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Rising Pune Supergiant – Strengths and Weaknesses

Rising Pune Supergiant

Even after having a superstars team at their disposal, Pune didn’t play at their optimum level and ended 2nd last in the group stage last season. However, a new-look Rising Pune Supergiants made headlines ahead of the 10th season of the Indian Premier League for two reasons — firstly when they made Australia’s Steven Smith the captain by removing Mahendra Singh Dhoni and secondly, their record-breaking capture of Ben Stokes in the IPL disposal.
Here is a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Rising Pune Supergiant and who could be their possible trump card.
STRENGTHS
1. STAR POWER
The RPS squad is packed with superstars who are capable of winning the match on their own. The likes of Steven Smith, MS Dhoni, Ben Stokes, Faf Du Plessis and Ajinkya Rahane can demolish any bowling line-up in the league at will. These players have performed it all at the international level for a very long time now and also in the league in the past (barring Stokes) and it’s just a matter of time that they click in this edition of the league.
2. SPINNERS
Pune has 2 world class spinners in their ranks who have been very steady over the course of the year in international cricket. South African Imran Tahir is the powerful number one T20 bowler in the world while Australian Adam Zampa who was the leading wicket-taking spinner in ODI’s last season. Also, Zampa took 12 wickets in just 5 IPL matches last season and he will once again be important for Pune this season.
3. The Dhoni Factor
With a load of captaincy taken away from him, MS Dhoni can simply go out there and enjoy his batting. Recently, after relinquishing the limited-overs captaincy to Virat Kohli, Dhoni bamboozled England with a breath-taking century in the second ODI at Cuttack in January. Now, Dhoni has the perfect chance to prove himself and go back to his lethal best which sent shivers across the world in his initial days in the IPL as well.
WEAKNESSES
1. R ASHWIN INJURY
Pune was dealt a huge blow when ace India spinner was ruled out of the entire sean due to injury. However, the presence of Tahir and Zampa in the squad somewhat decreases the blow, but the loss of the Ashwin from the line-up cannot be discounted completely. With 100 wickets in nine seasons of IPL, Steven Smith will surely miss the services of his most experienced spinner who knows these conditions like the back of his hand.
2. INDIAN PACE BATTERY
The likes of Ashok Dinda, Shardul Thakur and Jaskaran Singh cannot be classified as world class bowlers who can win matches for a team on their own. During the course of the league, Pune will struggle to fill in this gap and majority of the burden will fall upon all-rounders Ben Stokes and Dan Christian.

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