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IPL 9, Match 16 Preview: Supergiants and Royal Challengers look for stability

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

The Rising Pune Supergiants and the Royal Challengers Bangalore have big names to boast of on paper. But neither of the two sides has come up with an overall clinical performance so far. While the MS Dhoni led RPS had a perfect start to the tournament with a thumping win over the Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener, the RCB also announced their arrival in the tournament with a resounding win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Both the sides have faced the same problem thereafter – instability and inconsistency.

RCB have been heavily dependent on their top-order and the failure of two among the top three in a game almost becomes synonymous to a crash. RPS, on the other hand, have had issues with their slower run rate in the middle overs. Moreover, the presence of no senior paceman in the line-up has seen MS Dhoni wanting for options.

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So when the two sides clash at the MCA stadium at Pune, they will look to find the right combination to get the stability.

Team News

Rising Pune Supergiants:

RPS made like-for-like changes in their last game, getting in Thisara Perera and Irfan Pathan for Mitchell Marsh and Rajat Bhatia. But both Perera and Pathan failed to contribute in the match. Having said that, it would only be unfair for Irfan Pathan to be dropped since he bowled just one over in the previous game. The side has had a good four-day gap to rethink and regroup. Playing their first home game this season, the Supergiants will like to start on a winning note at home. The wicket at MCA turned and bounced the last time a match was played here, between India and Sri Lanka. So it will be interesting to see if MS continues to play with Ankit Sharma.

Royal Challengers Bangalore:

The absence of Chris Gayle saw RCB go helter-skelter in the last game. As many as 6 changes in the side were made. But with a track having a history of spin, Virat Kohli might wish to get Yuzvendra Chahal in the side. Samuel Badree has been ruled out of the tournament and Tabraiz Shamsi has been named as the replacement. So will the Chinaman get a look in? Will be interesting to see. Gayle is set to miss this encounter as well and KL Rahul is most likely to maintain his place.

Probable XI-

Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Travis Head, Sarfaraz Khan, Stuart Binny, Harshal Patel, Kane Richardson/Tabraiz Shamsi, Iqbal Abdullah, S Aravind/ Varun Aaron

Rising Pune Supergiants:

Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith, MS Dhoni (C), Albie Morkel, Irfan Pathan, R Ashwin, Ankit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, M Ashwin

 

StAttack

1. MS Dhoni has scored 190 runs at an average of 47.30, with the highest score of 30 in 2016. He has only been dismissed four times.

2. Virat Kohli has scored 812 runs in 15 innings with an average of 101.50 in 2016.

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