Delhi Daredevils will seek to get back to winning ways when they face an underwhelmed Rising Pune Supergiants in match number 49 of the Indian Premier League at Vizag on Tuesday. Delhi go into the match having been thrashed mercilessly by Mumbai Indians in their previous encounter, as Krunal Pandya took a liking to their attack. Pune, on the other hand, encountered another horror game against Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous match, as they went down without a fight in the rain-hit encounter at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, putting paid to any slender hopes they may have had of making it to the final four.
Against Mumbai, Delhi struggled because their spinners were completely taken apart. Zaheer Khan’s men played three slow bowlers in that match, and all of them went for plenty. So, it remains to be seen whether Delhi go back to the two-spinner theory or continue to persist with three. If they look to play two spinners, Shahbaz Nadeem will be definitely one to miss out. Amit Mishra may have had one bad day, but he is definitely the best spinner of the three. Imran Tahir too went for plenty in the last game, but he is definitely someone Delhi will be looking forward to better performances from.
Delhi’s batsmen have not done a great job apart from opener Quinton de Kock this year. De Kock has played some very good knocks, but has lacked the desired support. He will be looking forward to support from the likes of Karun Nair and Sanju Samson. Rishabh Pant is another batsman who can make an impact. They have a quality all-rounder in Chris Morris, and he will be expected to make an impact. Delhi have six wins from 11 matches so far, and are placed fifth. They will thus need to win their remaining matches from this point.
Pune have struggled because they have been heavily dependent on Ajinkya Rahane in this edition. Rahane has done reasonably well, but on occasions when he has struggled, the side has failed to put up a fight. The lack of runs from their skipper MS Dhoni has been a massive blow for the team, and as mentioned many times before, injury woes have made matters difficult for them. Usman Khawaja and George Bailey have done decently as replacements, but by the time they have come in, qualification chances were all but out of Pune’s hands.
Pune’s bowlers also haven’t made much of an impact in the tournament. In fact, if you take out Adam Zampa’s 6 for 19, which also came in a losing cause, they haven’t had much to cheer about. Ravichandran Ashwin has been rather poor with the ball, and Murugan Ashwin has only done slightly better. In the pace department, Ashok Dinda has been inconsistent while Thisara Perera began well, but has not carried on since. Pune may have been knocked out of the tournament, but they can still play spoilsport.
--By A Cricket Analyst