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IPL 2017 RPS vs KXIP: Rising Pune Supergiant's probable playing 11 against Kings XI Punjab, Match 55

Can Pune progress to the Playoffs?

Can Smith lead RPS to the Playoffs?

The Rising Pune Supergiant return home for their last Group game of the 2017 Indian Premier League, which sees them play the Kings XI Punjab, who have gathered some good momentum in the past few matches.


Here’s a possible playing XI for the hosts:

Ajinkya Rahane: Ajinkya Rahane needs runs under his belt. FULL STOP. The right-hander has just found it most difficult to get a substantial score under his belt and it has meant that Steven Smith has been exposed much earlier than he would like. Sunday will be the last Group game for the side and a score here could do his confidence a world of good.

Rahul Tripathi: Tripathi, so far, has had a season to remember. The right-hander has really repaid the faith shown on him by the Supergiant management and delivered consistent performances at the top of the order. The test for him begins now- in the crunch moments of the competition. Can he stand up and deliver again? Only time will tell.

Steve Smith(C): As has been the case during this tournament, runs from the blade of Steve Smith will be crucial to Pune’s chances. He began the season well, hit a slight rough patch, but now stand up in the business end of the competition.

Manoj Tiwary: The most underrated performer in the competition so far for the RPS. Tiwary has mostly been used as a finisher, but when given a chance at the top of the order, he has shown that he can deliver as well. In the presence of the other superstars, he has certainly carved a small niche for himself as well.

Ben Stokes: Could this be last game for the RPS? Regardless of that, one can say that the RPS have got what they were looking for from the English all-rounder after they paid 14.5 crores at the auction earlier this year. A hundred, a few breathtaking catches and more have meant that he has provided some defining moments for the franchise and hopefully if Sunday is his last game, he can finish on a high.

MS Dhoni(WK): A key man to have in the scenario that RPS find themselves. In a chequered IPL career, Dhoni has faced several situations that have required he and his side to rise to the occasion. In a sense, it was him who began this journey to qualification to Playoffs for the RPS, when he helped them win the game against SRH. Can he on Sunday guarantee them that spot in the final four?

Daniel Christian: The all-rounder has been persisted by the management and has contributed more with the bat than with the ball, finishing off two games against the Gujarat Lions and the Kolkata Knight Riders. A more rounded performance would benefit the team immensely.

Washington Sundar: Not much was expected out of 17-yar-old off-spinner Washington Sundar. But the young man has done the job expected out of him in the early overs, proving to be economical and also nabbing the odd wicket. Like Tripathi, his real test begins now and it remains to be seen how he performs in such a scenario.

Jaydev Unadkat: The star about whom no one is talking enough. The left-armer has picked up 19 wickets in the League so far, that includes a hat-trick and will once again be vital to their RPS cause on Sunday.

Shardul Thakur: The Mumbai pacer will need to complement Unadkat in the fast bowling department. Thakur has just not got his areas right at the start and will need to put in a more disciplined performance on Sunday.

Adam Zampa: The leg-spinner has just not got the chances that he would have seeked at the start of the season, as Imran Tahir was preferred over him. However, he does have another chance on Sunday.

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