Daredevils to face Dhoni’s Supergiants in key IPL clash
Outclassed by Mumbai Indians in their last outing, a determined Delhi Daredevils will make another push to stay in the play-offs hunt when they take on bottom-placed Rising Pune Supergiants in the Indian Premier League here on Tuesday.
Delhi have blown hot and cold this season and Zaheer Khan’s men will have to curb their inconsistent run as the tournament approaches its business end.
With six wins in 11 matches, Delhi are placed at the fifth spot with 12 points and they will look to win the rest three matches, starting with the clash on Tuesday, to seal a knockout berth.
Pune, on the other hand, have had a forgetful campaign and they are out of contention but Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men will look to spoil the broth of other teams and finish the tournament on a high.
In their last match at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Sunday, the Daredevils were blown away by a whirlwind 37-ball 86 by Mumbai Indians’ Krunal Pandya.
Spin-pace duo of Amit Mishra and Chris Morris, who have been the top wicket-takers for Delhi with 13 and 11 wickets so far, will have to ensure they don’t allow the Supergiants batsmen to get into the groove.
Delhi captain Zaheer Khan has marshalled his men well, leading from the front with nine wickets and even in their defeat against Mumbai, he had the best economy rate, taking a wicket for 23 in four overs. He has also been impressive in the death overs and his contribution will be even more important in their crunch match on Tuesday.
In batting, Delhi have some top class players in their ranks like Quinton de Kock, wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson and top-order player Karun Nair. The team management will be expecting them to to come out firing on all cylinders.
Pune have depended on Ajinkya Rahane to pile up runs and skipper Dhoni have tried to put the finishing touch but there has not been much support from other batsmen.
Saurabh Tiwary and all-rounder Thisara Perera have chipped in with an odd contribution but they have not been consistent.
Their bowling have equally let them down with Australian spinner Adam Zampa’s six-wicket haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad, being the sole exceptional performance.
Two other spinners - R Ashwin and M Ashwin, have not been consistent either. Pacers Ashok Dinda and Perera also have not been able to threaten the opponents and will have to pull up their socks.