The Pune-based team was the second new entrant for the season 9 IPL. The Midas of Indian cricket team Mahendra Singh Dhoni is off the role as captain of the Supergiants and they have a newly elected leader in the form of Steven Smith. Even Dhoni’s impeccable character to win matches didn’t come to rescue Pune Supergiants and they were second from the last in the round robin table of IPL 2016. Winning just 5 matches of their total matches Pune would likely to forget their last outings and reclaim new way in IPL 2017. It would be interesting to see Dhoni and Smith both being captain of different contrast comparison made during the Season 10.
There were large exclusions from the previous year squad and the major exclusions included that of Kevin Pietersen who was only available for 4 games last season and had a high score of just 37 runs. Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan though are going through the great form in the domestic arena were excluded from the squad. The hard-hitting southpaw Thisara Perera was also axed from the squad. The mystery spinner Murugan Ashwin was also released and there was total of eleven players released from the previous year of Rising Pune Supergiants squad.
The major lookout for Pune franchise to improve their IPL run was to find a better replacement for fast bowler and all-rounder. They invested mainly in bowlers and all-rounders. Ben Stokes the most expensive overseas player in the auction was bought by the Supergiants and they have definitely invested in a right player. The other important buy for them were the two-star all-rounder in the form of Dan Christian and Mitchell Marsh.
Unfortunately, Marsh has been ruled out from IPL 2017 but Pune will be more than happy by roping in Imran Tahir the best T20 bowler in their squad as his replacement. Lockie Ferguson New-Zealand fast bowler was the other major overseas pick by the Supergiants. Except this, they hugely invested in Indian talents and roped in Manoj Tiwary, Jaydev unadkat, Milind Tandon, Rahul Tripathi and Saurabh Kumar. There were not many famous names from the domestic level and they invested mainly in raw Indian talents. Pune bought a total of 9 players in the IPL 2017 Auction.
Ben Stokes form in his maiden IPL debut will be the key for the Supergiants success in this season. The inclusion of Dan Christian and stokes have added solidity to the lower batting order and increased alternative in fast bowling options. On paper, Pune’s batting looks admirable with Ajinkya and Mayank Agarwal forming the opening pair and Smith and du plessis the next two. Spin department is more stable than the fast bowling attack with Ashwin, Zampa, and Tahir being in the squad. Adam Zampa holds the record of best bowling in an IPL innings. Apart from Fergusson, their bowling looks a little weak and there are no better options than Dinda and Ishwar Pandey.With Dhoni and Stokes in the middle, there would not be problems in scoring runs at pace. It would be interesting to see if Baba Aparajith gets a game or two.
The mantra for winning the matches in IPL 2017 for Rising Pune Supergiant is easy they have to do first thing first. And at this time their main focus should be choosing the best eleven for their side. The team has 3 captains of different contrast and nations as Dhoni, Du plessis, and Smith and for Pune to succeed in their last outings their idea needs to be clicked.
MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Steven Smith, Faf du Plessis, Mitchell Marsh, Ashok Dinda, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Ankit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Adam Zampa, Jaskaran Singh, Baba Aparajith, Deepak Chahar, Usman Khawaja, Mayank Agarwal, Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Kumar, Dan Christian, Milind Tandon, R Tripathi, Manoj Tiwary, Lockie Ferguson
Rising Pune Supergiant
- RPSG Group
- Stephen Fleming
- Steve Smith
- Maharashtra Cricket Association’s International Stadium