New Delhi: The schedule for table toppers Mumbai Indians returns to the Marashtra derby as they host their neighbour Rising Pune Supergiant at Wankhede stadium today, this time to settle down the scores.
If there has been just one tumble in Mumbai's rather astounding start to their campaign this season, then it has been their defeat to Pune in the opener at Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium. So Rohit Sharma and his men in blue will be looking to avenge their defeat when they welcome their neighbours and thus extend their winning streak to a record equalling seven, at IPL.
Amid all criticism regarding their performance, especially the one targeting former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rising Pune Supergiant have truly risen out of the losing trap to secure two back-to-back victories – one over Royal Challengers Bangalore and the other over the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. Albeit, the team is all set to clinch on to the return-leg points too, coach Stephen Fleming feels that tonight's encounter will definitely be a tough one.
Here are the players to watch out for...
Hardik Pandya- Returning back to form, the younger of the Pandya brothers, Hardik, has been absolutely phenomenal both with the bat and with the ball. Stepping in at the lower middle order to pull up the score and then coming in the death overs to restrict the opponents, Mumbai Indians is surely relieved to have found back their start all-rounder.
Nitish Rana- Among all the local players in this season, here is this Delhi lad who has let blitz each time he has been on the pitch. Having already scored 263 runs in just seven matches, the left-hander is a definite contestant for the orange cup.
Rising Pune Supergiant-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni- Stealing a sensational last-ball thriller against Hyderabad in their previous match, Dhoni has surely proved his capability, and what he is worth, once again. Remember, Wankhede is the same pitch, where Dhoni has finished off in style to give India her second World Cup in 28 years. Having stemmed up to his form, cautious, is the word for MI bowling unit when he steps in to bat tonight.
Rahul Tripathi- Surprised? One probably must have been looking for Steve Smith or Ben Stokes, but failed to notice that over the past few matches this opener has got RPS off to a gripping start. Although rash dismissals have often stopped Rahul to get to those big scores but for Smith, well, he is really impressed with the 26-year-old. He feels that Tripathi complements Ajinkya Rahane, who is more of a technical player.