Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) had lost five out of seven, including four home matches at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in IPL 2016. That is a record which RPS’ newly-appointed skipper Steve Smith would want to avoid and look forward to putting up a better show in IPL 2017. And now they are up against a strong and consistent Mumbai Indians side. However, consistency will not matter much as this is the first game for both sides this season.


Steve Smith has a plethora of options when it comes to choosing batsmen and all-rounders for his team. But they are likely going to have issues with their bowling department in IPL 2017 as there are hardly any experienced faces in their bowling ranks apart from Imran Tahir.


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RPS have a threatening middle-order and it is probably one of the strongest in this 10th edition of the IPL. With Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni, Smith and Ben Stokes, RPS can pose a serious threat to the opponents’ bowlers as they are all recognised finishers of the game. The modus operandi remains the same for all.


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Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians are facing selection woes as they have extra players and that too talented ones in all the departments. Captain Rohit Sharma will be tested when it comes to opting for his playing XI. But few choices will be obvious – Kieron Pollard, Jos Buttler, Mitchell McClenaghan, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ambati Rayudu and Parthiv Patel are there to stay.


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It will be interesting to see whether Rohit opts for Mitchell Johnson, who had a wonderful outing during the Big Bash League 2016-2017, or Tim Southee, who played a crucial role in last year’s campaign for Mumbai Indians.


The average first innings total at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium is 170 in IPL and team chasing has won five out of eight games. However, we never can predict the nature of the Pune pitch but one can be rest assured, we are in for a thrilling encounter as Match no. 2 of IPL 2017 is upon us.


Likely XIs:


Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Faf du Plessis, Steven Smith (C), Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (wk), Rajat Bhatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Adam Zampa.


Mumbai Indians:  Rohit Sharma (C), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ambati Rayudu, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Tim Southee.