Two former Indian Premier League team mates and close friends, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina are set to play against each other on 14th April for the first time ever in tournament’s history. MS Dhoni will be captaining Rising Pune Supergiants while playing 6th match of Vivo IPL 2016 against Suresh Raina’s Gujarat Lions in Rajkot.
Suresh Raina used to play under MS Dhoni’s captaincy in IPL when they were playing for Chennai Super Kings. Due to CSK’s suspension, both players went into draft and two new franchise owners picked them separately. So it will be first time in 9 editions of prestigious twenty20 tournament when two close friends will up against each other.
Both new teams have got terrific start in the competition as Rising Pune defeated Mumbai Indians easily in the opening match of championship while Gujarat Lions beat Kings XI Punjab comfortably to get first win the event. Both teams are completely relying on their strong batting line-ups as RPS have got Rahane, du Plessis, Smith, Dhoni, Pietersen who can destroy any bowling lineup in the competition.
On the other hand, GL are depending on McCullum, Raina, Bravo, Finch, Karthik and Kishan to score runs at good pace. Finch and Rahane both openers of Gujarat and Pune scored fifties in their opening games of tournament to start well. The real problem with both the teams is that their bowling attack. Although Pune bowlers restricted defending champions Mumbai on a small total but still there is question mark on Ashwin, Ishant, Pathan, M/ Ashwin and Bolan’s bowling.
Gujarat’s bowling also under fire as Faulkner, Mishra, Praveen and Jadeja didn’t bowl at that level they are known to bowl. So it will be an interesting battle to watch out.
Probable Playing XI
Suresh Raina (Captain), Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik, Ishan Kishan, Amit Mishra, Dhawal Kulkarni.
Rising Pune Supergiants
MS Dhoni (Captain), Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, M. Ashwin, Rajat Bhatia, Scott Boland.
Gujarat Lions will be favorites to win as per our predictions and they have got 53 percent winning chances over Rising Pune Supergiants.