Delhi Daredevils will look to extend their good run of form when they face Rising Pune Supergiants © AFP
Delhi Daredevils will look to extend their good run of form when they face Rising Pune Supergiants © AFP

Delhi Daredevils (DD) take on Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in Match 33 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on Thursday. DD are on quite a roll, having won four out of their last five matches. They lie third in the table with 10 points, but they have played two games lesser than Gujarat Lions (GL) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who are the two teams above them. RPS on the other hand have many concerns. They have won just two matches in their eight outings. To add to their misery, star players like Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith and Mitchell Marsh have been ruled out of the competition. Full Cricket Scorecard: Delhi Daredevils vs Rising Pune Supergiants, IPL 2016, Match 33 at Delhi

RPS have however managed to rope in George Bailey and Usman Khawaja in their squad, which gives them some relief. Khawaja and Bailey could get a chance to make their debuts for their new team in this match. If they do, DD will have their task cut out. Khawaja has been in tremendous form with the bat in the shortest format and will be entrusted to fill in for du Plessis at the top. Bailey on the other hand is a reliable middle-order bstaman, who has already had a taste of IPL during his stint with Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), a team he briefly led. He should find it relatively easier to settle down. READ: IPL 2016: Rising Pune Supergiants announce George Bailey as replacement for Faf du Plessis

DD were boosted by the fact that Rishabh Pant did extremely well opening the innings, after Shreyas Iyer failed to make any sort of impact in that position. They do not need to make any changes to their side, but they have the option of getting in Carlos Brathwaite in place of JP Duminy, if needed. DD have a settled unit otherwise and have been led well by Zaheer Khan so far.

RPS on the other hand will be forced to make a couple of changes. Smith has been ruled out of the tournament due to wrist injury and Bailey could take his place. Khawaja may come in for Peter Handscomb and open the innings along with Ajinkya Rahane, despite the fact that Saurabh Tiwary scored a half-century at the opening slot in their prvious match. READ: Steven Smith ruled out of IPL 2016 due to wrist injury

With most bowlers leaking runs, there has been a case for Irfan Pathan to return to the playing XI. Pathan has just played one match in IPL 2016 so far and one fails to understand the reasoning behind having him warm the bench. By the looks of it, he will have to wait a bit longer to make a comeback to the team. RPS spinners Murugan Ashwin and Ravichandran Ashwin have bowled well in tandem, but it has been Murugan, who has been among the wickets more consistently.

Scott Boland had a decent IPL debut, but Albie Morkel can come in his place if RPS feel the need to have some more depth in their batting. Morkel could also come in as a direct replacement for RPS, with Boland retaining his place. READ: IPL 2016: Revised schedule with new venues

This is certainly a match both teams would want to win for different reasons. For RPS, they need to win every match from here to have a chance of making it to the top four. For DD however, they will be looking to consolidate their place on the upper half of the table and a win in this match will take them closer to the playoff spot.

MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) always reached the playoffs during his eight years as captain and will have to draw inspiration from that, if RPS have any chance of finishing in the top four.

Squads:

Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS): MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashwin Murugan, Usman Khawaja, George Bailey, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Thisara Perera, Rajat Bhatia, Ashok Dinda, Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb, RP Singh, Adam Zampa, Ishwar Pandey, Deepak Chahar, Jaskaran Singh, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Ankit Sharma.

Delhi Daredevils (DD): Zaheer Khan (c), Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mayank Agarwal, Jayant Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock (wk), Pawan Negi, Chris Morris, Sanju Samson, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Sam Billings, Chama Milind, Pratyush Singh, Mahipal Lomror, Saeed Khaleel Ahmed, Akhil Herwadkar, Pawan Suyal.

TIME: 20.00 Local | 14.30 GMT

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)