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Rediff.com  » Cricket » With playoffs spot on radar, will Delhi return to winning ways against Pune?

With playoffs spot on radar, will Delhi return to winning ways against Pune?

May 16, 2016 13:34 IST

Mentor Rahul Dravid, coach Paddy Upton, JP Duminy and captain Zaheer Khan of the Delhi Daredevils during a warm-up session

IMAGE: Mentor Rahul Dravid, coach Paddy Upton, JP Duminy and captain Zaheer Khan of the Delhi Daredevils during a warm-up session. Photograph: BCCI

A determined Delhi Daredevils will make another push to stay in the hunt to make the playoffs when they take on bottom-placed Rising Pune Supergiants in the Indian Premier League in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.

Delhi have blown hot and cold this season and Zaheer Khan's men will have to snap 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 remaining three matches, starting with the match against Pune, 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 put up a challenge and finish the tournament on a high.

In their last match at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Sunday, the Daredevils were blown away by a whirlwind 37-ball 86 by Mumbai Indians' Krunal Pandya and lost by 80 runs.

Delhi Daredevils Karun Nair

IMAGE: Delhi Daredevils' Karun Nair. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Delhi’s bowling spearheads, 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 come out firing on all cylinders.

Rising Pune Supergiants skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: Rising Pune Supergiants skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Photograph: BCCI

Pune have depended on Ajinkya Rahane to pile up runs and skipper Dhoni has 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 has 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 Murugan 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 if they have to put forth any sort of challenge.

The Teams (From):

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

Rising Pune Supergiants: MS Dhoni (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Usman Khawaja, George Bailey, Ravichandran Ashwin, Saurabh Tiwary, Thisara Perera, Rajat Bhatia, Adam Zampa, Ashok Dinda, RP Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Baba Aparajith, Ankiit Sharma, Ankush Bains, Deepak Chahar, Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb, Jaskaran Singh, Albie Morkel, Ishwar Pandey, Irfan Pathan and Ishant Sharma.

Match starts 8pm IST.

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