Zaheer Khan and Steven Smith's side will lock horns in Match 9 of IPL 10 © BCCI
Zaheer Khan and Steven Smith’s side will lock horns in Match 9 of IPL 10 © BCCI

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) take on Delhi Daredevils (DD) in Match 9 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 at Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), Pune. Both DD and RPS lost their previous matches. While DD lost their opening match by 15 runs to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), RPS suffered a 6-wicket loss at the hands of Glenn Maxwell-led Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Both teams, as a result, will look to bounce back with a win. However, RPS won their first match of the tournament against Mumbai Indians (MI) by 7 wickets, thanks to a spectacular innings from skipper Steven Smith. DD, who have played just one game so far, came close to beating RCB, but some excellent death-bowling cost them the match. Full Cricket Scorecard, Rising Pune Supergiant vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2017, Match 9

DD have been affected by injuries. Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy had pulled out of the tournament before it began. But with Angelo Mathews (thigh injury) and Shreyas Iyer (chicken pox) ruled out for some time as well, their problems continue to worsen. But they have a talented squad and capable of pulling off thrillers. Their bowlers did a fine job to restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to just 157, that too at Chinnaswamy. But their batsmen, barring Rishabh Pant, failed to put up a good show. Pant fought a lone battle, but RCB were too good in the end. DD managed to score just five runs in the final two overs as a result.

DD, however, might hand out an IPL debut for their INR 5 crore buy Kagiso Rabada. Carlos Brathwaite, hence, might have to make way for Corey Anderson. Brathwaite was less than impressive with both bat and ball. Pat Cummins continued his good form in DD’s first match from the Test series. As a result, it might be difficult for someone like Kagiso Rabada to make his way into the XI. Amit Mishra, who went for 32 runs in his two overs, might also see himself benched. Mishra with the bat, too, was horrendous against RCB. He hogged the strike when all he needed to do was give the strike back to Pant who was going great guns at the other end.

DD are not short of spinners either. M Ashwin or Jayant Yadav are likely to be Mishra’s replacement. Shahbaz Nadeem bowled a perfect spell against RCB finishing with 1 for 13 in 4 overs. Their batting otherwise looks set for the moment, but they will have to bat more responsibly, especially after losing a few experienced players.

DD likely XI: Zaheer Khan (c), Aditya Tare, Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Corey Anderson, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, M Ashwin/Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem

RPS, too, have injury issues. Ravichandran Ashwin and Mitchell Marsh were ruled out of the tournament even before it began. Washington Sundar and Imran Tahir respectively were named replacements. Tahir, who was unsold in the IPL 2017 auction, has been RPS’ best bowler with 5 wickets in to matches so far. It was a surprise to see Ashok Dinda retained for the second match after he conceded 57 runs against Mumbai Indians (MI), but bounced back reasonably well in the second game. RPS are not short of options in the fast-bowling department. They might be tempted to go with Shardul Thakur or Ishwar Pandey for this game. Also, Mayank Agarwal has done very less to impress the team management. Another failure in this match could see him make way for other youngsters.

RPS found it difficult to get going with the bat in the previous game. An extra batsman like Usman Khawaja in place of Dan Christian might be a good idea. Khawaja can either open the innings or bat at No. 4, which will give RPS a bit more depth in their batting. Manoj Tiwary played a useful hand of 40 off 23 in the previous match. His presence at No. 6 or 7 makes RPS’ batting all the more strong.

RPS likely XI: Steven Smith (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Usman Khawaja/Dan Christian, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (wk), Manoj Tiwary, Rajat Bhatia, Rahul Chahar, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur/Ishwar Pandey

Head-to-head: Still early days in the IPL, RPS are placed fifth with 2 points, while DD are yet to get off the mark. These teams have clashed twice in the IPL – both last year. RPS won the first encounter at Feroz Shah Kotla by 7 wickets anc onctinued their good run against their opponents at Vishakapatnam, registering a 19-run win (D/L).

Prediction: RPS will surely start favourites given the depth in their batting line-up. But DD have some good set of all-rounders and cannot be taken for granted as well. DD will, no doubt, have their task cut out if they are to restrict the likes of Smith, Dhoni and Stokes. No target is difficult to achieve and sky is the limit when it comes to setting targets. Everybody in the DD camp will have to be at the top of their game if they are to pull off a win.

Squads:

Rising Pune Supergiant: Steven Smith (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Ankit Sharma, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Daniel Christian, Rahul Chahar, Ashok Dinda, Faf du Plessis, Lockie Ferguson, Usman Khawaja, Jaskaran Singh, Saurabh Kumar, Ben Stokes, Milind Tandon, Mitchell Marsh, Manoj Tiwary, JaydevUnadkat, Adam Zampa, Washington Sundar, Imran Tahir.

Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (c), Aditya Tare, Amit Mishra, Angelo Mathews, Ankit Bawne, Carlos Brathwaite, Chama Milind, Chris Morris, Corey Anderson, Jayant Yadav, Kagiso Rabada, Karun Nair, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Pat Cummins, Pratyush Singh, Rishabh Pant, Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shashank Singh, ShreyasIyer

TIME: 20.00 IST | 14.30 GMT