Rising Pune Supergiant did raise eyebrows this IPL season even before the league began. They changed the name omitting the ‘s’ from ‘Supergiants.’ Apart from changing names, they changed the captain as well, replacing MS Dhoni with Australia captain Steve Smith. The team finished second last in the previous IPL season. The bolster in the team could make a change in the position as well.
The team bought Ben Stokes for INR 14.5 Crore, making him the most expensive overseas player in IPL. Apart from Stokes, Dan Christian is supposed to catapult the bowling attack. The team will certainly have an impact as it replaced Irfan Pathan, Thisara Perera and Albie Morkel. Although bought with a hefty amount, Stokes was through a bleak record in the last season. In the final fixture in Eden Garden, the bowler was hammered four successive sixes. However, in the last tournament against England, he established himself an all-rounder scoring a half century as well as taking the wicket of Virat Kohli. In a match against West Indies, Stokes scored another fifty.
Christian has a strong BBL record. The player has the third best bowling figures on to his name in the tournament’s history striking 5 wickets for 14 runs. Playing as a batsman, he scored 341 runs batting in 22 innings. Previously, he played alongside Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
In batting, Dhoni might prove worthwhile this season. In domestic circuit tournaments like Vijay Hazare, the player successfully hauled his runs to record scores. He struck 330 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 100 playing seven innings. Also, Mayank Aggarwal is a new addition.
With players like Smith, Dhoni and Stokes, the Supergiant have added the best formation of players. Not only Stokes, players like Imran Tahir and Adam Zampa would have a maximum impact. Tahir is currently the top bowler in the shortest format. The team, however, could not make Ashwin play due to injuries.
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