathas, Pune vs Mumbai. The Maharashtra Derby. It was Goenka vs Ambanis too, actually. Clearly know who emerged victorious today, now, don’t we?

And, it was Pune at their fortress today, and there was no stopping them, or Smith, or Hardik Pandya, or Dinda’s half century with the ball for that matter. With Pune winning the toss and electing to bowl first, it was certain that the chasing team will have an upper hand. It was a close game but you can hardly imagine losing a game till the time Smith’s unbeaten.

A target of 185, which was more than expected after the early blows for Mumbai Indians, was a competitive one. First, it was Rahane laying the foundation of the tall building, then climbed Stokes and Smith, with Dhoni waiting to put down the last brick of the building. Eventually, it was Smith who did it, but that does not matter as long as the Team sits pretty at the points table.

Here are the ratings of the players of the winning team, according to their performance:

1. Ajinkya Rahane: 7.5/10

Rahane was out there making sure that he too remains in contention for the spot for the Champions Trophy after all the talks about him not being good enough for the shorter formats. His performance could also be a result of the answer he had to give to all these talks. He was batting at the strike rate of 176.47, yes, Rahane was!

With 60 off 34, Rahane laid down a foundation that was extremely vital. Despite his partner leaving early, he stood there and built a partnership with the batsmen that followed. The Maharashtra boy included 6 fours and 3 sixes. It looks like it is the rise of Rahane, the batsman for the shorter format too.

2. Mayank Agarwal: 3.5/10

Dismissed at only 6 runs off 5 balls, he had a forgettable match today. He was unsettled, looked nervy and did not look comfortable as such. So, there’s no scope for discussion about his performance with the bat.

Apart from the standard score, a batsman gets for scoring anything more than 1 run, he gets one more for taking a stunning catch, eventually leading to Pollard’s dismissal.

3. Steven Smith: 10/10

He is only going on to show that he is a Modern Great of the game for a reason. His 54 ball 84* and his love affair with India, and Pune, in general, comes after a brilliant 499-run series in Tests. Though it’s been a long time since he played a T20 match, he looked in surreal touch. A leading-from-the-front kind of innings, Steve Smith was the key to RPS’ victory.

What’s more interesting is the fact, that he changed gears when it was necessary. His focus was intact, meaning, he knew which bowlers to go after and which balls to let go off easily. Though his batting itself was a complete 10, I think his captaincy too, was pretty good, considering the bowling changes.

4. Ben Stokes: 6.5/10

His economy rate of 9 is no surprise because that’s what the case for him in this format is like. He conceded 36 runs, but since he took the wicket of the danger man, Pollard, he compensates for that. It was the case of one great all-rounder versus another. He really has to work upon being miserly, though.

He chipped in a decent cameo with the bat, though he departed a little too soon. But perhaps, we’re going a little too harsh on him to justify his price tag. So, 1 wicket and 21 off 14 are pretty alright by the standard that this was his first match ever in the IPL.

5. MS Dhoni: 6.5/10

His wicket-keeping skills are immaculate, so no question about that. However, I would prefer Dhoni bat up the order, keeping in mind the impact he has on that spot. After few early troubles, and the swing and miss saga, he returned with a six off Bumrah. So, 12 runs off just as many balls for Dhoni.

I also want to add in one big factor he deserves credit for – giving the strike to Smith on the third last ball. He knew this was Smith’s game to finish, and it was a close match, they could not risk that. And, the two sixes that followed were perhaps Dhoni’s “foresight”.

6. Manoj Tiwary: 2/10

Did not bat. Does not bowl. No catches taken. So, points for fielding. Also, can I give him points for being the medium of conversation (having the mic with him) while Dhoni gave KP a reply?

7. Rajat Bhatia: 7/10

If you do not have him on your fantasy league team, yet. Go, get him. He’s your best choice for the uncapped player quota. Since he did not bat, the focus is on the bowling and the fielding. He was decent while fielding, definitely.

With the ball, he kept it tight, no extras given, only 14 runs conceded in the 3 overs he bowled and 2 wickets taken. He did not let Rayudu or Krunal Pandya settle and sent them back without any damage inflicted. He deserves to be talked about more here, more so because it’s difficult to provide breakthroughs when two other bowlers are doing so well with the ball. He did extremely well to keep up with that and his economy of 4.67 is what gets the brownie points.

8. Deepak Chahar: 2/10

He only had the opportunity to let his ball do the talking today. However, he did not take wickets so, no talk about that. In his 2 overs, he was hit for 21 runs, so that too takes away the scope for all talks. Nothing for him here, yet.

9. Adam Zampa: 6/10

With 26 runs conceded, and 1 wicket taken, Zampa rose to the occasion for the leggies as he dismissed an almost set Nitish Rana for 34 off 28. It was an important wicket because Rana was doing the job that the batsmen before him failed to do. However, the resilience was temporary as it was brought to an end by a googly.

10. Imran Tahir: 8.5/10

Released by DD, surprising. Unsold in the auction despite his bowling figures and No. 1 ranking, surprising. Roped in by Rising Pune Supergiants, kind of surprising, too. Imran Tahir registering figures 3/28 in his first match of the season, not surprising at all.

After getting Parthiv Patel clean bowled in the second ball of his over, his marathon-celebratory-sprint was repeated twice later. Reason? He was on fire, unstoppable, as he sent back Rohit Sharma and then Jos Buttler too. Though Buttler’s decision was a wrong one, it was balanced out as Pollard was not given out despite being plumb. So overall, a very good bowling performance.

11. Ashok Dinda: 1.5/10

4-0-57-0. The last over he bowled that saw Hardik Pandya in carnage mode, with 28 scored in an over- it was Dinda’s. Enough said.

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