Match 39 IPL 2017 (2017-05-01) @ Pune (SRSS)
Pune have lost all 3 matches that they have played against The Lions. At Rajkot earlier in the season The Lions easily chased down the 171 scored by Pune. In that match Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum got the team off to a fast start each scoring 40s at a strike rate of 150.
Pune have won 4 of their last 5 matches since then and risen to 4th in the table. The side is more settled and they have a better bowling combination. They have missed Ben Stokes for their last 2 matches. They will be hoping that he is back for this match.
The Lions just missed out in a superover to Mumbai on Saturday. Their top order failed and they had to rely on Faulkner and Tye to get the up to 153. They then bowled and fielded exceptionally to hold Mumbai to the same total. Having done all that work in the field they must have been disappointed to lose out in the superover.
The Lions lost their top bowler Andrew Tye to a shoulder injury on Saturday. He will be missed in this match. Dwayne Smith could be brought back as the overseas player but his bowling is no way like for like. Smith has gone at 11.7 an over this IPL compared to Tye's 6.7. He would however strengthen the batting.
The Pune pitch has favored the chasing team in recent years. In IPL matches since 2014 the chasing team has won 62% of the time.
Pune are currently available at 1.93 to win this home match. I have backed them to win at this price. They are the stronger side and higher in the table. Their batting is more consistent and the finally have a decent bowling combination.
Pune have a very settled top order. Rahul Tripathi and Ajinkya Rahane open the batting. Tripathi has 253 from 7 innings with a decent strike rate of 151. Rahane has 211 runs with a strike rate of 121. The pair have got the team off to a good start in several matches.
Steve Smith bats at 3. He is Pune's top run scorer with 320 runs. He has a strike rate of 136.
The middle order consists of Dhoni, Tiwary, Stokes and Christian. Tiwary has 182 runs with a strike rate of 153. He has scored quick runs when required. Dhoni started the season slowly but now has 173 runs. His strike rate is up to 121 after scoring at below a run a ball in the early season.
Stokes and Christian are the 2 overseas all-rounders in the side. Stokes has missed the last 2 matches due to injury. He has been disappointing with the bat scoring 127 runs with a strike run of 136. Christian has only had 4 opportunities towards the end of the innings. He has 42 runs with a very good strike rate of 175.
Pune struggled at the start of the season with the economy rate of their seam attack.
Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur have replaced Ashok Dinda and Deepak Chahar who both went for around 11 an over. Unadkat has 7 wickets in 5 matches with an economy rate of 8 an over. Thakur has 4 wickets with an economy rate of 9.3 an over.
Stokes and Christian have both bowled well. Stokes has 6 wickets and has gone at 7.4 an over. Christian has 4 wickets and an even better economy rate of 6.9. Lockie Ferguson has played 2 matches. In Pune's win against RCB he took an amazing 2 for 7 off 4 overs.
Imran Tahir is Pune's top wicket taker with 13. He has an economy rate of 8.1 an over. Washington Sundar has been the second spinner for the last 4 matches. He has 2 wickets and a decent economy rate of 7 an over.
The Lions have chopped and changed their batting line-up all season. They have 4 overseas openers in their squad.
Brendon McCullum has opened in all 9 innings. He has 273 runs with a strike rate of 146. Finch, Roy, Smith and Ishan Kishan have all opened with him. Ishan Kishan was the top scorer against Mumbai on Saturday. He scored 48 runs from 35 balls. He now has 136 runs at a strike rate of 135.
Now that The Lions have lost Andrew Tye it will be interesting to see which overseas player comes in instead. The options are Roy and Smith. Smith has been the option earlier in the season due to his ability to bowl. Smith has 94 runs in 7 innings.
Raine bats at 3. He is The Lions top run scorer with 310. He has a strike rate of 140. Dinesh Karthik has been solid all season. He bats at 4 or 5. He has 192 runs with a strike rate of 131.
Aaron Finch started the season poorly but has now reached 186 runs with a strike rate of 168. If he does not open he will bat in the middle order. Jadeja and Faulkner batted at 6 and 7 in their last match. They are both capable batsmen but they might slip down a spot if Smith plays.
Andrew Tye has taken 12 wickets from 6 matches with an economy rate of 6.7. His injury is terrible for The Lions. They had just got the balance of their team right including both Tye and Faulkner.
It will now be up to Faulkner to lead the seam attack. He has 4 wickets in 3 matches with an economy rate of 7.9. Basil Thampi has also been impressive. He now has 6 wickets with an economy rate of 8.9 and is bowling good yorkers at the death. Nathu Singh could replace Tye. He has 1 wicket in 2 matches with a very useful economy rate of 3.7 an over.
Ravindra Jadeja has been expensive this season going at 9.3 an over. He has 4 wickets in 7 matches. He has been joined in the spin department Ankit Soni for the last 2 matches. Soni has been impressive taking 2 wickets with an economy rate of 6.3 an over.
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