Pratik and Baidurjo: That's it from us then, but catch all the live action of the match through our live blog at 4:00 pm
Bangalore Playing XI: Virat Kohli(c), Travis Head, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav(w), Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, Adam Milne, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal
Chris Gayle left out of the squad!!
Pune Playing XI: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary, Daniel Christian, Faf du Plessis, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Imran Tahir
Baidurjo: Lets me also update the readers that Bangalore have won the toss and have opted to bowl first.
Baidurjo: You mentioned hitting, so let me put forward the three players from my team who can win the match on their own — Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and Ab De Villiers. They haven't been consistent but have got few runs under their belt in the tournament. Kohli has scored 164 runs from 5 matches, Gayle has 152 runs in 6 matches and ABD has 150 runs in 5 matches.
With their backs against the wall, expect the three to return to form in spectacular style against Pune at the MCA stadium today.
Pratik: Yes Stokes absence will be a big blow but it can also be a blessing in disguise as he will be replaced by Faf Du Plessis. The South African is too good a player to sit on the bench and must be itching to get out there and hit a few out of the park.
Baidurjo: IPL's most expensive pacer Tymal Mills will be crucial for Bangalore against Pune. The left-arm pacer has bowled well so far and has picked up five wickets so far. The high-profile batting line-up of Pune will definitely be troubled by the pace of Mills.
Another important point here is that Ben Stokes won't be there for a second game in a row due to injury and it will be music to the ears of RCB. Stokes has been good with the bat but has been better with the ball. So it's good news for Bangalore and not so much for Pune.
Pratik: But Pune's middle-order is the home of two of the most destructive batsmen in the limited overs format of the game - Steven Smith and MS Dhoni. Skipper Smith is the leading run-getter for RCB so far in the season as he has scored 275 runs in 7 matches. While Dhoni has been good with the bat as well and has slammed 152 runs in 8 matches, which also includes a match-winning 61* against the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. Manoj Tiwary has been scoring crucial runs down the order and once again will come in handy agaisnt RCB.
Baidurjo: To negate Pune's batting prowess, Bangalore's spinners will come in handy. The spin troika on Samuel Badree, Yuzvendra Chahal and Pawan Negi, together have picked up the most number of wickets in IPL 10 as far as spinners from other teams are concerned. Badree has picked up 8 wickets on 4 matches, Negi has 7 wickets in as many games, while Chahal has been the most successful out of three as he has scalped 10 wickets in 8 matches for RCB.
Pratik: Yes these players can never be discounter for ahead of a match. But Pune have got firepower in their rank as well. Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi has been in good form over the past few matches. Rahane as score 205 runs in 8 matches, while Tripathi has scored 216 runs in 6 matches that he has played. Also, Tripathi is the only batsman to score 30+ in the five matches in the IPL 2017. These two have been crucial in giving Pune good starts in the tournament.
Baidurjo: Yes they haven't been as consistent in the league as many would have hoped them to be. And the big names like Kohli, Gayle etc will be hurting and would want to get back to winning ways, sooner than later, and this could be the match when they explode on the big stage.
Pratik: Looking at the momentum, I feel that Pune have the edge over Bangalore as they have already beaten them once this year and also the fact that there is a huge gap between them as far as the league table is concerned. RPS are at fourth position with four wins and as many losses, while RCB have won just two and lost six matches in the league. Also, the washed out game against Sunrisers Hyderabad hasn't helped their cause either as far as points are concerned.
Baidurjo: Yes Pratik, it will be a very interesting clash as Steven Smith and Virat Kohli will once again come face to face. Let's take a look at some numbers first. The two teams have met 3 times in the IPL so far, with RCB winning two of those matches. Pune's only victory against RCB came early this season when they beat Bangalore by 27 runs.
Hi, I am Pratik Sagar, correspondent of Cricketnext and I have with me, my colleague Baidurjo Bhose and we will be previewing the clash between Pune and Bangalore. These two sides have already met in the tournament earlier, with RPS beating RCB convincingly at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
It will be another huge clash in the season, where I will be batting for Pune while Baidurjo will be defending Bangalore.