Just three days old and the Indian Premier League 2017 has already seen a couple of exciting encounters on the previous two days of the tournament. While the first match between defending champions and Sunrisers Hyderabad and last year's finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore did not prove to be as exciting as expected, the match between the Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians surely made up for it.
As we move on to the 4th day of the tournament, fans around the globe are all ready for the first double header as they relax on a Saturday. In the first match of the day, the Rising Pune Supergiant will look to make it two in a row against last year’s wooden spoon holders Kings XI Punjab.
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Punjab have finished at the bottom of the table for the last two seasons and will be looking to change their fortunes this time around. With the firepower in their batting and bowling line-up, they look a well-balanced side and could go on to challenged for the title if they play their cards right.
With 23.3 crores to spend in the auction, Punjab made the most of it as they purchased England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan and New Zealand’s Martin Guptill in the batting department. They also purchased Tamil Nadu’s T Natarajan who had a spectacular domestic season in India.
Pune, on the other hand, put last season’s woes behind them as they defeated Mumbai in their 1st match of the season thanks to a spectacular knock by captain Steve Smith. The area of concern for them was Ashok Dinda who conceded 57 runs in his four overs.
Date: April 8th
Venue: Holkar Stadium, Indore
Time: 1600 IST
If KXIP bat first
With a host of international batting superstars in their line-up, KXIP could go on to post a huge total if they bat first, or even chase down a huge total. With Glenn Maxwell most likely to open the innings along with the talented Manan Vohra, he will look to take the attack to the opposition bowlers from the very beginning. If he gets going, we all know how dangerous he can be.
The middle order looks well balanced and extremely dangerous as well with Wriddhiman Saha, Eoin Morgan, and David Miller most likely to play. With Axar Patel and Marcus Stoinis lower down the order, they could provide the finishing touch.
If RPS bat first
Ajinkya Rahane got Pune off to a brilliant start yesterday and will be looking to continue his great run of form against the Punjab bowling line-up. Steve Smith is in the form of his life and with the way he is going, it’s as if everything he touches turns to gold. With Ben Stokes and MS Dhoni in the middle order, Pune could be well assured of a good batting performance.
With the Holkar stadium in Indore most likely to be a batsman’s paradise, we could expect a high scoring match given the fact that the batting firepower of both the sides. Being the underdogs, KXIP do not have a lot of pressure on their shoulders and with their strong line-up, they would probably go on to hand Steve Smith his first defeat of the season.