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IPL 2017 Player Battles: Top 4 player encounters to look for in the Rising Pune Supergiant vs Mumbai Indians match

Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant face-off for their first game today. Here are some of the battles to watch out for.

Rohit Sharma will lead the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2017

One of the only teams to boast of an injury-free side, Mumbai Indians, will lock horns with the Rising Pune Supergiant today for the second match of IPL 2017. After an injury scare to Rohit Sharma, the MI skipper has been cleared to play while RPS will miss the services of Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who has been replaced by leggie Imran Tahir. 

In IPL 2016, RPS endured a horrific campaign, with just five wins from their 14 matches while Mumbai had a roller-coaster season, winning exactly half the number of matches they played last season.

This season, Mumbai will be looking to get off to a good start with a balanced squad, while RPS will hope for a turnaround in fortunes under newly appointed skipper Steven Smith. 

Ahead of the first match for both teams, we look at the crucial battles that could take place during the course of the game. 

#1 Steve Smith vs Mitchell McClenaghan

Mitchell McClenaghan
McClenaghan will open the bowling for Mumbai Indians

After a good IPL 2016, Mitchell McClenaghan will want to make early inroads and get Mumbai off to a good start in the absence of lead pacer Lasith Malinga. However, one of his major obstacles will be a man famously known for his consistency across all formats, Steven Smith.

Extra Cover: IPL 2017: Mumbai Indians (MI) Probable Playing XI

After a couple of hundreds and a highly successful Test series against India, Smith will be seen captaining the RPS having taken over the mantle from MS Dhoni. McClenaghan, on the other hand, will be looking to continue his sublime form from last season, when he picked 17 wickets from 14 games to emerge as MI’s highest wicket-taker. 

While Smith will look to make runs through his unorthodox batting method that has aided him perfectly in the past, McClenaghan will look to cause problems with the new ball and provide a good platform for MI. 

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