MS Dhoni’s Rising Pune SuperGiants (RPS) finally broke their losing streak with a little help from duckworth lewis (D/L) system as the match was stopped early due to rain. Dhoni made three critical changes to the RPS team and strategy that helped them gain a dominating position of the Sunrisers.
A Dinda was brought in to strengthen the bowling and he immediately made an impact, dismissing David Warner for a duck. The start of the match which was delayed due to rain helped in assisting the bowlers and Dinda made full use of it sending down his four overs for just 23 runs and picked up 3 wickets in the process.
Dhoni also decided to bring back Mitch Marsh and bowl him upfront. He repayed the skippers confidence by sending down his four overs for just 14 runs and taking 2 wickets. The skipper who has preferred to bowl M Ashwin as his first spinner, dropped that strategy and went with R Ashwin and for once allowed him to bowl out his full quota. Ashwin was economical bowling his four overs for 14 runs and taking one wicket.
In the end the Sunrisers could only manage to score 118 thanks to S Dhawan who remained unbeaten on 56. It was never going to be enough for the Sunrisers had a good start dismissing A Rahane for a duck but Faf Du Plessis and Steven Smith put together a partnership and ensured that wickets would not go down in a hurry, thereby getting the D/L system to work in their favour. RPS finished the game on 96 for 3 and registered their second win, giving them a total of four points.
In a statement, Dhoni said “The bowlers exploited the conditions well. All the fast bowlers hit the right length, and Ashwin was also able to bowl the way he normally does. If you don’t get wickets upfront, batsmen have license to hit any over. So in that sense, it was a good game overall. Fielding isn’t something we’re great at, but we need some luck. There are a few average to slow fielders in the side, which means we may have to score extra 10-15 runs.”
Dhoni will most likely stick with this winning combination for the next match as he is known for not changing a winning combination. However another change that could work well for the RPS will be replacing Saurabh Tiwary’s with another bowler or a hard hitting batsman as Tiwary looks completely out of shape and has not had any impact in the tournament so far.