In contrast, Mumbai Indians have a problem of plenty after they made six changes to their squad for the final league game against Kolkata Knight Riders and Ambati Rayudu, playing his first match of the season, played a match winning knock.
In a game that swung from one side to the other, Kings XI Punjab came up trumps to record a thrilling seven run win over Mumbai Indians on May 11 (Thursday) and keep their hopes of qualifying for the 2017 IPL playoffs alive.
Rising Pune Supergiant will head into this week's Indian Premier League play-offs without star all-rounder Ben Stokes after he was recalled to England's one-day worldwide squad.
Rising Pune Supergiant: Steve Smith (captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Dan Christian, Adam Zampa, Shardul Thakur, Ankush Bains, Lockie Ferguson, Jaydev Unadkat, Usman Khawaja, Milind Tandon, Saurabh Kumar, Iswar Pandey, Jaskaran Singh, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Rajat Bhatia, Baba Aparajith, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Ashok Dinda. "The way they bowled with the little match experience they have, I think they have contributed majorly to get the team to this position in the league", said Rahane.
Kings XI Punjab's mentor Virender Sehwag was very disappointed with his team's poor show in a must-win game against Rising Pune Supergiant. With the second-worst balls per boundary ratio (8.48) in overs 7-15, Mumbai Indians recognised their opponents' weakness well by employing the spin choke on a wicket which seemed two-paced. Smith would not want to let this opportunity go.
Smith took joy in the fact that Pune proved to be Mumbai's nemesis every time they met this season.More news: Abbott India Q4 net dips 29 pc to Rs 42 cr
Pune, who have come back very strongly in the tourney, will need to get their combinations right. Dhoni and Manoj did well.
Mumbai Indians take a lot of leverage from their batting which has been firing on all cylinders in this season of IPL, with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Parthiv Patel, Lendl Simmons and Nitish Rana among their ranks, who can take apart any bowling attack on any given day.
The ninth over saw a shift in momentum towards Pune, with 15 runs coming of Hiren Pandya's over, including a straight six by Ajinkya Rahane of the first ball. Mumbai Indians put up all-round performances and maintained their lead in the IPL 10 points table throughout the tournament.
Dhoni smacked 40 off 26 to propel RPS to a fighting total of 162 before Sundar crippled MI's chase early with his 3 for 16. However, his urgency got the better of him in the final over of the powerplay as he was cleaned up by Axar Patel, but with Pune at 43/1, there was no way back for Punjab.
In the end the chase fizzled out despite some late hitting from Jasprit Bumrah and McClenaghan.