After losing to the Kings XI Punjab at Indore, the Rising Pune Supergiant return to home base on Tuesday to take on the Delhi Daredevils in a home game to be played at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
One of the striking features of the Pune side so far has been the fact that they have played two leg-spinners in each of their matches so far. Imran Tahir has remained constant and partnering him have been Adam Zampa in Game 1 and Rahul Chahar in Game 2.
The Steve Smith-led side will perhaps look to chase in this game, considering the kind of success they tasted in the game against the Mumbai Indians and they will hope to do that in the game against Delhi as well on Saturday.
Here’s a predicted XI for Rising Pune Supergiant:
Ajinkya Rahane: The stabiliser at the top. Ideally, Rahane’s role should be to anchor the innings and maintain the tempo. One of the few non-power hitters in the side, the Mumbaikar needs to ensure he doesn’t reduce the rate of the innings. He may not have the ability to strike sixes like Chris Gayle, but he has his own repertoire which he needs to put to good use.
Mayank Agarwal: The other opener who needs to fire. Bowled in the previous game against the Kings Xi Punjab, Agarwal needs to put his free-flowing style of play to good use in the game on Tuesday and provide the team with a good start.
Steve Smith(C): The fulcrum of the side and arguably, the best batsman in the world at the moment. A large percentage of Pune's hopes hinge on the Australian, who has already begun this season with a bang by guiding his side to a win in the Maharashtra derby and he will look to do something of the same on Tuesday as well.
MS Dhoni(wk): The other key man, who needs to fire. This is a key season for Dhoni, keeping the Champions Trophy in mind. India don’t play any ODIs between the IPL and the Champions Trophy and hence the 35-year-old will need some runs in this IPL to head into the competition with some confidence under his belt.
Ben Stokes: The man who needs to do the finishing job. Stokes struck some batting form in the last game against Kings XI Punjab and he will have the job to add the extra 15-20 runs at the end of the innings.
Manoj Tiwary: The surprise performer with the bat in the last game. Usually a top-order batsman for his state side, Tiwary will have a different role to essay in this side and how he acclimatises to that will be the key.
Rajat Bhatia: The IPL veteran. Bhatia’s major role will be with the ball and over the years, he has put his cutters to good use in the middle overs to take the pace off the ball and keep the runs down
Adam Zampa: The leg-spinner who was dropped for Game 2 should get another look in the game on Tuesday. The Australian was one of the best limited-overs bowlers last year and also gave the Pune side it’s best performance last year when he took six wickets.
Deepak Chahar: The fast bowler will have a chance to make another impression in the game. He may not pick the wickets by the bucketfuls in domestic cricket, but if the curator does leave some grass on the field then it could help him at the start of the innings.
Ashok Dinda: The most trolled player in this IPL so far, primarily for his performance against Mumbai on Friday. Dinda’s woes lie in the end overs, where he seems to have minimal control. But despite that, Smith could put faith on him in this game and it would be upto to deliver in the game on Tuesday.
Imran Tahir: The best bowler of the tournament so far, with Rashid Khan. It is hard to imagine that Tahir found no buyers in the auction and after coming in as a replacement, has shined in the two games. His four overs will be vital for Smith on Tuesday.