Kings XI Punjab v Rising Pune Supergiant
Indore, April 8, 2017
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)
Head to head
It's one all, with each team having won at their home venue last year. These two teams finished bottom of the table last season.
In the news
Australia batsman Glenn Maxwell, who has never led any team in the 340 recognised matches he has played across formats, will debut as captain for Kings XI. He was picked for the role ahead of international captains such as Eoin Morgan and Darren Sammy.
A last-minute addition to the Kings XI squad, Ishant Sharma is set to represent his fifth IPL franchise - the joint-second most by any player - against the team that let he go after the 2016 season. Kings XI brought in Ishant as a replacement for M Vijay, who is out of IPL 2017 with wrist and shoulder injuries sustained during India's protracted home season. Ishant had gone unsold at the IPL auction in February, after a season in which he claimed three wickets in four matches at 49.33, conceding 9.86 per over for Supergiant.
Shardul Thakur might get into Supergiant's XI, after the lacklustre performance from the team's frontline seamers in their opening game against Mumbai Indians. Ashok Dinda bowled the most expensive 20th over in IPL history - 30 runs - and the side's fast-bowling trio, comprising Dinda, Deepak Chahar and Ben Stokes, conceded 114 runs for a solitary wicket.
Kings XI's INR 3 crore recruit T Natarajan made quite a mark in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, particularly with his six yorkers in a Super Over against Tuti Patriots. He could push Varun Aaron for a spot in the XI. Kings XI will also take the field with a new coach behind them; J Arun Kumar took charge following Sanjay Bangar's resignation.
Indore's Holkar Stadium, which hosted its last IPL game in 2011, will be Kings XI's second home after Mohali. Three games will be played at the ground.
The likely XIs
Kings XI Punjab: 1 Manan Vohra, 2 Glenn Maxwell (capt), 3 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 David Miller, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Axar Patel, 8 KC Cariappa, 9 Sandeep Sharma, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 T Natarajan/Varun Aaron
Rising Pune Supergiant: 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Ben Stokes, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Manoj Tiwary, 7 Rajat Bhatia, 8 Jaydev Unadkat 9 Imran Tahir, 10 Shardul Thakur/Ishwar Pandey, 11 Adam Zampa
Stats that matter
In Indore, where the last T20 match played was during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - India's domestic T20 competition - in 2015, teams batting first won seven out of ten matches.
In Maxwell, Kings XI identified their tenth captain - the most among all IPL teams. This lack of stability across seasons is, perhaps, best reflected by the overall standings: they have finished at the bottom of the table three times - the joint most by any franchise, along with Delhi Daredevils.
Against Kings XI, MS Dhoni has four half-centuries - the most for him against any team - and his best strike rate against an IPL team (three matches minimum).
David Miller's slump in form has resulted in his average, strike rate, fifties and balls per boundary decreasing every year, starting 2013, where he amassed 418 runs in 12 innings with an average of 59.17. In the two games against Pune last year, he scored only seven runs apiece, in a season where he got 161 runs in 13 innings.
Supergiants' run rate of 8.00 in Powerplays, while batting first, was the second best last season. Ironically, they lost all seven matches in which they batted first last season. A big contributor to that would have been their economy rate in Powerplays when defending totals: 9.80, the worst among all teams.