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Rising Pune Supergiants look to channel the CSK spirit

The awfully-named Rising Pune Supergiants head into their maiden Indian Premier League season with one of the longest and possibly strongest squads they could have assembled. But first, let’s address their unusual name: the franchise has been named using the key initials of the RP-Sanjeev Goenka Group (RPSG, get it?), who are the owners and have invited mockery through their naming process.

But on the field Rising Pune Supergiants are no laughing matter. The franchise is captained by MS Dhoni, who proved that he hasn’t lost any of his mystical qualities as skipper and with the bat in the recently concluded World Twenty20 tournament. All eyes will be on how Dhoni, who was synonymous with the yellow of Chennai Super Kings, will fare in the multi-coloured attire worn by RPSg. Dhoni himself admitted to feeling ‘a bit different’ in the Pune franchise, but being the experienced professional that he is, there shouldn’t be anything less than 100% commitment.

Other members of their squad include some of the biggest names in world cricket – Kevin Pietersen, Ravichandran Ashwin, Steven Smith, Faf du Plessis, Albie Morkel, Ajinkya Rahane and Mitchell Marsh. On paper there is no obvious weakness for the Pune franchise but, as with every new franchise, they will find it a little had to settle in and work as a cohesive unit.

Pune are going to rely on familiarity in inter-personnel relationships to succeed in this year’s IPL. Captain MS Dhoni and Coach Stephen Fleming have worked together for numerous years at CSK and will bring the same tactical acumen to Pune. Other CSK players who have been bought to the Pune franchise include Du Plessis, Morkel, Ashwin and Baba Aparajith. Four foreign players Pietersen, Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb and the highly-rated Adam Zampa were teammates for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League earlier this year.

What we can expect from Rising Pune Supergiants

Any way you look at it, Rising Pune Supergiants are an extremely strong side. Their strengths are obvious but their weaknesses aren’t, which makes them a dangerous foe. If there’s one side that can win the IPL in their first-ever season, it’s the side from Pune.

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