Mumbai: Rising Pune Supergiants's players celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians's Shreyash Gopal during the IPL 2016 opening match played in Mumbai on Saturday. PTI Photo by Santosh Hirlekar(PTI4_9_2016_000161B)

Rising Pune Supergiants continued their dismal showing after they slumped to their third straight defeat on Friday.

Breaking the pattern of chasing teams winning the matches this season, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore by 13 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.

Bangalore rode on their usual Virat Kohli-AB de Villiers blitz to post 185/3 on board against Pune, who opted to field first.

Pune didn’t have the brightest of starts after losing Faf du Plessis early. Kevin Pietersen, who walked in at No. 3, was carried off the field after he hurt his calf muscle.

RPS skipper Dhoni, in a desperate attempt to look for positives, said Pietersen’s injury could prove a blessing in disguise for the team stating that he now had the option of fielding an extra all-rounder.

“KP’s injury can be a blessing in disguise. We’re playing with six bowlers, yet our death bowling isn’t great. Maybe we can look to bring in Albie Morkel or Mitch Marsh in the next game,” he said.

Dhoni, who is struggling to lead his team past the line in this tournament, has been critical about his bowlers’ performances at the death. Dhoni has found it difficult to get the team combination right so far. Irfan Pathan, who bowled only one over in the last game, was benched and Rajat Bhatia took his place on Friday.

“With the kind of players we’ve got, it has always been difficult to drop someone. We need to strengthen our bowling line a bit,” he said.

However, Dhoni remained optimistic saying he was not fussed with the losing streak. “Not really fussed with these results. I personally feel, we have to improve in all three departments,” he said.

Dhoni also backed leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin, who was taken to the cleaners by AB de Villiers on Friday. The Tamil Nadu leggie, who is No. 3 on the bowling charts with six wickets, leaked 29 runs in his 2 overs before being taken off the attack by Dhoni.

“I feel overall with less pressure and a few more games, M Ashwin will get better,” he said.

Meanwhile, winning skipper Kohli heaped praise on his partner in crime De Villiers, saying the South African was the best batsman of this generation.  “AB is the best batsmen in our generation. It’s a pleasure to bat alongside him. The way he communicates, he’s a selfless person. He doesn’t care about his own plans, but help people around him. He’s a better human being than a batsman,” Kohli said.

Kohli also seemed to be impressed with the showing of IPL debutant, mystery spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

The chinaman bowler snapped a 91-run threatening stand between Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane. “Shamsi came in a bowled really well. One guy got out of the plane and knocked us out of the T20 World Cup. So, I told him you get off the plane and knock them out. He bowled really well,” Kohli said.

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