Rising Pune Supergiants take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 16th match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on 22 April.
Where to watch live
Match starts at3.30pm BST/8pm IST. Live coverage is on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 2 HD in the UK. Set Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD will telecast it live in India. Click here for live streaming link.
Rising Pune Supergiants take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in what is a must win game for both the sides. The hosts started well in the tournament, but have since tailed off, losing back-to-back games and a win here could provide some much needed breathing space for MS Dhoni and his men.
Faf du Plessis aside, none of the Pune batsman have fired so far, which has led to the bowlers coming under pressure. In Ajinkya Rahane, Kevin Pietersen, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh and the skipper himself, they have players who are capable of winning matches on their day, unfortunately for them none of the batsman have looked in touch. The team management will not want to tinker with the playing XI and Dhoni would back his players to the hilt.
The bowling too has looked listless with only spinner M Ashwin performing consistently, the other Ashwin in the side, off-spinner R Ashwin has bowled poorly since the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup 2016. The Chennai-born spinner has been central to Dhoni's plans since the inaugural Indian Premier League and will need to fire soon if the Pune outfit are to beat their opponents.
When you have batsmen like Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and Shane Watson, you would fancy yourself to beat any side, but that has just not happened with Royal Challengers Bangalore who find themselves in sixth place on the table with just one win from three games.
The problem with the Bangalore side is that they have a poor bowling attack, with not one established star to lead them. Mitchell Starc's absence has been keenly felt with none of the bowlers able to perform consistently. Chris Gayle has flown home for the birth of his child and will miss the game while the team management will need to decide if they are to stick with the expensive Varun Aaron.
Rising Pune Supergiants to win
Betting odds (888sport.com)
- Rising Pune Supergiants to win: 11/10
- Royal Challengers Bangalore to win: 14/19
Rising Pune Supergiants
Possible XI: Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steve Smith, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Mitchell Marsh, Irfan Pathan, Rajat Bhatia, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, M Ashwin.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Possible XI: Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, AB De Villiers, Shane Watson, Travis Head, Sarfaraz Khan, Stuart Binny, Hardik Patel, Kane Richardson, Iqbal Abdulla, Varun Aaron.