Pune's batting looks strong with inform Captain Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane. Smith played a crucial role with the bat in the match against Mumbai where he scored 84 not out off 54. MS Dhoni, Ben Stokes will provide strong support in middle order.
Imran tahir who was not picked in the auction and was later called up by Pune to fill their squad due to an injury, proved his worth by claiming three wickets against Mumbai. The pace bowling unit lacks experience and needs to worked upon.
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New captain Glenn Maxwell has a big task at hand. The batting will revolve around skipper Maxwell, Eoin Morgan and David Miller. Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha will also be expected to contribute with the bat.
Punjab's pace bowling department also looks thin on experience. It comprises Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Varun Aaron, Anureet Singh, Matt Henry and left arm young fast bowler T. Natarajan, who was bought for Rs 3 crore at the auction. The spin department will see left-arm spinner Axar Patel in action. Captain Maxwell is also an option as a slow bowler.
The Likely Playing XI
Kings XI Punjab: Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell (capt), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Eoin Morgan, David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, KC Cariappa, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, T Natarajan/Varun Aaron
Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Steven Smith (capt), Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary, Rajat Bhatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur/Ishwar Pandey, Adam Zampa
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