In the return leg of the Maharashtra derby, the Rising Pune Supergiants are slated to clash with table toppers Mumbai Indians today in Mumbai. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side is middling the table, with three wins and as many defeats, although their last-ball run chase against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday will certainly give them some momentum. The Mumbai Indians side has been on a roll on the other hand, having won their last six games. Curiously, their only defeat came against the Supergiants in their first match at Pune. It will be interesting to see the MI side try to avenge their only defeat this season at home against the Supergiants, where Mahendra Singh Dhoni seems to have finally found his groove with a sizzling 61 in the last match.

When and Where:

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai at 2000 IST, April 24.

Squads:

Mumbai Indians: Parthiv Patel(w), Jos Buttler, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma(c), Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mitchell Johnson, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Ambati Rayudu, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Vinay Kumar, Siddhesh Lad, Jagadeesha Suchith, Tim Southee, Jitesh Sharma, Deepak Punia, Saurabh Tiwary, Nicholas Pooran, Karn Sharma, Asela Gunaratne, Krishnappa Gowtham, Kulwant Khejroliya
Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith(c), MS Dhoni(w), Ben Stokes, Manoj Tiwary, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir, Jaydev Unadkat, Faf du Plessis, Ashok Dinda, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Ankit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Adam Zampa, Jaskaran Singh, Baba Aparajith, Deepak Chahar, Usman Khawaja, Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Chahar, Lockie Ferguson, Saurabh Kumar, Milind Tandon

Likely XI:

Mumbai Indians : Parthiv Patel, Jos Butler, Nitish Rana, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Mclenaghan, Jaspreeet Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.

Rising Pune Supergiants : Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Aggarwal, Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni, Ben Stokes, Rajat Bhatia, Adam Zampa, Ashok Dinda, Jayadev Unadkat, Ishwar Pandey

Openers

MI : Partiv Patel and Jos Butler

Parthiv Patel may not be everyone’s ideal choice of a T20 opener but the Indian wicketkeeper has done more than enough to keep his place in the MI side. His nifty work behind the stumps coupled with the explosive starts that he provides make him an integral part of the MI arsenal.
Jos Buttler has repaid the faith shown by MI in spades, ever since he was promoted to open the innings ahead of Rohit Sharma. While the Indian opener has been struggling in his middle-order role, the English wicketkeeper has been nothing short of sensational and got his side off to a flyer in nearly every game so far.

RPS : Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi

Ajinkya Rahane has had an up and down tournament; but he will be playing at the Wankhede Stadium – a venue where he has played plenty of cricket from his childhood – and he will look to get a good one on his home ground.

Opener Rahul Tripathi has had three good outings and the 26-year old will look to add more runs to his tally on what has generally been a very sportive surface at the Wankhede Stadium.

Head to Head

Overall: Matches played – 3, Mumbai Indians Won – 1, Rising Pune Supergiant Won – 2

Predictions:

Spinner Imran Tahir is expected to do well against the MI skipper Rohit Sharma, who has struggled with leg spinners all season. He has faced 11 deliveries from leggies, with 4 runs and 4 dismissals.

Nitish Rana at No.3 will be expected to do well for the MI side, while the RPS side will be counting on their in-form skipper Steve Smith to provide a steady hand.

All eyes will be on former skipper Dhoni, whose swashbuckling innings in the last match reminded us of the way he can turn any game around.

Nevertheless, it will be the Mumbai Indians side having the upper hand in this game. They are off to one of the best starts in the IPL ever, and will be playing at home.