IPL Fantasy Cricket Tips #25: RPS v GL

The teams: Rising Pune Supergiants v Gujarat Lions. Under Raina’s leadership, GL have won 5 of their 6 games; their last 2 wins came despite a Kohli century and Morris smashing a 17-ball half century, suggesting they back themselves to win no matter what the other team brings. The home side, RPS, are coming off a win against Hyderabad, however it came after 4 consecutive losses which have left lots of questions for Captain MS Dhoni. He changed his team a few times but may choose to stick to the XI that won against SRH.

The Venue: The MCA International Stadium in Pune. Pune put up 160 in the last match here which KKR chased down with ease, so the side batting first will want to push for 170+ and rely on their spinners to do the job. RPS will want to give the home fans something to cheer about.

Our picks for your fantasy cricket team 

Brendon McCullum – After a few rough starts, McCullum showed why any team would dish out the big bucks for him even though he’s retired from international cricket.  His ability at the top of the order is unmatched, and his partnership with Dwayne Smith – familiar from their days together at the Chennai Super Kings – was enough to be match-winning even though the rest of the batting failed.

Steve Smith – Though Pune’s first few games were dominated by Faf du Plessis at the top of the order, Steve Smith has quietly accumulated 124 runs this IPL at an average of 31. His handy 46* in Pune’s recent victory against SRH came at a good strike rate. It’s also worth noting that he was run out twice, so if he can keep that in control, he can be dangerous at #3.

Rajat Bhatia – Our *wildcard* pick for today, Rajat Bhatia would usually only be picked his bowling. However, she showed he can bat when he hit 21 off 11 balls against RCB. He may be given more responsibility up the order with the bat, and will want to make his mark with the ball too after picking up no wickets in the last game.

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