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Pune have well-balanced IPL outfit, says bowling coach Eric Simmons

New IPL outfit Rising Pune Supergiants have a well-balanced team, with India's limited over captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the helm, feels the franchise's bowling coach Eric Simmons.

"Being part of a new franchise is very exciting and also challenging. We have a well-balanced squad with many options and I am looking forward to working closely with all the players," he said ahead of the team's week-long training session in Pune before the tournament opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians here on April 9.

Sharing his thoughts on the squad's composition, head coach Stephen Fleming, said, "I am very excited to be back in Pune. It has been a long wait since our trial games in January and the auction in Bengaluru. We are very excited about the squad that we have compiled and can't wait to get underway.

"There is a lot of work to do being a new franchise so it makes this week very important as players and coaches get acquainted. Another important aspect to our campaign will be home support. We need the cricket loving fans in Pune to come out and support Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the team.

"Pune is a great place to be based and a wonderful ground to play at. We are looking forward to playing exciting and hopefully successful brand of cricket," said the former New Zealand captain.

Former India player Hrishikesh Kanitkar said he was looking forward to the challenge to be associated with his hometown franchise outfit as its assistant coach.

"I am really looking forward to being involved in the IPL for the first time and it is very special to be part of Rising Pune Supergiants given that I am from Pune. We are looking forward to a great season of fantastic support from the people of Pune."

The outfit has roped in Marriott International as its official hospital partner, said a media release.

Apart from Dhoni, the outfit would be banking upon his World T20 teammates Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin, apart from Australia skipper Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, former England star Kevin Pietersen and South Africa's T20 skipper Faf du Plessis to deliver the goods in their inaugural season of the popular cricket league.

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