About the Match
The Zaheer Khan led side, Delhi Daredevils, had an excellent opportunity to get better of RCB in their first match, but their batsmen failed to live up to the task. They will look to score their first win of the season against Rising Pune Supergiant. The match will be played at MCA Stadium, Pune on 11th April 2017. It is an important game for both the sides; a loss here for Pune would certainly remind them of their last year's woes. A win for Delhi will put them on par with the other teams in the tournament.
Winning the toss and chasing has been the formula for success for most of the teams in this IPL. Barring the first game, where SRH successfully defended the total of 207 runs, all the matches have been won by the teams batting second. In the last match played at this venue, RPS successfully chased down a high total set by Mumbai Indians. Dew isn't really a much of a factor here, but the pitch does tend to play better as the weather cools down. As has been the case in this IPL so far, both the sides will be looking to win the toss and field first.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Against Kings XI Punjab, batsmen didn't fare as well as they did in the first game for RPS. Pune is back to their home ground and will be looking to get back to the winning ways. In their previous game, no batsmen apart from Ben Stokes converted a start into a big total as they ended up with a modest target on the board.
RPS features a strong batting lineup with the pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Mayank Agarwal at the top. Steve Smith has been in pristine touch as bowlers from across the globe have struggled to send in back in the hut regardless of the format. Ben Stokes has been in fine form and MS Dhoni can demolish any sort of bowler on his day. They brought Dan Christian in for the last game and he didn't disappoint as he smashed Sandeep Sharma for a handful of runs in the last over.
While batting looks fine for Pune, bowling hasn't delivered the goods. The bowlers went for 39 in the final two overs of the first game and there weren't able to stop Maxwell and Miller in the second game. Imran Tahir has been amongst the wicket, but he has been their only positive so far. Overall, their batting has done well, but bowling has been ordinary. They'd have to bat as well as bowl well to defeat Delhi who almost defeated RCB in their previous match.
Likely Starting XI:
Ajinkya Rahane - Mayank Agarwal - Steve Smith (c) - MS Dhoni (wk) - Ben Stokes - Mano Tiwary - Dan Christian - Imran Tahir - Rajat Bhatia - Ashok Dinda - Rahul Chahar
Coached by Paddy Upton and mentored by Rahul Dravid, the youngsters from Delhi have come a long way forward. Despite the absence of high-profile names in the batting lineup, this side did reasonably well in last year's IPL. Delhi has always managed to punch above their weight and credit must be given to them.
Their batting failed to chase a modest total in their previous game which must ring some bells for them. Sam Billings looked good for his short stay at the crease and will be looking to make an impact in this game. Rishab Pant showed nerves of steel as he single-handedly propelled his team within touching distance of victory. On the other hand, other batsmen in the lineup did exactly to what he did, they threw their wickets away in pursuit of some quick runs.
Their bowlers bowled brilliantly as they kept RCB's total well under their average total. Pat Cummins carried his form into the T20s and Chris Morris bowled with pace and accuracy. Shahbaaz Nadeem didn't allow the batsmen go score off him as well. Carlos Brathwaite wasn't good with either bat or ball and Corey Anderson might come in for him.
It was their bowling which almost handed them the victory while their batting took it away. If they are able to bolster their batting, we might well witness yet another close contest in this IPL.
Likely Starting XI:
Sam Billings - Rishab Pant - Karun Nair - Sanju Samson - Corey Anderson - Chris Morris - Shahbaz Nadeem - Pat Cummins - Amit Mishra - Zaheer Khan
The Numbers Game
- Pune is the only team to have a 100% win record against Delhi. It has won two out of two encounters the two teams have had so far.
- Pune has never won a game batting first. The supergiant has batted first in eight games and lost all.
It will be a battle between Delhi's bowlers and Pune's batsmen. While Pune has been struggling with its bowling, its batting has done decently with Steve Smith as its hero with the bat. On the other hand, Delhi's bowling was exceptional, but batsmen failed to live up to the task. With teams looking to make a move early in the competition, we do not expect any side to hold anything back. We believe that Daredevils will improve its batting and with so many excellent bowling options, Delhi is our pick for this game