IPL 9 Preview - Rising Pune Supergiants.

Rising Pune Supergiants is one of the two fresh teams in this year's IPL. Owned by Sanjiv Goenka of RP Goenka group, the management bought as many as 25 players (17 Indian + 8 Overseas) in the IPL players draft and  IPL Player auction held earlier this year. MS Dhoni has been the most fruitful captain in the history of IPL. Having a winning percentage of 60.93 as captain in the IPL, Chennai Super Kings never missed the knockout stage under him for consecutive 8 years. With Dhoni leading the Pune team this year, it is perhaps an enormous boost for them.
Besides Dhoni, they have also added New Zealand's former captain, Stephen Fleming as Head coach. If Dhoni was instrumental for CSK on the field, Fleming was the main person responsible for their success off it. He is also the Head coach of Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League. Some of Stars' Top performers have also been added to the squad. Hrishikesh Kanitkar has been named as the Assistant coach and Eric Simmons will handle the bowling department.

Sanjiv Goenka and MS Dhoni unveiling team's jersey.
Ajinkya Rahane will most likely open the star-studded batting order. Rahane has been a consistent run-scorer for Rajasthan Royals at the top of the order. To go with him are some eminent names in Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis and Kevin Pietersen. Smith has been a prolific run-scorer for Australia across formats. The 31-year old, South Africa's T20I captain, du Plessis is capable of playing both the attacking shots and the waiting game. He can open the innings as well, which is an additional bonus for the team. Kevin Pietersen may not have played for England for more than 2 years now but his form across the T20 leagues has been phenomenal. He also has an adequate experience in the IPL. At 35, he still can win matches for his team on his own. He along with Peter Handscomb are from the Melbourne Stars fame. Handscomb, 24, keeps wickets and is another of those who can play the big shots without any discomfort.

Saurabh Tiwary represented India in 2010 but has missed out since then. Some one with his ability can play the big shots in the slog overs. Two talented youngsters in Baba Aparajith and Ankush Bains have also been bought by the Supergiants.

Pietersen will be looking to carry his good form in IPL 2016.
In addition to these, Supergiants have some world-class T20 specialist all-rounders in Mitchell Marsh, Albie Morkel and Thisara Perera. The younger Marsh bats right-handed to go with his right-arm medium pace. Albie Morkel, 34, bats left-handed and bowls right-arm medium pace. He has played close to 300 T20s across various leagues. His dual experience can come in handy for any T20 side in the world. The Sri Lankan all-rounder also bats left-handed and bowls right-arm medium pace. Coming down the order, the threesome has the potential to hit the big shots from ball one.
Eric Simmons will have 12 bowlers to coach under him. R Ashwin has been Dhoni's go to man in both the IPL and international cricket in recent times. Despite CSK's termination, the fate has united both of them yet again. Ashwin's four overs will be very crucial for the team. Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Ishwar Pandey, Jaskaran Singh and Deepak Chahar are the Indian right-arm medium-fast bowlers who have been bought by the Supergiants. Ishant, even with all his experience, is yet to cement his place in India's limited overs squad. Playing under Dhoni, this might be his best chance to do the same. Dinda has been in the Indian domestic circuit for more than ten years now. The team would also be looking to count on his experience. Pandey was a regular name in Chennai Super Kings bowling line-up. Jaskaran and Chahar would be looking for opportunities at some point of time in the tournament.
Two left-arm medium-fast bowlers in Irfan Pathan and RP Singh have lost the plot as far as international cricket is concerned. Both have been a victim of injuries and poor form.
The pair would be looking to reinstate their international careers via noticeable performance in the IPL.

RP Singh will be seen in action in IPL 2016.
Scott Boland and Adam Zampa are another of those from the Melbourne Stars. Boland bowls right-arm fast-medium whereas Zampa is a right-arm wrist spinner who gained attention by his top performance in the recently concluded ICC World Twenty20. Ankit Sharma and Murugan Ashwin are the reserves for the team in the spin bowling department.
The team has renowned names from the international level as well as the domestic level. The perfect blend of batting and bowling is present as well. Dhoni and Fleming would be looking to carry forward their success from Chennai Super Kings to Rising Pune Supergiants.

Expected Playing eleven:

  1. Ajinkya Rahane
  2. Faf du Plessis
  3. Steve Smith
  4. Kevin Pietersen
  5. Baba Aparajith
  6. Mitchell Marsh
  7. MS Dhoni (c & wk)
  8. R Ashwin
  9. Ankit Sharma
  10. Ishwar Pandey
  11. Ishant Sharma


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