04.00pm local time (10:30am GMT), April 8, 2017
A new captain, a new home venue and hopefully a change in fortunes. That is what the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will be hoping when they take on the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the first day game of the season. It won’t be an easy task though given the kind of performance Pune dished out in their first game against the Mumbai Indians.
Having finished at the bottom in the last two editions of the IPL, Punjab would be in need of a miraculous performance if they are to have any hopes of bettering their record. The unexpected move to hand the maverick Glenn Maxwell the captaincy shows that they are ready to go the unconventional way to turn things around. An injury to Murali Vijay ruled him out of the tournament and is sure to upset their team balance. They will also be heavily dependent on their Indian fast bowlers to deliver the goods for them.
Pune on the other hand will be looking to continue playing the way they did in their opening game. Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith were unstoppable with bat in hand while Imran Tahir came out of the disappointment of his auction snub to pick up three crucial wickets. With the kind of money spent on Ben Stokes, the crowd would be expecting more from him in the matches to come. Their only worry once again will the fast bowling department given Ashok Dinda’s nightmarish last over against Mumbai.
KXIP - LLLWL
RPS – WWWLL
The injury to Vijay might just force KXIP to play four overseas batsmen including batting all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, which means that Matt Henry will have to sit out. With Hashim Amla expected to take Vijay’s spot, both David Miller and Eoin Morgan will have to sit out.
KXIP– 1 Manan Vohra, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Glenn Maxwell (c ), 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Gurkeerat Singh, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 Axar Patel, 9 Mohit Sharma, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 Varun Aaron
The only two real failures for Pune in their last game were Mayank Agarwal and Ashok Dinda. After going for 29 in the final over, Dinda might be replaced by Jaydev Unadkat.
Rising Pune Supergiant – 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Steve Smith (c ), 4 Ben Stokes, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Manoj Tiwary, 7 Rajat Bhatia, 8 Adam Zampa, 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Ashok Dinda/ Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Imran Tahir