Both franchises reached the playoff stages last season with NRK, who topped the table, failing to reach the final with Qualifier 2 exit while SMP went out in Eliminator after finishing third in the table.
Injury update Washington Sundar has recovered from injury to join Madurai Panthers for their opening match. There are no further injury updates available yet from the game.
SMP vs NRK key players
SMP key players: (Wicketkeeper: S Karthik) S Karthik is likely to be picked ahead of Krish Jain as wicketkeeper for the match as the Pudduchery cricketer has prior experience of TNPL and is likely to bat down the order.
(Batters: Hari Nishaanth, V Aaditya, Shijith Chandran) Hari Nishaanth was among the big buys at the auction and is expected to open the innings with V Aaditya. Nishaanth ended last season on a strong note for Dindigul Dragons with 172 runs in seven games at a strike rate of 128-plus. Aditya, on the other hand, had a forgettable TNPL last season and so did Shijith Chandran.
S Abhiseik will look to leave his mark in the middle-order after the batter played decent knocks for Salem Spartans last season while likes of M Ayush and D Sudhan will hope to impress in their debut season.
(All-rounders: Washington Sundar, Andrew Subikshan, Swapnil Singh, Jagatheeshan Kousik) Washington Sundar will be the star man while medium-pacer Andrew Subikshan is known for his high strike rate down the order.
Jagatheeshan Kousik had an impressive TNPL last season and the medium pacer is a regular member of the Tamil Nadu Ranji side as well. All-rounder Swapnil Singh, who played two games in IPL 2023, is expected to play a bigger role after a fine show in the domestic season with the bat.
(Bowlers: Murugan Ashwin, Ajay Krishna, V Gowtham, Balu Surya) Murugan Ashwin is a fresh recruit at the auction and is expected to lead the bowling line-up as the IPL cricketer has years of franchise cricket experience. Balu Surya will hold the key too as the right-arm spinner took 10 wickets last TNPL.
Newly-picked pacers Ajay Krishna and V Gowtham faired well seven and five wickets respectively last season. Left arm pacer Gurjapneet Singh returns to TNPL after a year break.
NRK key players: (Wicket-keeper: Arun Karthik, G Ajitesh) Opener Arun Karthik is an obvious pick as the newly-appointed skipper had a strong season for Puducherry in domestic cricket. This may cost retainee Gurswamy Ajitesh his place in the middle-order.
(Batters: L Suryaprakash, N Rajagopal, P Sugendhiran) Laxmeshan Suryaprakash will be in the spotlight the team’s top scorers from last season Baba Aparajith and Sanjay Yadav gone. Opener Suryaprakash was the third top-scorer with 232 runs.
Nidish Rajagopal will look to bring back his TNPL 2021 form as the batter went silent after scoring fifty in the first game last season while P Sugendhiran had a forgettable last season as well. Likes of SJ Arun Kumar, Emmanuel Cherian, and N Kabilan are unheralded names in the team.
(All-rounders: Sonu Yava, Ashwin Crist, S Neranjan, R Mithun) Sonu Yadav and Ashwin Crist will be vitat for the side with 10 and 11 wickets respectively last TNPL. Sri Niranjan’s opening spot is in question with the skipper likely to open but his bowling remains important as he picked six wickets in his last four games in TNPL. R Mithun is likely to feature too as a handy all-rounder but has seldom picked enough fantasy points.
(Bowlers: Sadeep Warrier, N Harish, S Monan Prasath, Kartick Manikandan, M Poiyamozhi) Sandeep Warrier didn’t feature in IPL 2023 at all for Mumbai Indians after replacing Jasprit Bumrah but the Tamil Nadu pacer picked 11 wickets last TNPL. Spinner N Harish will hold the key too with 10 wickets last season.
Left-arm spinner S Mohan Prasath left an impression last season with seven wickets in four games while pacer M Poiyamozhi was effective as well with nine wickets in just five games.
NRK vs SMP predicted playing 11
NRK predicted playing 11 G Ajitesh, L Suryaprakash, N Rajagopalan, Sri Neranjan, Arun Karthik ( C & WK), Aswin Crist, N Harish, R Mithun, Sandeep Warrier, Sonu Yadav, M Poiyamozhi
SMP predicted playing 11 V Aaditya, Hari Nishaanth, S Abiseik, Shijith Chandran, Ajay Krishna, V Gowtham, Jagatheesan Kousik, Washington Sundar (C), Balu Surya/Murugan Ashwin, S Karthik (wk), Swapnil Singh/Gurjapneet Singh
SMP vs NRK pitch report
The SNR Colleger Cricket Ground is considered favourable for batting with pacers often taken for runs. Spinners, however, have done well on the surface in comparison with the fast bowlers.
SMP vs NRK Dream11 prediction
SMP vs NRK Dream11 prediction 1
SMP vs NRK Dream11 prediction 2