Ben Stokes

On the Maharashtra day, the home side Rising Pune Supergiant won the toss and decided to bowl first. The decision was not influenced by the dew factor, as Steven Smith said that he is not expecting dew coming in later part of the innings, which could have helped the home side.

Fit-again Ben Stokes returned to his side, as he replaced Lockie Ferguson, who was the star with the ball in the last contest against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Shardul Thakur too made his way back in the side replacing Deepak Chahar.

On the other hand, Suresh Raina was forced to make a change, as Dwayne Smith replaced Andrew Tye, who has been ruled out of the tournament due to a dislocated shoulder.

The second and the other change in the squad was surprising, as Irfan Pathan was dropped for Delhi all-rounder Pradeep Sangwan. The choice to include Sangwan in the side was difficult to fathom.

Both the teams still have chances to qualify for the next round and are in a desperate need of a win.

Here is what both the captains said at the time of the toss –

Suresh Raina: 

“We are doing well. The bowlers need to bowl well in the first six overs. (Dwayne) Smithy comes in for AJ (Tye) and (Pradeep) Sangwan is playing in place of (Irfan)Pathan. All five games are important for us. We got to express ourselves and enjoy each and every ball. “

Steven Smith: 

“We are going to bowl. There was some dew the other night. This is generally a good chasing ground. Ferguson, unfortunately, misses out. We have Ben Stokes back. Shardul Thakur is playing in place of Deepak Chahar. These (remaining) five games are really important for us.”

Here is the playing XI of both the sides –

Rising Pune Supergiant (Playing XI): Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith(c), Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni(w), Ben Stokes, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir.

Gujarat Lions (Playing XI): Ishan Kishan, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina(c), Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik(w), Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Ankit Soni, Pradeep Sangwan, Basil Thampi.

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