Match 9 IPL 2017 (2017-04-11) @ Pune (SRSS)
These two teams have only played each other twice. Delhi were victorious on both occasions.
Pune got their campaign off to a good start at home chasing down 184 set by the Mumbai Indians. This was due to a brilliant 84 from captain Steve Smith with support from Rahane. In their second match against Kings XI Punjab they batted poorly and failed to defend 163.
They brought in Daniel Christain to replace Zampa. Although he contributed 17 from 8 balls he struggled will the ball. Pune need to find the right balance for their side. They will be happy to be back at home where they won their first match.
Delhi have only played once. They got off to a brilliant start with the ball restricting RCB to 157. Their bowlers took regular wickets. Apart from Kedar Jadhav none of RCB's batsmen could get going.
Chasing 157 Delhi failed miserably. They need to quickly establish their best 11 having lost de Koch and Duminy before the season started.
In early trading on Betfair RPS are 1.73 and Dehli 2.36. At those prices I am backing the Daredevils to bounce back and win. Their bowling attack is strong and their batting should be better for a run.
In their first match it was Rahane and Smith that got Pune home. In the second match Rahane managed just 19 and Smith 26. Stokes got 50 from 32 balls to follow his 21 from 14 in their first match. Tiwary played a good knock of 40 in 23 balls in his first innings of the campaign. Christian contributed 17 from 8 down the order.
Two areas of concern are Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order and MS Dhoni. Dhoni has scored 11 and 5. Having lost the captaincy to Smith he seems to be taking time to adjust to his new role. He must retain his position as he is the wicket keeper and a quality player on his day. Agarwal has scores of 0 and 6. This has put Pune on the back foot in both innings.
The option of opening with du Plessis or Usman Khawaja is available to Pune. With Tahir bowling so well and Smith and Stokes batting so well it would be Christian who would have to make way. It would change the balance of the side but give the batting a much more solid feel.
The leg spinner Imran Tahir is the stand out bowler for Pune so far. He has taken 5 for 57 in his 8 overs in the competition. He must play again as one of their overseas players.
Stokes has been batting well so will definitely play. He has been expensive so far going at 9 an over in the first match and 8 in the second.
The experiment playing Dan Christian worked with the bat but he only bowled 2 overs and went for 23 runs. He had replaced Zampa who bowled 3 overs in the first match for 26 runs. Both options remain available to Pune but if they decide to go with an overseas opener neither can play.
Ashok Dinda went for 57 in his first match. He returned a better 1 for 26 in 3 overs in the second. Bhatia was the pick of Pune's Indian bowlers in match 1 but went for 20 off 2 over in the second. He will play again.
Deepak Charter went for 21 in two overs in the first match. He was replaced by his brother Rahul who took 32 for 1 in 4 overs. The spinner Rahul will play if Zampa is not selected. If Christian is replaced by a batsmen the seamer Deepak Charter may be given another chance. Another option would be Ishwar Pandey.
Delhi made a mess of chasing down 157 set by RCB on Saturday.
Tare and Billings got them off to a decent start but neither could push on. Tare fell for 18 and Billings 25. They miss de Koch at the top of the order. Billings has a lot of potential but he has yet to really deliver on the T20 circuit. He needs to score big runs consistently.
After the openers fell it was only Rishabh Pant that provided any resistance. His 57 off 36 on the day he cremated his father was a brilliant innings. Unfortunately he had no support.
Nair fell for 4 and Samsom managed just 13. Both were dismissed by Stanlake. The overseas allrounders Morris and Brathwaite also went cheaply. After his heroics in the T20 final teams seemed to have worked out Brathwaite cannot score nearly as quickly against spin.
After the all-rounders the tail could not score quickly enough to give Pant a chance of making the total. Amit Mishra played a disappointing innings managing only 8 from 14 balls.
Dehli have Corey Anderson in their squad. He is in form for New Zealand after scoring 94 off 41 balls against Bangladesh in January. His inclusion as an overseas player batting at 4 would strengthen the batting. He could replace Brathwaite who only bowled 2 overs for 29 runs.
Delhi bowled well as a unit on Saturday to restrict RCB to 157. At the top Cummings and Morris took a wicket a piece stopping RCB from getting going. Morris ended with 3 for 21 off his 4 overs. Cummings finished with 1 for 29 of his 4 overs. Delhi also have Rabada and Hilfenhaus available but there is no reason to change the overseas bowlers after one match.
The Indians Zaheer Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem also bowled well. The spinner Nadeem took a wicket and had an exceptional economy rate of 3.25. Zaheer bowled in the middle of the innings with figures of 2 for 31 off 4 overs. It was a good return to cricket for him and Delhi.
Amit Mishra bowled poorly. He was only given 2 overs and went for 32 runs. Brathwaite was also poor going for 29 in 2 overs. Mishra has an IPL economy rate of 8.3 so hopefully he will bowl better next time. If Anderson replaces Brathwaite next match he is capable of bowling if required.
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