Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) began their IPL 2017 campaign in great fashion, with a last-over win over Mumbai Indians, while Delhi Daredevils (DD) went down rather dismally to Royal Challengers Bangalore. DD had RCB restricted to 157 off their 20 overs but then made a hash of the moderate target to end up at 142/9. Needless to say, they have to get their act together and their next opportunity comes against Steve Smith's side, which looked unstoppable in the first match but mortal thereafter.
Top 5 picks for the RPS vs DD game
Steve Smith: The RPS skipper showed exceptional skill and aggression when he guided his side to a great win over Mumbai Indians in the first match for both sides. His 84 not out off 54 deliveries was a testament to his class and calibre, which he had displayed during the Test series as well.
Imran Tahir: The South African leg-spinner was brought on by RPS almost as an afterthought, after Ravichandran Ashwin was made unavailable by an injury. Tahir has grabbed the opportunity with both hands, with a match-changing three-wicket spell against MI and another two scalps against KXIP, to be joint top wicket-taker with Sunrisers Hyderabad's Rashid Khan.
Ben Stokes: The most expensive buy of the IPL 2017 Auction, Stokes is priceless for his sheer presence and his ability with both bat and ball. He scored a fine half-century in a losing cause vs KXIP and while he still has to come good with the ball, that is only a matter of time.
Rishabh Pant: The young Delhi batsman showed tremendous character to come back from his father's funeral and then take the RCB attack by the scruff of the neck. He showed tremendous technical skill and was the mainstay of the otherwise poor Delhi batting display.
Zaheer Khan: The India veteran's role will almost as much be for his presence and experience as with the ball. In a side that is a little light in terms of iconic players, Zaheer will play a crucial role if DD want to make genuine progress in the tournament.
Injury updates and team news
RPS are missing Ashwin, who is out for the entire tournament while the DD batting was really hit hard when Quinton de Kock was sent packing for the tournament.
Rising Pune Supergiant: Steve Smith (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni, Manoj Tiwary, Dan Christian, Rajat Bhatia, Rahul Chahar, Imran Tahir, Ashok Dinda.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (capt), Aditya Tare, Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin.