In the absence of Ben Stokes, Rising Pune Supergiant will face an uphill battle against Mumbai Indians when they meet today in the Qualifies 1 of the Indian Premier League. Stokes, who had a terrific first IPL outing, had to leave his team due to the national duty. Skipper Steve Smith said his team will miss the services of England all-rounder but he expects other players will step up the ante. Stokes’ unavailability might result in Usman Khawaja getting his first match of the season. Some the team’s young blood like Rahul Tripathi, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat have been really impressive.

Mumbai Indians finished the league on top of the table, losing just four matches but they don’t have a good record against Pune. The teams have met four times before with Rising Pune winning three matches. Their key players have been in fine form and Rohit Sharma would expect them to maintain the momentum. Though the loser of today’s tie will get a chance again in the qualifier 2 but that means added pressure and less rest time. Passions will also be high among the crowd considering it’s a Maharashtra Derby.