Can SRH continue their winning streak against RPS?    BCCI
Can SRH continue their winning streak against RPS? BCCI

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) prepare for a tough task ahead as they face in-form Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match No. 24 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. The match will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium, Pune. To the relief of the hosts, this is a home match and they have just managed to win two matches this season. A victory will help them skip many positions from the bottom of the table to become one of the top four teams while SRH will reclaim supremacy if they win against RPS. All-in-all, the battle between two Australian captains David Warner and Steven Smith will give the kickstart to the double-headers on Saturday with Mumbai Indians (MI) and Delhi Daredevils (DD) battling it out later the day. Full Cricket Scorecard: Rising Pune Supergiant vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2017, Match 24 at Pune

With one of the strongest bowling attacks in the competition, the reigning champions SRH have already become one of the most attractive teams for the season. Rashid Khan has been a wonder boy for the team while Bhuveshwar Kumar has also provided top-notch performances to help the team claim a spot in the top four and maintain it continuously. With their newfound hero in Mohammad Siraj, who made a successful IPL debut in the previous match by taking a couple of wickets, the SRH camp now have plenty of options for the bowling department.

The top-order has been SRH s strength, with Warner and Shikhar Dhawan getting the team to a good start. Kane Williamson had a successful start to his IPL 10 campaign with an 89 in the previous match. The middle-order will be strengthened by the presence of Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda while Rashid is also capable of hitting sixes down the order for some quick runs.

RPS ploy of changing the captaincy from MS Dhoni to Smith has not done much to their performance. The team failed to find the right combination of bowlers in the initial stage of the tournament which cost them matches despite decent display with the bat. However, with Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat performing well with the ball, RPS seem to have found their right choice of pacers. Spin has never been their Achilles Heel and Imran Tahir is the most important man for them.

The RPS batting boasts of names like Ajinkya Rahane, Dhoni, Smith and Manoj Tiwary. What the team needs is a big knock from any of these able batsmen to post a safe total for the bowlers to defend. They also have two quality all-rounders in Ben Stokes and Dane Christian who will be expected to take charge if need be.

Likely XIs:

RPS: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary, Ben Stokes, Dane Christian, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Rahul Chahar, Imran Tahir.

SRH: David Warner (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha (wk), Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Siddarth Kaul

Story so far: RPS are at the bottom of the table with two victories from five matches. SRH, on the other hand, have won four matches out of their six.

Advantage: Playing at home-ground will definitely give RPS an edge but SRH are ahead in numbers which will help them be more confident on field. However, RPS have won their last match and will have positive vibe in the camp.

Squads:

Rising Pune Supergiant: MS Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Rajat Bhatia, Mayank Agarwal, Steven Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Adam Zampa, Daniel Christian, Jaydev Unadkat, Usman Khawaja, Ankit Sharma, Faf du Plessis, Baba Aparajith, Ishwar Pandey, Shardul Thakur, Rahul Tripathi, Ankush Bains, Saurabh Kumar, Lockie Ferguson, Jaskaran Singh, Milind Tandon, Rahul Chahar.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda, Naman Ojha (wk), Ben Cutting, Bipul Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Ashish Nehra, Ricky Bhui, Kane Williamson, Siddarth Kaul, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mustafizur Rahman, Barinder Sran, Vijay Shankar, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Nabi, Eklavya Dwivedi, Pravin Tambe, Ben Laughlin, Tanmay Agarwal, Mohammed Siraj.